Women and Religion

Public forum for topics that don't fit into the other categories.
TataniaAvalon
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Location: Utah

Re: Women and Religion

Post by TataniaAvalon » 10 Jan 2016, 09:25

I came across an image on Facebook that made me want to weep. It was a series of umbrellas each getting smaller. The largest was Christ. The next was the husband with protect family and provide for family under it. The smallest umbrella was labeled wife with children, managers of home underneath it and the whole thing labeled the natural order of the household. This was shared by one of my TBM friends. I can't express the pain I felt when I saw that. What a damaging teaching. The women are only good as wives and for their reproductive organs. Why must the wife be under the husband? Why not on the same line if we are supposed to be equal partners? The fact that women are supposed to be subordinate to their husbands is alive and well in the church.

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LookingHard
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Re: Women and Religion

Post by LookingHard » 10 Jan 2016, 10:39

I don't have answers and as a man this subject bothers me deeply. It deeply feels wrong to me and makes it hard for me to stay.


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AmyJ
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Joined: 27 Jul 2017, 05:50

Re: Women and Religion

Post by AmyJ » 10 Jan 2018, 09:01

amateurparent wrote:
08 Jan 2016, 22:28
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.
I have felt this in R.S. before and didn't know why or what it was. I am in my mid-thirties, and have been working full time for the last 10 years or so while most sisters my generation were either having children (some staying at home, some not) and/or going to work in some capacity.
amateurparent wrote:
08 Jan 2016, 22:28
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 think in part it is difficult to bridge the friendship gap between both sides because it is not easy to find a frame of reference. I think it is also difficult to find the time to develop the friendship - my working puts a kibosh on "play-dates" or other daytime activities that are the traditional SAHM socializing venues.
I think part of it stems from validation as well - as women, we want our choices validated by other women. In order to be validated, we need to feel that our situation is understood and appreciated. I watched my mom stay at home with my siblings growing up, and I watch my husband stay at home with our children - and that is the best understanding/appreciation I can give. I applaud those SAHMs who strive to understand what is like to go to work every day, but I recognize their position as well - it is not the same.

Curt Sunshine
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Re: Women and Religion

Post by Curt Sunshine » 10 Jan 2018, 13:07

Over half of all Mormon women work outside the house, and the percent is increasing every year.

We still have a long way to go before we have real equality and acceptance of individual choice, but we have come a long way since I got married 31 years ago. I look at my children, and SO many of their peers who were raised in orthodox families, and I only see that change accelerating.

One core reason I am completely active is to assist actively in that change.
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

Roadrunner
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Re: Women and Religion

Post by Roadrunner » 10 Jan 2018, 13:38

This bothers me. A lot. I have two daughters in college, one in an engineering major and one in pre-med and they are keenly aware of the uphill battles in front of them. The surprise for them has been that the majority of the sexist comments come from women in the church - not men. Oh there's plenty of sexist comments coming from men in leadership positions (my pre-med daughter was reminded by our stake president that motherhood is more important than any job) but according to them the *mean* comments come from women.

Also I'm more supportive of my daughters in their choices than my wife. It's a dynamic I didn't anticipate.

Roadrunner
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Re: Women and Religion

Post by Roadrunner » 10 Jan 2018, 13:48

At BYU in the mid-90s I dated a female chemical engineering major. She was a formidable trifecta - book smarts, street smarts, and very attractive. She would tell me that women have more power than men but they don't know how to use it. She called it the power of the vagina. I'm not sure exactly what she meant by that but I have some ideas and I didn't want to be manipulated by her so we broke it off after a couple of months.

For years the word "feminist" scared me - largely because of this ex girlfriend - until a good sister in my ward explained to me that being a feminist just means standing up for all human rights, including women's rights.

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Beefster
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Re: Women and Religion

Post by Beefster » 10 Jan 2018, 18:31

I think 'feminist' is a very murky term that can mean a lot of different things, depending on who you ask. It can range anywhere from meaning 'egalitarian' (where I stand personally) to "female superiority and misandry" (which seems to be the more popular ideology right now). There are genuinely good parts to every wave of feminism, but there have just about always been toxic people on both sides of the issue. And people that like to ignore the facts or take them out of context. Equality is a very complicated issue and just about as murky, where it can imply either equality of outcome or equality of opportunity.

I'm actually not surprised that most of the sexist comments come from women. Men just don't really feel qualified to tell women what to do, and they probably don't actually care that much TBH. (Looking at biology, what women do for a living has very little impact on youth or fertility in most cases- which is biologically what men tend to be driven to look for in women.) I think it is a kind of toxic groupthink where those acting contrary to the group are looked down on for not conforming. You can observe this kind of toxicity from both sides of the issue. For instance, I was listening to a story of a right-leaning woman and her toxic interactions with a women in tech group, for instance. She was banned from several women's tech groups because she refused to do a workshop exclusively for women and generally differed ideologically. Then, of course, there was your daughters' experiences on the other side.

The thing about feminism that bothers me the most is that it generally refuses to acknowledge men's issues. Even if men's issues are less severe, they are still problems that need to be addressed. What about men being able to choose any career they want without discrimination? Last I checked, men are judged for choosing careers in elementary education, are paid way less in modeling, and are very strongly discriminated against for any career that involves young children for fear that they might be a pedophile. Men can't even sit next to minors on certain airlines because of that prejudice. Not to mention that stay-at-home dads are often looked down on. And men almost always get the short end of the stick in divorces... Yeah. The list goes on. I guess you could say I'm a men's rights advocate/activist (a term that is very tainted by the media) and a feminist.

I think it's also important to recognize that women are actually losing the choice of whether to work or not. With it becoming increasingly difficult to support a family on one income, women have to work unless their husbands make 6 figures. There is also a growing prejudice against women who choose not to work.
Boys are governed by rules. Men are governed by principles.

Often I hear doubt being presented as the opposite of faith but I think certainty does a better job of filling that role. Doubts can help faith grow, certainty almost always makes faith shrink. --nibbler

Curt Sunshine
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Re: Women and Religion

Post by Curt Sunshine » 10 Jan 2018, 18:37

Men telling women what to do is a pretty good summary of general human history.

Just saying. :D
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

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Holy Cow
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Re: Women and Religion

Post by Holy Cow » 11 Jan 2018, 08:46

I don't think we're going to see significant change in the way women are treated at church until the oldest leaders die off, and the much younger generation (meaning those who are kids now) start to get into leadership roles. I would hope that my own generation would make these changes (I'm nearing 40), but as many have said, the current leaders, both men and women, and still holding on to outdated beliefs. However, watching my son encourages me for what's to come. He turned 12 about 8 months ago. So, for the past year or so, he's been bombarded by messages about how important it is for young men to get the priesthood. He has decided that he doesn't want the priesthood, and he has stuck to that. When he turned 12, I told him it was his decision. But, I told him that if he decided to get the priesthood I wanted him to be able to tell me why he wants it, and if he decided not to get the priesthood I wanted him to be able to tell me why he doesn't want it. When he turned 12, and he kept insisting that he didn't want it, I sat down with him 1-on-1 and asked him to tell me why he doesn't want it. He told me that he thinks it's sexist that women can't get the priesthood, and he doesn't want to be part of something that is sexist. I was floored! I've never talked about anything like that before. But, I couldn't argue with him, because I completely agree with him. When we went into the bishop for him 12-year old interview, the bishop asked him who he wanted to give him the priesthood (just assuming that he was going to get it, instead of asking him if he actually wanted it). My son told the bishop the same thing; he didn't want it, because it's sexist. The bishop gave the typical responses that we've all heard about men's roles and women's roles and how neither is better than the other. :roll: But, my son stuck to his guns and refused the priesthood. I was impressed to watch this little 12 year old look his bishop in the eye and tell him that the priesthood was sexist. We need more people, men and women, to voice their concerns about women's roles in the church before we'll see the culture start to change.
My introduction: viewtopic.php?f=8&t=6139

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SilentDawning
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Re: Women and Religion

Post by SilentDawning » 11 Jan 2018, 10:46

I read it. I liked how the author boiled down the ghosts into three sets of behaviors that I could scan and decide if they applied to me.

If I can comment as a male who is generally not threatened by women....and generally prefers reporting to women rather than men.

1. I couldn't relate to any of the ghosts other than the one where the man is afraid of some consequences as a result of the attractive woman (or even unattractive woman for that matter). Over the years, I have been schooled by managers never to meet with the door closed in my office with my female students. There have been instances where people have been accused of sexual impropriety which may have been a misunderstanding, a valid concern, or made up. I remember a senior manager telling us that even if the claim against us isn't true, we'd lose on it. In that respect, we are a vulnerable population.

So I always meet with females in glass windowed room etcetera, an open place, or with the door wide open.

I am actually quite concerned about that. So, that ghost exists to some extent. When you are in a position of power, and have the ability to deny people access to privileges, or simply not give them what they want on operational issues, people can get upset with your. And, whether real or imagined, it can be perceived as a real risk to certain men to be accused of something you didn't mean, or didn't even do.

2. The other two ghosts I couldn't relate to. I always speak to women as if they are peers. And I have never been afraid of them usurping power. I can only think of one time in my entire career when a woman was clearly out to relegate me to second fiddle when I had legitimate authority. It was in a retreat and the senior manager appointed myself and this other woman as co-leaders of a cost reduction project/brainstorming idea in workshop groups -- to be continued and operationalized.executed over a period of months.

Rather than approaching it as a collegial, co-leader effort, she bowled me over, took charge in a rather dismissive way that put me down in front of the team. A couple people even mentioned privately to me afterwards "boy, she really put you in your place as follower". So I knew i wasn't just personal perception of being completely marginalized.

My response was not to react. I replied to one of the people on the team who noted it (my boss, a woman) that I had enough meaningful projects going on -- if this "co-leader" wanted this project, I was happy to follow along. I do remember feeling a bit embarrassed in front of the team though, and my relationship was wary with her after that, she was so aggressive and her approach so demeaning. I remember slowly dropping off the project and letting her manage it entirely. She never sought my input in the future and my contribution was minimal. We never discussed it and managers never commented on it. The strange part was that I barely knew her.

It came up at the Golden Globe awards. I was watching it with my sister, and I was amazed at how most people were commenting on the "It's time" initiative and the "Me Too" initiative regarding sexual harassment. My sister told me it's a problem that has to be addressed. Good looking, professional, desirable, she told me that it's been a problem throughout her life, even in the highest of professional situations she works in (she is a doctor/specialist and a researcher). What seemed to me at the time as simply another instance of Hollywood furthering a liberal agenda, was to her a real problem. I realized I'd never harassed anyone and had never experienced it either, which opened my mind a bit about why Hollywood was raising awareness of it because my sister gave me her window into the likely experience of these women....

So, I guess there are different men out there, with different perspectives.

One thing I have noticed -- if I have ever been construed as trying to take away the authority of a woman in charge (and NOT intentionally), I normally get a pretty big push back. Big. There have been at least two times when in an effort to help, or get involved, I have been perceived as overstepping my boundaries and they have been very aggressive with me. To the point of being vindictive and harmful/hurtful -- even punitive and certainly, offensive. In fact, one such situation is what has landed me here at StayLDS because it lead to a nasty note, full of hateful statements distributed to the entire leadership in the Ward. I couldn't reconcile the emphasis on relationships in the church with this woman's behavior.

I have learned now to simply stay in the bounds of my own authority in all aspects of my life. Also to see the warning signs when a person is perceiving me as taking over. I back away, and retreat into my own projects where I have full authority. I tend not to offer help and advice to others now, unless they approach me. And even then, I hesitate to get involved unless I'm delegated a piece of authority, or the parameters under which I participate are very clear. No more. The experience in the paragraph above was extremely harmful -- it plunged me into my first bout of diagnosed depression, led to loss of sleep and walking pneumonia, and completely sapped my commitment to the church. I am now very much aware of the impact such behavior can have on me. It could have been inflicted by a man, so gender is not so much the issue here as the behavior itself.

Anyway, I digress. So, of the three ghosts, I can relate to the one that is afraid of being accused of something for whatever reason, and will take steps to make sure circumstances don't imply it, and that I am not behaving in ways that are perceived to be improper. But not all the behaviors described there.
"It doesn't have to be about the Church (church) all the time!" -- SD

"Stage 5 is where you no longer believe the gospel as its literally or traditionally taught. Nonetheless, you find your own way to be active and at peace within it". -- SD

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. No price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself."

My introduction: viewtopic.php?f=8&t=1576

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