I am taking a Feminism in Philosophy class this semester. It is absolutely fascinating, and the things we discuss and the authors we read have really opened my eyes to a lot of things. I would say that I have already been considered a feminist by many, and in some ways this class may be fueling the fire (Heaven forbid.) :)
But some of the things we have been discussing lately is a book by Beauvoir called "The Second Sex." It basically discusses how females are considered "the other" sex, and have always been second place to man. It gives examples of how Adam was created first, and then Eve was like a "sub-species" taken from his rib. And if you think about it, humanity is referred to as MANKIND. (obviously emphasis on MAN.) It is fascinating, and disturbing in many ways.
So now I see feminism in everything and it is fascinating to me. But more blatantly was when one of my friends posted on Facebook something about women not being married or mothers being "most possibly psychopaths." (This is taken out of context, and I understand why he said it and what he was referring to although it was still a ridiculous statement.) But it really got me thinking. People get sick of all those "Feminists" out there stirring up trouble, and beating a dead horse over this same issue, but I believe that it is still very much an issue in society and that is why it is discussed so much.
Some of the members of my Feminism class made comments about how the LDS church is sexist. It disturbed me greatly....BUT.... at the same time I could understand some of where they were coming from. However, I don't believe that God is a sexist or chauvenist, but many people interpret the Plan of Salvation and the Proclamation on the Family to mean that. And that is sad to me.
Heaven knows that although I am an active strong member of the church... I also have my issues with it. (But that is just my own personal problem.) I do think that having kids and getting married is a monumentally HUGE and very very important and central part of God's plan. But my problem comes in when people cast their judgments as well. And when it is declared that it is the ONLY purpose for your existence and the ONLY thing that you should do (which yes, I hear church members say alot.) I have to be honest that those things rub me wrong.
I don't feel like God designed the plan for women to be barefoot and pregnant shoved behind a stove all of their life. And yet some church members really feel this way and it freaks me out. I don't think their is anything wrong with a women wanting to travel, get an education, have goals and dreams other than being a mother. I think if they put off getting married forever because of these things, then yes that is a problem.
But just because a woman ISN'T married before she is 20, doesn't make her a sinful person or defective.
I do think there are lot of these generalizations of women in the church, and it does rub me wrong. I hate the idea that "You aren't really whole or complete until you are married and having kids is your only purpose." (You laugh, but I promise I have heard these statements SEVERAL times from good strong members of the church.) Well, what about the women who never get married or who can't have kids? Are they in some way "less of a person" or living their life incomplete? Are they not fulfilling their destiny? I think that the God I serve would never cast these kinds of judgments on a person or punish them because of things that are out of their control. They can be just as happy and have just as much fulfillment in their life.
Trust me I have heard all about it because I have taken a path different from many of my peers and friends by going on a mission and being 24 and still single. And yes, the idea of having a career and working does strongly appeal to me. Does that mean I am going to burn in hell for ions to come? No, I don't think so.
God knows that each of his children are unique and have different circumstances and I believe that he will account for that. He knows that maybe some people will gain ultimate fulfillment in getting married at 18 and having 10 kids, and staying home all of their life, and some women just won't be completely fulfilled by that. Each of us have different drives, interests, motives, etc. for what we do and what makes us tick. Yes, I think that each woman that is able should be a mother someday WHEN the time is right and WHEN they are ready. But do I think she is an awful person if she ISN'T married by the time she is 21 because she wanted to go on a mission? Not at all.
Because I served a mission, I saw the value in agency and motivation. I saw those boys that came on a mission for the sole reason because they were supposed to. They felt obligated or pressured. And they were not good missionaries because they didn't WANT to be there. Period. They didn't accomplish much, and they brought others down because of their lack of interest and effort. It disgusted me because I wanted to be there more than anything!
Now on the flip-side we can compare this to women getting married because as we know (men are supposed to go on missions, women are supposed to get married.) :) That is why I say I think women should get married and have kids WHEN they are ready and want to. Otherwise if they just get married out of obligation or because they are "supposed" to.... It could potentially end in divorce or their kids will suffer because of having a neglectful mother that doesn't really want them. (I have seen examples of this in my life as well, and it is sad.) I feel very strongly if you are going to make the CHOICE to bring children into this world, then you had better love them and take good care of them!
Anyways, enough with this rampage. I just feel very strongly about some of these things, and I feel that members of the church are often too quick to cast judgments and that each individual has to try THEIR best (not anyone else's best) to do what God wants them to do. We all want to be happy and return to God, and we each go on our own path to get there. And you know what? That is Ok.
The End. :)