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.