For all those times that life hands you lemons

The Mormon feminist protest: And why I won’t be there.

When I was a little girl, I knew I’d be a working girl. I walked around in my mom’s high heels, my tiny feet barely filling the toes of them, a huge purse dangling from my shoulder. I’d pretend to go to the office, writing stories that I’d staple together, all the while holding a baby doll under my arm. Sometimes three baby dolls.

I had it right all along on how a woman works. Some women choose to stay home and have a family. Some women choose to have a career and devote all her time to her work desk. And then there’s crazy chicks like me, who want to do EVERYTHING under the sun. *insanity*

Everything except hold the priesthood. No thanks.

And I’ll tell you why. I’m a woman. And that is NOT meant to come across as a sexist remark. That little girl I was telling you about grew up and did the same thing she’s always wanted to do (minus the fact that my husband and I are trying for children, but aren’t yet blessed with them :)). I’m working a full time job in a busy news industry, keeping up a home, blogging, writing novels, serving as a primary teacher, and praying that at some point in the day I still have time to eat and maybe, just maybe, paint my nails. I know a lot of you are nodding your heads about right now. Especially the Mamas. Whether you work a job outside the home or not, if you’re a mom, you have it MUCH more challenging than the rest of us. Props to you.

momandbaby

Being a woman comes with SO many responsibilities, and blessings no matter what religion you are or ethnicity. So when I heard that a group of feminists are planning to protest outside the LDS church’s General Conference center during General Conference because they want to be ordained with the priesthood, I became infuriated. Yes. Even a workaholic, women-are-equal, I-want-to-climb-the-ladder-of-success girl like me.

And it doesn’t just have to do with my religious reasons, although I’ll share those first. The priesthood is something we can all exercise. I use the priesthood all the time when I ask my husband for a blessing or I have faith in ordinations enough to fulfill tough callings. I use the priesthood when I attend the temple and when I read my patriarchal blessing and see things coming to pass. I use it all the time because it’s intended for me to use. Heavenly Father thinks I have great worth, and intended the priesthood to be used so that I can benefit from it.

But as a woman, it’s not my gender role to be given the priesthood in the same way that a man is. It’s not sexist. It’s not a superiority complex. It’s just the difference between responsibilities that Heavenly Father wants us to have, no matter who we are or where in the world we live. Because Heaven knows that the Lord has given us many responsibilities that men don’t get to have. I won’t even try to count all of those. *my head would hurt*

nursewoman

But like I mentioned, my biggest beef isn’t even religious reasons. It’s the fact that in today’s world, Mormon or not, whether you be Catholic or Atheist or Protestant–whether you be liberal or conservative– parts of the women’s rights movement is moving past the “equal” mark and taking it to the “We’re even better than men” mark. And furthermore, some even go as far as not wanting to even be considered a woman. A child was born some time ago (and I heard it through the news) and the parents of that child refused to disclose its gender. That makes me sad. Because for some reason the world tells us that being a certain gender will block off opportunities or back us into a corner. But that couldn’t be more of a lie. Your gender is a blessing, and a huge framework to who you are.

Being a woman is a blessing. It is a gender that is inherently gentle and nurturing. It is a gender that gives you the power to bear a child or be a mother figure for a child. It is the gender that empowers you to step into a workplace with a unique, and sometimes more analytical or creative perspective. It is the gender that has changed the world, just as the male gender has. So why be ashamed of it to the point where we don’t want to be unique–we just strive to be the very same?

Femininity is something to be proud of, and I am proud to say that my Heavenly Father has endowed me with gifts that my husband doesn’t have, and has endowed my husband with gifts that I don’t have. But all those gifts benefit both of us. It’s an eternal principle that cannot be changed, even as the world changes. Even as extreme views pronounce that gender means nothing anymore because we’re all the sameBut we’re not. We’re very different, and that’s what keeps humanity moving forward.

student

God’s law doesn’t change just because the world’s opinion does.

When it comes to women in the workplace, even in managerial and leadership positions–I’m on the front lines. When it comes to women voting, and having a say in every single part of government–I’m on the front lines. When it comes to women being treated with respect and dignity and equal opportunity to reach dreams and goals–I’m right there on the front lines.

But when it comes to the world professing that gender isn’t a factor anymore, even if it means changing doctrine or naming baby girls gender-neutral names all for the sake of “making her equal to men”–I take a step back.

Because I’m a woman. And I’m proud of that. You should be too.

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1,782 Responses to “The Mormon feminist protest: And why I won’t be there.”

  1. a

    When someone writes an piece of writing he/she maintains the plan of a user in his/her brain that how a user can be aware of it.
    Thus that’s why this paragraph is amazing. Thanks!

    Reply
  2. Tonya

    I had bookmarked this post a few months ago and have finally sat down and read it. I completely disagree.

    To use the author’s own words, “We’re very different, and that’s what keeps humanity moving forward.” I agree, and because every woman is also different from this one particular woman/author, she should also appreciate that another woman may be passionate about nurturing others through priesthood, not through genetic motherhood.

    It takes a strong soul to rock the boat and think outside of the pulpit shaped box. That’s precisely what the women who fought for voting rights in America did. THOSE were the women on the front lines of THAT battle, not this author. I appreciate what this author feels her role is as a woman, but no two women share the same destiny.

    Reply
    • Rebecca

      I have to disagree, Tonya…
      ALL women share the exact same destiny, so long as they are faithful. As do men.
      This whole “equality” thing has been taken out of context, as “equality” is not “the same as”.
      One pound of meat is equal to one pound of grain. But meat is not grain.

      I know many women in the OW movement. I have been told, many times, that this isn’t about anything but “getting the priesthood power”.
      Priesthood is the Power of God.
      Seeking for Power is NOT in harmony with Gospel Teachings.

      Women have access to Priesthood Power in more ways than men do. They, when needed, can give blessings, perform miracles, and much, much more. (read up on Joseph Smith’s mother)

      The only thing that I can see, from all the women I know in the OW movement, is they want to “be like men”, they want “power and authority”…
      But, in our Church, and in Life, women and men are different for a reason. They are equal, in the sight of God, but they are different.
      Seeking power, as I said, is not in harmony with the Gospel… because we are CALLED to serve, we don’t get voted in, we don’t aspire to be bishop or prophet… and we don’t compete for a place in the “hierarchy” of the Church…

      We are CALLED TO SERVE.
      When it is the Lord’s will, he will CALL US TO SERVE… and we should serve in whatever capacity he calls us, be it a priesthood office, or other leadership position… and then we should serve with all our hearts…
      In this way, we all receive the very same reward, equally.

      Reply
      • Tonya

        Why is it okay for a man to “get the priesthood power”, but not a woman?

        I feel that this line of reasoning is similar to the reasoning that was used when women first fought for the right to vote in America. Were women just looking for power at that time? If so, how is that a bad thing? Did God frown upon those women for wanting something that belonged only to men? Were the women being selfish, because it was clear in scripture that God had a different calling for them?

      • Kathy

        Tonya – your argument lacks credence as you are comparing things of an earthly/human nature to things of an eternal/spiritual nature. Votes for women was effected by democratic rule, whereas women in the priesthood or not is effected by monarchy – in fact the highest monarchy. You can’t change God’s plan, no matter how you like it or not. There are many churches who do believe women can hold the priesthood. The LDS church is not one of them.

      • Rebecca

        A righteous woman has access to the Priesthood in several ways:
        Through her Righteous Father.
        Through her Righteous Husband.
        Through her Righteous Church Leader.
        A woman is NEVER without Priesthood.

        A righteous man, however, must be ordained to the Priesthood.

        How is that fair?

        And yes… believe it or not, the Church was against “equal rights”. Not because they believed women to be inferior, but because they knew it would bring about greater and greater changes, taking today’s “modern woman” further and further away from the teachings and focus of the Gospel.

        When it becomes more important for a woman to work outside the home, just to have a career and be equal to a man, her focus isn’t on her family and the eternal plan of God.

        I’m not saying women shouldn’t work outside of the home… and sometimes it is necessary… but there is a focus that we all must maintain, equally: upon God and his will for us, as found in the Gospel and via modern revelation.
        So, yes… a woman seeking something other than what God wants is being selfish… and that goes the same for men… equally.

        This life is not about “what can I get for myself”, but “how can I best serve God”.

      • Marlyn

        Woman= Servant & Man= Authority. That is not equal.

      • Leah Christensen

        Exactly. Not all women share the same destiny because this woman and many others refuse to accept that paradigm.

  3. India

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    Reply
  4. Mariah

    I stumbled across your blog today and have spent the better part of the afternoon reading various posts. I can’t tell you how relieving it is to have someone perfectly articulate how I feel about this and so many other issues. You have a way of putting difficult issues into perspective in such a intelligent, thoughtful way and for that I thank you. And on this particular topic, I couldn’t agree more. :)

    Reply

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