Friday, January 20, 2012


Today I'm in the hurt phase of the cycle. Actually, most of the day was fine, as I hung out with my mom and brother and the house is sparkly clean and there is literally almost nothing else that makes me feel quite as peaceful (it's sad because it's totally neurotic).

In the evening I started feeling kind of stressed for no particular reason. Mike and I went to Auto Zone to get a new battery for the car, which helped in that the engine now at least turns over, but not in the sense of getting the car to actually start, so that was disappointing. Mike made a reference to Bridesmaids and that made me want to watch it, so we stopped at Redbox. I freakin' love that movie (remind me to tell you about how we saw it four times in the theater because we loved it so much, but also because I identified so closely with Kristen Wiig's character and everything that was happening to her, how her entire life was going to hell, so watching it was kind of therapeutic for me).

Usually the Bloggernacle is really helpful for me, because talking to my like-minded friends is comforting. Tonight everyone seems to be posting things about how unbelievably sexist the world still is without even realizing it, though, and it's making me feel really crappy. These are the times when I know exactly why some people just leave organized religion altogether, rather than trying to stick around and help other people see why it sucks so much so maybe it will someday change. It hurts a lot and sometimes you just don't feel like making that sacrifice for the "greater good" or whatever.

So I'm avoiding Facebook and the fMh group, avoiding my blog and the current post which is about how stupid sexist Julie Beck's stupid "Mothers Who Know" talk was, plus the draft I was working on earlier in which I'm going to try and explain to some of my regular blog readers why women should actually just be allowed to be whatever they want instead of being crammed into a stupid little box with an apron on it; heading for Goodreads to look at books and take my mind off things, but stopping by here first to complain about feeling really lame.

I used to go look at webcomics and post silly ones on my blog when I was in a bad mood, and since they're all back up after the SOPA protest yesterday, I think I'll do that. Ready to see how nerdy I am?

Sunday, January 15, 2012


Well. I seem to have gotten through one of the phases of anger (I'm not naive enough to believe that there won't be more), and I'm in a stage of... resigned displeasure, I suppose. Something like that. I expect to hear things that are total crap, but I'm not angered by them. I express (generally through fMh) what I don't like about them, what I would like us to change, etc. I think about them, and about how they affect me personally.

I'm still not sure where I'd like to end up with the church. I've talked to a few family members who've left, and that's been immensely helpful to me--I have a very large, very TBM family, and I needed to know that there would at least be a little bit of support for me somewhere. Still not ready to share with the TBMs, though, although I have let a lot more slip on my personal blog than I'd originally intended. Oh well, I decided, they might as well start getting an idea.

I'm up in the air about Joseph Smith. Do I think he was just a liar? Not really... Nor do I think he was insane. Don't know if I think he was "struck down" for leading the church astray, the way I've heard mentioned... Although I have to admit my brain hasn't dismissed the idea. (The theory is that he was killed because of what he was doing with polygamy.) It had never occurred to me before, and I certainly don't know that I believe it. But I'm willing to consider it a possibility. I read the stories of those women--the firsthand stories--and I often feel physically ill. I don't know what it is exactly, but something isn't right there.

I talked to a friend the other night about the temple ceremonies--she's part of fMh, but also a pretty faithful member, so her perspective was interesting to me. She told me that she'd had a lot of trouble with the temple, too, and came to the conclusion that, essentially, it's still just out of date. The church manuals have changed drastically throughout the years, and the garments have changed so much they'd probably make the original members of the church pass out from the scandal. I think she's probably right. I think the crippling, wrenching hurt and nausea I felt when I first learned about these things is... well, maybe because I was taking them too seriously. Which, to be fair, is exactly how Mormons are taught to take them--case in point, imagine the reaction if I told people that I thought the temple ceremonies were just written by sexist men and will someday be changed. And I obviously don't mean to diminish that pain I felt, or the similar pain that so many others have felt about the same issue. Maybe I'm just being naive right now in thinking that I'm past that stage; maybe it would take actually going through the temple to find out whether or not I really am. (For the record: I don't actually see this in my future. But I suppose anything could happen.)

Anyway. I haven't written here in a little while so I just figured I'd catch you up. I think maybe the pseudo-"coming out" to my TBM friends has helped me acquire at least a little bit of peace about this; they certainly don't know the extent of things, but they know that I'm no longer the Molly Mormon they knew, and the process of explaining myself and justifying my position to them has really helped me feel a little more solid about things.

Logistical question: Do you think it's a bad idea to post links to my personal blog here? Could that somehow make it easier for people to find there way here? Again, I'm not working too hard to keep this a secret... But I don't want to just lead them straight here, either. I was going to link to that conversation on my blog so you could see how the coming out is going. (Then again, most of you already know my personal blog and have already seen it. Let me know if you haven't, and need the link.)

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Sometimes, Just SHUT UP.

I am so sick of having my feelings and experiences dismissed because a man doesn't understand them.

It isn't just men who do this, and it isn't just about experiences with religion. The same thing happened several times when Occupy Wall Street was newer in the news--pretty much any time I'd talk about it, people would chime in with responses essentially saying that because their experience didn't support the theory behind Occupy, it was therefore an invalid theory.

But I think that no people on earth have this experience more than women do, especially women who are members of patriarchal religions. And I can tell you that one of the worst things I've felt in my life is living in a culture that wants women to be ruled by men, and being told that that is God's will.

I started this post several days ago and then left it to sit because I was pretty upset at the time, and wanted to chill out first. If you want to know why I was angry, read this post at The Exponent, and pay attention to the contributions of Ryan and dwg in the comments.

I would like to ask men to do something (Mormon men, because this blog has a Mormon audience, but really just men; all men). When you hear a woman talking about ways she's felt discriminated against, slighted, or demeaned, keep your mouth shut for a minute. Whatever your instinct is, do not let the first thing out of your mouth be something skeptical. Try to focus on what she's attempting to communicate--her feelings, her hurt--and respond to that.

Try to remember that you are not a woman, which means that the discrimination she's talking about has never been directed toward you. Try to realize that the fact that you've never seen it doesn't mean she was imagining it; it just means that you didn't notice. You're not alone in that... Most men don't.

But you can notice it now. And you can start by listening, absorbing, and deciding that you will no longer dismiss someone else's experience just because you have not had that same experience yourself.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Meanwhile the World Goes On...

You do not have to be good.  
You do not have to walk on your knees 
for a hundred miles through the desert repenting. 
You only have to let the soft animal of your body 
love what it loves. 
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine. 
Meanwhile the world goes on. 
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain 
are moving across the landscapes, 
over the prairies and the deep trees, 
the mountains and the rivers. 
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air, 
are heading home again. 
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely, 
the world offers itself to your imagination, 
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting 
over and over announcing your place 
in the family of things.

from Dream Work by Mary Oliver 
published by Atlantic Monthly Press
© Mary Oliver

I really love this. I love the image of the geese that was paired with it on Faith-Promoting Rumor, where I found it. I love the permission to get off your knees and out of the desert. I love the reminder that the world goes on, even if you fail at being "good" every single day of your life. The world goes on. Your life goes on. And you will be okay--you can be happy and peaceful and kind and enlightened--even if your entire focus, your every thought, is not devoted to following rules.