Mormon Feminists Don’t Like Romney

Participants in a Days of '47 Pioneer Day Parade, which honors the settling of Utah by the Mormon pioneers.Brian Cahn/ZUMAPress

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Though President Obama holds an advantage among female voters, Romney doesn’t seem to have a women problem in the polls. At least not yet. But there’s one group he definitely can’t count on: Mormon feminists.

Romney’s awkward and tone deaf comments on women in Tuesday’s debate did not sit well with this crew, who follow the teachings of Joseph Smith, but are pushing back against the church’s chauvinistic ways.

Aimee Hickman, co-editor of a Mormon feminist magazine, told Reuters she didn’t have a problem with the candidate’s “binders full of women” comments so much as Romney’s response to a question about pay equity. He said, “[O]ne of the reasons I was able to get so many good women to be part of that team was…because I recognized that if you’re going to have women in the workforce that sometimes you need to be more flexible. My chief of staff, for instance, had two kids that were still in school.” Hickman thought his comments reflected the “church’s paternalistic language that casts women ultimately as mothers,” according to Reuters. “The emphasis on them (women) being seen as leaders or them being seen as breadwinners is still really missing from our rhetoric,” she said.

Lisa Butterworth, who runs the blog Feminist Mormon Housewives told Reuters, “I pretty much know every Mormon feminist, and I can’t think of any of them that are going to vote for Romney.”

Hickman’s magazine did a poll of around 100 of its readers this week, and found Obama favored over Romney by 72 to 30.

As Mormon feminists go, so goes the nation? We shall see. My colleague Stephanie Mencimer notes that Romney has never won a majority of women voters in any of his previous election runs.

According to Reuters, one reader wrote into Hickman’s magazine to comment, “I can’t help but feel he is so far removed from my life he can’t begin to imagine how his actions help or hinder it.”

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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