Femininities

Authored by: Amy Hoyt

The Routledge Handbook of Mormonism and Gender

Print publication date:  May  2020
Online publication date:  April  2020

Print ISBN: 9780815395218
eBook ISBN: 9781351181600
Adobe ISBN:

10.4324/9781351181600-6

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Abstract

The ideal female subject within the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has been constructed within a hegemonic masculinity. Feminine gendered attributes have been defined as ideal based upon a binary gender framework and as such, the ideal female subject is defined as a complement to LDS male subjects. Headquartered in the U.S. and deeply influenced by the capitalist economic system and democratic political system, ecclesiastical leaders within the LDS tradition have fused decidedly American ideals into the gendered construct of the ideal female subject. These ideals are disseminated to the global church and are taken as naturalized truths, even sacred truths, to which all LDS women should aspire. The Americanization of the ideal female is unattainable to most women in the global church and leaves women as constantly lacking. When ethnographic data of actual LDS women is used to examine what constitutes Latter-day Saint femininities, two commonalities exist among the vast distinctions: the internalized subjectivity as a daughter of God and a deep commitment to family.

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