Discrimination vs Equality
We can learn a lot from the civil rights movement. Any group of people who have money, power, or privileges withheld from them are being discriminated against. During the civil rights movement, many people tried to state that separate was the same as equal. No, its not.
I hear women say all the time that they are just fine with not holding the priesthood and they don't have to have it to be considered equal with men. That may be so, but just because they are not give the title of having priesthood authority, does not mean they are equal in all other ways.
Let's take money. Do the women in the church receive the same and equal access to money that the men do? Any budget I ever saw and worked with in the young women's organization never even came close to the young men's budget. The boys scout's budget also superseded that of the teenage girl's. The teen boys were also allowed to solicit for money. If the teen girls were allowed to solicit, their abilities in this area were severely restricted. I was in many wards were they asked for money for the boys scouts directly over the pulpit, called each member of the ward for money (regardless of whether you had a son in the program or not) and they held several fun raisers throughout the year. The girls were allowed only one fundraiser for girls camp--that was all.
Let's take power. The church tells people and especially the women that they are in charge of their own organizations (Relief Society, Young Women's and Primary for the children). The church calls these organizations- 'auxiliaries'. By the churches own definition of an auxiliary, 'is not essential and not truly independent of male oversight, it only spells out that women are not to be trusted with any real authority themselves.' http://facsimilogos.blogspot.com/2011/12/10-reasons-to-leave-lds-church.html
Women must have a man present at their activities, must report their activities to male leadership, must have male approval for their activities and must get approval for any funding for them. There is no such thing as female power. Women who speak in general conference, primarily speak to the children, female youth, are given short speaking assignments, and rarely are given time on Sundays-- the highest watched times.
Let's take privileges. Many years ago, I worked in the young women's program. We were trying to motivate the teen girls to read the book of mormon. We came up with the idea to take all the girls who read it in a certain time period on a trip to Salt Lake to visit church history sites. The girls were to have fund raisers to raise all the money by themselves, thus not being a financial burden on their families or the church. We were denied our request by the bishop. We appealed to the stake president. We were denied again. That same summer, the teen boys took a trip to Lagoon for fun and enjoyment. Although they said it was for boys scouts, no merit badges were earned. All the money for the trip came out of the ward budget.
Boys are allowed to go water skiing, camping, skiing, hiking,swimming, site seeing in other states, etc. All these privileges are denied the girls. All these privileges are put under the umbrella of boy scouts, yet few merit badges are earned on all these privileges and equal access for something similar is not granted to the teen girls.
Girls are required to learn to sew, learn how to cook, be a good mom and stay a virgin until married.
Does this meet the level of discrimination? Good thing the church isn't the government; they'd likely be sued. Why do women tolerate such discrimination? Because they are told they are special.