Sunday Spotlight is a series where we profile individuals in the Young Mormon Feminists community to hear their story and get to know them a little better through Q&A or their personal narrative. This week we talked with Amber Whitely.
I’m Amber Whiteley, and I’m a young Mormon feminist.
When did you join the church, and what was your childhood like?
I joined the church when I was 16, and I believe I’ve always been a feminist. In retrospective, I’ve always been pretty outspoken about social injustice, too… when I was 4 I protested my dad for going hunting by forcing him to watch Bambi with me a hundred times, and when I was 10, I started a letter writing campaign to save the rainforest. (yes, I was THAT kid who ate lunch alone.)
Luckily I joined a home ward of church leaders who were welcoming to radical little me, and it helped that I was raised in the greatest, most beautiful, liberal-loving land of hippies – Portland, Oregon.
What did you study at BYU?
While at BYU, I conducted some research seeking to prove that Body Image Satisfaction was lower among BYU students than students at other colleges. I majored in Psychology and LOVED it, and focused a lot of my studies on gender issues and women’s issues.
What occupies your time now?
Now I’m getting my Master’s In Mental Health Counseling and continuing to conduct research on social justice issues and multiculturalism.
I also work at the Crisis Nursery, which is a 24-hour facility that provides care to children whose families are going through Crisis. Our goal is to prevent Child abuse and neglect. It is the kind of job that changes your heart and soul. I wish everyone had the opportunity to serve the families I serve.
I also have a toddler. She thinks eating rocks is funny.
What has your involvement in Mormon Feminism been like?
1. Lately in Mormon Feminism I helped organize “let Women Pray” (yay, a woman prayed!),
2 I helped to create mormonfeminist.org. Which is an awesome place to submit your story of Mormon feminism and read other profiles. (GO SUBMIT YOUR PROFILE NOW OR ELSE LEPRECHAUNS WILL EAT YOUR TOES)
3. I also wrote this post a little while ago for YMF where I shared my story about how I was sexually abused as a child.
I’m married to a really awesome feminist, and he also works within the mental health industry. This year he is supporting me as I apply to Clinical and Counseling Psychology PhD programs. He also buys me all the diet coke I can handle. Yes, I know it’s bad for me, but I can quit ANYTIME I WANT!!!
Tell us something random.
– I was known in high school and College for my obnoxious laugh
– I’m currently learning sign language
– My Celebrity Crush is Amy Poehler
– I make the most amazing homemade macaroni and cheese.
– I know how to sing Opera, and I used to be pretty good at it. Now I’m mostly singing kid songs for my daughter.
– My husband and I have rap battles, where we both try to memorize and perfectly execute a rap song before the other one can. Currently we’re working on Macklemore’s “can’t hold us”. (I am so totally winning this round.)
Do you have any takeaway messages for anyone who might be reading this?
To me, being a feminist is more about being concerned about all social justice issues. It’s about wanting equality, which is something most people support, but they just don’t know it yet. Have patience, always look for ways to make the world a better place, and most importantly, remember to keep your sense of humor.
Sometimes dog memes are the answer to everything.
And so is Feminist Ryan Goseling, but you already knew that.