Sunday, September 29, 2013

Why You Should Be There

I have been watching this blog post Why I Won't Be There go around the internet and facebook for the last several weeks and have largely ignored it until I can't anymore. As I think on it, I have to wonder, why do women like her not get it? As I lay awake this morning thinking of this, I thought of Rosa Parks. As she worked a very long and hard day and had very tired and sore feet and she got on that bus at the end of that day, all she wanted was to sit down and ride the bus home. She had no intention of starting a Civil Rights Movement.

She just wanted to rest. For all her hard work at her job, she got kicked off the bus that day. What would have happened if other black people did not come to her aid? What would have happened if other black people said, "that is her fight, I will not protest with her." What would have happened if Martin Luther King did not see the importance of what she did and chose instead to not take up her cause? Where would the civil rights movement be today?

Why would Miss Lemony and women like her hold all women down? Why can these women not see the that they are their own worst enemy? I have repeatedly said that any group that does not have equal access to privilege, power and money are not equal. The women within the mormon church are not equal with men. Let's look at each one of her points and show her and women like her how completely unequal they really are:

1.  The priesthood is something we can all exercise. I use the priesthood all the time when I ask my husband for a blessing

Is she really saying this? How can she possibly believe she is exercising the priesthood when she is asking for something from somebody else?  When I am at work and I ask my boss for a raise, do I have the same authority as my boss does? No. Can I give myself a raise? No. This is the silliest thing I've heard. A woman cannot give herself a blessing. She cannot even give her children a blessing. She has no more authority to give others a blessing as she has no authority to give herself a raise at work. Faith is not the same thing as authority, Miss Lemony. When women do not have access to power, they are not equal.

2. 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...

Yes, Miss Lemony, it is sexist, that is exactly what this is. Have you been out into the real world lately?  Most of the real world ordains women to the priesthood in other religions, and guess what? Those churches have not come crashing down in chaos. They run smoothly and orderly. The males in the congregations are not emasculated. In the real world, women are accountants, doctors, engineers, and men are nurses and teachers. Men are stay at home caregivers and daycare workers. There are no such thing as gender roles, Miss Lemony. In the real world, where you work, people just work, they are  not divided  up according to gender, but what job they are suited for. When women do not have access to privilege, they are not equal.

3.  parts of the women’s rights movement is moving past the “equal” mark and taking it to the “We’re even better than men” 

You make this statement as though it is fact yet give no data to prove your point. I would like data on this. You then go on to give an anecdotal story you heard in the news about some parents that would not disclose the gender of their child (again, you don't even link us to the article) is this part of the women's rights movement? This is a strawman argument, you have moved beyond discussing feminism into discussing one incident of a family protecting the privacy of their child. The two issues aren't related. Also, if this child was a male, is this part of the feminist movement? How is one parent's right to protect their privacy have anything to do with feminism? You have missed the mark on this one.

4. Being a woman is a blessing. It is a gender that is inherently gentle and nurturing.

 I don't think we are wishing we were men, or denying that being a woman is anything less that wonderful. There seems to be some confusion between sex differences and gender differences.  From the AMA manual, “gender vs sex: gender refers to the psychological/societal aspects of being male or female, sex specifically to the physical aspects. Do not interchange.”  sex is not gender
The term “gender” refers to culture and should be used when referring to men and women as social groups, as in this example from the Publication Manual: “sexual orientation rather than gender accounted for most of the variance in the results; most gay men and lesbians were for it, most heterosexual men and women were against it” (APA, 2001, p. 63).
The term “sex” refers to biology and should be used when biological distinctions are emphasized, for example, “sex differences in hormone production.”  "Gender is not sex. If god determines sex at birth, or better yet, in the pre-earth life, then what about intersex people, also known as hermaphrodites?  Intersex can be found in the human population as well as in the animal kingdom."
I've already done extensive research about gender being on a spectrum on my blog post here:  research on homosexuality  Women CAN be gentle and nurturing, not all women are this way. Many men are this way, also. Being gentle and nurturing is a character trait, not a gender trait. Would you, as a married woman, who desires children some day, want a husband who is not gentle and nurturing? Did you marry a man who is not this way? When I date, this is one of the qualities I look for in a man. Do you want men working in primary, scouts, young mens or even assigned as bishops who are not gentle and nurturing? This is not exclusive to women. This is a human and even an animal characteristic. How many times have you seen pictures posted on Facebook of animals being gentle and nurturing to their offspring? Do you really want these traits to be exclusive only to women?  I don't.
5. "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."
Yes, your husband has talents you don't have, and you have talents he doesn't have. Welcome to the human race. We are all unique.  This doesn't mean we must fit into a mold called gender, it means we all have strengths and weaknesses. We aren't all that different, males and females, we are very similar to each other. This is why women can do math and men can nurture. Men and Women similar  We should not be excluded from the world of finance, from making decisions over money in our homes, in the church, in businesses. If we are excluded from money matters, we are not equal.
6. "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.
Really? Why are these things defining for you? Why is ordaining women defining for you? Why do you get to decide for all parents how they get to choose the names of their babies?Have you read this article: I feel unequal when  or this article  If gender roles were reversed  Do you really understand the issues at hand? You say you don't have children yet. Do you know how it feels to carry a child for 9 months, to have medical problems, to finally deliver that child, to name that child, only to turn that child over to men, some not even related to the child; to hold that child and bless that child? Do you know how it feels to be a part of every part of that child's birth and then to not be any part of its blessing? What is so wrong with my desire to hold that child when it is blessed? Or to bless that child?
What is so wrong to desire to give a healing blessing to my children? To give them a blessing as they go back to school? Or to have the Relief Society have complete autonomy over its callings or finances? Do women like you really think we are asking too much? 
Miss Lemony, I'm a woman, and I'm proud of it. I also desire equality for myself and all women. Just as Rosa Parks could not fight for Civil Right on her own, we are all needed to fight for Women's Rights together.

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