Women’s Rights Gone Wrong 13

I don’t have to be asked to pray publicly at a religious event to know God knows and loves me.

I don’t have to wear pants to church to feel equal to men in importance in God’s kingdom.

I don’t have to hold the priesthood to have power and influence.

I don’t have to have a high position in the world to know I can do it.

I don’t have to be the same as a man to know I am equal to him.

My role as a woman is different, but it has always been equal.

History has proven in many many disappointing ways that the world does not appropriately recognize female equality, but I think the fight women are waging to prove our equality with men is the wrong battle.

Feminists are trying to prove to the world that women are equal to men by becoming more and more like men. “Let’s dress like men, and act like men, and demand to have all the same rights and privileges they have. Then we will be equal.”

Sorry sistas, but that will never prove we’re equal to men, it will only make us “the same,” which does not define equality.

True equality exists in value, not similarity.

Four quarters and a dollar bill are valued equally, but lack similarities.

Women becoming more like men to prove equality actually defeats the purpose of “feminism” because such a movement further validates that only masculine traits, qualities, and ambitions are valuable.

Isn’t that counterproductive to our cause?

True equality will exist when the world values our different female roles, rights, and privileges the same as they value that of males.

That is the fight I wish women would engage in.

I believe women should have the right to vote. I believe women should be free to pursue any field of study or profession they choose. I believe women should be hired based on qualification and paid the same wage as men for doing the same work.

These advancements in female rights are worthy, but they really aren’t at the heart of the gender equality battle.

I believe we fight to prove equality to men by becoming more like men because we as women question our own divine female roles.

Female roles and traits have been so demeaned and trivialized throughout history, that women think the only way to prove our worth is outside of and beyond these roles.

Yes, the world has been severely cruel and unfair to womanhood, and the battle to have a voice of any kind has been long and hard, but now that we finally have a podium and a microphone, is the message we really want to share with the world, “We can do anything men can do!?”

With this message we are undermining our own value and equality with our own voices!

Our differing roles were never meant to be competitive, but complimentary, and have always been equal in the eyes of God.

The world has skewed our role to fulfill evil purposes and succeeds the most when we as women sell out by trying to prove ourselves against men.

Amber Whitely, a 22-year-old mother from St. Louis and part of the “Let Women Pray” campaign to allow women to offer opening and closing prayers at the LDS Church’s General Conference, said in a statement, “I never want [my daughter] to feel unequal in the Mormon church. I want my daughter to see Mormon women being able to not only speak, but pray in general conference, and aspire to be like them.”

That’s valid, but I want my daughters to have valuable aspirations as women and know they’re equal to men, not because of public display by women—religious, political, professional, or otherwise—but because they have a relationship with God that has witnessed to them of their equality and value, privately and personally.

Women will never hold the priesthood.

We don’t need to.

If a woman never offers a prayer in General Conference, it doesn’t mean we’re not equal.

It means we don’t need to.

It means men need that experience to progress.

We need different experiences to progress.

Being self conscious and offended that every differing opportunity for men is some kind of slight or slam against women makes us seem weak, which we certainly are not.

We are strongest when we as women step up and make the most of the opportunities that are uniquely ours, that can only be accomplished using our divine rights, gifts, and privileges, and when we unite as women to show the world we know our roles are valuable.

As a famous woman once said, “Women who seek to be equal with men lack ambition.”

13 thoughts on “Women’s Rights Gone Wrong

  1. Reply Jana Jan 26,2013 5:32 pm

    Well said!!! Thanks for putting my thoughts into well thought out words 🙂

  2. Reply Marty Blair Jan 26,2013 9:11 pm

    As the father of three strong, competent, smart, unique girls–and the husband of a woman who is all of these things and more, I couldn’t agree more.
    mb

  3. Reply Nancy Cheal Jan 27,2013 9:38 am

    Here, here! Let not our motto be, “Women Whine!”

  4. Reply Marissa Jan 28,2013 10:55 am

    Well said!! I couldn’t agree more. Thank You

  5. Reply MARY LEE TAYLOR Jan 28,2013 4:39 pm

    KARI – I LOVE READING YOUR COLUMN EVERY TIME ONE APPEARS AND I AM EMBARRASSED THAT I HAVE NEVER GIVEN YOU ANY POSITIVE FEEDBACK – I’M JUST NOT A FACE BOOKER TYPE – BUT YOU ARE SUCH A GREAT COMBINATION OF WISDOM, HUMOR AND INSIGHT AND YOUR WORDS TODAY WERE PERFECT. I HOPE YOU “KARI ON” FOR A LONG TIME. LOVE YOU- JANA’S MOM

  6. Reply Robert Jan 28,2013 6:11 pm

    This is the problem… YOU are happy with your status in the Church and society (“My role as a woman is different, but it has always been equal”), therefore you are happy to postulate that other women are or should be happy as well.

    Many women in Iran, and Saudi Arabia, and Somalia say the same thing. There are also many women who disagree, with tragic consequences.

    There are women who feel that women should not be front line soldiers in the military. There were women and men who felt that women should never be astronauts, or firefighters, or, in some religions, ministers.

    Women telling other women how to be women. And it is really ironic, and sad, and dangerous, when men tell women how to be women.

    • Reply Ian Jan 28,2013 11:37 pm

      So, you, a male, is trying to tell Kari, a Woman, that her idea of equality for Woman is wrong…. You’re like a self-fulfilling prophecy!

  7. Reply DL Jan 29,2013 7:18 am

    “We don’t need to” is a surrender that reeks of sour grapes.

    What if Marie Curie “didn’t need to”? Anne Frank? Grace Hopper? Rosa Parks? Sally Ride?

    Need I continue?

    One wonders what *you* would accomplish if only you had the motivation to do other than lecture.

    • Reply Kari Feb 5,2013 9:04 am

      Let’s see, besides lecturing I’m raising three kids, managing a household, managing a business, taking an online college course, writing a book, promoting the book I already have published, doing freelance writing and graphic design jobs, serving in my community, volunteering in my kids’ schools, and serving in a leadership position in my church.

  8. Reply puns Jan 29,2013 11:20 am

    “Seperate but equal.” That’s a great argument you’ve got, there. Now stay away from my water fountain.

  9. Reply Hannah Jan 30,2013 1:01 pm

    Kari, thank you for expressing the truth so beautifully and clearly. This is exactly the way I see it but I couldn’t have articulated it as well as you just have. Thank you for making such a positive, strong stand for truth and righteousness. Don’t listen to those who think you should apologize for stating the truths that they try in vain to reason away.

  10. Reply Madi May 5,2013 3:10 pm

    I love you, Mom. 🙂

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