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.”
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.