No One Needs to Save Me, I'm Already Saved

This is a post I have been ruminating on for some time now. I wrote it in my head a few times and now here I am committing it to blog. Finally.

So, here it is: I am not a feminist. In fact, I find it incredibly irritating when people tell me that I must a feminist because I am a woman. I already know what womanhood means to me, and it does not mean being a feminist. Feminism has been turned into a political party and I do not have to be part of it merely because of my gender. That is not empowering, in fact, it is the opposite.

 The fact that I received an education does not make me a feminist either. This isn't the 1800s. Girls can go to college and law school. They don't have to be a feminist to do it.

In this post I intend to create a definition of feminism, talk about what the role of women has been in history, and what the role of women ought to be, and describe what I see as a better approach to appreciating women and men. In all of this my ultimate goal is to explain the divine nature of womanhood, and hopefully get some people thinking about why it is more valuable to focus on that divinity, rather than focusing on feminism and the troubles it breeds.

So let's get started shall we?



I. What is Feminism?

As we tackle this issue we need to define what feminism really is. According to those that identify themselves as feminists, a real definition of feminism doesn't exist. There is a general idea that feminism is essentially equality of the sexes. So then the question becomes, what does that mean?

The word equality is one that gets thrown around quite a bit, usually whenever some group of people wants something they don't have, and they are jealous that another group has it. There is a growing idea in our society that we should all have the same thing as everyone else, and somehow people believe that makes life "fair." This idea is incorrect, and is not a tenable means for society to thrive. Mostly because the words fair and equality are not synonymous. We don't all need the same things and we don't play the same roles. That just creates imbalance and inefficiency.

 Moreover, we live in a world of endless possibilities, and I truly believe that those possibilities should be available to people. In the end however, we have to choose what we want, and we have to work for it. This means that we have to decide to pass on some opportunities in order to work towards specific goals. Sometimes you might fall short, or fall on hard times, and that is just part of life. In the Book of Mormon we learn that this is because there must be opposition in all things. This means that whatever we are handed in life, it can't always be equal to what everyone else is handed.

Feminism has tried to define fairness and equality as the same thing, thereby removing opposition from the equation. Fairness then becomes "I can have all the things you have, all the time." But that isn't fairness, and it actually creates inequality among people. Thus feminism is drowning in a conundrum of being self defeating in it's own definition of what it is.

What feminism has actually turned into is a political platform, and there are too many planks in that platform that I cannot stand on. Feminists are pro abortion, and while not always necessarily anti-man, their concept of what male/female relationships should be like is not in sync with God's view of those relationships. Their idea of "equality of the sexes" is essentially "make the sexes the same," and that just doesn't work in God's great design for the family.

II. Women and History

Historically speaking, women have often ended up with the short end of the stick in many societies. Let's take a look at the Bible for an example and to hear what Jesus had to say about it. (You can also read about this in James E. Talmage's Jesus the Christ.) You see, back when Moses was around, he gave the Hebrews what came to be known as "The Law of Moses." Of course this was obviously God's law transmitted through His prophet at the time, Moses. You can read about it in Genesis and Exodus in the Old Testament. As part of this law, also known as "The Lesser Law," men were allowed to put their women "away" with a bill of divorcement. This evolved into a pretty terrible situation for women. Men could divorce their wife for almost any reason, and women's status was reduced to be a slave to man. When Jesus Christ was on the earth He explained why interpreting that part of the law like was not only incorrect, but an embarrassment to the men of that day. Divorce was not a privilege, rather, God provided for divorce because of the "hardness of their hearts." What Christ tells them is that for a man to put away his wife for any reason other than fornication was wrong, and the two of them would be committing adultery were they to remarry.

In Jesus the Christ, Talmage shares the following commentary on why Jesus taught this to the Pharisees that were actively trying to silence Him from changing their preferred status quo.

 "It swept away forever from His Society the conception of woman as a mere toy or slave of man, and based true relations of the sexes on the eternal foundation of truth, right, honor, and love. To ennoble the House and Family by raising  woman to her true position was essential to the future stability  of His Kingdom, as one of purity and spiritual worth. By making marriage indissoluble, He proclaimed the equal rights of woman and man within the limits of the family, and, in this, gave their charter of nobility to the mothers of the world."
quoting Life and Words of Christ

Of course, since not everyone listens to Jesus, the problem of women and their value and position in society being diminished or destroyed has continued to exist in societies throughout the history of the world. It is still rampant today as made evident by the mass creation and selling of pornography, widespread human trafficking and prostitution, and domestic violence.

How do we, as women elevate ourselves to the position Christ teaches? We must find nobility in motherhood and our inherent worth as a daughter of a Diving Being.

           a. No More Girl on Girl Crime
             
 While we're on the subject I am going to stand on my soapbox for a moment. Ladies, why are we fighting amongst ourselves? Shouldn't we all be on the same team? There are bad things in our society that disproportionately affect women. Why are we enabling those things?

We shouldn't call each other names. There are so many terrible names that are used against women these days, and we as women should eliminate them from our vocabulary. We need to recognize the power we actually hold. If we all call each other terrible names, then men think they can too.

We shouldn't be our own worst enemies. If a woman chooses to stay home and raise her family she is not setting the clock back fifty years on women's rights, and she is not brainless. We should count ourselves lucky if we have the opportunity to spend our days nurturing our children and teaching them the ways of righteousness. There is no higher calling anyone can have, so we should stop diminishing it.

If a woman works we shouldn't assume that she is a cold, unfeeling monster that doesn't care for her children, or that she never wants to have children or a family. The truth of the matter is, whether or not a married woman works should be a choice between herself, her spouse, and the Lord. It really isn't anybody else's business, so we should stop quietly judging people when we don't know their situation.

As women we are sisters. Isn't sisterhood a bond that can't be broken? Shouldn't we be watching out for each other? Imagine what would happen if we supported and encouraged each other instead of tearing each other down. Aren't there enough evil people in the world taking care of that? We don't need to do it to ourselves.

Let's hear what Bonnie L. Oscarson of the Young Women's General Presidency had to say about this.

  The adversary would have us be critical or judgmental of one another... The fact of the matter is, we really and truly need each other. Women naturally seek friendship, support, and companionship. We have so much to learn from one another, and we often let self-imposed barriers keep us from enjoying associations which could be among the greatest blessings in our lives... We must stop concentrating on our differences and look for what we have in common; then we can begin to realize our greatest potential and achieve the greatest good in this world.
Bonnie L. Oscarson, Sisterhood: Oh, How We Need Each Other

We can't make the world better if we are making ourselves the enemy. We must trade in our pride and learn to love and lift one another instead. That is the only way to end the true injustices that currently exist in our society.

III. Womanhood and Sisterhood are not Feminism

It is clear that recognizing the beauty and nobility of womanhood, and appreciating everyone else in our divine sisterhood does not mix with feminism.Why? The idea of feminism is inherently selfish. It comes back to the question of what do you see as inequality. Feminism strives to "level the playing field" by make men and women the same. Feminists don't want to rely on men for anything.

The problem with that is, we need men. We don't just need them to help us repopulate the species, we need men because men and women cannot progress without each other. We read in "The Family: A Proclamation to the World" that "gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose." Further on we read,

 "The family is ordained of God. Marriage between man and woman is essential to His eternal plan. Children are entitled to birth within the bonds of matrimony, and to be reared by a father and a mother who honor marital vows with complete fidelity. Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities."

As women we cannot become something more if we see ourselves as individual little cells that focus only on our own personal desires. That is contrary to the plan of God. We come here in families, and build our own family when we are older because in the family we learn to put other's first. We learn all of those wonderful concepts listed in the Family Proclamation. I can only become better when I learn to lift others with me, and what better place to learn that than in a family, where man and woman (husband and wife) must be united.

Being kind to each other as women does not mean we need to create an enemy in men. Feminism always seeks to create an enemy because there must always be someone keeping us down. That enemy becomes the one that must be stamped out. We can't stamp out men, men and women need each other to build families, and to progress in this life. Marriage is a partnership, and each person brings their own qualities, life experiences, and divine attributes that we must use in order to strengthen each other, and strengthen our family in order to achieve true, eternal happiness.

Conclusion.

I think we, as women, have allowed the wicked designs of evil men define what equality should be. We have permitted the ones that have diminished our value to determine what we ought to become.We should be looking to the One who tells us all we can be; Jesus Christ gives us the direction necessary to become the best possible version of ourselves.We should also support one another, male and female, in that endeavor.  

Womanhood is a blessed and divine calling. As women we should be strong and knowledgeable. We should be striving to grow in our knowledge of all things temporal and spiritual. We should share that knowledge with others. Our lives need to be classy as we do good things to help bring happiness into the lives of others.

There are many problems in the world that want to diminish the beauty of womanhood. We should be united in our fight against those problems, not supporting them under the guise of empowerment. We should teach girls and boys that women need men and men need women, and the best relationships are built upon mutual respect and trust. That is why I am not a feminist.


Comments

Helen R said…
You are correct of course!

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