Just A Girl

Posted by: Andee / Category: , , , , ,


Something has always bugged me. Well, a lot of things have always bugged me, but this more than others. As always, I feel the need to warn people that I might sound like a broken record. It seems that some subjects keep climbing their way back to my blog.

Yesterday, in the middle of what would have been a really good game of Diner Dash, someone rang my doorbell. The sound of the doorbell scares the living crap out of the furry felines, so they quickly found places to hide. Spooky Bear somehow climbed on top of the kitchen cabinets. I knew it would take an act of God to get her down, so by the time I made it to the peep hole I was already annoyed. I wasn't expecting company, and I was wearing flannel pajama pants and a t-shirt. There was very little chance of me actually opening the door.

Roomie made his way from his bedroom, asking who was at the door. I stood up on my tip-toes (I am short... really short) and looked through the lens.

A boy around the age of 12, and a grown man stood at my apartment door. Complete with white shirts, black ties, and small blue envelopes.

I turned to roomie and said, "Fast Offerings. Please don't answer the door."

We were both quiet for a few moments waiting for the men to decide to move on, and they eventually did. Roomie didn't waste any time. He asked me, and I quote, "What the Hell is a fast offering?"

Oh, dear roomie. How nice it must have been to grow up Roman Catholic and not have to deal with this stuff! He finds it fascinating, and is always asking questions about my failing faith.

I walked into the kitchen to try and talk Spooky Bear down from her cabinet perch. I explained that the first Sunday of every month, most Mormons fast for the day. They believe that they are sacrificing their food (and money for food) for the church and God. It's also the day where people share their testimonies instead of the usual sacrament meeting. There is nothing better than listening to Sister so-and-so ramble on and on about how the Lord helped her find a good car mechanic that fixed her car in time for her son's little league game, while listening to your belly rumble and tumble as you starve to death. A good time is had by all. Really.

Roomie countered with, "So, thats how they collect tithing?"

Nope.

Tithing is completely different. You do that in the church. They sent out little boys to collect the fast offerings (at least they have in every single ward I have ever lived in). His first thought, as well as his first sentence was, "Why boys and not girls?" Indeed.

Why?

Why is it that our gender determines so much?

I didn't know the answer to that question, except that boys hold the priesthood, and girls don't. Is that the only reason that they collect fast offerings? It might also be a safety thing, not sure. In my humble opinion, it's not safe for any kid to do this anywhere. Regardless of gender. Anyway...

It reminded me of a conversation I had with my brother. He was given the task of going from door to door on an empty stomach to beg for these offerings many times. He hated it. He despised it. It pissed him off that he had to do it. I would constantly tease him that I would never have to do it because I was a girl. Just a girl.

Makes me sad now.

There are so many gender specific roles and rules in the church that it makes me wonder how I, or anyone else for that matter, ever thought there was equality.

Why are all men taught that it is their duty, their responsibility, their goal... to go on a mission, but women are only asked to go if they want to? Why is this a requirement for males and only an option for females? It really doesn't make sense to me. Are men better missionaries? There has to be a reason, right?

It's weird how one little chromosome makes such a big difference in your life's goals as a Mormon.

For some, my next observation might seem silly or dumb, but I simply can't help myself... forgive me.

Why do women have to wear a dress or skirt to church? A friend of mine even told me that some of her ward members gave her Hell for wearing culottes (spell check... seriously... how do you spell that???).

Does God really care if you are wearing pants? It seems trivial to me. When I asked about this as a child, (I have always hated dresses... and don't get me started on pantyhose. Really. Don't. We don't want to go there.) I was told that wearing a dress showed respect for the Lord. If that is the case, shouldn't men wear them too? Can you imagine Bishop Smith giving the closing prayer in a nice floral print with white lace trim?

Boys can pass the sacrament. Girls can't. I know this boils down to the priesthood issue, but would God care if little Susie Sunshine helped out? What is the big deal? Does the holy sacrament lose it's blessings if a girl passes it out? I mean... really...

Now I go into territory that might just offend some folks, sorry if that is the case, but I have to bring this up.

I have always felt that the whole priesthood blessing thing was a subtle insult. Why in the world would a blessing work better simply because a man gave it? And *IF* men really did have these priesthood blessing powers, why can't women have them too? What would be the purpose of limiting that power or blessings to half of the world's population?

Why would God not want female doctors, for example, to have the priesthood if it would help heal their patients? According to my Mormon relatives, lives can be saved thanks to priesthood blessings (nope, don't buy it). Why not open the field a little?

I will tell you why.

The way things are set up now, women have to rely on men for this kind of thing... that won't change any time soon.

Your kid is sick? Call a man.
Going in for surgery? Call a man.

Yeah, equality. Sure. I see it.


8 comments:

  1. Truly Confused Says:

    Oh, I just adore what you write!!!!! OK, I have always had so many issues with this one.

    OK, I have one. IF women don't need the priesthood because we have those spiritual gifts already, why can't we use them? Why aren't we actual equals. I am still waiting to understand that one.

    Women are actually sometimes discouraged from going-especially if there is a man in their life. Why do they have to wait until they are 21, and why is their mission only 18 months?

    Why do women hearken to their husbands in the temple, while men hearken to God? Is this penis that powerful (because if a woman had an extra chromosome but was still a woman, she would NOT get the priesthood)?

  1. Andee Says:

    Thank you for the compliment :D I adore what you write, too!

    Your points are awesome, wish I would have thought of those.

    It's sickening that I used to think that women were looked at as equals. Why do men get to know their wives temple name, but the woman can't know her husbands?

    The whole thing smells. You know a woman had nothing to do with this religion. Nothing at ALL.

    Women are objects who should be humble, obey their husbands, and make homemade doughnuts (spell check) while their priesthood holding hubbies attend the priesthood conference and talk about things they can't let the women know about.

    P.U.K.E.

  1. Demand More Says:

    I really believe it is this way because the church knows if they gave women all the rights men have, including the right to hold the priesthood and the ability to be a apostle, that women would reorganize the entire church.

    I think they want to keep women as second class all the time so they don't feel like they have a right to contribute to the church as an organization. I mean as decision makers, not as teachers who have to have their lessons approved by priesthood carriers.

    It makes me angry that women don't see what this does to teenage girls in the church. I was raised by my mom to support my husband in anyway, to follow him no matter what, to put my needs second all the time. Luckily my dad shot most of that down when she said it.

    The church fears strong women and they get a real kick out of the power play. Sick.

    Aren't you glad you are almost officially out? I am!

  1. Sarah Says:

    The hardest thing for me to understand about this topic is this . . .

    HOW THE HELL DID I NOT SEE ALL OF THIS TOTAL INEQUALITY FOR SO LONG?!

    Why was I so ok with it? I defended it all the time to those outside the church. It was all part of "God's plan." The priesthood was given to man, just as a uterus is given to a woman. They are things of a divine nature and it's just how they are. And we're supposed to accept it and just go along with it.

    I don't know how I was ok with it for so long except that it was all I knew. It was taught to me from the day I was born and I knew nothing different.

    Looking back I think I always had a slight problem with it, but mainly because it just didn't make sense. But I wasn't free to talk about it openly, I had to suck it up and put a smile on my face and let everyone think I was ok with being subpar.

    In my last ward I was good friends with my VT's. We were all around the same age, married, no kids, and had careers. I suppose you could say we were all also on some level feminists. We would talk for hours and hours about the things we disagreed with at church, the roles we were expected to fit into and how we didn't necessarily WANT those roles. Then we'd feel bad and have to end the conversation justifying everything the church teaches in some way and calling our "feminist" feelings a trial we'd have to deal with.

    BLECH!!! Now that I'm out I just wish those two VT's of mine would find out for themselves and do the research to come to the same conclusion I did about the church. I just can't force it on them, I don't feel that's the right thing for me to do. Perhaps they'll come to peace with the inequality and find happiness in the church. Either way, as long as they're happy. For me, happiness in the church was just not an option.

  1. Truly Confused Says:

    The funny part is that I wasn't as concerned about what it was doing to me. I was concerned about what it would do if I was raising kids there. My sisters would always say that I would understand staying in the church if I had kids. I just remember thinking that I would never wants my kids raised with this. Then I realized I was subjecting myself to it instead.

  1. Andee Says:

    I am so glad I am not alone here.

    When I was a teenager, I was the only girl in my small town who stopped attending church. I did so mainly because of an experience I had at girls camp, as well as feminist issues.

    I never found anyone I could confide in or talk to about my problems. I could talk to my Mom, but she wasn't really a peer. She helped though...

    It's just nice to know that I am not crazy. :)

  1. Truly Confused Says:

    OK. I was the only one who remained active!!! There were 8 girls, and only one is still active now. She has had 5 kids-sells Amway, everything. The rest of them saw the light before I did. Damn it!

  1. Andee Says:

    Haha, don't beat yourself up for it. It's all packaged together quite nicely, don't you think? With a pretty yellow ribbon that equals being together with your family forever.

    No wonder so many people are so desperate to believe it. I empathize, because I would love to know I would see my Dad and Grandma again. I would love that more than anything.