Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Dear Men: You’re Breaking Our Hearts

I don’t know if what I’m going to write represents more than just me. Maybe I’m alone in feeling this way, but it doesn’t matter. I need to write this for me. Maybe it will let me move past one more barrier of anger and pain. And maybe, if I’m not alone, it will make a difference for someone.

If you were to meet me in person, you would never guess that I have a deep hollow wellspring of pain. And when you read these words online, if you know my previous writings, you could probably chalk that pain up to my divorce. But you would be wrong. My ex-husband is just one data point on a vast continuum of experience. It isn’t my ex. It’s you, men of the Priesthood.

When I was a teenager and watched the boys around me turn into men, I noticed how they looked at girls. Because I was a bit of a tomboy, I also heard it. There may be women out there who don’t get it, but I think they are few. You think that looking at female bodies, those little “jokes” about “wanting some of that,” go unheard, but they don’t. We seem to ignore them, but they stick.

If you’re a good guy, you’re probably saying to yourself right now “at least I’m not one of those scummy guys who only value women for their looks.” But it’s not just the so-called scums. It’s our brothers, fathers, sons, priesthood leaders. Look at this bishop in the LDS church, teaching women that they exist to be beautiful. If it were only the scummy men, it wouldn’t hurt so much. But it’s our priesthood leaders, those who have made covenants to represent the Father.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

The Seth Smith Viral Marriage Post

An email to Matt Walsh, after his response to Seth Smith's viral post:

I have occasionally read your blog posts, and mostly agreed with you. But I wanted to share a different perspective on that viral blog post by Seth Smith. I don't exactly disagree with him, but I don't exactly agree, either. I hope you consider what I'm trying to say.

See, I used to believe exactly what Seth Smith wrote about marriage, which is how I lost myself to an abusive marriage. I'm LDS, too. I take the scriptures very seriously. When I made a covenant with my God in His temple, my future-ex-spouse across the altar, I meant every word. I was prepared to give all I had to him. And I did. Piece by piece until there was nothing left. I'm not going to tell you my whole story, but I'm going to try to share part of it in an attempt to illustrate what I mean.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

If My Children Aren't Invited, Neither Am I

"Life's full of tough choices, isn't it?"
—Ursula to Ariel, The Little Mermaid

Life as a single parent of young children in a church that almost worships families is often very confusing. You have a foot in two very different worlds: the world of singles who must be in want of an eternal companion, and the world of raising children. One is filled with an endless parade of entertainment-driven activities, the other with a few scattered couples-strengthening and children's activities.

You are both a provider and a nurturer. You do not have the choice between taking care of your family or furthering your career, you must do both. You can gain more education and more earning power at the expense of being there for your children, or you can find a job that is able to let you be a parent when you need to be. Finding middle ground is possible, but difficult. And if you mess up, it is all on you. Other family members and friends can help a little, but you are still a team of one. Your children must learn to grow up quickly (both a blessing and a sorrow) and you must set your teeth and pick what you truly value most.

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