Gender Roles in Primary

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Roy
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Joined: 07 Oct 2010, 14:16
Location: Pacific Northwest

Gender Roles in Primary

Post by Roy » 28 Apr 2014, 10:17

I have a few concerns about how information is presented to the children in Primary. I'm not in favor of having kids memorize the names of GA's or the A of F but I have defended that by saying that memorization is boring (the real reason is that I don't see the point other than making them good Mormons).

Gender roles are different.

Last week the sharing time instructor had the family as a puzzle with descriptions of the different family roles to be filled to complete the puzzle. The roles were very gender based but I kinda laughed it off because it seemed like something she got out of a sharing time helps book (not officially from the church but such a time saver).

Just yesterday we learned the next verse in the song we are singing. It was about gender roles and I'm not happy. :thumbdown:

1. Our Father has a family. It’s me!
It’s you, all others too: we are His children.
He sent each one of us to earth, through birth,
To live and learn here in fam’lies.

2. A father’s place is to preside, provide,
To love and teach the gospel to his children.
A father leads in fam’ly prayer to share
Their love for Father in Heaven.

3. A mother’s purpose is to care, prepare,
To nurture and to strengthen all her children.
She teaches children to obey, to pray,
To love and serve in the fam’ly.

4. I’ll love and serve my family and be
A good example to each fam’ly member.
And when I am a mom or dad, so glad,
I’ll help my fam’ly remember:

Chorus
God gave us families to help us become what He wants us to be—
This is how He shares His love, for the fam’ly is of God.
Couple of points:

1) Yes, this mimics some of the language used in the Proclamation but gone are the references to "primary responsibilities" "Equal partners" and "individual adaptation" that are used as qualifiers.

2) It says "A father's place" and "a mother's purpose" – Could you imagine how blatantly sexist this would be if it said “a mother’s place”?

3) It says “And when I am a mom or dad, so glad, I’ll help my fam’ly remember: God gave us families to help us become what He wants us to be—.“ According to the song, what God “wants us to be” is sooo gender limited and specific.

I worry about my children absorbing these messages.

So my thought is to talk to the PP and tell her that I believe that we are stuck with the song but if we must have the song then it seems to me that some balance on the other side might be appropriate. Maybe disscussion of co-presiding, co-head of households, individual adaptation, and equal partnerships. Maybe even have a career woman come and speak to the primary about her career and how the choices that she has made blesses her family.

What do you think?
"It is not so much the pain and suffering of life which crushes the individual as it is its meaninglessness and hopelessness." C. A. Elwood

“It is not the function of religion to answer all the questions about God’s moral government of the universe, but to give one courage, through faith, to go on in the face of questions he never finds the answer to in his present status.” TPC: Harold B. Lee 223

"I struggle now with establishing my faith that God may always be there, but may not always need to intervene" Heber13

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hawkgrrrl
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Re: Gender Roles in Primary

Post by hawkgrrrl » 28 Apr 2014, 10:21

Worry less about your children absorbing these messages than about the church making itself totally irrelevant to the rising generation when they realize that their lives are not so limited.

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On Own Now
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Joined: 18 Jan 2012, 12:45

Re: Gender Roles in Primary

Post by On Own Now » 28 Apr 2014, 11:21

What drives me nuts about this is that there absolutely zero benefit to the Church in delineating roles by gender. I mean, would it cause the foundation of Heaven to shake if the song said:
1. Our Father has a family. It’s me!
It’s you, all others too: we are His children.
He sent each one of us to earth, through birth,
To live and learn here in fam’lies.

2. Our parents preside and also provide,
They love and teach the gospel to their children.
Parents lead in fam’ly prayer to share
Their love for Father in Heaven.

3. A parent’s purpose is to care, prepare,
To nurture and to strengthen all their children.
They teach children to obey and to pray,
To love and serve in the fam’ly.


4. I’ll love and serve my family and be
A good example to each fam’ly member.
And when I am a mom or dad, so glad,
I’ll help my fam’ly remember:

Chorus
God gave us families to help us become what He wants us to be—
This is how He shares His love, for the fam’ly is of God.


Couple of points:
- - -
“Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.” ― Carl Jung
- - -
"Let us therefore no longer pass judgment on one another, but resolve instead never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of another." ― Romans 14:13
- - -

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Forgotten_Charity
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Joined: 11 Jul 2012, 18:33

Re: Gender Roles in Primary

Post by Forgotten_Charity » 28 Apr 2014, 12:24

hawkgrrrl wrote:Worry less about your children absorbing these messages than about the church making itself totally irrelevant to the rising generation when they realize that their lives are not so limited.
I share that hawk girl. I worry about relevancy as I talk to younger generations. Not relevancy of religion but relevancy of people who are tired of constant obedience and extremely limited thinking and arbitrary laws.

It gets shared with me a lot as I talk to younger people who are religious but do not want affiliation to a particular group because of it. They don't identify or want to be surrounded by by people who do identify with there whole or most of their identity in one basket. It's not just limited to religion but a new look on life refusing to take old rules and ideas as absolute.

I sense the church senses this too, as I see a new strong forcefulness in Stake leadership meetings that the counter to this is to get the children and an even earlier age and to indoctrinate them to church and culture and rules then before.
It's a 2 point counter, get the message to them even stronger and at a earlier age so the identity is placed in them stronger then previous generations. It's why I started to dislike primary with this new bold open
Message in stake leadership meetings.

Do you think it will be the answer or will it backfire in young adult life to start with a stronger and earlier age messages for identity? Also some things I have seen lately have jaded me with primary teaching and games with this new mission of double downing on primary children.

Roy
Posts: 6217
Joined: 07 Oct 2010, 14:16
Location: Pacific Northwest

Re: Gender Roles in Primary

Post by Roy » 28 Apr 2014, 13:46

hawkgrrrl wrote:Worry less about your children absorbing these messages than about the church making itself totally irrelevant to the rising generation when they realize that their lives are not so limited.
I was just struck by the similarities between the primary song in question and another famous song....
2. A father’s place is to preside, provide,
To love and teach the gospel to his children.
A father leads in fam’ly prayer to share
Their love for Father in Heaven.

Who, day and night, must scramble for a living,
Feed a wife and children, say his daily prayers?
And who has the right, as master of the house,
To have the final word at home?

The Papa, the Papa! Tradition.
The Papa, the Papa! Tradition.
3. A mother’s purpose is to care, prepare,
To nurture and to strengthen all her children.
She teaches children to obey, to pray,
To love and serve in the fam’ly.


Who must know the way to make a proper home,
A quiet home, a kosher home?
Who must raise the family and run the home,
So Papa's free to read the holy books?

The Mama, the Mama! Tradition!
The Mama, the Mama! Tradition!
Impressive parallels! :evil:
"It is not so much the pain and suffering of life which crushes the individual as it is its meaninglessness and hopelessness." C. A. Elwood

“It is not the function of religion to answer all the questions about God’s moral government of the universe, but to give one courage, through faith, to go on in the face of questions he never finds the answer to in his present status.” TPC: Harold B. Lee 223

"I struggle now with establishing my faith that God may always be there, but may not always need to intervene" Heber13

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On Own Now
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Joined: 18 Jan 2012, 12:45

Re: Gender Roles in Primary

Post by On Own Now » 28 Apr 2014, 14:01

Roy... Haha...

Interesting and enlightening!

"You may ask, how did this tradition get started? I'll tell you. I don't know."

In Fiddler On the Roof, this number is both an homage to Tradition and an open question about the value of Tradition in a changing world.
- - -
“Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.” ― Carl Jung
- - -
"Let us therefore no longer pass judgment on one another, but resolve instead never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of another." ― Romans 14:13
- - -

pentium3
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Joined: 20 May 2013, 12:44

Re: Gender Roles in Primary

Post by pentium3 » 28 Apr 2014, 15:00

For our sharing time 4 kids ( 2 boys 2 girls) were called up to form a family. A tie was placed around the first boys neck, a mixing bowl and whisk was placed in the first girls arms, a baby doll was given to the "daughter" and a toy I can't remember...maybe a teddy bear was given to the " son". I was already struggling this Sunday and was giving it my all to think positive...but my heart ached when I saw the bowl and whisk placed on the little girl...and the word preside used repeatedly. We are also learning the same primary song. One of the big reasons I'm sticking with my church attendance is for the sake of my daughters...but when I struggle with some of the messages they are receiving in primary it undercuts my motivation. I am planning on upping my consistency with FHE, I will make sure they hear from me that their purpose in life is not based solely on becoming a wife and mother, and that they alone preside in their lives.

Ann
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Joined: 09 Sep 2012, 02:17

Re: Gender Roles in Primary

Post by Ann » 28 Apr 2014, 17:46

hawkgrrrl wrote:Worry less about your children absorbing these messages than about the church making itself totally irrelevant to the rising generation when they realize that their lives are not so limited.
Or when they realize that their lives are not so pat. They can't waive a wand and pay the bills on one parent's salary.
"Preachers err by trying to talk people into belief; better they reveal the radiance of their own discovery." - Joseph Campbell

"The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes." - Marcel Proust

"Therefore they said unto him, How were thine eyes opened? He answered and said unto them, A man that is called Jesus made clay, and anointed my eyes...." - John 9:10-11

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Forgotten_Charity
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Joined: 11 Jul 2012, 18:33

Re: Gender Roles in Primary

Post by Forgotten_Charity » 29 Apr 2014, 05:58

Ann wrote:
hawkgrrrl wrote:Worry less about your children absorbing these messages than about the church making itself totally irrelevant to the rising generation when they realize that their lives are not so limited.
Or when they realize that their lives are not so pat. They can't waive a wand and pay the bills on one parent's salary.
Don't think those days are coming back for a long, long time. As well as the benefits CEO have said are never coming back which means more additional work on top to compensate. The 1950s American dream life has long sense been gone nearly 2 decades now.

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hawkgrrrl
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Re: Gender Roles in Primary

Post by hawkgrrrl » 29 Apr 2014, 10:31

Roy, FTW! So I wonder if the plagiarism was intentional or accidental. I'll guess accidental, although I did notice some rather obvious similarities between Scripture Power and the old Dunkin Donuts jingle from the 1980s. I can't imagine that wasn't pilfered; it's pretty much identical.

To me, it feels like we are missing an opportunity to teach our young people the value of spirituality when we instead focus on social conservativism. Honestly, IMO, their post-sexual revolution, post-me generation, post-grunge values are in many ways superior to the cold war era and Silent Generation values of our top leaders (I'm making a cultural judgment in saying that, not an indictment of any individuals). My parents, god bless em, are very moral people, but their values were formed during the depression and world war 2, and they miss the point that their generation's blind spots are what fueled the sexual revolution, the women's movement and civil rights, which have all in turn now fueled the millenials.

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