Saturday, December 18, 2010


Recently on facebook I saw this post

‎"there is no such thing as ugly women-only lazy ones"
Thursday at 4:50pm

Jo and 6 others like this.
Julia because men can't love you for yourself? or for your talents or your personality?
Thursday at 4:53pm
Sarai hahaha no this has nothing to do with men dude! just with women and their efforts, the usual
Thursday at 6:45pm

I wasn't sure what to think of the post. I liked that it was focused on the fact that all women have potential beautify. I wasn't a big fan of the ugly=lazy assumption. More than that, right off the bat I assumed that if she was talking about "ugly women" she was talking about women who were struggling to attract a spouse.

Beauty does exist outside of the whirlwind that defines dating.

This post comes from a girl who would look beautiful no matter what she did. She's skinny, olive complexioned, and has a very nice smile. When she arrived to seminary at 6 AM, half asleep and without make-up wearing sweat-pants, she still looked beautiful.

For me, I guess I see beauty in being true to yourself. Beautiful people come in all shapes and size, all different fashion choices, all different hairstyles--but people are at their prettiest when they're treating others kindly and loving whatever their passions are (whether it be jet skiing or calligraphy).

I guess I feel like a more appropriate statement would be
"There is no such thing as an ugly woman". Or, if we must modify "There is no such thing as an ugly woman who loves herself"

It reminds me of what Hugo wrote on the site Scarleteen saying:
"Have you noticed the way this works yet? If a girl is thin, she's accused of being "anorexic"; if her weight is higher than the cruelly restrictive ideal, she's "fat" and "doesn't take care of herself" or "has no self-control." If she wears cute, trendy clothes she "only wants attention" and if she wears sweats and jeans, she "doesn't make an effort." If she's perceived as sexually attractive, and -- especially -- if she shows her own sexual side, she's likely to be called a "slut." If her sexuality and her body are concealed, she's a "prude." As you've probably figured out, the cards are stacked against you. You cannot win, at least not if you define winning as dressing and behaving in a way likely to win approval (or at least decent respect) from everyone."

But according to the original poster, this has nothing to do with dating or with appeasing others--therefore, it must be about being beautiful for ourselves. "Ugly" women need to try harder... why does that sound like beauty is completely based on the outside? It does not sound to me like a commandment that we should try harder to learn how to serve others or learn to practice patience.

Why is it assumed that women (not men) need to know that their worth isn't set in place but that if they try harder that they can be "beautiful". Why is outer beauty more socially important for women than for men?

I commented on her status because it made me think and wonder--but how is it that no one else felt the need? How is it that 7 people liked the post and didn't even ask a question?

Do you think that the original status is legitimate?

Monday, November 29, 2010

Time for Giving Thanks

I've spent about the last month thinking about the importance giving thanks. This included writing a letter of thanks to a teacher who helped me in middle school and writing to a favorite blogger. It meant going through my friend list on facebook and thinking about why each one of them is important to me--how they changed my life and how thankful I should be for the opportunity to meet them. I owe every friend of mine, so very, very much. I started with the idea of a top ten things to be thankful for post, central points of what I am thankful for this year. I think this is only nine, but close enough, it is almost four AM lol.

My Mommy.
My mommy is the best person I know. I love her more than she can ever guess. I know that she has done an incredible amount for me over the years. It isn't possible to put in words how much I respect her and how important she is to me. I know my mom loves me. I know that no matter what, she will love me. I can be a burden at times and a headache. My mom loves me. And that makes all the difference. She is never ever allowed to die. I may not live at home and I may be an "adult" or whatever. My mommy is amazing and I wouldn't trade her for anything.

My Baby Sister
I love my baby sister and I always have. I will always love her with all my heart. She is 10 years, 2 months, and 9 days younger than me. She just had her birthday on Saturday... I was sad I couldn't be there with her.

She came at a time in my life when I was struggling. I was in an awkward tween stage. When she was ten months old, we moved and I began attending a new school. I didn't know anyone, and I definitely didn't feel like I fit in. I said stupid stuff, I did annoying things, and I just wanted to come home and cry. I didn't cry anymore, I had decided I was too old to cry. What I did do was come home and hold my baby sister in my arms and feel how she clung to me and how much she needed me--how she didn't judge me, she accepted me. She is my baby sister and no matter what I love her and I don't want to lose her.

My daddy
I love my dad. My dad has always made me laugh and I know he cares about me. My dad has always been an example in my life of how important it is to treat your spouse correctly and the I think it is adorable how much he loves my mom, even after over twenty years.

My brother
My brother is growing like crazy. He will get his learner's permit in January. He is a high schooler which is still mind-boggling. Who told him he was allowed to grow up? Sometimes when I picture him I still see the mischievous four year-old who stole my diary, the kid I could just pick up if he was bothering me and carry over to his bed.

We fought a lot as kids, healthy sibling rivalry and all. For a while I was convinced that I hated him. Then one night when I was about nine, I had a nightmare where he died--I was completely devastated and so scared. I don't know what in the world I was thinking before that. He is my little brother and I love him.

I can no longer carry him around--he is stronger and taller than me these days. He seems to be growing into a cool person and I look forward to the day we can hang out as peers.

My Best Friends
Having people who I can come to on a hard day and not feel like I need to hide my pain. People who trust me enough to give me their secrets. I've had a lot of best friends over the years--but I really do think that right now I have the best group yet. Love you guys!

I read a lot of blogs. I don't comment much. I gain a lot from the posts as I read about how other people are handling their challenges. I know it can be hard to put your personal life out in the public, even when most likely no one will ever connect you to your blogger identity. I love you for sharing.

Work Friends
I love work. And it isn't because I get to deep fry food or because I get to deal with irate customers. It is because of my amazing coworkers. You'd have to meet them to understand. They help me get through the long shifts and make work not only bearable, but enjoyable.

I haven't spent enough time recently reading books. Even with a busy schedule, I can make time for checking in on my favorite comics. Either the comic writers are really nerdy or I'm not as weird as I thought--either way, a minute of laughter can be the difference between a miserable evening and a decent evening. Also, occasionally I learn stuffy like this

Seeing things in shades of gray
Through age 11, I fit the Molly-Mormon mould perfectly and had a religious zeal beyond what I can even really imagine now. Today I'm a cynical-liberal-humanistic-feminist-lesbian-mormon. I was in elementary school the last time I really saw things in black and white. I've spent a lot of time wishing, begging God that I could just be the Molly Mormon because that would be so much easier. I could go back to being convinced that I needed to convert every one of our neighbor because they were living a sad destitute life without the gospel.

In the book "This Is My God" Herman Wouk said “But this idea of salvation limited to one group never had any place in the Jewish faith and has no place in it today. In Judaism right conduct is the path of God. This path lies open to Jews and non-Jews”

The path of God is open to all. As a friend put it, "If some random bishop from North Carolina called me to tell me he received revelation for me I would tell him he does not have the authority to receive revelation for me. I cannot receive revelation for anyone else. I don't know why I thought I could- why I thought I could say, "I know this is the correct path for everyone, regardless of their circumstances."

Being different can be a pain. I'm thankful for it because it has taught me to love and accept people.

Everyone in the Utah area who has been helping me
This blog hasn't been updated much recently. Honestly, it isn't for lack of material in Provo. It isn't even because of a lack of time. It is because of an overwhelming prevalence of material. It is sitting in a religion class being told that homosexuals are evil. It is walking down the street and listening to a girl tell her friend how the show "Modern Family" is a wicked, perverted abomination because it depicts a gay couple who love each other, which is just wrong. It is listening to a bishop say that if women aren't considering how their major will help them raise families, they are being unrighteous. It is going through every single day feeling like if people knew the truth about my sexual orientation they would reject me. It is going to church and smiling, doing my best to keep up with the Joneses. It is coming home and feeling devastatingly alone and isolated.

I have lasted this long because of my friends. I owe David, I owe Brandon, I owe Brent, I owe Dan, I owe Kate, I owe Bridey, I owe Isaac, I owe Kira, and Amber, and everyone. They all have their own lives. They've made room for me, to protect me on the days that I don't feel like holding on. Provo culture.. hurts. My Utah-friends make it bearable.

In summary, life is good. I have a great family, I have awesome friends (no overstatement, they are like unto angels descending from heaven), and I had an amazing thanksgiving day surrounded by fabulous people. I feel overwhelmed trying to change the world and I wonder if BYU is where I'm suppose to be, but for now it is where I am trying to thrive. I'm living in a warm apartment, I have food, and I'm getting a quality education. I'm incredibly blessed!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

My Journey to Feminism

I've been thinking about how I got where I am quite often. For all the different facets of my life.

I was a "tom-boy" growing up. Not only did this entail spending recess playing soccer instead of hop-scotch, but for me it meant being one of the guys. This meant that when I was challenged to an arm wrestling competition, I gave it my all (and often won). Once I remember saying "uncle", but only because the boy dug his fingernail into my hand and made me bleed (yeah, I'm still bitter about it).

Being one of the boys also meant that I was subject to more bullying than I woul have been as a girly-girl I think. I mean, I doubt I would have gotten teased any less. But I never saw any of the other girls get punched or hit.

Part of my getting-bullied stemmed directly from my own stubbornness. I was not one to be controlled, even if I knew that it would result in pain. If a bigger bully came up and told me that I needed to move, because he wanted to sit there, I would look him in the eye and say that I had every right to sit here and he can deal with it. Then I'd get a black eye and have the wind knocked out of me. Then he'd get suspended and I would go home and, in the safety of my mom's arms, cry. Not until then though, other people ought not to see my weakness. Our school had lots of bullies, and somewhere along the line I stuck a giant bullseye on my back.

There was no reason in my mind that boys and girls ought to be considered different, and really I encountered very little pressure to conform to social norms.

I was always expected to go to college, to excel in school,told that I could be anything I could dream of when I grew up, and assured that I belonged in church. I remember being about 5 or 6 and watching the Gullah Gullah Island cast perform "I can do anything better than you can" divided by girls singing against boys. It seemed weird to me, of course girls can do anything just as good as boys, what a silly division. At 5 and 6, my best friends were both guys. We went "tornado chasing" and climbed fences and did everything else together--there was no difference.

So, really, I was born a feminist. I can't remember a time that I wasn't.

My favorite song at 11 was "Cinderella" by the Cheetah Girls:
I don't wanna be like Cinderella,
Sitting in a dark, cold, dusty cellar,
Waiting for somebody to come and set me free
I don't wanna be like someone waiting
For a handsome prince to come and save me
On my own I will survive...
I'd rather rescue myself...

Somebody who will understand I'm happy just the way I am
Don't need nobody taking care of me
I will be there for him just as strong as he will be there for me
When I give myself then it has got to be an equal thing

I can slay my own dragons.
I can dream my own dreams
My knight in shining armor is me
So I'm gonna set me free

I loved that song like no other. It was inspiring and so fun--they believed in female power, which I found very cool.

Eleven was also around the age that I began reading everything I could get my hands on. I had always liked having my mom read books to me, but it wasn't until then that I enjoyed the process too. This started with Harry Potter, and continued to everything and anything. By 12, I was reading autobiographies (everything from Interviews with J.K. Rowling to Mein Kampf by Hitler). At thirteen, I found "The Feminine Mystique" in our middle school library and devoured it against the will of my mother. She didn't think it was age appropriate. Stubborn as I had always been, I ignored her.

Once I picked up that, I began reading other books too. I read The Second Sex by Simone de Beauvoir. I found it interesting, but the chapter on lesbians was a bit of a turn-off for me. It started with "We commonly think of the lesbian as the woman wearing a plain felt hat, short hair, and a necktie..." which I found hilarious and showed to several friends. One friend responded after laughing and said "Now a days we think of a lesbian as a girl wearing doc martens with socks and a flannel shirt" I laughed but I had never heard those stereotypes before.

The book went on though, saying that "She [the lesbian] is unfulfilled as a woman, impotent as a man, and her disorder may lead to psychosis". I skimmed the chapters that followed, but after that sentence, I basically lost respect for the book.

That was about the time that my feminist leanings started to become applied to church teachings. Things like being told that we needed to be modest for the boys drove me insane. Once there was an article in the New Era about that, and the next month a boy had written in and got published on the front page, saying basically that acted like boys have no agency and that they were being ridiculous (and somehow it got published?!?). I ran downstairs and showed the article to my mom and told her that I wanted to marry that kid. She told me I should go find him on Myspace lol.

I don't know the exact question I asked, but around 14 the bishopric counselor tried to explain to me why only men have the priesthood. His explanation could have been worse, but it was basically that boys suck. Boys need the priesthood to develop qualities that women just naturally are born with. To get into heaven girls just have too be good, boys need to have the priesthood and be good. I walked away more confused than I started. The reverse-sexism aspect of it and the "girls are naturally just more spiritual" paradigm was foreign to me. I don't know how I escaped it, growing up in an very mormon family, but I guess I had just always blocked it out.

At 15, my favorite song was Fairytale by Sara Bareilles. It was basically about how we're raised on these stories of girls who just wait for the perfect man to come in and sweep them off their feet. "I would have cut it myself if I knew men could climb hair" said Rapunzel in a fashion that made me love the hardcore heroine perspective.

Sixteen was when I truly became a cynic. Everything was fallible and required scrutiny. Most weeks at church I found at least one thing if not to consider ridiculous (not doctrine, annoying opinions/comments)

It wasn't until 17 that I ever visited FMH, and it wasn't until eighteen that I was even willing to admit to myself that I might be a feminist.

At 19 I've given in and become a Women's Studies Minor. Today my favorite song is... Hmm, there are many. I like Strength to Go On which says:

What we are is the sum of 1000 lies
What we know is almost nothing at all
But we are what we are until the day we die
Or until we don't have the strength to go on

And I love Survive which says:

Life for you has been less than kind
So take a number, stand in line
We've all been sorry, we've all been hurt
But how we survive is what makes us who we are

I swear I'm not emo. Lol. That's a very summarized version of how I got here.

Sunday, October 3, 2010


After this post I'm going to make sure to do one about the things I enjoyed about conference. But for the moment, I just really need to get this off my chest.

This comes from President Boyd K. Packer's talk.

“There are those today who not only tolerate but advocate voting to change laws that would legalize immorality, as if a vote would somehow alter the designs of God’s laws and nature”

“A law against nature would be impossible to enforce. Do you think a vote to repeal the law of gravity would do any good?”

the power to create offspring “is not an incidental part of the plan of happiness. It is the key — the very key.”

Some argue that “they were pre-set and cannot overcome what they feel are inborn tendencies toward the impure and unnatural,” he said. “Not so! Why would our Heavenly Father do that to anyone?”

When I heard this, I said to myself "I surely must have misheard"--I mean... I often disagree with President Packer... but wow. I thought "The One"-esque doctrine had disappeared in the 80's? Or at least the 90's?

It just left me sick to my stomach but craving to rewind, to listen again, to hear it correctly this time. Maybe this pain that I felt was just a big misunderstanding. I listened to the rest of the session absentmindedly, trying my best to pay attention.. but just not quite making it there. "Why would our Heavenly Father do that to anyone?"...

I tried to talk to one of my best friends about President Packer, but she just... didn't understand. "What you're saying is that you don't like him because he is an old white guy,a product of a bigoted era?" she asked curiously. I knew she was *trying* to understand and I appreciated the effort, but I just couldn't adequately explain how his words affected me. I don't have a problem with him as a man, he is probably a good guy--a nice grandpa and a hard worker. I can't see his words in that light though--those words are hurtful and sad.

I wonder where the real true "doctrine" will end up. I mean, he said that the church's stance would never change... but how is Brigham Young's ban on interracial relationships viewed in this day and age? “Shall I tell you the law of God in regard to the African race? If the white man who belongs to the chosen seed mixes his blood with the seed of Cain, the penalty, under the law of God, is death on the spot. This will always be so.” (Journal of Discourses, Vol.10, p.109)

I'm just hazarding the guess that most people don't embrace this as doctrine today. Goodness, I had never even heard of the whole "descendants from Cain"/"fence-sitters in the pre-existence" theories until I was 14 and had spent the last 3 years of my life with a black girl (she wasn't African-American, it had been like 10 generations since anyone in her family was in Africa). I came to my mom with questions about it and she was surprised I had never heard it. I'm glad I didn't.

I don't know where I'm going with this post. I guess I'm just frustrated. I've listened to this talk in its entirety about five times now--probably more--but I just can't find the silver lining.

This wasn't any easier to listen to with the background that less than two weeks ago, Tyler Clementi, a kid my age, a freshman like me... he killed himself. He killed himself because his roommate taped him having sex with another guy and showed it to a bunch of people online. This kid, he was like me. He was my age, my race, he was a highly driven new college student, struggling like all of us... I don't know what to say, it just saddened me.

On top of that, four days ago Seth Walsh, the Tehachapi 13-year-old who hanged himself from a tree in his back yard after years of being bullied. Because he was gay.

"Why would our Heavenly Father do that to anyone?”.... "Why would our Heavenly Father do that to anyone?”

I don't know. I don't know why kids are born into homes with drug-addicted parents, I don't know why children are molested, mutilated, why children witness murders, sometimes of their own family. I don't understand genocide. I don't understand why children are born with extremely painful diseases that are fatal after they endure unbearable pain. I don't understand, I don't understand. Why would our Heavenly Parents allow that to happen anyone? They love us.

God allows us to struggle, he allows this pain. He allows kids to be born gay, born into a culture where gay-ness is considered of the devil, where an innocent little kid will have to struggle. Where no matter what he or she does, they may not feel like they can quite fit in. Where they shed tears over feelings that they cannot change. That's about all I can say.

Monday, September 20, 2010

All Things in Moderation

On Friday we were in Women's Studies (totally my favorite class currently) and my professor asked us "What are some differences among women?" One person suggested "education" and another suggested "income level"--my teacher said both of those belonged in class. I raised my hand in disagreement and said "I don't think they belong together because education can shade your opinion, even if, for example you're a stay at home mom who is not actively using her degree in the workforce". My professor got pissed and went on a 20 minute rant about how stay at home moms are part of the unpaid workforce and how much work they do etc. I *never* said they weren't part of the workforce--they say if mothers were paid for their work, they'd earn a ridiculous amount per year. All I said was that education can change your perspective even if you're not using it to earn income--she missed my entire point. Yeah, she's part of the workforce, but how is she applying her [physics, library science, art history, whatever] degree to gain money from it--how does it change affect her class?

Bleh. I'm all for feminism, I'm all for equality, and if I think someone has made an unfair statement, I'll probably step up and fix it. But seriously, listen first. If we don't listen, we're never going to understand. Also, you may make someone who looks up to you sad and frustrated.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Frustrations This Week

1) The fact that the Talmudic passage from Isaiah 33:15-16 clearly states “He that walketh righteously, and speaketh uprightly; He that despiseth the gain of oppressions….. He shall dwell on high.” And yet, *some* of the same people who say that you need to despise the gain of oppressions to stand clean before the Mind, they oppress the Palestinian people.
2) The fact that it is legal in Utah for employees to fire and landlords to evict gay people, for no other reason than the fact that they're gay. The bill to fix this came up to the house last year (February 17th, 2009, House Bill 267) and was voted down. (Note that if the tenant is protected by a written lease, the landlord usually cannot evict him or her without proof that the lease has been violated..but still)
3) The fact that BYU lacks diversity so much that I saw a single girl dressed slightly-emo (no emo hair or makeup, just all black with chains etc). This brought a smile to my face because of how ridiculously same everyone else looks). I don’t know if it is just that only molly-mormon girls get accepted or if upon arrival everyone who stands out ends up assimilating, but either way, I’m not a huge fan.
4) Professors who think that they’re your only class when you’re trying to balance a billion different things and really would like a good grade in their class. Also, the fact that 3 different teachers make me get online every day to mark attendance and say that I was there. Also, that now I actually have to do the reading instead of just BSing it because instead of quizzes I can guess at, the question is “Did you complete all the reading before coming to class? []Yes []No”
5) Not having a car in a class where every other person has a car and constantly having to mooch rides because our teacher expects us to have a car.
6) Every time I hear the word “gay” or “retarded” and can’t woman-up enough to say that that isn’t ok.
7) Being torn. Because maybe I’m being ridiculous about point 6. I use the term lame, do I not? I use the term dumb, do I not? And I never take another second to think about crippled (lame) people or people who are unable to speak (dumb, traditional definition). Maybe I’m someone inhibiting the natural evolution of a completely different definition of the word “gay”. But at the same time… well, someone I look up to once put it way better than I ever could when they said “Using the term "gay" as an equivalent to "stupid," "unpleasant," or "irritating" implies a general belief that the entire group of people to whom the speaker is referring is stupid, unpleasant, or irritating. By making a pejorative out of the word "gay," one deprecates every person to whom the word "gay" applies. It's the same kind of thing as when someone makes the word "Jew" a verb or uses "Polish" to describe a poorly made article. It's rude, and it's wrong.”
8) Well-meaning but condescending people. Like this week when my professor told us that men should learn the gospel so that they can go out to the world and preach the gospel to the world! And women can have babies and teach them. (It was something about how he phrased it, like men aren’t going to have children/can’t teach them and women can’t go on missions or have no purpose besides teaching their kids.)
9) My career path. Most of the things I like seem to lack marketability. The only thing I really enjoy that seems to have demand is law. Which I enjoy, but I don’t know if I enjoy it enough to survive years of law school, or that I’d even be good at it. Or that I could even get into law school. Plus, if my father is ever given any chance, he tries to push law school at me, which makes me want to run far and fast. This reaction is ridiculous because it is something I like—but the fact that he wants me to do it provokes my stubborn streak.
10) Trying to cook something and getting half way through before realizing that you don’t have the right sized pan so you have to go back and double all the ingredients so it will fit in the bigger pan to the right proportions. And then having wayyyyy too much for you and your 3 roommates to eat. What a waste of perfectly good ingredients.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Relief Society Specialist

Today, our relief society specialist for our student ward told us that she might not be able to do a lot of things like deal with technology, but she can "sort laundry, bake a cake, and iron a shirt". She is a registered nurse, she has had tons of success in the career field... but the accomplishments she lists are things that minimum wage workers often excel at?

Other than that...actually, someone I know might read this blog so I can't actually write about today. Trust me, it was eventful.

Friday, July 9, 2010

3 AM Blathering

I was brought to the memory from when I was about 14, by my aunt yesterday. All she said was "Don't you remember the foreign exchange student who lived with grandma?" Oh. Yeah, that.

I'm so embarrassed about the entire situation, but glad that her husband kept my secret. If he hadn't, I wouldn't have learned for myself, and someone may have told me, but it wouldn't be the same.

Ok, let's get into details lol, the paragraph before might have been confusing!

During the winter break of when I was in eighth grade, I went to my grandparent's house for a couple weeks. There was this very cute, 17 year old foreign exchange student living with them at the time. He seemed funny, so I tried to flirt with him (not very well I might add, the majority of what I did was watch him play video games). Anyway, I tried to get him to like me. Somehow that ended in him slapping my butt when he thought we were alone (my uncle happened to walk in just then). My uncle wanted to chastise the boy, but I was like "it wasn't a big deal" and was so embarrassed. A couple days later I went home with my family to return to school, and within a couple months said boy was back in Thailand. I was so excited that an actual boy had liked me, so...frenzied for that adoration. I didn't really possess self-confidence, just a knowledge that I would be worth something if I could get married and have children.

I have trouble differentiating between like and lust I guess--I really honestly did like him, but I'm guessing he was after a booty call (this is from the fact that we never really had a conversation or hung out, and he didn't really possess an interest in me as a person). I just wanted someone to like me.

Some days I wonder if I'll ever get married. I feel like that is the pinnacle of a good mormon woman's life--I mean, yeah you have a couple good women like Sherry Dew who "didn't get the opportunity to marry in this life", but the vast majority aren't regarded that way. I feel like mormon culture teaches that if you're over 25, female, and single, there must be something wrong with you, some inadequacy. There is a reason why you're not married with babies running around you.

I like babies. But I guess I've been stuck on this idea of being perpetually single recently, and how that is better than being in a relationship where the other person's main goal is just free sex. There are so many personal inadequacies that might lead me to being perpetually single, lots of things to work on.... but some days I wonder if I even want to put in all the effort to try to be more open with those I love about my feelings or to not be so fat (I really need to start losing weight, if for nothing but my own health benefits, but that is another story). I need to find the motivation to change myself for me and to be happy with myself as I am. You can be a good woman without being married. You can be a happy woman without having kids. I'm off to figure out how to get God to help me figure out why I'm not as happy as I ought to be.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Speaking of parents...

Why is my dad so able to push my buttons and get under my nails? Sometimes it makes me want to never submit another suggestion. I knew that when I was 14 and I did EFY, my dad thought I was too young. This is the first summer since then I would be able to go down and actually do it because I didn't have responsibilities. I knew my dad loved his time at EFY when he was 17 and 18. I figured it might be a fun experience to drive down with my brother, it would get my car there, I might get some spiritual insight, and I would have opportunities to apply for jobs during the next week. I just *suggested* it--and in turn he basically shot it down as a stupid idea because I wouldn't have enough boys to flirt with. I feel like he not only completely missed my point, but.... I guess I just feel misunderstood. Seriously, just because I'm an 18 year old Mormon girl doesn't mean my only goal in life is to get a husband.

Oh, on top of that, here is a beautiful quote I was given to read at church for a lesson:
Question 4, Quote 2
"Fatherhood is leadership, the most important kind of leadership. It has always been so; it will always be so. Father, with the assistance and counsel and encouragement of your eternal companion, you preside in the home'"

Makes me feel so inspired to go become a mother! So I can devote 9 months of my life to growing a baby inside me, give birth--permanently changing my body, have my husband spend every day at work while I teach my children, raise them, help them grow--so that he can be the most important leader and I can assist him. Oh, don't forget encourage him! You go husband, you're doing such a great job presiding!
Gag me with a spoon, please!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Mother's Day Versus Father's Day

It kind of occurred to me today--on mother's day, leaders spend so much time trying to be politically correct and sensitive. Although we're happy to celebrate mothers, we know that we must be careful--so many women were never married through no wrong of their own, or were unable to have children. So much energy is put into emphasizing that that all women are mothers in the church, through the work they do each day. Their influence includes all the children that they interact with--and they will have children in the next life.

On the opposite side, Father's day is about just that--fathers! And from the people around me, it seems like if you're not a father, then oh well it isn't your holiday, big deal.

Is this just another societal convention basically saying that women are weak and need protection whereas men shouldn't have feelings and ought to just tough it out? I think the majority of the worrying about being sensitive to it is worrying that women will leave crying--thus this censorship, tip-toeing around a reality--it inspired by the behavior of women.

By what about the guys? Does infertility really affect men less? I know that a lot of women who deal with it feel like they're missing out on an essential part of womanhood, that they've failed their husband. Do men not share this feeling? If so, is it caused by a social expectation that women=babies and men=bachelors=freedom and happiness? I don't know--I just find the discrepant odd.

I was reading over at FMH and Reese-Dixon was talking about how since her father didn't have a good impact on her life, her father's day talk would be directed about our Heavenly Father. In her situation I think I would have focused on what fathers in general *can* do, how they, along with their wife, can jointly lead their children toward choices that will make them happy. I know that R-D is married, so I find it interesting that she didn't take that path. One commenter praised her talk on the merit that it wasn't another talk saying how awesome men are. Don't get me wrong, I think that women are just as good, just as important, as men. But when I get up there on mother's day, I'm going to go in there and talk about how amazing my mother is and what a good influence she has been on my life. Mothers in general are an inspiration. So why not fathers? Although moms are unappreciated, so are dads, sometimes.

Happy Fathers' Day to all and I hope that you can remember all that *both* of your parents have done for you!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

The Liberated Woman...

Gloria Steinem, born in 1935, said "A liberated woman is one who has sex before marriage and a job after". This phrase has been on my mind--I mean, obviously, I'm not running around having sex to prove societal conventions wrong. But that is my choice. What do I do to figuratively stick it to the man though?

I live a pretty traditional life--my father went to work all day, my mom stayed at home--although my mom has always worked for home on the side--indeed, she has more education than my dad. What do I do in my life that reflects my liberation?

I guess there are the small things--I call guys on it when they say things that are out of line (...most of the time), I question Sunday school teachers as they preach the same old sexist "doctrine" (silently)... I don't know.

Sometimes I don't feel very feminist. Then I go to church, like I did today. Relief Society was centered on why we need to protect our husbands and teenage sons from the evils of the world, especially pornography. She exhorted us that when the Victoria Secret Catalog arrives, we should rush to get it out of our house, so it won't corrupt their tender minds, because it is their "nature" to be tempted by that. Gag me with a spoon. If they want to look at porn, they'll google it. If you block it, they'll use a proxy. If you block every existing proxy (impossible, trust me, kids get around it), they'll go to a friend's house, a library, an internet cafe, something. If you try to mother your husband, he is going to be bitter. Eventually, every helicopter parent's kid grows up, and then that son or daughter has to live on their own--and when the Victoria Secret Catalog comes, you're not going to be there to say "Shield your eyes!!!!!!!". I'm all for protecting your families, but the fact that she pushed for so much "protection" over actually teaching them how hurtful it can be, and the fact that she never once mentioned their daughters, and that women can be affected by these temptations too... Ugh!

Call me a feminist!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Relief Society--5/16

"What is a prophet?" the teacher asked, as we groaned at the hackneyed question. She reached over and began putting up papers onto the boards, each one with its own magnet on the blackboard. "Speaks For God" the first one read, and we all nodded. She pointed to the example, and explained "If the prophet says something, and someone else claims something different, you know that you can always trust the prophet's words and know that the other person is a liar". She followed this up with the oft-used Wilford Woodruff quote that says

"The Lord will never permit me or any other man who stands as President of this Church to lead you astray".

So where does that leave personal revaluation? Where does that leave opinions (not doctrine) of the prophets? After all,
"Not every statement made by a Church leader, past or present, necessarily constitutes doctrine. A single statement made by a single leader on a single occasion often represents a personal, though well-considered, opinion, but is not meant to be officially binding for the whole Church. With divine inspiration, the First Presidency (the prophet and his two counselors) and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles (the second-highest governing body of the Church) counsel together to establish doctrine that is consistently proclaimed in official Church publications. This doctrine resides in the four "standard works" of scripture (the Holy Bible, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants and the Pearl of Great Price), official declarations and proclamations, and the Articles of Faith."

I still feel like it is unfair to say that anyone who disagrees with a prophet is a liar. A prophet said that people live on the sun--which is pretty obviously not true. I disagree--and yet I'm not a liar. So much of what the prophet says is influenced by his generation.

She continued saying "And, when we get new commandments from the prophets, sometimes they can be hard to accept, but 15 wise men of God agreed to them, so we need to harken and obey". I don't disagree with that... it just kind of makes me sad that women aren't involved at all.

"Have you all read the messages from the priesthood session of conference? Remember, they're not Just for men, they have valuable counsel for us too". I don't disagree with that either. But I do ask why I'm not allowed to go to it.

On the same line, I was thinking about it, and my question was why, in the mission field, can't women be APs or hold leadership positions? It is my understanding that all of the leadership roles are given to male missionaries. Because they have the priesthood? Really? The majority of the leadership positions take organization, nurturing, and understanding. You have to work with the missionaries to help them stay on track. So it totally makes sense that this calling is required to be given to a 20 year old man, and cannot be given to a 23 year old woman. Because women can't do any of those tasks, obviously. Someone give me a call when that makes sense -.-

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Scary Similarities...

This is an excerpt from Growing Up bin Laden, during an interview with Osama bin Laden's first wife.
" husband allotted much of his time to patiently explain how important it was for me to live as an obedient Muslim woman. "Najwa," Osama said "for me, you are a prized pearl who must be protected." Smiling reassuringly, he promised "Just as the hard shell of the sea protects the exquisite pearl, I will be the hard shell protecting you."

My first reaction was "That is so wrong! She is an adult, she can take care of herself, if your definition of protecting her is making her stay in the house for months at a time under a full body veil, you can get the heck out! She doesn't need to be hidden from the world because she is prized, that is BS and so screwed up!"

My second thought was... that kind of sounds like our concept of our Mother in Heaven.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Adams Apple, Deep Voice, Large Hands...

And an ego???

Long story short, yesterday I dropped a can of spaghetti sauce on my brand new white shoes. A good friend of mine, who is male, worriedly inquired "Are you okay?" I told him that I was fine, although my ego was a little bruised. He almost died of laughter. "Girls don't have egos!" He exclaimed.

I spent the next while talking to, but he was stubborn. Evidently he considers pride right up there with man-parts.

I wonder if this sexist view is more common than I think.

Moreover, it reminds me of how I feel at church sometimes when people bring up the "Girls need to dress modestly because otherwise guys will be aroused because they're helplessly horny". I don't know, it just seems like boys are taught that certain behavior is okay that from a girl would be wrong since boys will be boys. Ugh.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Over-Analyzing Much?

These lyrics come from Brand New Colony by Postal Service, and they've been on my mind. For a while I adored this song, now one line bothers me.. I may just be over-thinking it though.

I'll be the phonograph that plays your favorite
Albums back as you're lying there drifting off to sleep...

I'll be the platform shoes and undo what heredity's done to you...
You won't have to strain to look into my eyes

I'll be your winter coat buttoned and zipped straight to the throat
With the collar up so you won't catch a cold

I want to take you far from the cynics in this town
And kiss you on the mouth
We'll cut our bodies free from the tethers of this scene,
Start a brand new colony
Where everything will change,
We'll give ourselves new names (identities erased)
The sun will heat the grounds
Under our bare feet in this brand new colony
Everything will change, oOo oOo...

I love the idea of escaping from the frustration of society, of the judgment of others. And I think love** can change everything if you let it.

(**Love--not a temporary collapse of ego boundaries, IE "falling in love").

The part that does make me say hmm are the bolded lines though:
I'll be the platform shoes and undo what heredity's done to you...
You won't have to strain to look into my eyes
I'm torn. Along with those other verses, you could say this just mean he'll support her no matter what, and take care of her even on insignificant issues. But part of me sees this as "I'll change you so you can be good enough for me" or a condescending "your genes suck but it is okay, I'll make it all better because you can't take care of yourself".

If I have to strain to look into your eyes, just sit down. Problem solved.

Sunday, April 25, 2010


Today was Fast Sunday, and a lady in my ward approached the pulpit and talked about how, as a stay at home mother, she loved her kids more than anything, but felt inadequate. No, she didn't mean inadequate because of the burden of raising children--that'd be nothing new. Her feelings were because she felt like she was doing her best to make her home a temple, but it was an ongoing battle.

It wasn't a long testimony, but to me it just sounded so dejected and sad. Like she felt that she had failed because her home was not the perfect temple of continual peace and brotherly-love. She has four boys under the age of eight!

My question, the one that really stuck out to me beyond anything else I heard during that meeting, was how many of the people who preach about making your house a perpetual bliss of temple-like happiness are empty-nesters?

I just feel horrible for this poor sister who is beating herself up over such a stupid recommendation. Basing your worth off your performance as a mother (especially on your performance in the eyes of other members of your ward) is way too common, and so frustrating. I'm all for having the spirit in your house, and having God in your heart. But seriously, if you have four children under eight, expect to have a loud house full of fun, mischief, teasing, trouble, and who knows what else! They're kids. Well-behaved robots would keep the peace better, but we're commanded to raise kids, give yourself a break!

Institute Substitute

It is a darn good thing that the comments made were by a sub, and not the normal teacher, because if it had been by the normal teacher,I might not be coming to institute for a while.

I walk into a normal Tuesday institute class, ready to be uplifted from the toils of class. "Turn to Alma 56" she said, and we flipped to the chapter, and read the familiar verse.
48 And they rehearsed unto me the words of their amothers, saying: We bdo not doubt our mothers knew it.

Whatever, I've been listening to that verse forever. Blind faith! Great....

But then she took it a step further. "Now we know that the fathers didn't really teach the sons, but we do know some things about them" She turned to me and said "Julia, will you read verse for the class?" I began reading in a clear voice, while my face turned more red by the second

27 And now it came to pass in the second month of this year, there was brought unto us many provisions from the fathers of those my two thousand sons.

I looked at her with a raised eye brow and she grinned. "Now you see, class, this is just the perfect example of how it should be. The mothers nurtured the children, and the men provided for them"

I didn't even realize I had rolled my eyes when she began reprimanding me. "Do you have a problem?" she said in that tone used often on disobedient children. I had to make a decision about how rude it would be to fight this battle in the classroom, but I felt like false doctrine was being taught. I stepped up.

"Keith" I said looking across the table "I really, really hope that you're more involved with raising your children then just putting food on the table for them, you better help be an example for them and teach them"

She looked so outraged, but she spoke in a quiet, seething voice "Provide, Protect, Preside!" she crooned, as if I were descending into the abyss of Hell by even *suggesting* a man should be involved in his children's lives.

I laughed at her and she moved on. I think I made my point. For the record, if you really want to make me angry, evidently that is the perfect way!

My Beginnings

I really, really, really, really wish there was a unofficial FMH chat board of some kind, where pretty much all the normal readers could hang out and discuss things in a more open forum. I'm not one to thread-jack, but I definitely have plenty to say! lol.

This is the introduction to my blog. Hope you like it? Or, you know, don't. That is cool too.

One day I was walking along, minding my own business (okay, well, as much as I ever do anyway) and a friend trotted up, looking rather deep in thought. "Hey Chris" I smiled "What's up?" He sighed, and I worried. "Can I ask you something Julia?...... Something about your church" the hesitance in his voice worried me. "Oh crap" I thought to myself. "What'd I do this time?". I turned back to him and replied with a strong voice "Sure, I'll do my best to answer your question."

"Well, uhm" he cleared his throat "I was just, uh, wondering, okay. So, I know that mormons don't have sex before marriage. But uhm, uh...what are the rules after marriage, uhm, with your spouse?"

He reeked of discomfort, and maybe I would have too, if I hadn't been prepared. My preparation wasn't your run of the mill say-your-prayers-read-your-scriptures-go-to-church though. I knew because I'm a frequent reader of, the BYU 100 Hour Board.

I explained the church's official stance (it is between you, your spouse, and God) and pointed out the two golden questions (a--Is it potentially dangerous? b--Does it make either person feel objectified?). He gave a huge grin and thanked me, afraid it would be much worse (I think he said he had thought the only time we could do anything was to have children and anything else at all, even kissing, was forbidden). Anyway, I went back to the board post that had told me about this stuff (which I now suddenly can't find...meh) also talked about how highly debated it is within the church. It said that this had been hashed and rehashed on the interwebs, and linked several FMH, by common consent, and other bloggernacle-y sites.

I read them, thinking it was a simple topic... and I probably would have closed them and gone on with my day, but something caught my eye. It was a post about a woman, on FMH. It started simply, talking about how sexually frustrated she felt, and how sometimes she just felt like screaming. It discussed the importance the church puts on family, and how worthless she sometimes felt within the church as a single woman, with no perceptive suitors. And all of a sudden I felt like I had discovered a kindred spirit.

Then I started reading the comments. Many were so sympathetic, understanding. It was like I had finally found home. Some were doubtful ("Really? She is that desperate? Sounds more like a troll").... which just hurt, but I knew, like everyone out there it seems, they were just trying to help -.-

The few negatives though, were outweighed by the positives, a thousand fold. This was where I wanted to be.

You very well may not know me, I tend to lurk a lot, but I find the posts on FMH inspiriting, and very thought-provoking.

And that is me in a nutshell!

Edit: Rereading this, it sounds like I feel the same and necessarily run around wanting to scream and or marry the first guy I see. It isn't really that... more like... ok. If you've studied any child development/psychology, you might be familiar with the "latency period" which takes place (roughly) between ages 6 and 11. In theory, the child wants nothing to do with sex, or anything related to it. But sometimes, within the church, it seems like we're just expected to stay there until the day we get married.