There are several phrases commonly used to shut down discussions surrounding gender issues in the LDS church. My co-bloggers have already discussed several including: “If you only understood your role as a woman, you would be happy.” and “Admit it. What you really want is the priesthood.” One that I have been thinking about a lot recently is the phrase, “Men and women are just different.” This phrase is often used to justify any differential treatment of men and women within the LDS church. However, I find it a pretty poor justification for this differential treatment for several key reasons.
I am going to start out with a couple of thought questions.
First of all, in general do Mormon women see Mormon men as spiritual authority figures and spiritual role models? I would say, yes. Many Mormon women look up to their Bishops and Stake Presidents and listen carefully to the insights that they share over the pulpit. Many Mormon women listen carefully during General Conference and later study and highlight the words of the male General Authorities. When they attend council meetings, most Mormon women will agree that the Bishop or Stake President gets final say and will do everything they can to support the leader’s decisions. Continue reading