I want to raise my girls to fight inequality wherever they see it. I want them to fight for equality for all. Especially for themselves. That’s why I’m glad we’re no longer taking them to church and exposing them to quotes like this:
”Young women you will be the ones to provide an example of virtuous womanhood and motherhood. You will continue to be virtuous, lovely, praiseworthy and of good report. You will also be the ones who provide the example of family life in a time when families are under attack and being redefined and disintegrating. You will understand your roles and your responsibilities and thus will see no need to lobby for rights. “
When we forget history we are doomed to repeat it. I can’t think of a single example in human history where women have been given a “right” that they’ve not lobbied (read: fought tooth and nail) for.
I couldn’t continue to send my daughters somewhere that sent them the message that they are anything less than incredibly powerful human beings. I want to teach them that their gender doesn’t pigeon hole them into any particular “role” or “responsibility” or make them inherently “less than” or “different than” anyone else. That they are individuals with individual lives and likes and dislikes and personalities. I don’t expect any one of them to live identical lives. I certainly couldn’t send them to a church that wanted to groom them to be married and pregnant by their very early 20′s and see anything else as failure.
The last couple of months, watching from the outside (but with an odd insiders view), as Mormon women simply try to exert pressure to change CULTURE about wearing pants to church and praying General Conference was eye opening. Seeing the backlash (such as the quote above) and seeing the violent reactions- mostly from other women- has been heartbreaking, but strongly affirms my decision to leave. Watching the men in charge largely ignore the movement has baffled me. It speaks as to how little the regard the women of this organization. Women are to know their place.
My daughters are worth more than that. I’m worth more than that. You are too.
I wonder if the Christ that the stories in the Bible speak of really did lead this organization how would both of these events be handled? Would that Christ ignore the pain of these women? When I asked the organizer of the Wear Pants event (a friend of mine) if her bishop or stake president had contacted her she told me they’d not. Not a word. There is no way that they could have missed it- as it had been in papers across the country and the world. What a different story for the church if Stephanie had received a call from her bishop inviting her to talk about her concerns. What if she’d walked into her ward on that Sunday to a sea of purple shirts (the color of dress shirt that men were encouraged to wear in solidarity with pants wearing women) or just the men on the stand in purple ties? What if her Relief Society President greeted Stephanie with a hug wearing a pantsuit of her own. What if they set aside the need for rules and instead embraced compassion? What would Jesus of the Bible do? Stone the pantswearer?
They are afraid. Women are powerful. Their fear is well founded.