Neither the Ordain Women movement or that surrounding the #yesALLwomen hashtag had particularly struck home in my life. Ordainwomen’s request that priesthood leaders ask if women should be included in the priesthood seemed superfluous in a community where the inequality was so much more integral. I didn’t want priesthood, I wanted the right to be a whole person of my own right, to be able to speak up in sunday school or to be passionate about a career and family. On the same note, I didn’t grow up fearing for my physical well-being as many of the #yesALLwomen did – I lived in a safe community, and learned self-defense techniques early on. I was already numbed to the fact that my pretty face is a bargaining chip at job interviews and that to let a guy down with the least conflict meant that you always tell them you have a boyfriend.
These are facts of life, but they don’t have to be. I just always assumed that they would be. But there are women who have been fighting for my rights, without me even knowing. Because Ordainwomen and #yesALLwomen are fighting for the same issues. They want a world where women also feel that all possibility is open to them. Where daughters can grow up knowing that they don’t have to be idolized or placed on a pedestal or silenced. They are fighting against a system that supports gender inequality under the guise of equality. They are willing to say – No. Things still aren’t okay over here. I am no scholarly or doctrinal expert, but I can smell out a “separate but equal” setup when it strikes. It’s time that I stop watching the sidelines. It’s time that we admit that #yesallMORMONwomen is a thing too.
The stories below aren’t all mine, but they are all true.
Yes All Mormon Women Too,
Because my underage sister had to share the details of her sexual indiscretions with her male bishop.
Because I’ve never had a female sunday school teacher who wasn’t part of a couples teaching team.
Because I lost my recommend for a year because of sexual misconduct, and my fiance only lost his for a month.
Because I’ve been taught not to desire so long that I don’t.
Because bikinis are forbidden because they reveal what the garment will someday cover, but shirtless boys are no big deal.
Because I always have to preface comments in sunday school with “on my mission” so they won’t be dismissed.
Because I got dumped, again, because I want to have a career.
Because I was told, ‘Girls don’t ask boys out.’
Because BYU has a ‘rape hill,’ and no one cares to stop it.
Because my bishop counseled me to stay with my abusive husband. Even after he hospitalized me. My bishop said it was my fault.
Because I’ve been given Mother’s Day flowers since I was 12.
Because I was given a rape whistle, and my home teachers thought it was a joke.
Because my brother chose not to pursue his dream because he would need to provide for a family someday.
Because I am ashamed to admit that I am single at ward events.
Because my brothers learned how to budget and make a resume, and I learned how to bake brownies.
Because I have to lie about why we aren’t having children.
Because no one ever asks what my job is.
Because I was terrified on my wedding night, but didn’t know I could say no.
Because all I learned in the temple was that my husband will talk to God for me.
Because everyone asks what catastrophic event led me to becoming a stay-at-home dad.