I love being a woman in the LDS church. I feel totally liberated and understood.
Some sections of society look upon LDS women with pity – they want to come and free us from our “brain-washed bondage.” Not only do I not need any intervention from “those who know better”, I don’t want it.
This is a church that celebrates women. It follows the example of Christ in loving, respecting and honoring women. Jesus first appeared to Mary, after His resurrection; his last instructions on the cross were for the well-being of his mother; He taught women as much as He taught men. His gospel is good news to EVERYONE – men, women and children, from all over the world, and His church plays no favorites. Women are just as much welcome to His love and salvation as men are, and that is one reason why I feel liberated as an LDS woman.
Another reason is that I am allowed and expected to be a woman; to do things that women enjoy doing. Deep down in the hearts of most women, they want to be home, with their children, nurturing and teaching them how to be contributing members of society. Financial obligations and social pressures make this very difficult for the majority of women in the world–but living an ole’ fashioned family life is something that LDS women are encouraged to do. Does this make us slaves in the kitchen? No. It just allows us to become unfettered by the social chains that demand that we “contribute” to society (all the while letting other people raise our children without any investment in their well-being). I’ve worked in an office. I’ve taught school. I’ve planned conferences and made travel arrangements and handled logistics and gone to fancy dinners (that I had to plan) and it does not even compare to being a mother. There is nothing as rewarding as loving and caring for a baby (or two) every day. Sure, I don’t sleep as much as I’d like, and I just got peed on while in the process of writing this blog. My shirt is often covered with baby-fluids, and my life has revolved around a 3-hour schedule for the last year, but I am so happy. I don’t dread anything in my day–no presentations, no ornery co-workers, no long boring meetings, no disrespectful teenagers and no tech malfunctions that put everything on hold. I find so much satisfaction in watching my son learn to walk and talk (and growl, thanks to his Dad), pick up food and feed himself, notice things around him and get excited about his toys. It can’t be explained, but it is wonderful. Trust me.
Not all LDS women stay home with kids, of course, and that is fine too. Many women work and enjoy it, and they are in total compliance with the church as well. Liberating, isn’t it? We can choose what we want to do, but we are encouraged to do what we have been pre-programmed to enjoy. Families are strong, marriages are strong, people are happy–all doing exactly what God put us here to do.
Those who demand that women have a career may think that the only way to have equal respect is to have identical roles. This approach is like putting a thick and juicy steak and a flaky, delicious fresh peach pie in a blender so that one flavor will not dominate over the other – A well-cooked steak is just as satisfying as a well-prepared pie! (From the perspective of one who would prefer a pie to a steak). Grinding up steak and pie together would ruin the meal — the texture would be lost, the flavor combinations, the distinct tastes. These attributes make them unique, but they do not make one superior over the other. Likewise, putting men and women in a societal blender would not only not work, it would ruin the balance that we need.