Okay. I can't stand it anymore. I was going to remain utterly silent about my views concerning misogyny and accepted mormnorm views of gender within the church. I was never planning to mention the Ordain Women movement, their leader, or their followers. There is so much being said right now that adding my words will only increase the cacophony.
OH MY GOODNESS! WHY ARE PEOPLE STUPID???
I begin I will preface: Please do not ask me if I am a supporter of
feminism or Ordain Women or anything else. Please do not ask me why I
stay in the church. Please do not ask me to explain my conviction or
testify as to my beliefs. If I feel like talking about those things, I
will. Otherwise, I won't. The end.
am disheartened every time I read comments on a post for/against
feminism in the church, or the Ordain Women movement, or the pending
discipline council for Kate Kelly. Over and over again I hear the
rhetoric that women are more spiritual, nurturing, and caring. I hear
people saying that there will be more women than men in the Celestial
Kingdom based solely on that rhetoric. I say that's assuming a great
deal about the afterlife (which hasn't happened yet, by the way, and in
my opinion, there will be a larger number of people shocked out of their
pants by the outcome, than those who predict the overwhelming presence
of eternally glowing females), stereotyping women, and sending a really
awful message to those of us who aren't nurturing or
spiritual...ummmm...does that mean we're not really women?
I hear the argument that if women are ordained to the priesthood,
they'll take over everything in the church--and the men will let them
because men are inherently lazy. We have to let men, and only men,
hold the priesthood because they need things to do so they don't get
complacent. ACK!! REALLY????
Everything about that makes me feel nasty. And offended. And I'm not even a man.
are inherently lazy. Even people like me who were blessed with way too
much energy and are always finding things to do. Just because we're busy
doesn't mean we're doing things that are good for us, or assigned to us
(yes--I procrastinate--often), or that we don't spend days playing
stupid Facebook games or watching movies.
We have to
give men something to do in the church so they don't become complacent?
Who thinks of these things? Are they spawned from words said somewhere
by someone and then taken out of context or extrapolized (I know--not a
I keep hearing all sorts of crappy
things that smack of men and women needing to be or act or dress or
whatever--simply on the basis of their gender. In my opinion, this is
complete nonsense. Perhaps that's why I'm different.
believe my mother tried to instill some gender role wisdom into us, but
as she was always screaming at us, we ignored her. My dad, however,
taught in a way that we were willing to listen. Our family started out
with five girls, joined by two brothers at the very end. My father
wanted his daughters to become whatever they wished to be. He encouraged
us to read, play sports, learn to care for ourselves, wrestle, dance,
and sing. We weren't spared the heavy work on our farm. We moved
sprinkler pipe, lifted bales, helped with calving and branding and
dehorning, killed and processed chickens, plowed and planted fields. He
also sent us flowers, made sure we had prom dresses, and let us know we
were beautiful and strong.
I do not believe
differences between men and women, beyond the obvious physical ones, are
inherent. I know men who nurture and empathize and women who are
analytical, as well as men who love flowers and romance and women who
enjoy sports and hunting/fishing. Don't tell me that "most" men or women
fall into a stereotype. I don't believe it. And if it's true, then I
believe it's a societal issue that needs to be mended.
best parental compliment I've ever received was when my Adam came home
from class one day and said, "Mom, did you know there are men who think
women are not as good as they are--just because they're women? Some men
think women can't do math, don't make good doctors, and should just be
mothers or work in jobs that don't require degrees. I didn't know there
were people who thought that way. How does that happen? It makes me a
little bit angry. Tabitha's better at math than DJ and me, and you're
the smartest person I know. If you were a doctor or a lawyer or a police
officer or an interior designer, you'd be the best. How can people make
assumptions based on another person's gender? And why would they demean
the opposite gender? We need to talk. You need to explain this to me."
He said that. Which means Adam grew up in a home without stereotypes
and gender bias. He watched his father do household chores with his
mother. There was a time when Adam was a preschooler when his primary
caregiver was his father. He's seen both parents contributing to the
household budget through various means of employment. He has witnessed
times when Mom has taken charge and led the family, and other times when
Dad has done the same. Always Adam has noticed that his parents work
together, support one another, and never assume that something will be
done based on gender.
I understand that other homes
work differently, and I support that. Each family must find what works
best for them. My job is to not place a value judgment on how other
homes operate, but to find the balance in my own home. I get to choose
the lessons instilled in my children. Darrin and I, together, decide
what examples of gender and gender roles our children will see as they
spend time in our home.
So I am disheartened as I hear
the ignorance (yes, it IS ignorance to make assumptions about a group of
people based on race, religion, or gender) spewed in the comment
sections of the posts I read. Today it became so overwhelming that I
needed to rant. I'm pretty sure it's asking too much for many people
within the church to think about reality rather than rigid mormnorms
which have place in tradition but not in doctrine or actual fact. It's
just easier to spout words you've heard before rather than to come up
with your own thoughts and ideas based on logic. It's also less scary to
rely on supposition and rumor, rather than think about--even pray
for--answers to difficult or uncomfortable questions that turn tradition
Seriously, people. Just stop it. You sound ridiculous and you're making me crazy.
P.S. Having said that generalizations are evil, I admit that not all commentors are insane. Some give thoughtful, even thought-provoking, responses. It's just that their quiet voices are ramrodded by the people who are certain their view is the only possible correct one. Having made it clear that I am not trying to stereotype commentors (but managing to stereotype them in spite of myself), I must stop before the rant inside me becomes aggressively unruly.