Sunday Spotlight is a series where we profile individuals in the Young Mormon Feminists community to hear their stories and get to know them a little better through Q&A or their personal narratives. This week we talked with Enos.
Who are you and what are you up to?
I’m an advertising student. I’m a linguist and work doing transadaptation. I write stories and compose new age piano/production music. I like stories and believe they hold great power in empathy. I recently realized that the feeling I see other people get at broadcast championship sports-ball events is the feeling my friends and I get at the finale of a talent/reality show competition.
What makes you a Mormon?
I wouldn’t be alive if it wasn’t for my mother’s view of personal revelation. That’s actually where my name comes from – an answered prayer to her pleadings. I distinctly remember thinking before my baptism that I was stuck being a Mormon for life whether or not I chose to be baptized. So I might as well. Considering my name was derived from The Book of Mormon, it would always be a part of my identity. Mormonism in its totalitarian points of views has helped shape my view of the world. Every aspect. I was taught from a young age that if something was a true eternal principle, then I needed to apply it as truth and with conviction to everything I do. The principles I’ve learned to view the world with will always have roots founded upon this worldview.
What makes you a feminist?
My father would tell me that men needed to be the 3 F’s: Feo, Fuerte y fortachudo ( Strong, Ugly, and forceful). This always bothered me greatly. My deep testimony of the Savior taught me to do the opposite. The hyper-masculinity and machismo culture that blasted me with twisted ideas of what it meant to be “a boy” drove me crazy. The way the patriarchy taught me to be a person of value is the opposite of the person I felt Christ wanted me to be.
I started learning more about feminism from my best friend in high school. Sometimes we’d talk for hours after school. While we didn’t agree on a lot of things, we’d respect each other’s opinions. Feminism is the language that has been able to convey and express my thoughts and frustrations. As I started shutting up and listening to her, I’d learn why these things were happening, and I started to empathize with others.
Feminism opened up my eyes to how I could try to be a decent person and avoid hurting the spiritual siblings I’ve covenanted to mourn with when they mourn; to listen to them tell their stories with the love and respect they deserve, and with an open heart and with sincere intent to try and understand. It’s helped me find ways to help those that are afflicted. It’s been my balm of Gilead to help me heal the deep wounds that ignorance, bigotry, racism and patriarchy have scarred me and my loved ones with.
What makes you a Mormon feminist?
I’m not a feminist ally or a liberal despite the fact of my Mormonism, but rather because of it. When I chose to serve a full-time mission, it was because I felt that the teachings of Christ would help alleviate unnecessary suffering. As I try to make life less about me and more about how I could listen and help other people’s unnecessary suffering, I feel I become a better disciple of Christ.
There are many people suffering under shackles of outdated and barbaric common practices in this world. And the lack of compassion, love, understanding towards these children of God, that are often brushed aside under privilege, are things I believe I will be accountable to God for. I cannot idly stand by as so many people suffer. I am a Mormon feminist because I believe the worth of every soul is great unto God.
We cannot be saved in ignorance. The more and more I study and learn, I’m able to learn more about other’s struggles – what they are, and what I can do to help lift one another’s burdens. This is a way I feel I can put my faith in action.
Where do you see yourself in ten years?
I want to be working in a facet of media production. I want to create a more inclusive landscape of representation. I want to help share stories and struggles of people left silent and forgotten.
Any parting words for us?
I don’t actually like hunting. I’d fall asleep before making it through a whole day of prayer. I don’t like wrestling. #NotAllEnos’