I just got through reading several op ed pieces regarding women in the Mormon church etc etc etc. It gave me some inspiration to write. I’d just like to say that I’m not a feminist; I’m an equinist (and yes I made that up). I think idiots come in both genders.
Before you start recounting stories of Susan B. and her march for equality let me tell you a bit of my background. I come from a family of: German’s, Protestants, Muslims, Gay’s and an atheist or two…Some Thanksgivings it was a friggin Model UN. Drunk German’s, rowdy protestants (ok, we know that’s an oxymoron), constant and I mean CONSTANT talk about Palestinians and the Jews and then for good measure my Uncle would throw in an anti-God or anti-Mormon comment every now and then. And don’t even get me started on the time Meg was a flower girl at my Aunt’s wedding. To another woman. So before I’m labeled as narrow minded and ‘born and raised in the Utah bubble’, I’ll let you know that my bubble was broke about the time I was three. Which was about the time I started sipping the beer off of rim. Don’t worry, I didn’t start on any hard liqueur…until I was about 10 and that’s when Oma and I would take dips in her bottle of Cognac with our fingers. Just a little dab now and again as some sort of bonding experience only a girl can have with her Great Grandmother. We’d follow it up by cigars. JOKE! Seriously people….I did have standards.
So, I was reading with real intent and trying to keep my brain open for a bunch of ‘ah-ha’ moments as I read about how women want more clout in the LDS church and then I read with one eye open and kinda squinting for that matter as someone wrote about how they don’t have time to fight on the front lines or play football- they’re just glad to be a Mommy. I’ll be honest and say that I have no desire to enter this arena and fight for either side because I think they are both doing a disservice to their cause but I’ll remark on that later.
In my mind, the greatest force behind a women’s movement is the men they choose to associate themselves with. If you’re hooking up with a tool then you can rant all you want about wearing pants to church but in the end you are still HOOKED UP WITH A TOOL. I’ve been around the block (albeit a small block) enough to recognize that men who put their women on a pedestal of respect, admiration, loyalty, devotion etc ad nauseum are usually (I said usually- not always) not the ones crying for equality. They are too busy being taken on weekly dates and showered with love to worry about who gets to talk in church on Sunday and who is giving the opening prayer. They just don’t really give a rats arse. It’s not that they are feeble minded or love wearing pantyhose- it’s just that trying to topple the Patriarchal world in which we live is just not on their to-do list.
I will now address the women who have energy to spare. Bless you my dear Sisters. I am grateful that you are married to a good man who treats you like a Queen and as such, you have some extra energy and fire to address all of the tools your neighbors are married to. I too roll my eyes when I hear that she has no clue how to log into their bank account or how much their mortgage is actually for. I am in absolute agreement that the next time he says he can’t help watch the kids because he’s too busy advancing levels in Zelda we should club him like a baby seal. Let’s sign her up for some woman power classes (which are not like couponing classes except in encouraging aggressive behavior). You say you want to wear pants to church? Go for it. My Grandma wore pants to church on a semi-regular occasion and as far as I am aware Hell did not freeze over. Granted, we were Presbyterians so we thought that Hell may have been freezing over for some other religion but we were too busy with coffee hour after church to take considerable note of it. I, for one, have worn pants when I have attended Candlelight Christmas Eve Service and I don’t think God minded one bit. He was just glad to have me there. He’d like you to come with me this next year…he’s missed you.
Now I’d like to talk about the idea that women have no desire to play football or fight on the front lines or be a Prophet. Well, how many women did you ask? I for one love the idea of concussions, torn rotary cuffs, cauliflower ear as well as the idea of shooting my enemy with a semi-automatic weapon at close range. Don’t even get me started on the idea of collateral damage…. and as for being a Prophet. Well count me in! I’d like nothing more than to wake up almost weekly in anther hotel room and always be on my best behavior. Loads of Joy. Loads. I am especially resentful that I haven’t been fed dog or snakes and had to pretend that I like the taste. Damn men and all their fun. (Ok, when I was 12 I had a football. Granted it was Nerf but I can throw a mean spiral. Mean= doesn’t ever go where I want it to.)
My husband and I were discussing the impending zombie apocalypse and after about 20 minutes (and yes I am serious) I was fairly convinced that we had reached the next level in our relationship. He was willing to die for the family (although he contests that he’d have no problem staying alive) and I was then second on the chopping block having had to take the lead as he’s dead and it’s my job to care for the family. I have no problem taking head shots to zombies if the lives of my children are on the line. I have rehearsed it enough in my head that I would have no problem taking a head shot of someone who was in my home hurting my kids. However, I also have no desire to fight on the front lines but if need be I’d be there. I’d had to take frequent rests for my heart problem but damn if I didn’t do what I could to protect our great nation.
Switching gears here, stay focused…..
My Grandma considered herself a feminist and I’ve read some of her school papers from when she was a girl in 1940 and she was a force to be reckoned with. She was a woman of many talents as most of the men had gone to war and that left the women in charge of learning how to run a farm as well as household. I don’t envy her responsibilities or many women like her who also worked in the munition factories or held down full time jobs as well as the burden of being a mother while their husbands were away at war. Those are the true feminists in my book.
My thought is that women who are self proclaimed feminists do a disservice to their cause when their anger and venom is heard more loudly than their ideas. My thought is also that women who are self proclaimed anti-feminists do a disservice to their cause when their platform consists of variations of the theme “We are like yin and yang and girls don’t want to be combat veterans or hold high ranking church offices.” There has got to be a middle ground. Is it impossible to figure out what universal laws are protective of human liberty and dignity while at the same time accounting for our differences in how those laws should be expressed in a society or religion?
To be honest, I wish we would be able to unite against a common enemy, take that passion and let it fuel our love towards one another. Yes, yes…I know what you’re thinking and I’m in absolute agreement. BYU should not be allowed to play in that ridiculous sports league where they basically play against no-name colleges and/or really good private Catholic schools. I can’t even feel good about taking cheap shots at them. Something has GOT to change.