There were some articles written lately. The gist: the PR for the Church writes a piece in the Washington Post about how Mormon women truly are "equal" in the Mormon church. Some women in SLC got all up in arms and blasted the article in the Salt Lake Tribune. I'm not here to talk about either article; I'm here to talk about a comment that was left in the Salt Lake Tribune article (online).
It was written by a fascinating and wonderful woman named Karen. I personally know Karen, although our acquaintance is simple, but I had to write (in full) her comment here, dear reader, give her the credit, and applaud her stance. I agree with everything she has written. Have a gander (it's long, but oooohhhhh, so worth it!):
"I've seen the weak wave of attempts to redress Mr. Otterson's remarks, and I'm not impressed. First of all, the context of his remarks is missing, and is often the case with posters in the blogosphere, and missing that, misses his point. This article just gives airspace to this renown bias in the Trib's postings.
"Additionally, in terms of comments and conversations following the On-Faith column, and some referred to obliquely here, non-sequitors fly right and left and the word "equality," once again, is ubiquitously confused with sameness. Yes, the doctrine of The Church of Jesus Christ stands strong and undeniable, that we are equal--in the unadulterated sense of the word "equal"--in the Church and before Heavenly Father, and in terms of our opportunities or eternal life and eternal motherhood, sisterhood, parenthood, and marriage. Equal does not equal same. I repeat, equal does not equal same. That the opposite is true is a huge, largely unexamined assumption that leads one down a path of thought like that which I have read in some of these responses and in broader discussions of patriarchy and matriarchy in the press and by religion editors globally. If equal means same, then yes, there should be x number of women in the legislature or the workplace or in the park as men. But Heavenly Mother is not the same as Heavenly Father, thank goodness, and we are not the same as the opposite sex we marry, or companion with, or associate with. We can be equal without being the same. We can be equal in claiming all blessings of God through the priesthood without necessarily "bearing" the priesthood.
"If I make dinner and you clean up, are we not equal because what I did was different than what you did? If I am at home educating a child, offering security and stability by being there day in and out while that child is young, would I forfeit that for a place in the workplace to equalize numbers? And how do you measure the contribution? I am a titled professional in the workplace and for as much good as I have done there, and with the legislative volunteerism I do, my contribution pales in comparison to the time I spent at home with my children as I was raising them. For those without children, their outreach to those around them, in or out of the workplace, counts infinitely more than being a number to equalize a workforce. Do equal numbers in the workplace--sameness--mean equality to you? Then I respectfully but candidly say I think you have a really fallacious sense of equality. Certainly we, as women of God, should be more secure in who we are than to have to match number for number on the playground--or in the presidential cabinet, the workplace, offering prayers at a particular church gathering, or any other place.
"Our ultimate entitlements, divine birthrights, are not compromised by God's order. Where there are faults or crevices in calling on women in any council, they need to be respectfully addressed and corrected. Where voices are unheard in auxiliaries or leadership that would add to the divine purpose in building the kingdom of God, we, as women, can stand up, after we have knelt down and asked for direction. If my voice is muted because of someone unwilling to acknowledge a woman's presence or value her view--a show of a cultural or personal foible of that individual--I am responsible to re-visit and re-state at the right time as prompted. If my voice is heard but my opinion outside the best solution, I can graciously accept that outcome as well. But I do not have to back down just because of my gender; to do so is a result of cultural bias on our part and faulty thinking. We receive revelation and by virtue of that, can shape those elements of our culture at large, not of our creed, that call for that adjustment. But to assume that we throw away the doctrinal seatbelt to address individual spiritual jaywalking (cutting across women's voices rather than embracing righteous women's expressions and considerations wherever that happens in life) makes no sense at all. To re-shape and re-fashion doctrine, which is what I often hear as the solution, is to assume that one of us knows more than God. Certainly He can and has revealed His will to us regarding the pattern of His Church and His organization. I refer you to Peter and Isaiah who ask: Who is anyone to challenge God and His counsel? Is His wisdom inferior to ours?
"The fact that the priesthood executes functions that differ makes them in no way superior to women. Frankly this rampant and consistent fallacy dominates much of the bloggernacle and hoopla about feminism. I am a feminist in the sense that I know I have a voice, voice it, claim blessings that come through my divine heritage, through the Savior's order, through covenants and ordinances of the temple, and thereby progress in revelation at a pace that is not determined by, deterred by, or defined by my holding the priesthood. It is God who sets those points of order. There is such an insidious confusion between what the priesthood is and isn't that is overlooked and understated: It is not a monarchal order but God's point of order, as Glenn Pace stated well. It does not mean supremacy; it creates order. It does not mean suppression or oppression or repression (and where these exist, they are not part of the pure patriarchal / matriarchal system; they are individual breaches of God's law and should be pointed out and addressed.) There is nothing holding me back from giving full expression to my talents. I've never, in response to one of the previous comments in this discussion, thought education was a Plan B for women, and Plan A for men. Nor is that thought doctrinal. The doctrine is clear: learn all we can of theories, doctrines, principles, things below and above, governments, languages, truth, for that intelligence will assist us in serving God, family, community. There is no gender restriction in God's directive there, so if we've put one on it, it's our own construct, our own ideas, and not the doctrine that limits us. I personally have chosen the road to higher education. It doesn't make me better, more equal to man. I was and am already his equal.
Where the stories of women need to be told; let's tell them. Where there is room for growth, let's grow. Where we are confused about how to express ourselves, let's teach each other. The power is in us already and always has been. We don't need more than we have. As a daughter of God, I inherit it. It is my responsibility to claim it. Walk in and walk out of the temple worthily and it's all there as well. The power comes from living the ordinances and principles of the gospel. The power of the priesthood is vested in us as women. We don't need to 'hold the priesthood' to receive all the Father has. On this subject, Joseph Smith said, "because of that priesthood and the ordinances thereof, every member of the Church--men and women alike, may know God." (Doctrines of Salvation, Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, vol. 3, 1856, pp. 142-43.). (To address just the issue, would take more space, involve the New Testament model discussion, and it would only be for the sake of clarifying for those confused by the voices “kicking against the pricks” [many sincere influencers don’t, and I recognize them]).
"Finally, for this post, and in sum, because of the ordinances and being vested in the power of God on earth, His priesthood, I can know God, completely. I can live worthy to one day see His face. What is withheld from me? Nothing. That is--nothing--is stopping me... I can go at my pace; I can receive sanctification as quickly as I am able to purify my life through the grace and power of Christ's atonement and ordinances. There is no missing ingredient in coming into His presence and laying full claim to every present or eternal blessing. I don't need to wear a man's pants or don his order to be equal to any man on earth. I already am.Thanks, Karen"
Frankly, I have nothing more to add. Which is so not like me, eh? :)