Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Women Wearing Pants to Church


   So this Sunday, December 16th, a group of feminists want Mormon women to wear pants to church in protest, to what they feel is, a lack of equality in the church.  There is a lot of discussion on this on the internet about this and I wanted to chime in.  Richie T. from The Cultural Hall Podcast interviewed Kimberly Batista about the Facebook event she helped to create.  Richie does a great job being neutral, and making points for both sides of the argument.

   I wanted to chime in on the conversation and invite you to share your thoughts as well.  I have spoken on issues in the past that really irked me that you can read about as well. I had two separate issues on the event.  Nothing in the Church states there is a dress code in regard to appropriate dress. (Other than modesty standards)  I always prescribed to the mantra of wearing your "Sunday Best" to church.  Now, in the US a female suit is not the social norm.  Same with bow ties, beards, or sneakers. But if your "Sunday Best" is a pair of slacks then by all means, wear your "Sunday Best."   What I do take issue with is that they are using the Sunday worship service as public forum to protest an issue, or just to draw attention to yourself rather than the Savior.

   My second issue is some of extreme views of feminism.  It would not be fair for me to comment on someone individual experiences, but I do have feelings on the statements by many who are outspoken on this issue.

   In a past The Cultural Hall also interviewed Lisa Butterworth of Feminist Mormon Housewives.  And I liked that she spoke about self esteem for women, but then she sort of went on a rant of things she took issue with.  She spoke about wanting a larger share of the power in the Church, wanting larger Mother's Rooms, basketball courts were designed for men, an office for Primary or Relief Society Presidents, more storage space for Young Women. 

In the comment section "Luke B." left the following:
   "While it’s true that Relief Society and Young Women’s presidency don’t have offices in our church buildings, Lisa failed to mention that the High Priests, Elders Quorum and Young Men’s presidencies also do not have designated offices and have to meet in whatever room they can.

   In fact, the Relief Society room normally the nicest room in a church. So saying the rooms were obviously designed by men, for men is kind of ridiculous. Also, for the record, not all men like playing basketball, and implying so is kind of sexist."


   Being in an Elder's Quorum Presidency right now I can vouch for this.  We don't even have a room.  We constantly get bounced around the building based on the needs of the other auxiliaries. We used to have presidency meeting in the kitchen, were interrupted so often we started having it in our homes.  In my parent's ward there is a member who is called as the Troop Quarter and it his calling to store all the scout junk in his garage.  I would love to have a night each month all the Elders got together and had a dinner, and entertainment, and projects, but our annual budget is $0.  the Mother's Room isn't big enough?  Where is our Father's room?  I have to change diapers on plastic fold down table in a bathroom stall.  It isn't a sexist issue, it is just a facilities issue.  We are out growing our buildings, and that is a good problem to have.  During my mission I served in areas where the congregation met in a community rec center.  Church got cancelled every time there was a birthday party booked there.  We are very blessed.

   If women they really want to fight for equality, they should be trying to get us men some of those things.  Now I really don't women have all these things.  Women should have the nicer meeting room, they should have a place to nurse their babies, they should have Homemaking (I'm old school).  But maybe if women truly want a share our "power," instead of wanting to pass the sacrament and be Bishops they can show up on Saturday morning moves and help load the truck.  They set up their own tables and chairs for Relief Society night, they can go lock up the building each night when it is dark and scary, they could only count visiting teaching if they visit in the home, and not merely mail the monthly message.  They can make the first visit to a new family in the ward, just in case they are hostile.

   Her comments were a little disparaging toward men.  I really took issue with her tone.  I feel like there is nothing Satan wants more than to destroy the family unit.  He has been on the attack toward men for ages in an effort to demonize Fatherhood.  Elder D. Todd Christofferson talked about it in the last Priesthood Session of General Conference.  It is often in the media that Fathers are inept, unreliable, and not needed.  During the dawn of television we had programming like "Father Knows Best" where the Father was the voice of reason.  Now, with shows like Family Guy you would be hard pressed to find a Father who is leading his family.  I don't know if our current epidemic of absent fathers is art imitating life or the reverse, but they have certainly gone hand in hand.  


      I believe that gender is part of our divine heritage.  There are things that are geared for women and things that are geared for men.  My wife plays Bunco and has a Book Club.  I go to movies with my buddies and play video games.  Now I might want to play games too, but I would start my own game night.  I would not insist they let me in.  Same goes for the women who have their Relief Society Sorority and men have their Priesthood Fraternity.  We both work toward building up God's Kingdom, but we do it in different ways. 

    
Now Satan is trying to get women to fill the role abandoned by most men.  That then leaves the role of motherhood either vacant or severely diminished. I do great with my kids.  We have fun, we learn, go out and do things together.  But my wife is the nurturer.  She is kind, tender, creative, spiritual.  I could never fill the role my wife plays as their mother, and I would never expect her to fill mine as father.

5 comments:

  1. Totally agree! This was well-written and funny too :) We recently watched Mirror, Mirror and I hate that Hollywood had to make the male characters into idiots in order to have a strong female character. I hate the message that is sending to our kids!

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    1. Yeah I try to use a bit of lightheartedness to help diffuse tense issues. Disney can be hit or miss. I loved strong father figures like Mufasa and Fe Zhou (Mulan's Dad), but then there are not so great, like the Sultan in Aladdin.

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  2. I love that you pointed out that women do not want to be equal when it comes to manual labor or say... carrying luggage to the car in the snow. I am a woman (and anything but a feminist) and will gladly take the "womanly" jobs of dishes and vacuuming over replumbing the kitchen sink when it breaks or mowing the yard in our Louisiana heat. I like to think my husband and I are both good leaders for our children, but he is the voice of reason. Even if our secular world would call my position unevolved, I know I'm right and I know what works in my home and in order to glorify God. To each his own, I suppose, but some people are just more correct than others...

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