Sunday, December 4, 2011

Not Good for Women ~ Part I

Perfection or Unhappiness?

I have said many times that the morg is just not good for women.  I am going to write posts and give specifics as to why I think this way.

Perfection.  Who knows anyone who is perfect? What is perfection?  One person's idea of ideal is different than another person's.  My idea of what is perfect is to spend the day with people who love me, we are laughing and talking. My idea of perfection is the ocean and the beach.

 It is 80 degrees outside, just enough shade to be comfortable.  The waves are lapping in. We can hear the waves and see whales in the distance. There are mountains in the background.  The blue of the water is so intense that the deep blue color of eyes don't even compare.

I can feel the sand between my toes. I squish my feet down into the sand as far as I can.  There is food; Italian, Mexican, hamburgers and french fries. I'm drinking Long Islands, Mai Tai's, and others I can't even name. We are laughing at something that my daughter said.  This moment is perfect. It can last forever and I will be in the essence of happiness. The moment is perfect, the people are not.

Does this fit everyone's idea of perfection? I doubt it; but I'm okay with that. The mormon's idea of perfect is not for perfect moments, but for perfect people. Their idea is for women to have babies for eternity and for men to have many wives and to never laugh too loud.  None of this sounds appealing to me at all. To live a perfect day and to be a perfect person is not the same thing, however. What does it mean to be a perfect person?

For the mormon woman,  it is to not commit any sin; to be married; to have lots of children; to conform to the churches rules-many, many rules; for the women to submit to their husband's decisions; to be the primary caretakers of the children; to attend all your church meetings; to hold a current temple recommend and all that entails; to be a visiting teacher and visit certain families each month and at the beginning of the month; to hold a church calling and do your very best in that calling; to not question any of the church leaders or doctrines.

If a mormon woman does not succeed in any of these areas, she is considered a failure.  It is not okay to acknowledge weakness or failure for a mormon woman.  When mormon women talk, they often criticize the organization and how demanding it is, but they rarely will admit how they feel like they are not meeting up to the expectations demanded of them or how trying to meet these expectations makes them unhappy. Instead, they put on a persona. They pretend they have a perfect marriage, perfect children. They pretend they love the church calling they are serving in, or love all the women they are visiting.  They pretend they are happy conforming and fitting in, even when they are not.  Only occasionally do you see the cracks. When they let down their barriers and show they are indeed human, they will quickly recover and hide again.

This often leads women to hide who they really are. After years of hiding, they lose the essence of who they really are. After years of serving others and putting their needs, wants and desires at the the expense of taking care of everyone else: the husband, the children, the church callings; they lose their own identity. They lose who they are. They don't know what they want in life anymore. They don't know what makes them happy. They don't know how to even allow others to serve them or love them.

They are taught that if they even consider themselves, they are being selfish.  This isn't selfish. This is life. It is okay and even necessary to love yourself; to consider yourself; to have a pedicure or manicure each month. It is okay to work and make money and even spend some of that money on yourself. Some men even like having the burden of making money shared. In this way, female children are taught that all things are equal.  Male children are taught that women are to be respected and are not door mats.  Everyone will be expected to help with the household chores.  It isn't the women's work, it is the families' work.

What I found is that by trying to be something that everyone is not: perfect; it only leads to fakeness, loneliness, unhappiness, isolation and a loss in identity.

No, Virginia, there is no such thing as perfect people.