I’m not even on Facebook anymore, but it seems I’ve been inundated with articles, blog posts, and people talking about women and the priesthood, prayers, and pants. In all of this I think there have been some good points, but I’ve failed to once see the most obvious: nowhere is it better to be a woman than the church.
I can find no secular or religious institution where women are more fulfilled or free to progress. I am the beneficiary of a church (and culture) that encourages me to follow my desires to have kids despite being poor and young; to get an education and use it to serve humanity; that raises its men to revere womanhood, motherhood, the tender and divine.
Granted, the church culture hasn’t and isn’t perfect. Even as I disagree with many of the claims from feminist organizations against the church, their role has been vital to helping the church clarify what is doctrine and what is culture; the result is that there’s no place I’d rather be.
I can’t help feeling the call to give women the priesthood is simply a desire to be taken more seriously. In this, I think there is some legitimacy to their claims (not that getting the priesthood would change that). Some may say that that is because women don't have the priesthood and in turn equate that with lack of authority, but I think it has more to with sacchrine talks or perhaps the budget for decorations at ward parties. But when otherwise thinking women leave the church over irrelevant church policy or historical minutia, that’s what we were left with so if you have a hard time with the lack of variety in women personalities in the church; blame the apostates for leaving.
That said, for women to be taken more seriously in the church I think we, as women, need to take ourselves more seriously.
It was interesting that the prayers and pants issue was being brought up right about the same time that Stephen and I happened to walk past a porch of a fraternity house at UPenn packed with 30 or so drunken men chanting loudly in unison about raping women as several coeds watched casually from the sides. Seeing that this is coming from an Ivy League institution that should be recruiting among the brightest and best, I can’t help but feel that true feminists would have bigger battles to fight right now than whether women are saying prayers twice a year or wearing pants.
Christ asked his disciples: “Will you also go away?’ and Simon Peter answered ‘Lord, to whom shall we go?” (John 6:67)