Naomi: Single in Botswana
“In our families, let’s say I’m my age and don’t have a child, my parents would keep encouraging me, “Hey, how can I have grandchildren if you don’t have a child? Help us out, even if you are not married — you need a child.” So parents will encourage us to have a child, believing that the more you grow old, the more difficulties you will have….. They don’t even look at getting married first. They just look at getting a child first. They want a child in the family.” — Naomi
This episode explores the oral life history of Naomi, a convert from Botswana, who navigates the challenges of Latter-day Saint single life in a context where societal norms and parental expectations sometimes conflict with church chastity standards.
Taunalyn Ford joins Caroline in a discussion about Naomi’s oral history, sexuality norms, and single Latter-day Saint women. Taunalyn is a fellow at the Maxwell Institute at Brigham Young University. Her dissertation explores the lives of Latter-day Saints in India.
Our thanks to Sinenhlanhla Bentley for reading excerpts from Naomi’s oral history.