S1E2: Smash the Patriarchy With the Spirit and a Smile
Updated: Mar 21, 2021
We brought the tea, but the weather brought the thunder. Thank you, Florida.
Doomed From The Beginning
Here, anything can happen. Just a reminder that food matters and we all die.
Excited to start off with meaty (every innuendo intended) topics, our first one is talking about the PATRIARCHY.
Flawed Social Systems
Built from excitement and frustration for reasons, we thought we might expound on our tagline. Basically, people are the worst. We understand this, we know this, and we are aware that there’s only so much we can do….
What does it mean?
Why is it our tagline?
What should it be like?
What can it do for us?
As we get started, it’s important to Kaylee to provide definitions that will create a groundwork description and establish context for moving forward. We’ll do this from time to time and want to be very clear.
“Patriarchy is a social system in which men hold primary power and predominate in roles of political leadership, moral authority, social privilege and control of property. Some patriarchal societies are also patrilineal, meaning that property and title are inherited by the male lineage.”
This was pretty much the ONLY neutral description since the patriarchy is a social construct that people today are very torn about. Consider how inheritances were historically given from father to son, how men always name their sons after themselves. Do you really need six of you? (Fun move for Gilmore Girls, though.)
What Are Feminists
We don’t hate all men. We just hate some men. But hey, who doesn’t?
“Everyone has some people they strongly dislike, and some of those people I strongly dislike happen to be men. Yes, that’s normal. But feminists just want equality; it means we treat men and women equally. It doesn’t mean that we hate men and think that we are better than them. It just means that we want to be equal. Equally respected, equal partners, equal everything.”
“We want to be seen as more evenly balanced. In many ways we already are, but we are not seen that way…”
Bringing up the topics of being included in the draft and even about “being able to punch girls” is not the way about it. That’s not what equal rights are. Gender or sexual identity is not a deciding factor on who punches who. But if you do punch us, we will punch right back.
It’s the law of Moses, bitch.
To follow, chivalry is a convoluted idea that is seen in various aspects and doesn’t need to be particularly tied to someone’s sex, either. You can open the door for everyone: it’s called being a decent human being.
“Don’t take genders for granted for any reason, that’s all.”
The Patriarchy Does Not Equal The Priesthood
Don’t make us keep saying this over and over again.
The priesthood is the power of God put on the earth. Patriarchy is a social system created by man FOR MEN (let’s hear you in the back!).
Smashing the patriarchy is not about smashing men and destroying them. It means we want to double-check the system and make sure that we are actually giving everyone the equality and equal rights that they deserve as basic human beings with basic human needs.
“Equal rights, equal respect, equal pay, equal everything.”
We want everyone to have that. And now we want to learn with everyone about this. There are many studies (PROOF) done to show that the more equal a society or community is, the more there is a balanced platform, then the better everyone thrives together.
That’s what we’re aiming for, right? Literally.
“The gospel of Jesus Christ that we believe in is priesthood-led and organized. The power of God on earth is given to men. Men are bearers of the priesthood but women are still blessed greatly by the priesthood.”
That doesn’t negate the fact that women have priesthood power within us through our covenants, callings, and all that we do.
While we do know and respect that the church is priesthood-led and organized, we DO know that there are people within the culture of the church that take this way too far and think that because they have the priesthood, that they are in charge, they are better, they have to have their hands in things (even in things that pertain to them), and what they say goes.
Cue all the groans.
What Can We Do?
So we want to talk about NOT having that mentality and to recognize that the divine roles of men and women are there to make us equal and to make us a balance for one another.
Reminder: not here to men-hate or talk about toxic masculinity (yet).
“We like men. We need men. We need good men.”
Smashing the patriarchy means challenging the dominant social, political and cultural system that values masculinity over femininity. The patriarchy perpetuates oppressive and limiting gender roles, sexual assault, and the political and economic subordination of women. Smashing the patriarchy means challenging and confronting the assumptions underlying this system. The patriarchy hurts both men and women, and both men and women can challenge it.
For men this could look like:
A male thought leader Publicly demanding that the panel he’s invited to speak on has at least one woman on it.
A man calling out other men when they say sexist things, especially if there are no women present
A male executive insisting that his company’s insurance cover birth control and provide daycare, especially if this doesn’t benefit him directly.
A man providing his son with opportunities to engage in traditionally feminine activities
You don’t have to laugh at every joke. Especially if it’s about rape.
Also, what’s with healthcare covering viagra but not always covering pregnancies or birth control? Should we really consider ourselves great and lucky in America when it’s the only first-world country that doesn’t protect maternity leave with mandatory support? This is not okay.
Feminine activities might strike a chord in some “classically” masculine men. Are we saying that you need to wear nail polish? No. These activities are simple actions that are deemed a woman’s job and responsibility as if it’s not worthy of a man’s time. This can include baking, ballet, babysitting, household chores, musical theatre, and more!
Let your sons enjoy new hobbies and discover their passions with your support and love. Maybe it is wearing nail polish and maybe it’s perfectly folding all the shirts in the house. Let your sons be engaged and find who they are, their own way.
None of that should be gendered. We all deserve a chance to thrive where we want, no matter who we are.
While Quora highlighted some points that a man can do, here are other things that women can do to help tear down the system. It might sound obvious, but everyone tends to support the patriarchy, no matter their gender, without realizing it.
For women, this could look like:
Raising their children to be feminists
Demanding consent in sex and all physical touch
Expecting consent in all things
Not buying into the beauty industry unless they genuinely want to
Pursuing careers and speaking out in male-dominated fields
Speaking out publicly about sexual harassment and assault
Smile But Don’t Take Crap
Only if you want to, of course. Nor should you be giving crap. This is one of the reasons for our tagline. We can and do use the Spirit when we are smashing the patriarchy.
It’s important to us that we are able to lift others in a positive manner. But weighed down in a deeply flawed system makes it practically impossible, especially for the long-term. We all bring talents and skills to the table, no matter who we are, and we need the Spirit to help us learn them.
We will work with you to learn. We will do our best to be nice to you. We won’t take your crap. If you are a sexist troll, then we are going to be our best while you are your worst.
“While we’re smashing the patriarchy, we can still be uplifting.”
Gospel-Related Roles For Women
GENERALLY speaking, the traditional role of women as wives and mothers has been the predominant role for women in the church for years and years. It’s not just the church, but it truly is society at large, and the Church (at least the culture of the church) typically goes along with society’s thoughts on gender roles.
However, the gospel has many examples of women of strength, power, honor, from the time of Adam to today.
“God made women to be like this.”
Here are a few examples:
If we go back to the beginning, Eve was there because Adam could not be alone. He needed a partner. He couldn’t learn, grow, or develop without a partner. Nothing would happen there if it was just him. And it had to be a woman.
We can read in Genesis how Adam and Eve were given two instructions. Not to partake of the fruit and to multiply and replenish the earth (It’s the same meaning in English and Tagalog). Then he gave Adam another commandment, that Eve was to remain with him/he was to remain with her, that they needed to be together. Because she ate the apple, they could do all that they needed to do in order to fulfill the plan. Adam couldn’t do that without Eve taking that first bite.
Mary, the mother of Jesus, was 14-16, an unwed child who trusted the angel of the Lord enough to become the handmaiden of the Lord. She knew full-well that in doing so, as an unmarried young woman, she would probably suffer a painful and public death like stoning. The world was very patriarchal and a strongly male-dominated world then.
She had to trust in the Lord that this would work out for her. It was a huge risk that she was willing to accept because of her faith. Most likely, her husband-to-be would have been the one to sentence her to death. The amount of faith that she had to have was enormous.
Consider Esther in the male-run kingdom where she had so little and had to rely on the power of other men in the hopes of surviving. She was brave enough to go to her husband, the king, to help her people survive. She showed that women are not weak or passive, but faithful, strong, and amazing.
An incredible human being to include in more modern times with more clear references and proof of her life is Emma Smith. The movies only show so much. She did so much for the church, her people, and bore every burden that Joseph Smith bore during his life. Everything she did was a miracle. All of this was done while she was frequently pregnant and suffering through their premature deaths. All of this was constantly happening to her.
“Today, we have our own women in the Church who we look up to and recognize for their contributions to helping women find who they really are, how they encourage us along the way, and change the way women are viewed in the Church.”
The Power of Women
Bonnie Oscarson is one of those brilliant examples. In the Young Women’s Presidency, she is Tracy’s favorite because she would be the cheerleader for women when the men already had theirs.
“All women need to see themselves as essential participants in the work of the priesthood. Women in this Church are presidents, counselors, teachers, members of councils, sisters, and mothers, and the kingdom of God cannot function unless we rise up and fulfill our duties with faith. Sometimes we just need to have a greater vision of what is possible.” - Bonnie L Oscarson
We wish more people understood this. Women are amazing; we really are essential participants. Here are a few examples we wanted to share what we are capable of:
Missionaries are called to bring people to the Savior and unto repentance
Callings in the church give us the chance to be set apart and given the keys so we can receive revelation for the people we serve
Ministering gives us the chance to be a friend and serve those in our church community, specific people that each of us can individually support and love
Temple workers have the power to do the ordinances of salvation for their own gender
People may tell you you’re wrong, but you can politely disagree.
We had the chance to hear from Brad Wilcox in our Orlando YSA stake earlier in the year. He shared some invaluable insights while here that we wholeheartedly agree with. Such as how women don’t need to worry about having the different types of priesthood because there’s already so much that we’re doing (stay with us here). To clarify, men need to be given the Aaronic and Melchizedek priesthood to go to the temple at all and then to perform any ordinances. Women don’t need that. We are already in tune so long as we are worthy.
“Listen to the Spirit to consider where you are and what you can do.”
Snaps, Please, Snaps
“There are those who would undermine your ability to call upon the power of God. There are some who would have you doubt yourself and minimize your stellar spiritual capacity as a righteous woman. Most certainly, the adversary does not want you to understand the covenant[s] you made at baptism or the profound endowment of knowledge and power you have receive…in the temple…It grieves me to think that any of you have felt marginalized or have not been believe by a priesthood leader…I feel deep sorrow that any of you have felt sidelined, disrespected, or misjudged. Such offenses have no place in the kingdom of God.” - President Russell M Nelson
We are supposed to not be doubted, minimized, or marginalized. That’s where the patriarchy is going wrong. That patriarchy has no place in the kingdom of God.
“If you are endowed but not currently married to a man who bears the priesthood and someone says to you, “I’m sorry you don’t have the priesthood in your home,” please understand that that statement is incorrect. You may not have a priesthood bearer in your home, but you have received and made sacred covenants with God in His temple. From those covenants flows an endowment of His priesthood power upon you.” - President Russell M Nelson
You don’t need a priesthood holder in the home just to have the priesthood. That is not the reason to get married. But if you’re a single mother, don’t stress about it:
“You still have the power of the priesthood in your home through the covenants that you have made and through the example that you are sharing with your children about how to be a strong and faithful disciple of Christ in your home.”
Because President Nelson has always been great about talking about women, here is another quote from him that we loved:
“Opportunities for development of spiritual and intellectual potential are equal. Masculinity has no monopoly on the mind, and femininity has no exclusive dominion over the heart. The highest titles of human achievement—teacher, educated professional, loyal employee, faithful friend, student of the scriptures, child of God, disciple of Christ, trusted companion, loving parent—are earned under a uniform requirement of worthiness.” - President Russell M Nelson
You can be strong. It is all under a uniform of worthiness. It doesn't matter who you are or where you came from. It’s about your worthiness and willingness.
Wear What You Want
Our society has grown way too obsessed with the concepts of femininity and masculinity, which has caused a lot of damage for everyone. It got way too heavily crowded within the LDS culture as well. As human sides, we have a lot of sides and how we desire to present ourselves- that can change constantly.
“I wonder if you sisters fully understand the greatness of your gifts and talents and how all of you can achieve the highest place of honor in the Church and in the world. One of your unique, precious, and sublime gifts is your femininity, with its natural grace, goodness, and divinity. Femininity is not just lipstick, stylish hairdos, and trendy clothes. It is the divine adornment of humanity. It finds expression in your qualities of your capacity to love, your spirituality, delicacy, radiance, sensitivity, creativity, charm, graciousness, gentleness, dignity, and quiet strength. It is manifest differently in each girl or woman, but each of you possesses it. Femininity is part of your inner beauty. One of your particular gifts is your feminine intuition. Do not limit yourselves.” - James E Faust
Want to be feminine? Do it! Don’t want to be? Then don’t!
Whether represented as a wife, daughter, sister, or friend or good person, then that’s wonderful.
The One Thing We Know
It does seem that women definitely do have that feminine intuition. They have that gut instinct to know when something is up and something is wrong. Whether it’s a creepy man watching them or someone we love is struggling, WE JUST KNOW.
“A moral compass” is what President Nelson calls it. With that, we can use our gifts to protect those around us and help those we love.
“Welcome to 2019 where the Church is trying to make it clear that women are just as important as men are to the Plan of Salvation, the Church, and the world.”
They have hit on this before, but they haven’t hit it that hard until this year of 2019. They’ve hit it hard that women are central to the Plan of Salvation, to the church, to the world, just as men are. The whole point of the freaking gospel is to be good enough on your own because you are in charge of your own freaking salvation!
You are not responsible for the salvation of anyone else but you.
Women are important. The patriarchy is falling. And all who rebel against the smashing of the patriarchy will be smitten by the hand of God.
At least, that’s what we’re hoping for.
“The fall of the patriarchy is not meant for men to think that they are (now or ever) “less than” anything. All we want is for the fall of the patriarchy to be that women and men are equal partners in life. Everything comes down to expecting the best from each other."
(Plans for shipping Tracy to Utah have been put on hold)
We are in the game with you. This is why we are addressing these topics- to show that the world needs women playing the game with the men. Like other women, we just want a chance to get that ball and make a touchdown. We can take the punches, we can throw the punches. You get the idea.
It all comes down to this:
We want women and men to understand that we can smash the patriarchy together within the LDS culture and in our daily lives.
Hold yourself accountable
Hold others accountable
In callings, in public, in home life
Uplift and encourage each other to be better
The Lord chastens whom He loves. We should do the same
Bring women in for decision-making processes
Within church and stake events
RS leaders are supposed to be in ward councils
When women are talking, don’t interrupt
Topics about women come up? They need to be there to speak for themselves
Learn about your divine nature, roles and qualities as a woman
We’re more than a baby factory
Our skills, gifts, and talents can impact society at large
We have a lot that men don’t have
No judging on modesty, language, family, career choices, etc.
Don’t police women
Question Gender Norms
Clean up time? Everyone should help out
Women shouldn’t apologize for being strong or for having opinions
All of this is for both men and women. We all deserve respect, to be heard, and given a fair chance to be seen as the individual children of God that we truly are.
If we were born with the intention to be completed by someone else, then we would have been born with them. If we were incomplete alone, then we would have been made at the same time with that “soul completion mate person”. You have value and don’t need people telling you otherwise.
Just because this is how things have been in the past or even were when you grew up, that doesn’t mean that’s how it has to be! You can change things right here and right now for your future. We learn as we go. We are SUPPOSED to change.
Let’s support each other and be better.
Our Heavenly Parents want the best for us. Kaylee and Tracy are VERY passionate about this. We hope you understood what we have been trying to say. And we hope you continue to listen!
Our content from this podcast and this post is pulled from the church website that includes doctrine within our gospel. The opinions expressed here are our own. The emphasis for our quotes are our own.
This podcast is not church-sponsored; it’s just two women with a lot of opinions and want to talk about things.
Did we miss anything? What did we forget?
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org now!
And don’t forget that we are all amazing children of God and let’s do nice things!