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"Redeemed from the Curse Placed upon Her": Dialogic Discourse on Eve in the Woman's Exponent
Journal of Mormon History (2014)
  • Boyd J Petersen, Utah Valley University
Some fifty years before Virginia Woolf published A Room of One's Own, many Mormon women not only had a room of their own, but they also had their own printing press, acting as proprietors, editors, and sub-editors. Within the pages of the Woman's Exponent, an independent Mormon periodical published between 1872 and 1914, Mormon women engaged in a spirited defense of two seemingly contradictory issues: women's suffrage and polygamy. Yet for these early Mormon suffragists, polygamy was a key to their liberation; and Eve, seen as the prototypical woman, was a central symbol in this debate. Despite the fact that the publication had official approval from the male Church leadership, women's voices in the Exponent did not simply reflect back to men what men wanted to hear, but rather engaged in a dialogic exchange about the roles of women in both the world of Mormon polygamy and the larger world of politics. Within this dialogic feminism, images of Eve diverge even as they proliferate. While fiercely loyal to their male priesthood leaders, these women's views of Eve were complicated, often contradictory, and sometimes subtly subversive.
Publication Date
Winter 2014
Citation Information
Boyd J Petersen. ""Redeemed from the Curse Placed upon Her": Dialogic Discourse on Eve in the Woman's Exponent" Journal of Mormon History Vol. 40 Iss. 1 (2014)
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