That said, let me get to the purpose of this post: I am a feminist. I have shuddered at the thought of making this declaration for a long time now, but after months of thinking and praying, I am, in fact, a feminist.
As an active and happy Latter Day Saint woman, let me tell you first what this means to me:
- I do not want the Priesthood, and I do not think women should have the Priesthood. I am not the only Mormon Feminist to think so, but there is a large number who DO want the Priesthood. I am not a feminist in that category. While I understand those concerns and frustrations, I do not share that desire. I have gone through fire within myself to answer this question, and I stand by that. There is a divine plan for both sexes which I take on faith.
- That divine plan is not motherhood. I do not think that Priesthood and motherhood should be equated. One is biology, the other is not. I hate it when people say, "Women don't need the Priesthood because we can have babies." Seriously, that is bunk. I am biologically created to bear children. A penis or the production of sperm does not biologically give a man the Priesthood. If it did, men would not need to be ordained. By nature of their birth (with a penis), they would have that authority.
- I am not sure what that divine plan looks like, and I am okay with that. I take it on faith.
Women should not be subjected to judgement because they are outspoken, strong, and opinionated. That should be celebrated. Women should not be subjected to judgement because they choose to wear pants to church. That should not even be an issue. The Young Women's President should have just as much influence in a Ward as the Young Men's President. The Relief Society President should have just as much influence as the Elder's Quorum President. Young girls and young women should be celebrated equally to the young boys and young men when they accomplish something. The expectations that we set for our young women should be just as high as those set for our young men.
Women should not be criticized and judged because of their bodies. We are not "walking pornography" for men. Men and women need to check their own thoughts and be accountable for them. The young women of the church should be encouraged to be leaders, to get educations, to wait to get married, to go on missions. They should be taught that their worth is the same as the young men. They should be taught that their worth is never dependent on the length of their skirt.
I have so much more that I could go on about, but for now, I will just leave it as that. I am a feminist.