Monday, August 15, 2005

Last BA Weekend of the Second Trimester

The synchronicity rolls on!

Over the last two semesters I spoke with my classmate, Julianne, about her senior thesis. She mentioned that she was doing it on Jeanette Rankin, the first U.S. congress-woman. We had talked about it a few times, but outside of that I hadn't given it much thought.

On Sunday,August 14, Julianne's presentation had morphed from Jeanette Rankin, to a full-blown, multi-media presentation of the History of Women's suffrage, primarily in the U.S., but also in Britain.

She gave each of our cohort members a card with a re-print of a Women's Suffrage poster from 1913. Attached to the card was a Susan B. Anthony dollar and the caption: " Spend this dollar when a woman is elected president "

I felt like something momentous was happening! During this time the Goddess felt like a tangible presence. For the next day or two I was overwhelmed with this presence!

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Utah Women Were the First to Vote!

I have been reading a lot of books on gender and marriage and family and women's issues, etc. the last several weeks.

I completed Ashley Montagu's The Natural Superiority of Women a couple of days ago. I glanced at a turn-of-the-century book, Woman and Social Progress by Nellie Seeds and H.L. Mencken's 1917, In Defense of Women.

I was doing a book review of Montagu's book for my Social Construction of Identity class when I came across a passing, brief reference to Susan B. Anthony.

Suddenly, it came to my mind...something that I had heard once, that the first women to vote in the United States were Utah women. I decided to diverge from my paper for a bit and look into the matter. I did a search for "Utah" and "suffrage"

I read quite a few articles and biographies online about early Mormon feminism, and confirmed that Utah women were the first women in the United States of America to vote, 50 years before the 19th Amendment was ratified.

I am now doing some extensive research on and compiling an wishlist of books. The first list of books that I have compiled are diaries, ethnographies, historical writing by and about Mormon women, of the past and present, from Laurel Thatcher Ulrich to Terry Tempest Williams.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005


For the last few weeks I have been listening to one or more graduate-level seminars in Mormon studies per day at the Sunstone Symposium, via the miracle of cyberspace!

Sunstone Symposium decided that the theme for this years conference was to be the Divine Feminine!

In 2004, they asked Maxine Hanks, the editor of Women and Authority: Re-emerging Mormon Feminism if she could help them find a keynote speaker for the plenary session.

They said they wanted someone was familiar with the Divine Feminine; had published research; was well versed in Mary Magdalene; someone who was known/had books, a popular speaker with accessible ideas, oh, and if there was some kind of connection to the Da Vinci Code that would great, and not just a scholar but some one spiritual as well....

Maxine just couldn’t stop thinking: you're describing Margaret starbird!!!

Opening the session, Maxine expressed that she has noticed increasing interest in the Divine Feminine coming from men, even BYU professors!
i.e. Dan Peterson’s paper on the Asherah:

Maxine talks about her excommunication as the typical pattern of the exiled feminine.

Maxine says that Starbird's books contain close scholarly work into the scritptures but Maxine also realized that she was "reading the words of a mystic." Dan Brown and starbird share a common thesis:

There is a hidden concept of sacred marriage or the balance of opposites symbolized by Jesus and Magdalene and it’s the central mystery, or the underlying pattern of Christianity and western culture.

After the time was turned over to Margaret she began to illustrate how the Song of Songs, aka the Song of Solomon, is at the very heart of the Christian story.

Margaret reported the story of how she came across the Book Holy Blood Holy Grail and sought out to discredit the book. She then discusses the mystical, synchronistic experiences that led her to do a 180 and come to her current thesis.

Click on the link below to go to the Sunstone MP3 store. Many of the sessions are free. For the more recent sessions they are asking for a $4 donation.

Select the 2004 Salt Lake Symposium below:

Margaret Starbird's appearance at the 2005 Salt Lake Sunstone Symposium. Check the link above for the latest symposium.

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