Friday, December 14, 2007

The Perfect Woman

The LDS Conference, which took place in October, escaped my attention because of recent changes in my life and circumstances, however Julie Beck's .Mothers Who Know talk deserves some comment from me.

As many of you know, my daughter married a mormon a few years ago. I watch her struggle with the expectations of this very demanding organization. Recently, I noted a change in her behavior: she started cooking again! She has been the queen of fast food but suddenly (around October) she became more domesticated. I wondered about the change but now I understand.

I read Beck's talk and some of the comments about it. This one puts it into perspective for me...I wish my daughter would read it.

"Mothers who know are nurturers. ... Another word for nurturing is homemaking. Homemaking includes cooking, washing clothes and dishes, and keeping an orderly home. Home is where women have the most power and influence; therefore, Latter-day Saint women should be the best homemakers in the world. Nurturing mothers are knowledgeable, but all the education women attain will avail them nothing if they do not have the skill to make a home that creates a climate for spiritual growth. Growth happens best in a "house of order," and women should pattern their homes after the Lord's house."

And this comment:
I can’t get this Julie Beck thing off my mind now so I keep logging in to RFM and reading those threads when I’ve got a shitload of work piled on my desk.

But it’s exactly that (work) that keeps me thinking of that stupid talk. I’m sitting here surrounded by working women. OK, from my office I can hear people in 5 offices—all of them just happen to be women. All of them have incredible families. One is childless by choice, one is a mother and grandmother, but has been in a happy lesbian relationship for a number of years. Three are married and have school-aged children. Four of them are corporate attorneys (also, it’s a Fortune 100 company), two are also managing directors. One is a senior paralegal. I am the lone former “Mother Who Knew.”

I DEFY any mormon woman to match their families, their relationships and their children up against any of these women. Yes, they make hard CHOICES. They are all very well paid. They have to decide what they can delegate to paid help (e.g., a nanny who picks up the kids from school and gets them started on their homework, a housekeeper who does the bulk of the major cleaning, a gardner, etc.) and what they feel is important to their family for them to not delegate (making dinner, attending soccer games, church and school activities, planning and taking fun family trips). They have marriages or relationships that I can only dream of. Where my temple-married husband got bored with Molly Mormon who “knew,” but was burnt out and uninteresting, their husbands see them as fun, interesting and someone they’d better stay in line for. Where my children were lucky to be able to take a trip to the desert to see their grandparents with their cash-strapped mother who “knew,” theirs are taking trips to Europe and Prague and China that they all planned together as a family. Where my children were “contributing” to the world by being forced by their mother who “knew” to get up too early for Seminary and hating it, theirs are working on Habitat for Humanity and the food bank and things that actually make a difference.

Where their children who are grown treat them like treasures, call them regularly, respect them, my children can barely stomach the fact that they had a mother who was so stupid and made such stupid decisions (somehow they were all able to figure it out for themselves). And I have no answers for my daughters who married too young because I let them stay in the brainwashing cult long past when I really believed, but I was too insecure to get out and face motherhood in the real world. My one child who respects me is the youngest—the one who was there when I made the transition out of TSCC, went back to college in my 40s and finally got a respectiable career.

I also have some friends who are happy stay-at-home moms. One even home schools her kids. But they don’t have so many kids that they don’t have time for themselves also. Their husbands have good enough jobs that they truly can afford to make that decision and it isn’t forced on them because the meger income they could make would barely pay for child care. And then I have friends who are childless by choice. Most of them are better parents to their dogs than I probably was to my kids when I was strung out on Paxil. They deal with zero guilt or ridicule over their decisions to be childless.

So Ms. Beck, all I have to say to you is Shut the F*** Up! How DARE you heap more guilt, more ridicule, and more despair and dejection on women you don’t even know—women who are just trying their best as it is to be a perfect member of your mindf***ing cult!

And yet another:
The Church relies on cliches, mindless obedience (aka faith),guilt, meaningless ceremonies, hierarchies, and all sorts of really complicated and convoluted doctrines and promises and ceremonies in order to teach what they claim to be "plain and simple" truth.

.... truth is really simple and self-evident. It doesn't take a genius to see that ... strong women in her office were living fulfilling lives which are the result of making right logical decisions.

Living a fulfilling life has NOTHING to do with weird ceremonies, faith, or magic. A fulfilling life comes from working to reach one's potential, to love and be loved by those you care about. The truth is simple and brilliant.

There is NO TRUTH in the MORG. It just uses convoluted explanations, demands of faith and obedience as a smokescreen for teachings that really don't make any sense.

It is true that we make our own decisions and should be responsible for them but it is also irrefutable that one's religion plays a large part in influencing these choices particularly when the religion is as intrusive and all encompassing as Mormonism. After all, what other religioni dictates what type of underwear you can wear, how you can have sex, who can or cannot attend your wedding, how many earrings you can have, and how much facial hair men can have.

I can credit the MORG for encouraging me to get married early, pump out a bunch of kids, and to send my sons to the lame scout programs organized by the Church out of guilt.

I immediately regained at least 14% of my time after I quit the MORG and also recouped quite a bit of income (even though I wasn't paying 10% before I quit I did lose the occasional several thousand that I paid out of guilt when tithing settlement got close)

I encourage everyone who is doubting to get out and really "investigate" the Church. Find out the truth and then have the guts to make the choice that their findings lead them to.

Another well written article on this subject can be found at More on Mothers


BEAST said...

I just wrote a lengthy commentary with regards to this post.

Personally, the religious conservatives want to preserve the traditional family unit as a basis to breed more ignorant folks to pay for their tithes. And they are willing to pull us all back into the stone age to fill up the church coffers.


rick b said...

shows just how ignorant you really are. The church I go to, we never ask for money, we never pass a bag, bucket, nothing. And yes their are Churchs out their begging for money, saying God said give till it hurts, they are thieves and liars. Rick b

BEAST said...

Churches don't pass the bag? Well, they definitely need a regular stream of income. What are they going to feed on otherwise? Faith? Please, give me a break!


rick b said...

I wrote a while back that you guys are serious God haters, you guys said, how can we hate someone/something we do not believe in.

Yet I look over your blogs and websites and the central theme is God. You guys sure talk a lot about someone you do not believe in. I do not believe in Santa Clause but I do not devot time and engery talking about a person I do not believe in.

Then I find it funny also, you guys find people crazy for believing in God, yet you guys believe in eveloution, and what that boils down to is, A believe that a whole bunch of nothing crashed into more nothing and created something, then that something that no one has evidence even existed was struck by lightining or crashed into more of this and bang we get life.

Then someone posted here about how complex DNA is and no honest replys from you guys on that, and that article even stated the greatest minds struggle over how to reply. So I am crazy for believing in God, and you are not crazy for believing nothing crashed into more nothing and brought forth maybe poisen gas, and your honestly not even sure what it was? then it brings forth life.

Then even if you do not like it, many, not all but many people go from being hateful and wanting to hurt others to very kind and loving people simply by following Christ, yet you guys seem to hate this by trying to turn people from the God that changes them. And from the replys I see by you guys on your blogs and web sites, the majority, not all, but many are very hateful people. Rick b

BEAST said...

Rick B:

The reason why we keep talking about Gawd is because people do incredibly stupid things in the name of this imaginary deity. No one, at least none that I have heard of, has been killed in the name of Santa.

As for hating Gods, just remember that it is the Jews who killed your gay-loving Jebus on the cross. No atheist, however vehement, lays claim to such a barbaric act. And we don't go into breading eating and wine drinking to symbolize cannibalism and vampirism.

While DNA is undeniably complex, billions of years of trial and error through a complex, non creating process of natural selection has allowed species to evolve into what they are today. In no way is there a need for God, and Michael Behe's abject failure to use the flagellum to state his "irreducible complexity" makes it plain clear that Gawd is not required in the process of evolution.

As for the universe, the same can be said that complex as it is, the universe is certainly far from perfect, and there is no evidence that the universe ever requires a Creator.

Cosmological Arguments, in any case, are flawed: If Gawd created Man, who created Gawd?


Larro said...

I bet Romneys wife is exemplary at cooking (for every guest), washing dishes, laundry, grocery shopping, mending clothes, ironing the laundry, mopping the floors, cleaning the bathroom, blah blah blah...

It's not necessarily about Mormonism. It's about power and privilege. The less power and privilege a man has in this kind of setting the more he feels he needs to exert whatever power is available to him. Romney I'm sure doesn't necessarily need to do this. Nor, I guess, does she need to be domesticated.

Larro said...

Romneys wife I mean.

Larro said...

Rick B; This particular post...go back and read VERY carefully. No mention of a god of any sort.

Where does your church get its money to operate Rick? Pennies from heaven?

"A believe that a whole bunch of nothing crashed into more nothing and created something, then that something that no one has evidence even existed was struck by lightining or crashed into more of this and bang we get life."

WHAT A BRILLIANT EXPLANATION OF EVOLUTION!!!!! Well articulated in a nutshell. You must know quite a bit about evolution. I bet you probably learned it in Texas (or thereabouts).

I don't claim to know much about evolutionary biology (and nor should you). The fact is evolution is not necessarily one of my strong-points or concerns in relation to Christians. The Theory of Evolution doesn't make me an atheist is what I'm trying to say I guess.

Free will and free thought does. Thinking for myself and not subscribing to somebody else's belief system.

And don't try to convince yourself that atheism is a religion (that I "worship" atheism)'s not, I'm not. We don't refer to Christianity as christianism, do we? How about jesusism?

tina said...

I am so glad that I was not raised with religion in my life. It is just not for me. I am 51 years old and I think I have the right to make that statement.
I admit I don't know much about religion but, from what I read on blogs, comments, links, christian blogs and sites, etc. I don't need religion in my life. Oh, and I see how some people in my family are deluded by religion and how hypocritical they are. I don't expect every person to be perfect but, please, I don't see why a person says they are christian and then clearly proves that they don't go by what their god tells them to do.

I don't know much about mormons, or their bible. It kind of sounds like the religion is taking people back in time instead of moving forward.

"Today, there are many schism organizations who regard themselves as a part of the Latter Day Saint movement, though in most cases they do not acknowledge the other branches as valid and regard their own tradition as the only correct and authorized version of Smith's church."

I have a question, Interested.
Are the gods all the same god in all religions? I just wonder what reasons people have to choose what god or religion to believe in.I have such serious questions but all I get from most religious people is that I'm going to burn in a lake of fire. :(

Interested said...

Tina, I am not an expert in the gods of religion but I have read a lot about them and my answer would be no. However, that said I think it is absolutely imperative that every person read and learn for him/herself. I read and I bring my experiences and frame of reference just as you do.

You mentioned several gods in one of your comments and I think that is a good place to start. All of those gods, in mythology are different.


You are angry at something and it isn't us. We respect your beliefs. We just ask that you do the same.