Friday, August 9, 2013

The Unfeminist

First, I want to establish that nothing I say here is about you, whether you are a male, female, feminist, humanist, or male chauvinist. It's about me, my perspective, my experiences. It isn't meant to denigrate anyone else's perspective or experiences. To be honest, it's internal and personal musing which I'm choosing to make public because it might help other people solidify their feelings on the topic, or maybe not feel alone. It will probably be boring to most people, but I'm writing it first and foremost for me. I reserve the right to change my feelings on this, as I do on anything I ever say online or off. I'm a work in progress, and have no intention of ever being a public figure or politician, so I'm free to change and grow.

I have read some, but not all, popular feminist publications. I have listened frequently and participated somewhat on feminist blogs, both LDS and non-LDS, for years. I have friends who identify as feminists, and friends who wouldn't touch that label with a 10-foot pole. Some people would say that my opinions and outlook are decidedly feminist, some would say they are grotesquely patriarchal. I've been called the entire panoply of names from both sides of the fence, and lost friends in both yards. I am also a survivor of domestic violence, a single mother, fairly well educated and reasonably intelligent. Nothing you say will change my opinion of my own intelligence, my status, or my past experiences, so don't bother. Now that we have the disclaimers out of the way (which goes to prove how much this topic feels like a minefield for me,) I welcome any flavor of polite, thoughtful discussion should this post gender any.

I do not identify as a feminist. I used to. It's not because I don't believe in anything the feminist movement supports, or because I love being oppressed since it makes me comfortable. Far from. In fact, anyone who knows me very well knows that I'm not one to be silent in the face of injustice.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Explaining the Importance of Marriage and Family

The last two Sundays, I substitute taught the 12-13 year old Sunday School class. These are the same children I taught a couple of years ago. Perhaps because the universe (or God) has a sense of humor, this time around I taught preparing to receive temple ordinances, and how to explain the importance of marriage and family to others.

The temple has been very rough for me since my divorce. It used to be the only place I felt at home, but having lost some of the covenants I made is especially painful when I attend the temple. Maybe it's ironic, having a divorced woman—and one who chose to file, no less—teach preparation for the temple and the importance of marriage and family. After all, from the outside, it could easily be said that I did not honor my covenants in the temple, and that I obviously don't value marriage or family all that much, since I gave them up. In many ways, it was a little humiliating to stand before these twelve- and thirteen-year-old boys and girls, as yet largely untouched by the pain of sacrifice and loss, and try to teach them something for which I'm a very shaky example.

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