Monday, September 30, 2013

Feminism, Priesthood, and the Mormons

There has been some interesting discussion lately about a push to have women ordained to the priesthood in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, whose members are known as "Mormons".   Here's a notable blog article that covers the thoughts of one person desiring this change:

I think the core of this complaint (and the core of most feminist complaints) is that women are not being given respect, love, and acceptance, especially from men.    This is true of men around the planet and certainly true of men inside the LDS church (myself included).    It is a serious sin to treat women disrespectfully.   Men, subscribing to the popular sentiment of male superiority, demean, abuse, and manipulate our sisters for selfish ends.   I have been working for decades to love my wife as she deserves.  It is hard to overcome the culture and the natural man, but I am trying, and the priesthood has been a great help to me.

I believe that it is THE foremost duty of a priesthood holder to discover the sanctity of womanhood and adopt “feminine” traits such as compassion, empathy, etc. to be a true man.    Jesus Christ, the head of the priesthood, did this perfectly.   I think it is safe to say that if any woman were in the presence of a man who has a perfect mastery of the priesthood, she would feel so ennobled, cherished, and glorious that the thought of needing the priesthood to obtain some sort of fulfillment would never occur to her in even the slightest degree.

The feelings of the feminists are valid and real, and yet this strategy to obtain the priesthood is misguided and will ultimately fail, just as secular feminism remains largely a disappointment for women who desire to be respected, cherished, and loved.   Becoming more masculine is not what most women want.   Neither are most women interested in tearing down true masculinity.     Yes, the mistreatment of women is a HUGE problem both inside and outside of the church.  We can try to change the policies that appear to be lopsided, but that will not attack the fundamental problem:  men who do not honor the priesthood, because they do not honor women or the feminine nature.    

The biggest problem I see is that the world is filled with false ideas about what masculinity is.  Both women and men have been conditioned to think that being masculine means being violent, controlling, highly sexualized, and aloof.    Pay attention to the next movie you see.   What messages are being sent about what it means to be a man or a woman?   The messages are largely dominated by these dysfunctional male themes.    Pornography is the worst offender.   (You want to fix the priesthood of the church?   Get them to stop watching porn!)    This invented problem of women holding the priesthood is actually sidetracking us from the real problems.    Let’s talk about those and the situation for women will get better much faster.