MERA Portrayal

“Without ERA All Women Are in Chains” August 1981 White House Demonstration
(Utah State University, Merrill-Cazier Library, Special Collections & Archives, Collection P0144, Box 1, Folder 14, Item 1.)

Chaining themselves to sacred spaces symbolized a connection between the LDS Church and women’s oppression, creating a powerful image of the LDS Church as an oppressor. Media attention and imagery were at the center of MERA’s equal rights strategy. MERA protesters portrayed themselves as victims of patriarchy, embraced their criminality, and cast themselves as the liberators of Mormon women. This complicated depiction brought MERA favorable national media coverage and the LDS Church an unfavorable portrayal that highlighted their access to power and ability to influence their members political opinions.