Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Divine Roles

I recently picked this book up at the library.  I suppose I judged the book by it's cover because I thought it would fit Harley perfectly.  You know the whole "Princess" and "Smartypants" thing.  After reading it to her I was so annoyed, disappointed and angry.  In the story Princess Smartypants defeats all of her many suitors with her superior intelligence and wit until she finally runs off every available male in the kingdom. At that point, she can finally live happily ever after alone, taking care of just herself.  Okay, first of all, I am in favor of teaching our girls to be strong and educated women. I certainly want Harley to know that she can be or do anything she wants. I hope she realizes she is more than just an object but I also hope she chooses to marry someday. I hope she chooses to take care of more than just herself.  I don't believe that we are happier alone, or that as females we are better off without men. Isn't that what God told Adam in the Garden?  Actually, maybe that is the point. Maybe we have completely forgotten what God has told us about real happiness.  Marriage and family might not be a Cinderella Fairytale. In fact, marriages sometimes fail. Men and women make heartbreakingly poor decisions sometimes. We all know that family life can be hard work, frustrating and stressful but there is no other unit or group or individual who can achieve greater happiness than what can be found within a home of individuals who truly love and care about each other. 
I feel like there is a movement in our country right now, a sort of Women's Lib Part Deux.  The goal of the movement is to convince the world that men and women are the same. In my religion in particular, a few women have protested the wearing of dresses and/or the fact that only men hold the priesthood.  They believe we are all the same and what a man can do, a woman should do also.  I take issue with this stance. I believe that our spirits were created male and female before we were ever born and as such we were given different responsibilities in relationship to our gender, such as bearing and nurturing children. Man was also given responsibilities including honoring and protecting his family. None of these responsibilities included oppressing women or degrading the importance of the male in society. Men and Women have different roles to play, different strengths and weaknesses. The idea of us all being the "SAME", is not only terribly boring but dangerous.  It jeopardizes the creation and rearing of children. It demeans my role as a mother and my husband's role as a provider. Proponents of this self-named Women's Lib Part Deux, would have you believe that I am uneducated and repressed while my husband lords over me with more physical power and an insatiable sexual appetite. It is ludicrous and offensive. Studies have shown that a child's greatest indicator of future success in life is not necessarily what a parent taught him or her, but that they lived together as a family and felt loved.  Key words-"lived together, felt loved."  Other studies have found evidence that a male parent and a female parent are also vital indicators of future productivity. These findings are not particularly shocking to me.  Read your history books and you will find that before the free-loving era of the 1960's, husband and wife and children were essentially the only socially acceptable model of family life.  How many mass shootings were there in the 1950's?  How much lower was the suicide rate?  How many men and boys were addicted to pornography and abused drugs?  Significantly fewer.  Do you think that is a coincidence? A healthy marriage between a husband and a wife is ideal-not always possible-but ideal. Family is the fundamental unit of society so why are we trying to promulgate the idea that women don't need men.  I have sons and a daughter. I want each of them to feel their divine worth and understand that God sent them to this earth to fulfill different roles that are equally important.  And instead of the message that the author of Princess Smartypants wants my daughter to hear, I hope she will take the advice of one of my favorite women, Margaret Nadauld when she said,
“Women of God can never be like women of the world. The world has enough women who are tough; we need women who are tender. There are enough women who are coarse; we need women who are kind. There are enough women who are rude; we need women who are refined. We have enough women of fame and fortune; we need more women of faith. We have enough greed; we need more goodness. We have enough vanity; we need more virtue. We have enough popularity; we need more purity.”    

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