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My Sould Delighteth in Plainness

[Sometimes I spend so much time on a blog comment that it starts to resemble a blog post in size. That's what happened when I commented on a post at Main Street Plaza about the website What Women Know which is a response to Julie Beck's controversial speech Mothers Who Know. Did I lose anyone?]

In true Relief Society fashion, these women are calling an ultra-polite bullshit on the trite attitudes many LDS people hold. I’ll translate the politeness for you:

Fathers as well as mothers, men as well as women, are called to nurture.

If a father notices his child bearing the burden of a “dirty” diaper, he damn well better do something about it.

Individuals and relationships flourish when we are able to share not only our strengths but also our mutual imperfections and needs.

Get it through your skulls that June Cleaver and Martha Stewart aren’t real people. They are just characters on bland television shows.

Cleanliness depends upon access to resources and has more to do with priorities than purity of heart.

We’re too busy living our lives to care that there are dirty dishes in the sink and semi-naked children eating off the floor when the visiting teachers come over for a surprise visit.

Housework is something that grownups do and that children learn by example and instruction.

Being born female isn’t a sentence of lifelong domestic slavery, so you better get off your butt and do some dishes.

We reverence the responsibility to choose how, when, and whether we become parents.

Until the Brethren or the Relief Society start paying our bills or providing free, high-quality child care, they better back off with the baby-making talk.

Effective parenting is a learned behavior, and, as parents, we learn and grow with each child.

No one is perfect from the day the baby drops, and we won’t accept your guilt trip when our child decides to leave this church and its meddlesome culture.

The choice to have children does not rule out other avenues of influence and power.

Make with the priesthood for women already.

When it comes to employment, most women prefer the luxury of choice to the limitations of necessity.

Stop firing pregnant or divorced CES employees.

We work because we want to; because we need to; and because we have no other choice.

Having a lot of money doesn’t buy happiness, but having some money certainly does. If that means that a woman needs to work to support the baker’s dozen of buns that have left her oven because you told her to multiply and replenish the earth, then a woman’s got to do what a woman’s got to do.

We distrust separate-but-equal rhetoric; anyone who is regularly reminded that she is “equally important” is probably not. Partnership is illusory without equal decision-making power.

Were you sleeping during history class? Separate is inherently unequal.

We have discovered that healthy relationships are equitable relationships.

No, I will not follow the law of my husband.

We claim the life-affirming powers of spirit and wisdom, and reject the glorification of violence in all its forms.

Has anyone noticed that the scriptures are replete with the glorification of violence? (e.g. headless corpses gasping their last breaths, severed arms, prophets cursing children to be torn apart by bears, stoning disobedient children, the wholesale slaughter of every man, woman, and child (born and unborn) on Earth,…) I plan to skip over the stupid parts of the scriptures during FHE.

Our roles as mothers, sisters, daughters, partners, and friends are just a few of the many parts we will play in the course of our lives.

Stop try to make me a one-dimensional character.

This seems to be an iron-fisted manifesto for Mormon women in a velvet glove of diplomacy.

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  1. jana said,

    November 21, 2007 @ 7:59 pm

    Good job with the translation! :)

  2. M.L.L. said,

    November 22, 2007 @ 3:22 am

    I laughed all the way through this, and am considering hanging it up on my wall above What Women Know to illustrate the “thought bubble” from which the more diplomatic document emerged.

    Not only is it funny, it’s true.

    You may be one of the few bloggers to capture the parallel between racism and sexism ["Were you sleeping during history class?"] or to point out the connection between having kids and being able to provide food and shelter for them.

    Thank you Jonathan. This one’s a keeper!

  3. dpc said,

    November 27, 2007 @ 11:02 am

    It’s a good day when I know that I am directly responsible for a post on someone’s blog. :)

  4. Jonathan Blake said,

    November 27, 2007 @ 12:20 pm

    I’m glad people found it enjoyable. I worried a bit about putting words in someone else’s mouth, but on the authority of M.L.L., I can argue that at least one person felt exactly the same way.

    dpc, at least you can say that you’re provocative. ;)

  5. Kullervo said,

    December 1, 2007 @ 3:17 am

    Changing diapers is a man’s job. So is doing the dishes.

  6. Jonathan Blake said,

    December 4, 2007 @ 12:43 pm

    I think my wife would agree with you. :) Who was it that said that no man who loved his wife would allow her to do something as degrading as cleaning the toilets? Probably an LDS leader, so I can now safely ignore the advice.

  7. Lacey said,

    December 5, 2007 @ 9:50 am

    I clean the bathrooms mostly because they get yucky to me before they get yucky to Jon.
    I’ll say I need to clean the tube and he asks ‘why?’.
    But I wouldn’t mind having you clean the toilets honey.

  8. Jonathan Blake said,

    December 5, 2007 @ 9:53 am

    I knew I shouldn’t have said anything! :-x

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