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 RoseE.
Who are you and what are you up to?
I’m RoseE (Yes, that’s how it’s spelled), and I’m struggling towards finishing my master’s degree in English literature at BYU. This is one step in my life’s dream to become a professional summer camp counselor, with a side job as a university professor.
What makes you a Mormon?
I was born in the church, to a pioneer-stock father and a Catholic convert mother, and grew up in Minnesota, where there were few enough members to make being Mormon something special and distinct. Since my dad is a history buff, I grew up knowing more about LDS history than most adults in my branch, and I ran wild in Nauvoo for a few days every summer when my family traveled to the temple in Chicago. Mormonism is my heritage and my identity.
What makes you a feminist?
The examples of a few good friends: Heidi Doggett from within the church, and Jacqueline M. outside of it. Both women share an intense dissatisfaction with the status quo and fierce, inexhaustible drive to make things better for women around the world. I would like to be them when I grow up.
What makes you a Mormon feminist?
Three years ago, I figured that since I could vote, own property, initiate divorce, work outside my home, and travel without an escort, feminism had done its work and was over. Then the first Wear Pants to Church Day happened. The backlash from that event was so vicious and so widespread that I was shocked to my core. I had no idea that Latter-day Saints could ever treat one another like that over something so insignificant as tweaking the unwritten, unspoken, un-doctrinal dress code. The debacle opened my eyes to the deeply ingrained inequalities in our faith community and gave me something to fight for (which has made church a lot more entertaining.) I’m working towards a Mormonism of inclusion, support, and Christ-like love—a faith I can be proud I belong to, like I was when I was little.
Where do you see yourself in ten years?
With any luck, chasing little kids around the woods in the summers and lecturing on women’s literature of the Victorian period during the winter. Or, since I did get a degree in the humanities, I could be starving in a rainy alley behind a restaurant somewhere.
Any parting words for us?
Outside the Hyde Park chapel in London are big, multicolored banners proclaiming: EVERYONE WELCOME. Let’s make that real, sisters and brethren.