Women and Religion

Public forum for topics that don't fit into the other categories.
amateurparent
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Women and Religion

Post by amateurparent » 08 Jan 2016, 12:30

http://www.thegospelcoalition.org/artic ... the-church


I found the above article thought provoking .. And spot on.

Any one else have an opinion?
I have no advance degrees in parenting. No national credentials. I am an amateur parent. I read, study, and learn all I can to be the best parent possible. Every time I think I have reached expert status with one child for one stage in their life, something changes and I am back to amateur status again. Now when I really mess up, I just apologize to my child, and explain that I am indeed an amateur .. I'm still learning how to do this right.

university
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Re: Women and Religion

Post by university » 08 Jan 2016, 13:32

Yes, I agree. And I don't think these points should be limited to religion. They happen in everyday life.

However, I think a lot of the time we are socialized to treat women a certain way, or view them a certain way, but we don't even know it. It's not always that a person views women as a temptress or child...they just have sub-consciously learned how to treat women. I guess that goes for everything. Gender roles and acceptable behaviors associated permeate a lot of how we do things. We're so immersed we don't know that we're doing it.

For example, I'm frequently interrupted by men in professional settings. These men are often great colleagues, even friends, who respect me and consider me an intellectual equal. And yet, they interrupt me more than they interrupt their male colleagues. And it's not that I'm a chatterbox that won't stop talking :lol: I didn't even realize this was happening to me until a male friend made a social media post about how he might have been doing this to women all along and needs to start making sure he let's women say their piece. It was something I can't unsee. I don't take it personal, but I am more assertive now. I've found that once men hear about this, they're shocked, and the try to be careful not to talk over women they truly do respect.

Similarly, even today, sometimes I'm more harsh on women when they share their opinions--but I have stop myself and ask myself if I'd be as critical of her if she'd been a man and said the same thing. Usually, the answer is that I wouldn't be. We can turn it around and see that men are often expected to take leadership positions or be more active in making a decision when they might not want to--and people are hard on them--call them lazy, etc.---when they don't.
Last edited by university on 08 Jan 2016, 14:32, edited 1 time in total.

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LookingHard
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Re: Women and Religion

Post by LookingHard » 08 Jan 2016, 13:59

I don't feel like I do much of any of this, but I fear that I am blind to the time that I might do some of it because as University points out - it is somewhat societal ingrained learning.

On a related note, I have toyed with (on my more feisty days) of getting a tshirt that says, "This is what a Mormon feminist looks like" If I get into a calling I really want to be removed from, I might wear the shirt to help get me released. Nah - I am pushing away from being passive-aggressive and I would rather just go and tell the bishop I need to be released.

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Heber13
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Re: Women and Religion

Post by Heber13 » 08 Jan 2016, 16:13

Hmmm...I'm not sure I've seen these types of ghosts in business or religions. Perhaps we don't have women ministry so I can't really comment, but it seems like those ghosts might be from the 1950s or carried over today by the older generation...but I find it hard to believe men are so threatened just by a woman being in the ministry position, unless you still like to slap butts and laugh and just say "Boys will be boys" and don't realize what harassment is in today's world (which is why Ron Burgandy is funny since it is so unacceptable and pigheaded, but not realistic today).
You speculate that her husband is probably a weak man
Seems like a very specific judgment to make about a couple...I thought that was out there a bit.

I guess I work with lots of women in business and there are strong leaders because they are experienced and smart, not because they were manipulating things to get to where they are.

But then again...religious people are weird.

I think some "ghosts" in the mormon church I've seen:
- Women who are in favor of Ordain for Women are arrogant and power hungry;
- Women pursuing careers and education are selfish;
- A sensitive priesthood leader patronizing women by talking about how important they are in the church, while maintaining a hierarchy of priesthood trumps all (ie. Priesthood blessings are more powerful than a woman's prayer, priesthood leaders must oversee and make final decisions, priesthood presides and should be the last speaker or prayer giver, etc).

I think we have ghosts in our church. I don't see the usurper and temptress, but perhaps the Child ghost haunts us in our priesthood heavy church. I don't like it.
Luke: "Why didn't you tell me? You told me Vader betrayed and murdered my father."
Obi-Wan: "Your father... was seduced by the dark side of the Force. He ceased to be Anakin Skywalker and became Darth Vader. When that happened, the good man who was your father was destroyed. So what I told you was true... from a certain point of view."
Luke: "A certain point of view?"
Obi-Wan: "Luke, you're going to find that many of the truths we cling to...depend greatly on our point of view."

amateurparent
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Re: Women and Religion

Post by amateurparent » 08 Jan 2016, 18:45

Last year, my work group was having various employees come in to visit with the owner of the group -- 3-4 employees at a time. There are a total of 4 women and about 50 men in my category of employee. The group I went in with was 2 women and 1 man. The man walked in with us, looked at our boss, and asked, "Where are my bros?" and "How come I am with THEM?" He saw being with 2 women as a sign that he was seen as weak. Our boss let him know that the 2 women he was with were personally REQUESTED much more than any of the men, and we are two of the stronger providers in the group.

I was grateful for a boss who addressed it head on.

Before that episode, I had thought all the men I worked with saw me as an equal. That outburst taught me that I am an equal with that colleague only until he felt threatened, then he wanted to retreat to a crowd of men.

Gender issues .. Crazy how they just won't go away.
I have no advance degrees in parenting. No national credentials. I am an amateur parent. I read, study, and learn all I can to be the best parent possible. Every time I think I have reached expert status with one child for one stage in their life, something changes and I am back to amateur status again. Now when I really mess up, I just apologize to my child, and explain that I am indeed an amateur .. I'm still learning how to do this right.

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mom3
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Re: Women and Religion

Post by mom3 » 08 Jan 2016, 20:03

I think I am in a super sinister place about Women and Religion right now. Presently I am more burned up about women affecting women's roles than anything. It's a huge soapbox inside of me. I keep putting a lid on it but one of these days its gonna blow.
"I stayed because it was God and Jesus Christ that I wanted to follow and be like, not individual human beings." Chieko Okazaki Dialogue interview

"I am coming to envision a new persona for the Church as humble followers of Jesus Christ....Joseph and his early followers came forth with lots of triumphalist rhetoric, but I think we need a new voice, one of humility, friendship and service. We should teach people to believe in God because it will soften their hearts and make them more willing to serve." - Richard Bushman

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Heber13
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Re: Women and Religion

Post by Heber13 » 08 Jan 2016, 21:34

amateurparent wrote:Gender issues .. Crazy how they just won't go away.
ya...crazy!
Luke: "Why didn't you tell me? You told me Vader betrayed and murdered my father."
Obi-Wan: "Your father... was seduced by the dark side of the Force. He ceased to be Anakin Skywalker and became Darth Vader. When that happened, the good man who was your father was destroyed. So what I told you was true... from a certain point of view."
Luke: "A certain point of view?"
Obi-Wan: "Luke, you're going to find that many of the truths we cling to...depend greatly on our point of view."

amateurparent
Posts: 953
Joined: 19 Jan 2014, 20:43

Re: Women and Religion

Post by amateurparent » 08 Jan 2016, 22:28

Mom3 wrote:
"I think I am in a super sinister place about Women and Religion right now. Presently I am more burned up about women affecting women's roles than anything. It's a huge soapbox inside of me. I keep putting a lid on it but one of these days its gonna blow."
There is a full war going on within RS. Women who want to maintain the status quo vs women who want equality and professional advancement. The status quo sisters tend to have more leadership and teaching positions. The professional women often come across as more assured.

My own MIL remains quite angry about women who want equality. She had 4 children when she was very young, got them into school, and then had lots of free time to pursue her own activities. She sees the pursuit of equality as "ruining" the good gig that women have.

She told me point-blank that my working reflected poorly on her son. People were going to think that he couldn't afford to support his family -- and that wasn't true. She accused me of "working because I wanted to." She was horrified when I told her she was right. I do work because I want to -- My children died, I needed a different identity, I found it in graduate work and in a profession.

It would seem that a working professional and a SAHM wouldn't have any rocks to throw at each other, but many SAHM and sisters whose children are grown are feeling pressure to be financially productive. Traditionally, women were productive within the home and garden. They produced. That has been lost. Since the 1950's, there is a cultural attitude that once children are raised, women have no obligations to do anything more productive than volunteer occasionally within the community.
I have no advance degrees in parenting. No national credentials. I am an amateur parent. I read, study, and learn all I can to be the best parent possible. Every time I think I have reached expert status with one child for one stage in their life, something changes and I am back to amateur status again. Now when I really mess up, I just apologize to my child, and explain that I am indeed an amateur .. I'm still learning how to do this right.

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LookingHard
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Re: Women and Religion

Post by LookingHard » 09 Jan 2016, 14:44

Wow. What a thing for a MIL to say!

I am just reading today, "The Polygamous Wives Writing Club" by Paula Harline. On page 75 something that sounds oddly familiar to AP's situation.
Not just in theory but in reality, at age twenty-eight, polygamous wife Ellis Shipp entrusted her three small children to the care of the other three wives in her family and took thte train East to become a doctor at Women's Medical College in Philadelphia.
I had heard about this before and it has been 'bragged' about how this showed polygamy freed women to do pursuits. But freed them from what? It goes on to say:
Although she loved her children, sh wrote that she was "tired" of her life of "uselessness and unaccomplished desires."
She isn't singing the praises on the rewards of being a mother.

And not to go into a tangent, but one thing repeated over and over by the women in the book is that they wish their husband was there more to help with crying babies and raising the kids.

Wow. My wife and I had a real hard time raising our kids. I remember the months and months being SOOO tired and sleep deprived. How in the hell did these women do it often nearly on their own? Then it got even harder once the feds were cracking down and the husbands really worried about even visiting their family as this could get them arrested.

Sorry if I am causing a thread-jacking.

university
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Re: Women and Religion

Post by university » 09 Jan 2016, 20:46

^^ These posts reminded me of something. Awhile ago, I was talking to TBM girl around the same age as me. She started talking about how she was tired of how "the world" belittles motherhood so much. I encounter this attitude a lot from other Mormon women, especially those who have decided to be a stay at home mother. I do understand where they're coming from. I don't think mothers get enough credit. But I don't think that this lack of appreciation for what mom's do comes entirely from "the World." I also think that a lot of the pressure to be the perfect mom comes from within church culture itself. There is so much pressure to be perfect--to have the perfectly cleaned house, to spend quality time with each kid, to be at all the sporting events/lessons/etc., Frankly, a lot of women put pressure on themselves to do the impossible.

Back to my main point: It was very clear that to this girl for a woman to say, "I'm tired of being told my primary value lies in motherhood. I want a career!" or "I want the Priesthood" meant "Motherhood isn't that important." I politely commented on how women should be able to choose motherhod or a career or both without being judged for it. She agreed. That is a different perspective then what I've encountered from older Mormon women in the past. But I must say, it's common among the Mormon girls I talk to. Even though they want to be a stay at home mom, they're not going to judge the girls who also want to work (although the Brethren do).

I guess my takeaway from all of this is that the issues of women in religion, and particularly in this Church, seem to be coming up a lot more frequently. I'm hopeful that even though there aren't women in the leadership of the Church, and the ones in higher Church positions seem to just be an echo chamber of "all is well in Zion," we're going to have some gradual movement in some attitudes about gender just because of different social views. Also, I have a friend who comes from a prominent Mormon family, who has followed the route I envisioned for him: BYU, marriage, very involved in the Church. I wouldn't be surprised if he ends up in Church leadership at some point in his life, it's a family legacy. He makes social media posts all the time about how we shouldn't shame men for their emotions (different from Elder Packer who once advised young boys that Heavenly Father wants them to be "masculine men") and recognizes some gender equality issues. He blames church culture, not doctrine, but it's a start.

I think gradual change is coming. I just don't know if I'm patient enough.

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