Thursday, June 26, 2014

Feminist Free

With all the hooplala about the feminist movement in the recent weeks I've decided to weigh in. (I know, another essay about Feminism in the church. *eye roll*) I've read a few articles on the topic, and I must say I have been enlightened, as well as filled with sorrow. Ultimately, this is nothing new to the history of the church. Kate Kelly may seem revolutionary, yet, sadly this is nothing new, aka Mormons for ERA. The church has faced and will face situations like these in the future. However, it still saddens me deeply to think of another sister truly struggling with her testimony. I've been there. Haven't we all, square or round peg? So, here is an open letter to my feminist sisters.

Dear Sister,

Let me validate you, I get how you feel. I really do. I prided myself on my feminist ideas when I was younger. I mean, I did everything for myself. I had been buying my own school clothes and contacts since the sixth grade. I took pride in my independence, and I thought this meant I was a feminist. I was strong (and stubborn), and I knew how to take care of myself. I had intellectual approach to the world, thought for myself, and I would never let a man tell me how to act or feel.

I grew up asking the hard questions, like many of you. Why do only boys get to pass the sacrament? Why do only men get to Baptize? How come a girl can't be a Bishop? Some of my questions were satisfied, some left me feeling restless. (Polygamy, anyone?) Come on, Sisters of Zion, unite, because I know we can ALL relate!

I grew up watching Sex in the City (sorry, mom) and I idolized Carrie. I was all about equal rights/gay rights and a woman's right to choose. It felt so good to be so forward thinking, but only for a time.

It's interesting the older I get, the more I question everything I do and why. I mean, the world is an entire commercial. We are being sold products, people, ideologies and things, things, things every darn second of our life. Ask yourself this, what are you being sold? And perhaps, even more importantly; what are you buying? And yes, I am trying to sell you my ideas here, but ask yourself this: why?

I am telling my story to try and help you. You are my sister, and I make an effort to love all my sisters. This blog is outdated and I can assure you does not make any money. I have had some very influential people who helped turn my life around when I was on a very self destructive path. I think the most wonderful thing they did for me was to love me unconditionally (of course), and ask me the hard questions. I had a need to come to the conclusions myself, because I was not a follower of anyone or anything. (sarcasm)

How do feminist ideas actually help you? Have these ideas truly increased your relationship with God? Do feminist ideas strengthen your relationship with your husband? Does it strengthen your relationship with your son? Does it strengthen the relationship with your mom or sisters? How about your Dad? Does it impress your friends online? Are you seeking the truth? What do you have to gain by being a feminist? What are you willing to sacrifice for your ideologies? Do your soul searching further, if you need. Yet, I would also ask this; if you want to learn Chinese, you don't study French. Would you ask a French speaking man to teach you Chinese? No, you would want to learn from someone who speaks Chinese. Are you with my on my analogy? I have found many of these bloggers claim to be active LDS saints with testimonies, yet are spewing anti-Mormon literature. Calm down, I didn't call them apostates. I'm just saying be careful of what you read.

After I had finally exhausted myself from my feminist ideologies, I started to realize I was maybe wrong about my views. When I decided to get authentic with myself I realized this: that it is beautiful to be gentle and feminine. This is something that I have to work at, as it does not come naturally to my personality. I have had to change. Isn't this what Christ asks of all of us? A change of heart is a common theme in the scriptures. I have had to change mine, and I hope to continue to change, as I try to follow Christ.

As I succumb to those innate gifts that come with being a woman, it is then that I have never felt more beautiful or empowered. It is beautiful to feel and listen to the Spirit, and when I was being harden and stubborn, I didn't feel it as often. I was missing out, and I didn't even know it. Are you missing out?

I think it's easy to confuse a strong woman as a feminist. Yet, I can assure you some of the strongest women I know are not feminists in anyway. Or maybe, we could blame all of our womanly suppression on mother Eve? Are we not to blame her for not having the Priesthood and roles some of us so desire? What if it was Adam whom had taken the fruit? What if they had just done it together at the same time, completely equally? If any of this interests you, I think you will find this article fascinating and uplifting and mind blowing, really.

I admire Eve. She is my hero(ine). The sacrifices she made for this earthly life, the trials she endured for the benefit of each of us, the negative consequences she has had to face...Yet, to know the faith she most certainly had, I am so full of gratitude. The woman is a rock, the one who separated us from our Father, the one who sacrificed for all of us to understand. The one who-- I'm gonna say it, I'm going to say the S word-- submitted to her husband and God, because she had unshakable faith this was the plan, His plan, and there was no other way. This makes Mother Eve, to me, is the ultimate feminist.

When I knew I wanted to come back to church, but didn't feel there was a place for me, didn't feel wanted there, and to be honest, did not want to be the 'cookie cutter' Mormon girl created by all the strange cultural quirks, I expressed these concerns to a dear friend. His words have never left me, and I often tell myself this if I am being weighed down by those quirks, "Rise above it!" Sisters, we can be better, let's do it together.


No comments: