Agency Where You Least Expect It: Mormon Women in the Early Church

Sarah Ashley D'Andrea, Fordham University


Early Mormon women were suffragists, present within national suffrage organizations in their fight for the vote, as well as in domestic home industries, such as storing grain, or cultivating sericulture, in the grander community as manager and operators of the LDS community's cooperative enterprises, and even as doctors, and nurses. In the nineteenth century, being part of this conservative religious tradition allowed for freedoms that even secular women did not have. According to one group of scholars, these realities seem to suggest that the early Mormon women were feminists (Hanks 1992; Iversen 1984). However, to conclude that they were would be do overlook the fact that Mormon women engaged in these activities at the behest of Church leaders. But if they were not feminist, could they be considered agentive, and if so, how might that agency manifest?

Subject Area


Recommended Citation

D'Andrea, Sarah Ashley, "Agency Where You Least Expect It: Mormon Women in the Early Church" (2012). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI13851729.