Religion, skepticism, and carving out a spiritual life post-Mormonism
It's funny, but it makes me cry.
The first thing that popped into my head was, "It's Shake & Bake and I helped!"I unfortunately can't find a video of the original.
This attitude, like the picture, is dated. Even amongst most conservative Christians.
This attitude should be dated. Unfortunately, where I grew up, it is very alive and well, and I didn't grow up all that long ago.
I agree, but I think its an unfair depiction.
I'll tell you what's unfair: Having all your decisions made for you for the first 20+ years of your life, because you unwittingly were born without a penis. Being told you're selfish and, yes, influenced by Satan, for contemplating anything beyond the unmatched bliss of wife-and-motherhood. That's more than unfair. That's mental abuse.I've written about this before. This is a very real problem for many young women, right now, in the United States, and I'll be damned if religion isn't the major exacerbating agent. Thinking otherwise is not being aware of the facts, or choosing to ignore them.Adding a clever caption to an old picture to illustrate the absurdity of using supposed divine designation as a justification for still-pervading gender roles: I think that's completely fair.
So I guess your experience of religion trumps all of the people in the christian church (not to mention other faiths) that are working toward egalitarianism and removing the glass ceiling. Not to mention the conservative "complementarians" who have shifted their views to bar women from only the job of pastor (glass ceiling) and are free to do whatever they want otherwise. I agree that it is still a problem, which makes me wonder why you would want to color a whole group of people, many of whom are working to fight such attitude, with the paint brush of your horrifying past. I am not saying religion hasn't been or still isn't being used that way, but there are people who disagree, and they don't deserve your contempt.Which is why placing a caption on a picture isn't fair. It is flippant and petulant. I hope we can lay blame where blame is due and credit where credit is due. While I get the medium of picture/caption isn't geared toward nuanced conversation I figured that I would at least get a head nod that infact there are people out there in their respective faiths that would like to work to see this attitude go away. Its a shame we couldn't even agree on that.
I didn't see any comments about religion at all in this post. It was just commentary on the effects of that mentality in her life and wanting to shine a light of attention on it. The more well known the issue is, the better people can spot it and fight against it.
Mike,I get what you're saying. The other side of what you're saying is that the existence of conservative Christians who are beginning to see the light of gender equity shouldn't protect the others who need to feel the heat of satire.What I see satirized in this picture is an attitude, not an entire religion. If you don't subscribe to that attitude, great. I'm glad we see eye to eye on this issue. People like my parents still hold attitudes like this. The attitude needs to be laughed at. Join the fun. :)
Not only should the glass ceiling be shattered, its pieces need to be driven into the hearts that installed it via denunciation.
Ray, I think you know full well that this post was aimed directly at religion. Though Leah may not have used the word “religion” in the post, anyone who knows her and her experiences know what this post was aimed at. Later Leah directly blames religion as the major source fueling the problem and links to a previous blog where she did directly correlate the Mormon church with how she was raised. What about the caption itself? Leah, I am going to step out on a limb and suggest that this attitude might be prevalent more so in the Mormon Church than with Christians in general. We grew up in the same town at the same time and it was not taught at church that women had an inferior role to play in society. My mother, who was raised in a conservative Christian family in the south, worked hard when my siblings and I were young at being there for us and going to school at the same time so she could fulfill her dream of being a nurse. My sister was not raised thinking she had specific roles she had to fulfill as a woman. My wife, who is our age, grew up in a very conservative Christian family and she went halfway across the country to college, earned two degrees and even returned to school to receive specialized training so she could achieve one of her goals in her career of being a teacher librarian. Her mother shares similar experiences about how she was raised and how her and her husband decided to raise their children. We are soon expecting our first child and my wife has decided that she wants to leave her job (a decision she reached on her own without any pressure from myself or the church. In fact, the very premise scares me a little due to finances) and stay home to raise our child. What does that make her? Old fashioned? One that has been duped by religion? Or just someone who has in her own mind decided what she wants for herself and her family?I am sharing these experiences, not to minimalize the impact this issue has had on you or any other woman, but to point out that this is not always the case in religion. I do think that this is an unfair depiction to paint on the church (and by church I mean all Christians collectively) in general.
Sorry Patrik, but I happen to live with Leah. Religion was a very distant second, or even third point. I happened to also have discussed this with Leah before she posted it. The point was more about the culture of keeping girls and women in their "places" It's not solely the culture of religion.
The mind-set this picture is satiring is definately not limited to religion or even christianity. It is also so subtle that people do not even realize that it is happening. It starts from birth when they wrap your child in either the pink or blue blanket. Every parent chooses to what degree they socialize thier children into thier respective gender roles. I am still short of 30 and I can recall differences in the kinds of toys I was given or expected to play with. Baby dolls and tea sets. I played at being a scientist or a detective right along my brothers but they never bought me toy guns or microscopes. I think if my parents had thought about it they might have done differently. Unlike some strongly mormon people I have known, my parents told me I could do anything. Sorry, I don't have time to chime in more thoroughly, but I wanted to say that my observation of more than one christian religion has been a higher than average expectation for women to fit a domestic role.
While not all religions today teach that the woman should be subjugated to men, and should not aspire to do things outside of God’s mandated roll for them. Many certainly have, and still do. After a quick review of what the Bible has to say about women and their place it is easy to see how many Christians could justify mistreating women.Surely the hierarchy structure of many churches reflects the archaic belief that women are less than men and should be subject to them.I have lived in more than one part of this country, and every place I’ve lived I have seen men reference the Bible or some other book of scripture to put their wives, or some other woman, in their place.Religion may not be the only anti feminist influence, but it has been a major player.Titus 2:4-54 That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, 5 To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed. 1 Timothy 2:8-15 8 I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting. 9 In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; 10 But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works. 11 Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. 12 But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. 13 For Adam was first formed, then Eve. 14 And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression. 15 Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety. 1 Timothy 5:14-15 14 I will therefore that the younger women marry, bear children, guide the house, give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully. 15 For some are already turned aside after Satan. Ephesians 5:22-24 22 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. 24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. 1 Cor 14:34-35 34 Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law. 35 And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church. 1 Cor 11:3, 8-9 3 But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.8 For the man is not of the woman; but the woman of the man. 9 Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man. Proverbs 31 was also interesting, but this post was getting too long.
Funny acoustics in here. It almost sounds like there are people telling you that your actual experience of life doesn't count or is "unfair" to talk about because it doesn't fit in with their view of the world.I know a woman myself who was raised in a strongly-religious household (fundamentalist, not Mormon) and was conditioned to take a very limited view of her choices in life. She overcame that and is now an atheist, fortunately.Some Christians may well have broken free of the Biblical teachings on the role of women, but there are plenty that haven't.
Hello Leah,It is interesting to drop in on your blog once and awhile. Its been years since I've talked with you and obviously a lot has changed since we saw each other.First, I just like to say I have always seen you as very intelligent. I'm glad when I read that you realized that you can dream big and set great goals. I'm back where we grew up and work at the school. Everyday I wish the students would get that through their heads. Boys and girls here think that they are doomed or at least have very few choices in front of them because of family situations, financial problems, religious beliefs, or a simple lack of confidence.As you probable guess, I don't agree with the path you have taken, but at the same time I am happy for your if you are happy. I love finding old friends who are happy on the paths they have chosen for themselves even if it is a different path. What hurts is seeing friends depressed, worried, stuck...Sorry this was a bit off the discussion. But in response to the picture, it is just sick and wrong. I hope that this idea will continue to change for the better. As I tell the kids, please, dream big. Our little town isn't the whole world. LEAVE IT! Yes, you can come back, but go and see the world and grow from your understanding. Make goals, find who you really are. Make you own decisions and not base them on your friends or parents decisions. Once you find your path, then if you wish come back to our little small town and share that we live in a beautiful world and they can do anything they want if they just work for it!
"I do think that this is an unfair depiction to paint on the church (and by church I mean all Christians collectively) in general."Why? Because some churches are slowly growing past this? Because some women managed to break out of it in the past? Because churches don't explicitly teach this from the pulpit?The fact is that even the most modern churches are likely to reinforce notions that families are "best" served when the mom stays home with her kids. And they aren't exactly quick to say that women should follow their dreams even when those dreams mean putting marriage and motherhood on hold for a while (or permanently). Do they condemn conservative men or women who say that feminism is the root of what's wrong with society today? Do they even notice that these people subtly redefine "feminism" as a woman seeking out non-traditional gender roles?
I've posted a response to this.