The #allmalepanel Tumblr was started in February 2015 by Finnish feminist researcher and artist Dr. Saara Särmä, 40, whose dissertation was on Internet parody images and memes. Särmä dissertated (or dissed, for short) on the marginalization of women in academia, claiming that some of her colleagues were passed over or outright dismissed as serious thinkers because of their gender.
Why the David Hasselhoff button?
“The Hoff is just simply Hoffsome,” Särmä says. “As a kid who grew up in the 80s watching the Knight Rider, I have a fondness for the Hoff, also he’s the epitome of a white masculinity, isn’t he?”
I noted something similar at a Women’s Conference at American Express for the top 200 female executives in 2012. Although we had amazing women speakers like Ursie Burns, Tina Brown, and Vanessa Williams, we also had one session that was an all male panel from the company explaining to the women how to be more successful in the company. The most obvious answer seemed to be “Be a man, like us!”
Which brings us to #allmalepanel, Mormon edition.
Awareness is always the first step in progress, and the awareness is definitely on the rise. While there will probably always be all male panels–not just in the church, but everywhere–the church’s actions in the last few years demonstrate a sea change in thinking. Women are being included in more councils, given more decision making authority, and featured more prominently in events like groundbreaking for new temples. As with all change, it will be too fast for some and too slow for others.
Will we see women participating in disciplinary councils? Women as councilors to higher levels of church governance? Who knows, but as Joseph B. Wirthlin said, “Come what may, and love it!”
Did I miss any all male panels?
 How awesome is it that you can do a dissertation on things that didn’t exist 10 years ago?