There was in interesting podcast at Mormon Matters this week that discussed the role of women in the Mormon church. A lot of ink has been spilled on this topic and one of the frequent made arguments, and a recently published book confirms the truth of it, is that Mormon women don’t want the priesthood. Apparently only 10%. Interestingly, 48% of Mormon men want them to have it.
Apparently, most Mormon women are okay with not having authority to make any decisions except under the supervision of men. They can teach Gospel Doctrine, but not be the Sunday School President. Though the Relief Society is charged with looking after the well-being of at least half the ward, the president of that group does not sit in council with the executive committee of the ward while the young men’s president does. They can keep the books in their own home, or even for a multi-million dollar corporation, but to be a clerk at church you have to be a man.
In this modern age people would bristle at that idea of an all male judiciary or legislature. People recoil at the idea that women should not be doctors, lawyers, scientists, business leaders, civil leaders or teachers. It scarcely needs to be explained why women are so valuable to literally every important endeavor humankind undertakes. But Mormon women happily accept that God does not want them making any important decisions or even sitting in council when those decisions are made at church. They are happy to help any way they can the people who have the real responsibility and make the real decisions. They are happy to be loved and valued in their unique role within the church. But as Kristine Haglund so deftly points out, this is more or less how our children feel about their role within the family and they are definitely not equals to their parents.