Sunday in Outer Blogness: What women want edition!
You may have heard that the New York Times published an article on female Mormon missionaries and how cool they are! Mormon women like it for its tone and accuracy:
The tone was perfectâ€”respectful without lapsing into the reverence or romanticizing a church publication so often displays for missionary work; curious and interested in whatâ€™s unusual and unexpected about missionary life without treating the missionaries themselves as oddities.
It seems the NYT was on a roll — they followed that one up with a piece quoting Mormon women about the changes they’d like to see in the CoJCoL-dS. If only the ladies could get this kind of respect at church, likely many of the problems would be resolved.
As it is… Well, watch the two videos here. If you’re female in the CoJCoL-dS, you are what you wear (and even outside the church you can’t just forget about it). And in response to the Brodie-award winning 19-part-and-counting series demonstrating how equality is not a feeling, Nate Oman explained to the ladies that equality is, in fact, a feeling. Raising girls into their subordinate role is a serious issue — really not a place for adding insult to injury. If you’d like to add your perspective, take this survey.
Interestingly, it turns out that the LDS priesthood is two totally different things depending on the gender of the person who wants to exercise it.
The “do we get planets or what?!” discussion continued from last week. Basically, Mormons are not about to give up their planets no matter what the quorum of the anonymous website authors says, and anyway, the article didn’t precisely contradict the “get to be God of your own planet” doctrine. Holly explained the crux of the problem:
In an interview with ABC, Terryl Givens, professor of literature and religion at the University of Richmond, said, â€œMany of these things can be unsettling to members who have grown up with a typically manicured narrative, but it’s a necessary part of the maturation for the church membership.â€
But the pushback on obfuscating revisions of core doctrines isnâ€™t from people used to â€œa typically manicured narrative,â€ but from those of us who grew up or otherwise came to terms with large, flowery, somewhat messy doctrines and are now shocked to see them trimmed and pruned and trained into tidy, less challenging shapes without any acknowledgment from the church that thatâ€™s whatâ€™s being done.
Let’s compare to the scriptures. If anything, the tales of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob deserve an embarrassed whitewashing more than the Mormon planet thing does. Yes, you can do serious literary analysis of the scriptures, but with such a sacred cow, sometimes interesting insights are best illustrated through humor.
On the bright side, the CoJCoL-dS responded graciously to being required to comply with British law. But there are some serious problems with the church’s prophetic claims (maybe clarified in this new volume). Also, Jen’s experience illustrated a problem with Mormon culture, namely that certain random personality traits are simply more righteous:
In fact, for years I pretended that I was a super outgoing, bubbly type of person. I wasn’t just pretending for other people’s benefits. I was fooling myself as well. Because somewhere along the way I got it into my head that part of being “perfect” involved being a “people person.”
You may have heard that the American Atheists will be holding their national convention in Salt Lake City this April — maybe you’ve seen the billboards pointing out that not all Utahns are Mormons. Well, it turns out that Joanne Hanks — author of the polygamy classic “It’s Not About The Sex” My Ass — will be speaking! I wish I could attend, but I have only so much vacation, and I can’t be flying in from Switzerland all the time. (Maybe I should at least try to place an ad for Mormon Alumni Association Books) in their program…
In life journeys, Mormon X is taking the plunge, and Monica finally popped in a cute way). Jaded dealt with the consequences of leaving a mission early, and sicheart left because of the hypocrasy. Plus, there was a bit of a theme on how we non-believers need to leave the church alone. The thing is that it’s not a reasonable expectation for people who invested their lives in Mormonism and were shaped by it.
Uomo Nuovo has been posting up a storm, including revisiting topics from his earlier blog (like his thoughts on mixed-orientation marriage) as well as new topics like freedom of religion — it’s definitely worth a visit!
In other random stuff, Kiley hates the idea of being “Christ-like” or “sweet, and Knotty hates mild expletives (my kids’ new thing is to say a loud, high-pitched “beep” to replace naughty words). Those of us on the far side of the planet have some fun holidays coming up! (And click here for a very unusual discussion of Scottish independence.) Heather has a recipe for mouth-on-fire “Buffalo Falafel”.
It has been a fun batch of discussions! I hope you enjoy reading them — see you next week! 😀