Monday, October 07, 2013

And Another Religion On Women. This Gets Old.

This time it's the  Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints:

Also today, D. Todd Christofferson, a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' Quorum of the Twelve, said in his speech that having women at home remains an essential part of society, and he cautioned against blurring feminine and masculine differences. His speech Saturday came during a two-day church conference in Salt Lake City.
Christofferson said women's "moral force" has kept societies on the righteous track for generations. He criticized feminist thinkers who view "homemaking with outright contempt."
He said overlooking the differences between men and women would lead to losing the complementary gifts of the two genders that work in harmony.
Also today, a group of about 200 feminist women were denied entrance to the all-male meeting of Mormon priesthood holders.
The Ordain Women group marched from a nearby park to a standby line at outside the meeting this evening to highlight what they perceive as gender inequality.

Where to begin?   The power is defined by the priesthood holders and they are all men.  The position of the church is defined by them, the terms used are defined by them, and the "proper role" of women is defined by them.  Thus, the idea that feminist thinkers (supposedly) view "homemaking with outright contempt" doesn't make Mr. Christofferson want to do any homemaking himself or to let any homemakers into the priesthood.

Neither does Mr. Christofferson want to let that presumed "moral force" of women have any real impact on his church or on the outside society.   Given that he argues it is women's "moral force" that has kept societies on the righteous track for generations, it is extremely weird that his church has an all-male leadership.

Then there's the fact that historically speaking the ideal that women are at home (not working at anything else but homemaking) and men in the public sector (doing all the work for income) is a fairly recent one.  The idea of one breadwinner per family has probably never been practical for the vast majority of people, and it's certainly not practical today.

But in a different sense Mr. Christofferson is naturally completely correct:  The all-male Mormon church leadership IS dependent on the willing (often unpaid) work of women, and the goodies the all-male church leadership receives in life is also dependent on a certain definition of what "complementary gifts" between the genders might mean.  Thus, women might be given the gift of "moral force" but they are not allowed to exert that, ultimately.