Is it possible to be a Mormon woman, a feminist, and an activist for gender equality? Come find out!
Heather Olson Beal will provide a brief history and an overview of an exciting new activist organization in the U.S. religious landscape—Ordain Women—a group which was founded in March 2013 by a small group of Mormon women whose primary objective is to petition Mormon church leaders to ordain women to the lay priesthood in Mormonism. Heather served on the Planning Committee and then on the Executive Board of Ordain Women before recently stepping down. She will discuss some of the unique challenges the women (and male allies) of Ordain Women have faced in their first 18 months as they have begun agitating publicly—both in sacred Mormon spaces and in virtual spaces—for gender equality in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (more familiarly, the LDS or Mormon Church),
Mormon church, a highly patriarchal, conservative religious tradition. Ordain Women is committed to using thoughtful, faith-affirming, in-person strategic actions to raise attention to their cause.
Heather Olson Beal received her Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction from Louisiana State University in 2008. She is currently an associate professor of secondary education at Stephen F. Austin State University, where she teaches courses in student diversity, educational foundations, classroom management, and literacy. Her scholarship examines the issues of school choice, second language education, and the educational experiences of immigrant students. She is a Mormon, a feminist, and a Mormon feminist activist.
What is gender? What does it mean to be a man or a woman or genderqueer? Why do some people answer these questions differently? The best way to attempt to answer such complex questions is to approach the subject from a wide range of viewpoints.
Gender studies is a multidisciplinary minor that examines the role of gender in society. It considers both the biological and cultural origins of sex and gender differences and how those differences have structured a multitude of social and political institutions. The program also considers how issues of race, ethnicity, class, religion, and sexual orientation interact with gender. Incorporating the fields of anthropology, art, biology, communication, economics, English, history, foreign languages, philosophy, political science, psychology, religious studies, and sociology, the gender studies minor provides students with practical and theoretical tools for understanding gender relationships.
Please click here for more information and requirements regarding the Gender Studies Program at UCA.