Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Perpetual Feminism

Last night we met up with the Double B's parents and sister Sabrina's family in Mesquite for a wonderful dinner to celebrate Sabrina's 40th birthday. So fun! We love Sabrina. She is a truly good person.
Here is an interesting fact for you: The Double B and I don't fight. We really don't. We've had a very peaceful existence of occasional tongue biting, but we are both peace makers and it's worked for us. We certainly get annoyed, but usually we just take a deep breath and give the other person their space until it blows over. Usually I think this is good, sometimes I think it would be healthy to have a knock down, drag out fight once in awhile. We never will, though. Not our way. But still.
Last night driving home the discussion turned to the inequality between young men activities and young women activities in our church. Feminism -- perhaps the Double B's least favorite topic? No need to re-hash what we all know. There is a lot of unfairness that happens and we all know it. Yes, it is getting better then it used to be, but there is still a problem. I don't have a problem with slow changes, because I know that's how change happens. But we have to be aware of it. We have to talk about it, or it WILL never change. There has to be boat rockers to ask "why are we doing that?" Or it just keeps happening, because let's be honest: it is men who lead in the majority in our church/society as a whole, and most will never get sick of it or naturally see a problem with it because it benefits them. Here's the truth: I'm sick of being sent the message from the machine that I am a second class citizen. I've been sick of that since I was about six years old, but here at 33 -- just a big fat sigh. But what I really have an issue with is the message being sent to our younger females that THEY are somehow second class citizens. Those young men are their PEERS. Not their superior. Not their inferior, for that matter. They are peers. Don't they deserve "equal protection under the law" (and certainly the law of God? Look, God and I have wrestled this whole thing out. I don't have a problem with different responsibilities, I really don't. But at this point, I can confidently say that I think A Father in Heaven would be extremely interested in his daughters being just as well treated as His sons.)?
This topic could literally not annoy the Double B more. He is so sick of it he could turn blue. So I try to not bother him with it, but then last night I realized I'd become the little woman, biting my tongue so as not to disturb my man! Oh, boy. Several years of frustrated thoughts tumbled out. I think the Double B would have rather been anywhere but there. I don't accept that it is "about retention". Because isn't my retention in the church just as important as my husband's? My daughters just as important as my sons? Aren't our souls just as valuable? I don't accept it's the fault of the female leaders for not asking for more. I think the female leaders do need to push for more, but let's face it: if they do, they feel guilty and back off. For heavens sakes, we've been so brow beat that we can't accept anything for ourselves, it allll has to be for the greater good. And I told the Double B that that is just a sucky way to live. We deserve better.
He was so annoyed by the whole thing. This is how I know: he was silent.
And I was so annoyed by the whole thing. Because I want to be LISTENED to, not just endured. I'm sick of being endured, I deserve more then that. Not because I am special, because I am a human being.
I love men. I think men are awesome. I have three brothers and no sisters and the world's greatest dad (who also happens to be a strong, silent, super feminist type). I grew up loving and appreciating men with all of my heart. Nothing about my hope and interest for a more shared world takes away from that. All these men in my life have the "belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities" (that's the actual, factual definition of Feminism, by the way. Nothing to be scared of there.).
I guess what I am saying here, is if you are a woman, you should feel you have the right to voice your opinion and when necessary, ask for more. I think I'm ready to redraw that line in the sand and say "You Can't Cross Here." And if you are a man, defend that line with all your heart, because you are surrounded by women who matter.

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