What Women Know

A friend sent me a link to www.whatwomenknow.org and asked me how I felt about it. The following is my reply:

I have mixed feelings about it. I don’t know what the authors want to accomplish. It is not directly addressed to the church or any specific church leaders, and I havent’ heard of any plans to publish it somewhere else, so I don’t know who the intended audience is. I suspect that the sort of people who are perusing areas of the internet where this will be found already agree with most of what they say.

They are being extremely bold, yet holding back at the same time. For example, saying, “We reverence the responsibility to choose…whether we become parents” is much different than saying, “We claim that it is not a commandment of God to have children.” If they’re going to be bold and stand in opposition to long-established church culture (if not doctrine), they should be more explicit.

In general, I think I support the “silent disobedience” method of expressing discontent to the “loud, creating web pages in opposition” method of expressing discontent, so it’s hard for me to really get behind this movement (…if that’s what this is). What does this accomplish that hasn’t already been expressed on FMH? I see a big difference between a bunch of sisters discussing the gospel on personal blogs aimed only at other indifiduals who care to read, and creating a web page for the sole purpose of making a specific declaration.

I think it’s very sad that Julie Beck continues to receive so much criticism for her talk. I disliked it as much as everyone else. It presented a version of womanhood that I don’t want for my wife, but I am perfectly content to wash it from my mind and pretend like she never said it, without creating a web page in opposition. …Or give her the benefit of the doubt and assume that she intended something other than what she said. Couldn’t these sisters have created the same web page without stating that it was a direct response to Julie Beck? I would rather they oppose the church as a whole than single out one sister. What do they want HER to do? Resign? Issue an apology? Her talk was only the straw that broke the camel’s back – the authors have probably not been content in the church for many, many years.

Despite all of this, I agree with everything they say and I admire their courage. I won’t sign my name to it, but I hope the list continues to grow. My favorite part: “anyone who is regularly reminded that she is “equally important” is probably not. Partnership is illusory without equal decision-making power.” Bold, but it makes sense to me. I have never understood why women don’t feel patronized when they are asked to recite the theme “We are beloved spirit daughters of God and our lives have meaning, purpose, and direction.” Why do sisters need to be reminded that their lives have meaning, but brothers don’t need the same reminder?

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