Wednesday, October 31, 2007

On Mormon Men

Mormon men are downtrodden. In General Conference, they are typically labeled as pornography-consuming, abusive slobs who need to do a lot better if they want to curry God’s favor. Women never get this from male General Authorities, and when they are encouraged to do things different or better by a female General Authority, they start getting existential angst over what it means to be a Mormon woman and a feminist. Mormon men aren’t given the option to do the same. I’d like to see a male General Authority get up and tell women to repent of their nagging and getting angry over things that their husband had no way of knowing a priori that it was hurtful.

I wish that the Church would stress the choices and opportunities available to men, that they don’t have to be tied down to a wife and family, that they can accomplish their goals with money left over in the bank every month. Instead of regaling them with tales of supposed joy over the ability to bless and baptize their own children and watch them grow up, it should present the whole picture and present male role models who have succeeded in business and the arts without the unnecessary baggage of a family.

When will men get their fair place in the Mormon church? One day middle-aged single Mormon men will not be viewed with suspicion by their fellow church-goers as someone inferior for their self-imposed marital status (as men in the church are culturally empowered to be the proposers of marriage, after all). One day Mormon men will be viewed as more important than just a glorified income producer. One day they'll be seen as more than a bunch of potential house-movers. I’m sure it’s only time before the Mormon church moves past its misandric past and moves towards a new, enlightened future.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

On the Effects of Reform

I remember a newspaper article that came out when Pope Benedict was chosen as Pope and the writer of the article was talking to his friend who happened to be a lapsed Catholic. The friend said that the Catholic Church should have voted in a more liberal Pope. When the writer asked his friend if he would go back to church if a more liberal Pope had been chosen, the friend replied no. The writer asked the friend why exactly the Catholic Church should have chosen a liberal Pope if it made no difference to lapsed members such as himself. It raises an interesting question. If the Church were to change certain aspects (e.g. ordaining women, ‘faithful’ history, etc.), how many ex-members would come back? If none, what difference would any reform make?