Category Archives: Women’s History Month

Women

Women’s History Month. Wow. How’s that for a heavy load of words? I’ve been asked (directly or indirectly) several times already what woman from history has most influenced my life. Now that’s a question that requires a lot of thought. I’m not sure I’ve got time for that kind of thought. I’ve got too many dishes to do. Continue reading

New Friend

This week I’ve been getting to know Susa Young Gates. The daughter of Brigham Young and Lucy Bigelow, his twenty-second wife, Susa was no ordinary woman. The following excerpt from Mormon Sisters, by Claudia Bushman, describes, some of her accomplishments.

“During her lifetime of seventy-seven years, she was a prolific writer, musician, genealogist, teacher organizer, administrator, home economist, public speaker, researcher, traveler, suffragist, and Church worker as well as a wife and the mother of thirteen children. Called “the most versatile and prolific Mormon writer ever to take up the pen in defense of her religion,” she also earned for herself a number of unofficial titles, including “the mother of physical education in Utah.” She corresponded with Tolstoy and took tea with Queen Victoria. Susan B. Anthony once offered her the post of secretary of the National Council of Women if she would give up her militant Mormonism; Susa declined.” Continue reading

Silent

I fear a Man of frugal Speech–
I fear a Silent Man–
Haranguer–I can overtake–
Or Babbler–entertain–

But He who weigheth–While the Rest–
Expend their furthest pound–
Of this Man–I am wary–
I fear that He is Grand–

–Emily Dickinson

I am the product of a long line of opinionated, flawed, and strong women. My grandmother, who stubbornly lived to be 93 years-old, raised nine children while working full-time as a night nurse. She suffered from Rheumatoid Arthritis. In her later years, her back was so stooped that her once voluptuous breasts rested comfortably on her thighs. I never saw her take an aspirin, a Tylenol, or an ibuprofen for her pain. Her daughters, my six Aunts (and mom) pursued careers, managed family farms and family businesses, raised copious amounts of children, survived difficult marriages and still can’t help but cross their legs and giggle at almost every opportunity.

These women are my Mount Rushmore, my historical and institutional memory. Continue reading

Condemn Me Not Because of Mine Imperfections

Editor’s Note: This is another (very welcome) guest post from Emily M.

The Book of Mormon mentions five women by name: Sariah, Abish, Isabel, Eve, and Mary. It refers, without naming, to various wives (of Nephi and his brothers, of King Lamoni, of Jacob’s philandering people); to an abused servant girl of a dissenting army leader; and to a conspiring, dancing daughter in Ether. We also have the wives who inspire the men to fight, and the mothers of Helaman’s army.

Continue reading