It’s true. Exactly one year ago today, I googled something like “blogging sites,” decided on wordpress, and then bought the domain for Young Mormon Feminists.
It has been 365 days of trying to make this blog into a community for people wanting to learn, talk, and connect about Mormon feminism.
I’ve had a lot of people ask me why we need YMF. Are the concerns of the younger generation really that different from those of older ones? What are the young feminists talking about that the old ones aren’t? Where is the Old Mormon Feminists blog? (there isn’t one 🙂 )
I had a theory when I started YMF at the prodding of others in the MoFem community that there are indeed issues and approaches unique or at least a lot more prevalent in the younger generation of Mormon feminists, but I didn’t know for sure. I can assert today with much more certainty that I do believe there are.
I’ve watched how members of YMF approach these issues with a much more personal concern- the vast majority of members of YMF do not have children, and many are not married, and thus their faith transition is more personal and less tied up in their familial relations. They are figuring themselves out and deciding how they want to live their lives- they are not having to grapple with having dedicated a lifetime to Mormonism only to discover that all might not be as had seemed. They feel more free to make whatever decision will be best for them without the pressures of having spent a lifetime in the church- and while I see many choosing to leave (and it being healthy and a good choice for them), I also see many choosing to stay.
I’ve watched how any article on dating, on finding yourself in the midst of a crisis of faith while you are still coming of age, and any article on modesty and experiences in the Young Women’s program have been shared like wildfire. I think these articles have been meaningful not just because of their topic, but because they were written by people who are right there in the midst of those experiences, not by people who were there 20-30 years ago.
And I’ve watched as a lingo, a common understanding, and an understanding bond has grown in this community, particularly fostered in our facebook group and twitter page. We in the younger generation know how to use technology and are reaching out to these tools in search of ways to cope with our questions. Having a community full of other young people asking the same questions has been an incredible source of comfort, friendship, and strength to many people.
I’m grateful to have been one of those people, and I hope in the next year we can build on those successes to improve YMF and reach out to more people who could be helped by what YMF has to offer.
I’ve been trying to implement changes, particularly in response to a survey I sent out a month or two ago to get feedback. Here’s some of the changes we’ve made in the past year:
– website redesign and new logo
– livetweeting General Conference to bring in more people
– started a Sunday Spotlight series
– started a Feminism 101 series
– started a YMF Sunday School series
– tagging posts with topics contained in it so that you can search for content by topic (we’re in the process of cataloguing old posts now)
– fostering a varied discussion on female ordination
– using YMF to organize Feminist FHE’s that now meet regularly in Provo, Salt Lake City, and Washington D.C. (with occasional FHE’s in other locations as well!)
– continuing to have the majority of the content for the blog produced by a diverse group of contributors with frequent guest posts
And here are some current stats in case you’re interested!
Total views on the blog ever: 168,727 views
From the US: 152,697
From Canada: 4,519
From the UK: 2,795
From Germany: 1,196
From Australia: 1,062
Total people following the blog: 90 people
Facebook group membership: 622 people
Twitter followers: 442 people
Top 5 posts:
A Letter to President Dalton: 4,655 views
Pantsgate 2012: 3,628 views
I hope everyone feels comfortable providing feedback about ways we could improve YMF (you can email us at email@example.com or comment here or post in the facebook group). As YMF continues to grow, I hope to get more people on board with administrative efforts and authoring efforts to expand our reach and to give more people an opportunity to get involved with this community.
Thank you all so much for reading, sharing, discussing, and caring, especially in the early stages of this blog when I was kind of just YOLO-ing around in the desperate hopes that YMF would help at least some people on their way. This blog wouldn’t exist without the thousands of people who have participated in one way or another. I look forward to another year with you.
PS: OMGSH this is my 100th post on the blog. How perfect is that?! #blessed