Monday, August 11, 2014

My thoughts on Feminism, Batman, and Some Other Stuff Too

So, I clearly cannot sleep. Therefore I have been listening to random old General Conference talks... If any of you are wondering what the heck this General Conference is, please continue to the really big 'anyways'. If you're not, ya could probably skip to the next paragraph... Or keep reading to learn about "G.C. According to Me: A Brief Detailed History"... I should write a book **awkward silence** Okay, fine I will spare you. Maybe... AAAAANNNNYYYWWAAAYYYSSSS... General Conference is a meeting of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints that occurs worldwide twice a year. It happens in a conference center and is broadcast to many countries throughout the world. At this conference, the leaders of the LDS Church, including the living Prophet and Twelve Apostles--yes, just like in the New Testament--speak to all of the members of the church. Questions yet? Please comment or email me or ask the missionaries or read this article. These addresses are really intended for anyone, LDS or not, and serve as sort of a spiritual highway through current issues and events. Remember, these leaders are addressing people all over the world. They must seek the utmost divine guidance to be able to spiritually reach over 15,000,000 people who speak nearly 200 different languages. This conference is a miracle in itself, but the real miracle is that the talks given ALWAYS hit home. Without a doubt, there will be at least one address that speaks directly to a personal struggle, question, or doubt. I don't care who you are, it works. Every time. Try it, I dare you... But really, from personal experience, I know that the Lord speaks to us through these servants. I know that He knows our needs and uses these messages to meet some of them. So, when I seek comfort, I turn to the words of the prophets--the living word of God.

Okay, we are back to tonight... Well this morning, considering it is nearly 4 A.M... I was randomly scrolling through past conferences on my phone and came across a talk titled "An Elect Lady," The title caught my eye so I decided to give it a listen. Considering all of the recent hullaballoo about feminism and whatnot (I just sounded like an old person) I thought it would be interesting to remind myself of the Lord's perspective on his precious daughters. In this talk, Elder L. Tom Perry of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, elaborates in great detail on the divine calling of women on earth. To read or listen to his talk, click on the title of the talk. I'm not going to re-hash his whole talk here, so really if you want to know what he said you are going to have to read the talk. My opinion is pretty much all you get from this point forward-- lucky you! Alright, I may throw a few quotes in there but just enough to be a little boring. I can tell that you are so ready to keep reading!!

**Hush child, it's just gettin' good**

So, back to this whole feminism thing and let me preface by saying: contrary to my somewhat negative tone towards 'feminism', I am all about equality. I do not think in any way that one type of people deserve more rights or privileges, just because they happen to be that type of person. I do, however, believe that different types of people--men and women in this particular situation--fill different roles in society, humanity, and in Heavenly Father's plan. Does this mean that one 'deserves' more than the other? No. Does it mean that they 'deserve' exactly the same thing? Once again, no...

 Let me explain myself with a little personal story. Once upon a time, my sister and I were somewhere in the zone of maybe 4 and 5 years old, she being the elder. My sweet sweet mother being the phenomenal woman she is, devised some sort of chore/reward system. Being that we were too poor at the time to earn a weekly allowance, she decided that if we completed small tasks. Some of these included making our beds, picking up our toys, eating all our food (hem hem, our sandwich crust), and whatever other chores 4 and 5 year olds are capable of. If we completed all of these things willingly for a certain amount of time, we would be able to pick out a small prize from TARGET. **swoon**.  So, whatever we did the stuff, earned our keep, did what we needed to do to 'deserve' what we were promised. At this point if our mother were to treat us 'equally' we would have both received the same prize without question and without getting to pick. But... Dun Dun Dun... that is not how it works at our house. My precious older sister wanted a Batman action figure more that life itself and I probably wanted a sparkly Lip-Smackers or something else dumb. The point is that she got the Batman and I got the chapstick. Probably not equal in value, or coolness in each other's eyes. But all I know, is that if I got Batman I would have been PISSED... Or the 4 year old equivalent. And she most likely felt the same way. The moral of the story is this: true American equality is not getting what everyone else gets just because it is the same, but working for what YOU want and being able to enjoy the fruits of your labor. If what you really want is to be the same or better than a man, or another woman for that matter, work hard and be better than them. You can because this is America... At least for now... (Yes, I am aware of the larger global issue, but that is another rant for another day). But seriously, stop asking for whatever someone else has just because they have it and you don't. Someone will always have something better than what you have. You can spend your time wishing you had Batman, but I really would rather enjoy my sparkly chapstick and maybe not even share it.

That was a really long story/rant for me to say that I think the whole feminism uprising is a little on the trite side, but maybe thats just me. But moving forward...

In his talk, Elder Perry quotes Sister Marjorie Pay Hinkley, wife of the 15th Prophet of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, President Gordon B. Hinkley. She addresses the women of the church, but in particular mothers saying, “It is the mothers of young children I would like to address first. These are golden years for you. These are years when you will probably do the most important work of your lives. Don’t wish away your years of caring for small children. Life is what happens to you while you are making other plans. This is a time of great opportunity for you to build the kingdom. When you teach children to love their Heavenly Father, you have done one of the greatest things you will ever do. If you can be a full-time homemaker, be grateful. If not, you must do what is best for you. I for one have never felt a need to apologize for my role as a full-time homemaker." 

As a woman, a believer and follower of Jesus Christ, and someone who hopes to be a mother someday, I am specifically referring to 'feminism' as the negativity towards women who chose to raise a family over a career or other worldly luxuries. It is like Batman and lipbalm. Each made a different person happy and brought them satisfaction. And each held value in the eye of the beholder. To some wearing a pantsuit and making buckets of money brings them satisfaction. To me, fulfilling my divine role and serving my Heavenly Father will bring lasting happiness and joy. I admit sometimes I forget that my life won't always be about me, but that I was called, chosen, elected, and ordained to one day bear and raise children. The wife of a man who very literally spoke to God has told us that this is the MOST IMPORTANT thing we can do. Like ever. What good is the other work that we do in life if we cannot pass it on to our own flesh and blood who can take that knowledge and wisdom, improve it, and then pass it on, and so on and it could go forever.... Whoa. that was deep. But in all seriousness, everything I do is for the benefit of my future children. I can't wait to be a mom and get to teach my little darlings all about life and love and Jesus. Yes, that is part of a future that I hope to have. No, it is not happening anytime soon. So?... I am not letting life happen while I make other plans. I am working towards my degree and planning a career and vacations that I will probably never be able to afford. I am living. I am enjoying what I have right now and working hard for what I want in the future. I am trusting in the Lord and the promises He has given me. I am serving and loving and trying to be like Him. For sure not perfect, or probably even very good at it, but I am trying. I am learning to have an attitude of gratitude. I am taking the callings I have been given at this time (daughter, sister, student, friend, leader, etc...) and am being the best at that. Okay fine I am not the actual best, we already established this. But thats not the point. We all have different callings or roles, and it is up to us to do those things better than anyone else. So stop trying to be what the world says you should be. Or what someone on some ranty blog says you should be. But, figure out who the Lord whats you to be, and work like crazy to try and become that version of you. Embrace what you were sent here to do. Live it. Love it. 

1 comment:

  1. I spent 10 years trying to become a mom, heartbroken that it wasn't happening. The world told me it didn't matter, that I should instead focus on a career and do my own thing, and not worry because I shouldn't want to just give myself completely over to bearing and raising children. But I knew what my Father wanted me to do, and that He wanted me to prepare to expand our family. He promised me great joy in that sacred calling of homemaker, in being a wife and mother. And now that I'm a mommy, I feel so lucky and incredibly blessed. And I'm glad I didn't give in to worldy pressure to give up on becoming a mother to do something "more important." Ha! As if raising my daughter isn't the most beautiful and important thing I will ever do.

    I loved your analogies. May we all get that Batman figure- or sparkly lipbalm- that we're working toward. Love you, sweet girl.