Sunday, January 23, 2011

the good mormon wife

i have been in utah for a while now, thanks to my being in college here, and i still refuse to say i "live" here.  this is not my domicile, thank you very much. this is due to many things, but first and foremost, the fact that utah mormons are weird.  i should know.  ive been mormon all my life, and lived here both as a child and as an adult.  

now, when i say this, i dont mean they are weird in that they teach different things.  not at all, the mormon church is the same where ever you go.  but the differences are more subtle, like their attitudes about certain things or ideas.  many people would disagree, but i think its true. even predominant themes in the church are taken to huge extremes here.  

case in point: as mormons, we really value the family and most women choose to be stay at home moms, at least for part of their lives.  but nowhere is there any sort of teaching that forbids working women/mothers-rather, that is a decision left to the individual and the family.

however, a few weeks ago we had stake conference, a sort of district church meeting, where this doctrine was totally skewed.  this is what was said:  "a woman who has a million degrees but no children or family at the end of her life has nothing compared to the woman who can take pride in raising 5, 6, 7, 8 children." the guy speaking piqued my interest with his comments, but i tried to wait before being insulted for any sort of balancing remark such as "this applies to anyone who puts careers ahead of family" or "i say women because i was just speaking about mothers" but nothing like that came.  it made no sense in the context, but i thought maybe he was just unprepared so it came out weird.  

either way though, it was insulting!  why, you might ask? because not only is an education important for women, the statement doesnt take into consideration the women who cant have children or who dont find the guy for them, and who doesnt want to sit at home doing nothing for their entire life. not to mention, everyone knows that earthly wealth isnt gonna  chill with you in heaven, and we believe the only things you are gonna be able to keep past this life in family and knowledge.  so explain to me again, how a woman with a degree(s) is screwed?  

these are the kinds of comments frequently made about mormon women, by mormon men and women alike, in utah. but ive never heard such awful interpretations anywhere else.  when i was in middle school in wa, noone there ever insinuated that women shouldnt go to college, and i certainly never heard the sentiment that women should only stay home and have babies in ca.  it is so frustrating, to feel like people admire your desire to go to law school, but oh you arent gonna work afterwards right, cuz you have been married to two years already and in 2 more years you should definitely be working on babies.

no, actually.

im gonna work.

AND have babies. 

you judge me, and ill punch you.

kidding. maybe.