Feminists Addicted To 'Uplifting' Mormon Housewife Blogs?

Sunday, January 16, 2011

I read about 5 different blogs by Mormon women every day. (I am not Mormon) The life that they portray on these blogs are just lovely, they have lovely homes, picture perfect kids, loving super attentive husbands, and things seem very normal and calm.
This comment by BrookeD on Jezebel blog prompted others to admit their addiction to Mormon blogs. I was surprised to see this at notoriously liberal Salon:
Their lives are nothing like mine -- I'm your standard-issue late-20-something childless overeducated atheist feminist -- yet I'm completely obsessed with their blogs. On an average day, I'll skim through a half-dozen Mormon blogs, looking at Polaroids of dogs in raincoats or kids in bow ties, reading gratitude lists, admiring sewing projects.

I'm not alone, either. Two of my closest friends -- both chronically overworked Ph.D. candidates -- procrastinate for hours poring over Nat the Fat Rat or C. Jane Enjoy It....

Well, to use a word that makes me cringe, these blogs are weirdly "uplifting." To read Mormon lifestyle blogs is to peer into a strange and fascinating world where the most fraught issues of modern living -- marriage and child rearing -- appear completely unproblematic. This seems practically subversive to someone like me, weaned on an endless media parade of fretful stories about "work-life balance" and soaring divorce rates and the perils of marrying too young/too old/too whatever. And don't even get me started on the Mommy Blogs, which make parenthood seem like a vale of judgment and anxiety, full of words like "guilt" and "chaos" and "BPA-free" and "episiotomy." Read enough of these, and you'll be ready to remove your own ovaries with a butter knife.

Indeed, Mormon bloggers like Holbrook make marriage and motherhood seem, well, fun. Easy. Joyful. These women seem relaxed and untouched by cynicism....

Clearly, life for the Mormon wife is not all crafts and cupcakes. Even if it were, I seriously doubt that crafts and cupcakes are all that much fun when you do them all day, every day.

But the basic messages expressed in these blogs -- family is wonderful, life is meant to be enjoyed, celebrate the small things -- are still lovely. And if they help women like me envision a life in which marriage and motherhood could potentially be something other than a miserable, soul-destroying trap, I say, "Right on." I won't be inviting the missionaries inside for hot cocoa now or ever, but I don't plan on stopping my blog habit any time soon. (Emily Matchar)


Anonymous said...

I was a feminist . . . once. I was ambitious, got an MBA, climbed the corporate ladder, became a Vice President . . . went back for MA in counseling psychology, got state licensed, and became a mental health therapist. I was a feminist because, essentially, I was not happy with the way I was being treated (or thought I was being treated) by the male community and men in general. Not until I became a mormon, learned and practiced what I needed to do to become a better woman; and met a man who was totally loyal, honest, loving, kind, and faithful did I realize my real dream . . . of having a great relationship. He still allows me to be who I am, to pursue whatever dreams and goals I have, supports me with whatever I want to do or be . . . even lets me stay up and watch a movie late at night or sleep in in the morning, without complaint or criticism. We're still honeymooning after two years of marriage, and anticipate to be honeymooning after twenty.

My wife and I talked about this and we've come to the conclusion that the reason these Mormon wives are so happy (and these feminist, career women are not) is because of motherhood and a faithful marriages. As much as they criticize stay-at-home mothers for being unproductive, enslaved to patriarchy, an embarrassment to women's lib, time after time we see feminists either changing their minds and having a baby, or wishing that they had. Motherhood is really the most important job in the human race; nothing else could compare with the importance and legacy or raising children.

Perhaps a close second, I think every person on earth (not just women) want to be in a faithful relationship that fulfills their needs and makes life mean something. It just so happens that everything in the LDS Church leads toward those two ideals: Maintaining a positive, nurturing marital relationship forever, and raising good children. I think if everyone shared these same ideals, the whole world would be a much better place.

cura_te_ipsum said...

After becoming a doctor and running my own practice for several years, it wasn't until learning that I have a baby on the way that I felt like I am fulfilling a higher and happier purpose. It's been a truly joyful experience, much more gratifying than a day at the office. Don't get me wrong, helping people who are in pain is fulfilling also, but comparing a job to loving and intimate family relationships is, well, not comparable at all.

Hey all! A shameless shout-out, I know, but I hope you add my blog to your list of addictions...;) It's unflinchingly real and I welcome discussion. I get personal emails in the form of responses, but many women seem too afraid to "out" themselves on it. I'd love your comments on ldswomenconverse.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

I'm a Mormon blogger and find myself fascinated by the other Mormon Mom blogs. Mine is not one of those kind.
I'm a convert to the church and came to it looking stability in my own life. Our lives aren't perfect, we aren't perfect and we realize this. Each of those bloggers will tell you that too.

The thing that sets us apart is indeed, a stable marriage and a happy family -- but there is a deeper cause that makes our marriages stable and our families happy. It's this simple thing: we live our religion. We don't just go to church on Sunday. We live our religion every day. It's our way of life. We know what makes us happy and in that there is a terrific amount of peace and freedom. We are less likely to put our wants first and act in a selfish manner.

The most important thing to us is our ability to choose and make our own individual decisions. We don't all think alike, nor do we belong to the same political party, and we are not the people that are typified in the media.

We're just normal folk with a real tangible purpose in our lives, that you'd probably like if you got to know us. I think that's why the blogs are so appealing.

P.S. Please be kind to the missionaries. They might be my son or daughter.

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