Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Murals, Plurals, and Potty Training

When I woke up this morning, this masterpiece by K.J. the Great was pinned to my bedroom wall. Sure to hang in The Louvre one day.

So I literally just spent like an hour trying out new backgrounds for my blog, because obviously, I didn't have anything better to do (she rationalizes to herself). In my defense, the kitchen is clean, and the sheets are in the washer. So I tried out many new backgrounds, never feeling satisfied. Finally I came across this adorable little bee background and thought "Oh, how cute!" and immediately realized it is my current background. I sighed, thought "what the heck," and put it back up there. I feel much better now. I don't know what it is about those bees. They're just so cozy. The bees and I understand one another. I won't leave them, and they won't leave me. It's love, I guess.
I didn't go to bed until 4:30 in the morning, because crack-pot that I am, I started the book that I knew I had no business opening last night at 11:00! I wonder how many times I've done that in my life ... hm ....
This particular book was both super creepy and super fascinating. It's called Stolen Innocence: My Story of Growing Up in a Polygamous Sect, Becoming a Teenage Bride, and Breaking Free of Warren Jeffs, by Elissa Wall. I'm pretty sure you get what the book is about from the lengthy title. I've been wanting to read it for quite some time when lo and behold, yesterday at your favorite store and mine I saw it in paperback for just $4.89, thought "What a steal! I love you, Costco!" and put it in my cart.
When Ben saw this book, he was both interested and cautious. He told me to enjoy it, but to please not make him talk me back from psycho. Just so you know, and you probably already do, despite having the most gentle, encouraging father in the world and being married to a gentle, supportive husband, I've always (literally, since I can remember) had a slight here-let-me-rip-your-eyes-out relationship with the male species. I feel oppressed for generations of women before me, I guess. (?) Actually, I can attribute these symptoms to three things:
1) A passion for everyone being equal is an eternal part of my personality. I came with it, I'll leave with it. It's just up to me to make it a great strength and not a great weakness!
2) My Grandma Allred, the sweet third wife.
3) An Uncle that redefines male ignorance in the 20th and 21st century. Watching him sorely tested my restraint as a child and demolishes my restraint as an adult. I always leave ashamed I let my tongue get the best of me!
So, knowing these things about myself, I still cracked the covers of this fascinating book and lost myself in a very twisted society. I don't know if all of you have seen the polygamist group in Southern Utah. They are very different, which in itself is not a bad thing, but if you observe the women, you know it IS a bad thing. Elissa was forced into marriage at 14 and was then raped and abused for three years before finding the courage and opportunity to flee the situation. These women can't reach out for help, because if they don't obey God and "the prophet," they'll go straight to hell! Very interesting. A conundrum, if you will. When I finished the book, I was so proud of her -- and I also wanted to personally go take down every man out there. I wish things would have gone differently down in Texas. When does a man's religious freedom make it okay to abuse and neglect and demean women and children? Honestly.
One other thing. How can these women stand to be property? Because it's drilled into them that that is all they are. PROPERTY. I marched right into the hall and said "Ben! They said she BELONGED to him! Belonged to him like he owns her because she's property. That makes me so mad! Can you believe that?! AM I YOUR PROPERTY!?!" Ben then gave me the "you promised you wouldn't go psycho" look, put his arm around me, squeezed gently, and said "You belong to me, just like I belong to you." (He's good, isn't he). So then I hopped into our bedroom like a boxer ready to spar "That's right! You belong to me, too! That's the only way it works, those crazies!!!" Sigh.
Women are smart. We're really smart. We're nicer, we're cuter, and we would rule the world much more effectively. When are men going to realize that?

So now that I have inspired and exasperated you all with my thoughts on polygamy, feminism, and female equality, what else should we discuss? (muh-ha-ha)

I've been here long enough that it's time to change over my sheets. In closing this completely and utterly random post, I will relive a conversation that I had with Olivia today:

"See, Livi? Brother goes potty in the big kid toilet." -Mom

"Cool." -Livi

True story. She's smarter then I am.

I leave you with this beautiful picture of weather conditions here in Southern Utah. Meteorologist: K.J. Burdette


Tink said...

Your post makes me feel so grateful for the TRUE Gospel of Jesus Christ, where women ARE considered co-equal! It also makes me so grateful for Dad. We both could be living VERY different lives if it weren't for Dad and the decisions he made a long time ago. GO DAD! YOU'RE AMAZING! I love him. I'm so proud of him. And I am so grateful! Love ya sis! KJ is quite the artist!

Kamille said...

Just finished "The Shack." Good food for thought. I thought, "it would be cool to have a nice relationship with God inasmuch that I'd call him Papa." Then I thought, "NEVER in my life could I be so informal to the master and creater." It's a personal thing. But, the majority I really enjoyed. And, did you read "Escape" by Carolyn Jessop? That's the only book I've read about SU polygamist groups. Of course, I get to participate in many baby deliveries for women from "The City" (as we call it). Should I read this one, too? You need to Shelfari. Seriously.

The Farnsworths said...

Marie, women are smart! It's just a part of who we are! Who partook of the fruit first? Eve...not because she wanted to be disobedient, but because she KNEW that is was the only way she could keep ALL of the commandments. Only after she convinced Adam of that did he partake as well.
I am curious to read that book. Isn't it ironic that those poor women only stay in that society because they are told that they will go to hell, when hell is exactly what they are in right now?? She is a strong woman to be able to break through that awful state. I sincerely hope her example will give others the strength to break free. NO one deserves a life like that!

Ducksoup said...

oh i love the pics k.j. drew. he is quite the little artist!! you make me laugh you stayed up so stinkin' late to read. what a talent that is. i find the title being so long quite interesting. and livi is so funny. potty training is something i don't want to face :)

katie said...

Hey I just wanted to say happy late birthday! It sounds like you had tons of fun!! You guys are awsome! You really should have taken pictures on that bull!

Tamari said...

Love the pictures that KJ drew for you! So sweet and I love the hearts in each one. He is an amazing little boy!!

And: Here! Here! to your other statements on women!!

I have finished the fireside and now just practice every day. It runs about forty five minutes, but I am trying to get it down to forty. I just don't want to bore the girls and I want to make sure I am not being redundant, too wordy and that I bring back to basics. The basics are the best! ANYWAY!! I am getting excited! I am going to bring Roger with me and maybe a couple other friends okay? Talk to you soon! :)

Jen said...

Preach preachah! Amen!

Love the art work. Your children are brilliant and they get it from you. (And Ben, a little, I suppose.)

Emily said...

Love the pictures. I love when my kids do things like that. I love your post on the book...Ben seems to know what to say! :-) Oh...and I like your background! But I'm glad bees will leave me alone. I don't like them. (Except the bees on this background....haha)