Okay, so I don't read the Washington post all that often, but seriously, the sheer number of responses to Michael Otterson's post on equality in Mormonism should have brought it to my attention before today.
Especially given how timely that post (or at least the responses were. Thursday I went to a stake Relief Society activity where the San Diego temple President and his wife spoke. She was given the opportunity to speak first and she chose to speak on how wonderful women are, and then proceeded to quote a bunch of men speaking on how wonderful women are. The only woman she actually referenced in her talk was Abish, one of the (I believe) two women named in the Book of Mormon. Yeah. I believe I'm wonderful. Especially because men tell me I am. Kinda reminded me of this post on gender, authority, and strange loops.
Is it that hard to find quotes by women? Or stories about women's strength that don't actually make them sound childish and weak, like the stupid story Elaine S. Dalton told about girls "doing hard things" by walking 22 miles (all while apparently insufficiently prepared, given the references to injuries along the walk. On flat ground. Through an urban area). Really, can we do no better than that, especially given the remarkable history Mormon women have, the valuable contributions those women I'm rather proud to have as fore-mothers made toward building a society in a desert wasteland? Can we not find more women making laudable, impressive contributions today? What about any of these women?
The only part of the TP's talk that really stuck with me was an anecdote he shared regarding Pres. Hinkley and his wife. The TP and his wife had the Hinkley's over for dinner at some point and Sis. Hinkley was offered seconds by the TP's wife. Pres. Hinkley, used to protecting his wife (the TP's words, not mine) answered no on her behalf. Sis. Hinkley, however, spoke up and said that actually she would like seconds.
I realize we're all products of the society in which we live, and our culture has changed an awful lot in the last 80 years, but really, why would Pres. Hinkley ever need to speak on his wife's behalf, especially on such a trivial matter? Why would that be seen as protecting anyway, and not controlling?
We women are incredible, and we do hard things, but the way it's talked about so often leaves me feeling the opposite--like what I and other women do really isn't important, is really quite trivial, and certainly very unvalued.