Chicken Patriarchy by Caroline Kline

One of the most powerful and frequently cited Mormon feminist blog posts, Kiskilili’s “The Trouble With Chicken Patriarchy” on Zelophehad’s Daughters discusses the strange brand of patriarchy Mormons contend with in the modern LDS Church. On the one hand, Mormons are told that men are to preside over their wives, and on the other hand, husbands and wives are told to act as equal partners with one another. As Kiskilili shows in her post, this embracing of two seemingly contradictory stances towards the issue of male headship leaves many Mormon feminists frustrated.  She writes:

This rather mind-boggling situation, in which the Church simultaneously embraces most of the spectrum on gender roles from traditionalist positions to egalitarianism, is not simply soft patriarchy, although a recent tendency to soften patriarchal language is one important ingredient in the mix. Neither is it traditional patriarchy; nor egalitarianism. Chicken Patriarchy never allows itself to be pinned down to a single perspective; chameleonlike, it alters its attitude from day to day and sometimes even from sentence to sentence, too chicken to stand up for what it believes. By refusing to settle down in any one place on the map, Chicken Patriarchs can embrace egalitarianism and still continue to uphold time-honored traditions of male authority. Continue reading “Chicken Patriarchy by Caroline Kline”

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