Subject: Are women 2nd class citizens in mormondom?
Date: Oct 09 20:42
Author: DeafGuy

In disputing a comment that a female convert to mormonism would become a second-class citizen, "former miss" wrote:

> I adamately disagree with this statement. I am a former mormon. BIC, RM, TM, etc. My wife was and still is not treated as a second class citizen. That is an overly general statement.

I offered a couple of mormon-specific examples in which I believe illustrates the fact that women are indeed treated as second-class citizens. In response, "former miss" then wrote:

> Your points are well taken. However, again Mormonism does not hold the copyright to this. There are many relgions and cultures that treat women much worse. You are viewing this from a very narrow perspective. Take a world view of this and then comment.

At least you apparently do concede that mormonism does make women second-class citizens after all. That it happens elsewhere also doesn't excuse or negate its occurence in mormonism.

I don't dispute that it also happens elsewhere in many different contexts (as a professional in the IT field, for instance, I've long been aware that it's almost entirely male-dominated), but that's irrelevant to the context of the discussion to which you were replying, the situation of a woman joining the mormon church and how that would affect her. Pringle's original statement was accurate, and your disagreement then is apparently off the mark.

Subject: Women in the church
Date: Oct 10 02:34
Author: Nightingale

I didn't get a chance to comment on the other thread about women being "second class citizens" in the Mormon church. DeafGuy's reply here addresses one of the main points I wanted to make to "former miss" too, that policy in the Mormon church does subjugate women and because this also occurs outside Mormonism doesn't excuse the church. You can't say that teachings of the Mormon church keep women barefoot and pregnant but that's OK because XYZ Church keeps their women barefoot, pregnant and hungry and that's worse. Also, it may be that one's own experience was more positive than negative in the church but it's wise to remember that's not true for all members.

On the other thread, DeafGuy gave some good examples of how women are "2nd class" in the church and he said that exmo females could likely provide more examples. My observations include the effect of the church's emphasis on obedience - that not only must a woman obey her husband but also every priesthood holder. In theory alone, this is demeaning to women. A more egalitarian policy would emphasize a teamwork approach, with men and women being of equal status, in recognition of both genders being endowed with skills and talents and spiritual gifts to be beneficially used in the home, the church and the community. Men and women on an equal footing cooperating together in decision-making, in recognition of their parallel ability and stature, makes a lot more sense than having only men making all church-related decisions, due to an arbitrary hierarchical structure based on outmoded patriarchy.

Women must also constantly be in submission to a male, even in senior callings in the church, despite the reality that the woman may be more qualified, experienced and capable in the matter at hand. Interestingly, I noted this inequity in a book I read about the history of the Relief Society. Very capable women started and maintained the organization, but they had to report to JS on every detail, to get his permission for every dime they spent and every activity. He even ordered them to change RS meeting minutes (always a suspect maneuver) and they had no choice but to obey the "prophet", even though they strenuously disagreed with him about some things. (Way to go, ladies, though, for at least voicing your disagreement!) A full 150 yrs later, nothing has changed there. Women may disagree but they are expected to obey. Emphasizing obedience over equal input, over ability, reason and fairness, by definition, demeans women.

Encouraging/expecting large families contributes to women being unable to make their own choices, possibly fulfilling other education and career goals. This robs them of their autonomy and the respect due every individual for who they are and the rational choices they make that are right for their own lives.

I think it is fairly well known that women in abusive relationships are routinely counselled by church leaders to stay in the ongoing abusive situation, where they are also expected to obey their priesthood-holding spouse. This makes the priesthood, even if it is horribly flawed, more important than the woman.

As an adult convert who is single, I was repeatedly told by many members (only after baptism) that it was expected of me to "find a husband" and have children - that I had "a responsibility to procreate as long as it was physically possible to do so" as otherwise I would be "depriving spirit children of a body". This was despite the fact that I was settled and happy in my chosen career and had no wish to marry and raise a family. I was told this was being "disobedient". This attitude clearly showed me that according to the church, my choices were "wrong", my degree of faith was in question, my career was of no significance and that the "person" I am does not matter; only my gender matters, which exists primarily for the purpose of bearing children.

Obedience and childbirth - that is the lot of Mormon females, both on earth and in heaven. Yes, many women worldwide are downtrodden. If you want to say that Mormon women are less downtrodden, OK, but that's just an argument of degree. It still doesn't make it right.

Subject: Re: Women in the church
Date: Oct 10 03:23
Author: UtahSurvivor

What Nightengale said! Well stated!

For whatever reason, the wife of "former miss" may not feel the repression as much as some other women in the Mormom society. Possibly she is the model Mormon woman - does not work outside the home and attends all of the required Church activities. (I did not see the original thread regarding this subject, so please excuse my ignorance of the facts.) Mrs. "former miss" is at least on the road to being considered "normal" by Mormon standards simply by being married.

However, I think I am offended that a man would dispute any repression toward women by the Church. Of course the world is a completely different experience for him, and he will not witness the same inequities a woman will. But believe me, buddy, the inequities are there.

Yes, "former miss," women are treated very badly in other parts of the world. I don't think anyone disputes that fact. However, this is America. Any suppressive conduct or attitude toward women should not be tolerated.

True, there is still a long way to go before women will truly be considered to be above second-class citizens, even outside the Zion Curtain. However, any large religious organization in America that condones and even perpetuates repression of women should be scrutinized and critized.

Subject: P.S. And thank you DeafGuy!
Date: Oct 10 03:42
Author: UtahSurvivor

Got on a rant there and forgot to thank DeafGuy for his open-minded, perceptive posting! Your supportive attitude is a gift! Thank you!!

Subject: Re: Women in the church
Date: Oct 10 17:05
Author: thunderdownunder

I agree very well said nightingale. This very thing I believe is at the basis of my wifes continuing unhappinness and discontent with her own life. She always had this thing about why men should be 'number one' in everything and women second. She's right of course I agree and empathise with her and always have. As I have said before the real frustrating thing for me when we try to trace the where this comes from (her upbringing and experiences in the church)she absolutely refuses to admit things-total denial.

Subject: Re: Women in the church
Date: Oct 25 03:21
Author: Adrienne

This is also what I've experienced as an adult convert,
especially since my divorce. One major reason for divorcing
is that my TBM ex-husband said that if I got my tubes tied,
he would leave me, and I even said I no longer wanted to
have his kids because he never held a steady job, mooched
off his arthritic mom, and never made any effort to get at
least a degree from a junior college or transfer to a four
year institution, like I did. This is what contributed to my
leaving the church, he and the rest of them saw me only as a
baby making machine expected to be a virtual slave.

I want to have a career first, then if I meet the right
nevermo, I will consider marriage after living together for
at least a year before making that commitment again. The
next potential husband must have a job and be
self-supporting and if I have children, I will have no more
than 2 so they can be well supported.

If I choose not to marry again, or have children that is my
decision, and no church will control me again. I don't need
a man to gain salvation. True, women in other countries are
mistreated, but this is taking place right here in America.
Women deserve better than this crap and I am going to fight
the Morg in any way I can.

Subject: The proof is in the practices.
Date: Oct 10 04:32
Author: Amelia A.

When a new prophet is sustained at general
conference, people are directed to stand up
sequentially according to "rank" and sustain the
selection. Women are in the very last group asked to
stand and sustain the new prophet. Thus we see that a
grown woman's input is requested AFTER any moronic
priesthood-holding buggar-eating boy of twelve has
been consulted.

Second-class citizen? Seems even less than that.

Subject: Que??? I don't get it.
Date: Oct 10 05:15
Author: .

Doesn't everybody vote at the same time?

Subject: Re: Que??? I don't get it.
Date: Oct 10 11:42
Author: Amelia A.

This is in the next general conference following the
death of a prophet. The new prophet is sustained with
one group at a time asked to stand and raise their right
hand in support. It goes from the "top" group down to
the general membership--everybody left over who
doesn't fit into a priesthood category.

They morg can continue to insist that women are just
as loved and valued by the mormon god as anyone but
they fact of the matter is, a non-priesthold bearing
indivdual's input is not as valued as evidenced by "the
vote." And as we all know, a woman can beat herself up
trying to be faithful and diligent and perfect but she will
NEVER hold the priesthood and all that implies.

If I have two kids and I consistently include one in
important decisions involving the family and routinely
ignore the other, all the talk in the world about them
being valued equally is undermined by the reality of my

This type of situation is rampant in the mormon church
and it creates insanity of a sort because you keep
hearing one thing in denial of the reality you are
witnessing. Your experience tells you one thing on a gut
level while everyone around you is denying what you

Elephant? What elephant? There is no elephant in the
room. You are rebellious and have a bad attitude. With
an attitude like that you'll never be with your family in the
CK. Repent and be a good girl. You'll see what we tell
you to see or else you will be punished.

Subject: Real simple-no place for females in hierarchy= SECOND CLASS CITIZEN!!!!!!!
Date: Oct 10 13:37
Author: SusieQ#1

This is so elementary that it is almost embarrassing! Or as the grand kids would say, DUH!


ONLY first class MALES serve in the hierarchy!

Telling yourself you are not or listening to the "Pen*shood" tell you you are not, does not change the fact.

Subject: Exactly. You know how I get on this subject...
Date: Oct 10 17:34
Author: Dagny

Women in the church are never in positions of power except over other women and children.

Women are not asking men about their sex lives in interviews, but the reverse is true.
Women can't even get resurrected without the assistance of a male, but men are not to be called from the grave from a female.

The major goal the church teaches women is that they should stay home and be mothers (translation: a woman's worth is to be a breeder who is not encouraged in power positions out of the home).

There is no glass ceiling in the church for is more like cement.

The obsession with gender roles in the church is a thinly veiled attempt at controlling reproduction and power. Men are just as capable of being the nurturing home parent while the woman is a provider (or they can share these roles), but the church would rather not allow role reversal, lest their power structure tumble.

Subject: This subject easily pisses me off because I have lived this!!(language)
Date: Oct 25 03:28
Author: Adrienne

I am so sick and tired of the Morg being allowed to treat
women no better than the Taliban did in Afghanistan. I know
that sounds extreme, but in some ways, it's true. Women
aren't allowed to work, they must have children and get
married, and wear restrictive clothing. I know garmies
aren't burkas, but still very restrictive.

If I had the chance, I'd cut Joesph Smith's dick off and
throw it away for what he created! He certainly deserved it
when he started this mistreatment of women by marrying girls
and married women without their husbands divorcing them

Subject: Women in Morg=Women in Taliban??.
Date: Oct 25 06:00
Author: Double Agent

You're right that it sounds extreme, because it is. Come on, you can't honestly believe this. Women are encouraged to stay home and raise their own families but no one is forced. I know tons of mormon women that work and no one looks down on them or anything.

I grant you some things are unfair to women but to say that its like they're living under the Taliban is just going way too far and is ridiculous.

Subject: Yes; & nothing has changed, at least as far as the early 80's.
Date: Oct 25 11:28
Author: Zoe

I had an experience at BYU just as I was about to leave anyway that really drove the point home to me. I worked as a lifeguard at the Heleman Halls pool (2nd summer there). I also worked, year round at the City pool and had something like eight years of lifeguarding experience all told at the time, since I'd been doing this kind of work part-time since high school. Our supervisor was male (surprise!0.

One day, when one male guard and several female guards were on duty, and the supervisor was not there, the male guard had a disagreement over procedure with all of the female guards. Not only did this male not have much experience as a lifeguard himself, but his experience was very little, relative to the collective experience of all of the (female) guards. He insisted his way was right, and we ignored him and did it our way.

Of course, the irate male guard reported this to the male supervisor, whose response was to issue the following policy: whenever he (the supervisor) was not there, but any male preisthood holder was, in the event of a disagreement, the priesthood holder's decision was final. Ugh!

I was planning on leaving anyway. This just confirmed my decision.

Subject: Re: Women
Date: Oct 25 13:50
Author: Trying Dynamic

Here is a mormon's take on it.

I know it by heart because I have heard it enough times from family, friends, people in ProLDS chatrooms.

Women are not oppressed in the church. they just have a different calling. They are too be mothers. Don't you think mothers are important? They don't need to hold the priesthood. They already have motherhood if they had the priesthood too, there would be no use for men.

Women should stay home and put career second because the women are best suited to raise the children. Women are to obey their husbands because that is the patriarchal order and the patriarchal order was established by God. If you have a problem with it than you have a problem with God.

I don't that there are only two female speakers in general Conference they don't have the priesthood and it is not their place to try and educate me, thats why they talk about children, thats where they should ber and what they should be concerned about.

We don't worship Heavenly Mother because there is more than one. We don't worship her because then people would curse and use her name, and she is too Precious to Heavenly Father for him to allow that.

Subject: TBM Quote of the Day: "It is not [women's] place to try and educate me, thats why they talk about children, thats where they should [be] and what they should be concerned about."
Date: Oct 26 15:47
Author: DeafGuy

Trying Dynamic wrote:
> Here is a mormon's take on it.


> Women are not oppressed in the church. they just have a different calling. They are too be mothers.

That's not oppression? Think about it--as a man, I can literally do anything I want to, insofar as my talents are sufficient. I could go into politics. I could be a doctor. I could be a mechanic, a computer programmer, a mail man, a lawyer, whatever. The whole world out there is open to me.

As a woman in the church, however, my wife had only the single option of being a mother. Her interests, her talents, her desires, everything, every option that I have all take a back seat to the church's decree that she is to be a mother first. The church doesn't even ask if she wants to be a mother, if she's suited to be a mother, it just makes a blanket decree that this is the destiny for every woman, period.

I have choice. My wife doesn't. And you're telling me that isn't oppression? Pardon me for disagreeing.

Please note that this isn't meant to belittle the role of mothers in children's lives. But I can't help but notice that all the while TBMs are proclaiming the goodness of motherhood, they're not saying much about fatherhood. <sarcasm>Oh, that's right, the father is out there working, then absent from home doing all the callings the church asks of him. That's why it's essential for mothers to take up the slack and raise the kids.</sarcasm>

If women were truly equal to men in the church, it would be an equal partnership. Husband and wife, wife and husband would take equal responsibility for raising kids and bringing home the bacon. And as such, the wife would have an equal chance at a career and the husband should be taking an equal responsiblity at home and with raising the kids. If it so happens that the wife, of her own free will and choice, rather than by church decree, wants to stay home as a traditional stay-at-home mom, that's fine. But if she doesn't, then by virtue of being an equal partnership with her husband, she can work out a more equitable balance. Perhaps the husband might be more suited to being a stay-at-home dad while his wife works.

But does the church take such variables into account? No, they give the variety only to men, and decree that all women must be happy with their one, universal role. That's not equality. Women are to be stay-at-home moms, period.

Yes, that is most definitely oppression, no matter how much you might try to superficially glorify motherhood as an attempt to excuse the oppression.

> Don't you think mothers are important?

Which of course, isn't the point... Don't you think that fathers are important? Don't you think that men and women should have equal opportunities to use their talents? Don't you think that marriage should be an equal partnership?

> They don't need to hold the priesthood. They already have motherhood if they had the priesthood too, there would be no use for men.

You're making me laugh here. So is that a man, you feel inferior to women's reproductive capability, so you need to put yourself in a position of authority over them to make up for your physical inability?

I don't know, that just seems like an incredibly lame attempt there. The biological capacity to bear children doesn't seem to have any relevance to who has the talents for leadership and management.

Indeed, you're still suggesting that it's like only women can raise children. Bear them, sure. But don't fathers take an equal responsibility for raising children? And in the same veins, women have equal responsibility beyond raising children?

> Women should stay home and put career second because the women are best suited to raise the children.

OK, that nails it. You're a bigot. You're ignoring the vast diversity and variety in the human race, and making a blanket declaration that women are superior in this respect, and men just can't compete. And using that flawed reasoning, you're then saying that because of this superior ability, women must necessarily be pigeonholed and restricted into one single role.

You really can't see the problem with that?

> Women are to obey their husbands because that is the patriarchal order and the patriarchal order was established by God. If you have a problem with it than you have a problem with God.

Ah yes, the universal excuse: Blame it on god. Lacking any better argument, you just defer blame to the Guy in Charge.

And isn't it funny that this patriarchal order was established, not actually by god, but by men claiming to speak for god? We don't actually see god showing up and announcing that, "Hey, listen up ya'll, men are charge, so they don't have to feel bad about not being able to give birth, and that's the way it is, like it or not." No, instead we have men saying that the the patriarchal order is the way it is, because god told them so. Just sort of like how god told a bunch of guys to fly airplanes into various buildings.

> I don't that there are only two female speakers in general Conference they don't have the priesthood and it is not their place to try and educate me, thats why they talk about children, thats where they should ber and what they should be concerned about.

Well, that says it all... Double Agent, are you getting a load of this TBM's take? He doesn't even want to be tainted by learning anything from a woman...

Maybe I'm just warped, because three of my last five supervisors were women, and funnily enough, they were the best managers I've ever had. And even worse, all of my college teachers this semester are women. Imagine that, I'm being brainwashed by being under the authority of women and being taught by women. The horror.

Or maybe, just perhaps, it's those poor deluded TBMs that are missing out, by shunning and oppressing the talents and experience of half of the population...

Subject: Trying Dynamic, it was pointed out to me that you're probably not TBM...
Date: Oct 26 22:25
Author: DeafGuy

Trying Dynamic, it was pointed out to me that you're probably not TBM, although I addressed my post as if those were your own views, and if you were only trying to portray the mormon point of view rather than express your actual views, I apologize for directing my comments at you.

Subject: The risk of speaking tounge in cheek.
Date: Oct 27 03:13
Author: Trying Dynamic

No not my views. It is what I would expect a staunch unflinching unquestioning TBM to the core to say/think about the issue of women being second class.

Thought I had made it clear. Guess I should have emphasised that point. :->

Subject: No sorry needed...
Date: Oct 27 03:45
Author: Trying Dynamic

It was amusing to read you argue with me. lol

At least I know you got the point.

Subject: Excellent! It brought out really good points
Date: Oct 27 05:01
Author: Nightingale
Mail Address:

And way to go, DeafGuy, for getting so irate about gender stuff in the church!

I don't know why they don't listen to us exmos. Really. Couldn't we teach 'em a thing or two?!