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"LDS feminist sources tend to favor complaint and prescription over examination and explanation."

Gratuitous swipes like that are likely to discourage people who might otherwise want to engage the topic with you. They might also make people wonder how familiar you actually are with LDS feminist work.

Links or references are welcome, Kristine. I would invite you to read Woodhead's chapter as well.

Men don't like being infantilized and rendered powerless, but women are used to it (and appreciate it when at least some men get a taste of it) isn't exactly an appealing explanation or compelling thesis.

The gender gap is a well documented puzzle that resists easy explanation. There is a distinct shortage of appealing explanations and no compelling ones. But you can't really argue with the data or the form of the problem: if Christian (or LDS) churches historically -- and, to a lesser degree, presently -- disfavor women, why is the participation rate by women consistently higher?

Here's how the author laid out the problem at the beginning of her last chapter:

Our final task ... is to investigate the religion's appeal to the different sexes. The most pressing task is to explain why women appear to be more numerous and more active in the churches whenever and wherever we have hard evidence about such matters. ... Christianity has traditionally excluded women from positions of power, and often places more emphasis on the connections between divinity and masculinity than divinity and femininity. So in fact we must deal with two questions: not only 'why so many women?', but also 'why not more men'?

I agree that it's a confounding issue, Dave. I was just objecting to your (snotty, throwaway) condemnation of LDS feminists in particular for not having an answer to it.

I agree Kristine. It sounds too much like a "just so" explanation and one likely missing any evidence.

I agree that LDS feminism isn't all about complaining but you have to admit that there sure is a lot of that going on under the feminist rubric rather than careful analysis. But I do think there has been careful analysis whether one necessarily agrees with it.

Given the treatment of women in Christianity, as described by Woodhead (and countless others), and the position of women in Mormondom's iteration of that hierarchy, is there any reason why complaint would not be a dominant mode of feminist work, or why analysis of the situation would not inevitably generate some complaint? It's not only "analysis" if it's cheerful and dispassionate.

All of that said, Laurel Ulrich, Claudia Bushman and others have spoken of the remarkable socialization of Mormon men--there probably is an interesting discussion to be had around the fact that the Mormon gender gap is probably (how would we know?) smaller than in some other Christian denominations.

You just don't get to have that interesting discussion if you start by calling feminist scholars unanalytical whiners, because that betrays both appalling arrogance and ignorance of the body of Mormon feminist work.

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