“Feminism” is a word that is often looked down upon. It is a belief that is swept under the rug and considered taboo. However, I am not afraid to say it.
I am a feminist.
When asked if I am a feminist, I say yes, to which many people reply, “But you’re a Mormon.”
This is true. I belong to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. And I am a feminist.
That leads those people to continue questioning me, “Do you want to hold the priesthood?” To which I reply that no, I do not.
People may say that my church oppresses women and that we are treated unfairly, but I can testify that that is the farthest thing from the truth.
For 19 years, I have watched my dad, who holds the priesthood, treat my mother like a queen. When I turned 16 years old, I started dating boys who held the priesthood and when I was with them, they made sure I wanted for nothing.
The priesthood has blessed me in more ways than I can count, much less write. It is not something that is used to hold women down, it is used to buoy women up.
I’ve learned that the feminist beliefs I hold value the differences between men and women.
I would be crazy to think that I could do everything a man could. There are things that men do, such as holding the priesthood, that women just can’t. Likewise, there are things women do that men can’t. It doesn’t mean either one of us are better or worse than the other.
Men and women have different, God-given gifts. The priesthood, for example, is a gift given to men when they turn 12 years old. From the outside, it may look like women don’t get any gifts, but believe me, we do.
Our gift is called motherhood. Women are the only ones who get the blessing of giving birth, and men are never going to change that.
Many also think that the very act of being a mother does not coincide with being a feminist. After all, aren’t they supposed to oppose all things feminine?
In the Bible, it says, “And the Lord God said, it is not good that the man should be alone. I will make him an help meet for him.”
And when God created Eve, he did not make her out of a bone in Adam’s foot, to be trodden on by Adam, nor did He make her out of a piece of Adam’s skull, to be above him.
God created Eve out of one of Adam’s ribs, so that they could work together side-by-side, buoy each other up in trials and celebrate each other’s joys.
Nothing worthwhile in this world, not even the priesthood, works unless there is a man and a woman working together, for each other, not against each other.
You see, being a feminist is not about wanting every little thing to be equal between men and women, its wanting the value in our differences to be seen. Feminism is wanting equal opportunities, even if they are different, and wanting to have a voice just as loud as anyone else’s.
No, I do not shun dresses and lipstick and I do not see men as the enemy. However, I do not think that my only place in this world is the kitchen and I do not want to hold the priesthood.
And it is all because I am an LDS feminist.