Thursday, February 16, 2012

It's a Generational Curse

I don't want to post this on Facebook because I can't help feeling like it sounds as though I can't wait for people to start dying.

But I think real change in this country is going to take another couple of decades yet, because I don't think it can happen while the current generation of politicians is still around. Have you seen the news this past week from Rick Santorum and Darrell Issa? Have you been listening to Tea Partiers talk about abortion the last few years? To Foster Friess talk about "contraception"? To this crap about modesty at the Conservative Political Action Conference?

As long as these people are still around, still teaching the people who grow up to be pathetic little creepers like these guys, still telling boys that they have the right to judge women on their clothing, still telling girls that they are responsible for making sure they don't tempt males, still using garbage phrases like "guardians of virtue", we are going to have a sexually abusive and repressive society.

As long as church leaders (both Mormon and otherwise) are teaching that women need to go through men to reach God, that men should "preside" in their homes, that women should be submissive to their husbands, that motherhood is synonymous with womanhood and is the only important thing a woman can do, that it is mothers who are responsible for raising children, that it is selfish to "delay" having children or to work outside your home, that "gender" is equivalent to gender roles and is more important than humanity, that being a Christian means judging and actively persecuting everyone who doesn't conform to your beliefs, we will have a society in which everyone is oppressed except Christian heterosexual white males.

I just finished reading Moving Beyond Words by Gloria Steinem, and got the impression that the age of feminist activists goes down with every wave. In the time of suffrage, of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony and Sojourner Truth, the majority of activists were above fifty. In the 70s, in Gloria Steinem's time, most of them were above thirty. Now we don't have feminist activism in the same way we did then, but what I see in Feminist Mormon Housewives tells me that the age has dropped even lower to include women in our twenties.

Maybe soon we will be active in the way those other women were--and maybe in twenty years the average age will include teenagers, girls who can finally learn these things before they become adults and are already started down paths in the patriarchy.  And in combination with that, as callous as it sounds... Twenty years from now a lot of the current "rulers" are going to be dead. We'll have some new Supreme Court justices and Congresspeople. We'll have some new voters. When people are crazy sexist like Rick Santorum, or downright misogynistic like that despicable excuse for a human being Liz Trotta, maybe we'll finally have a constituency that will stand up and say "Hell no, we will not take that shit."

*Sigh.* This isn't the first time I've wished I could have been born about twenty (or fifty) years later than I was. It's so hard to be in this stage, where we know we should be past this already, and we've already made some progress, but it's just enough that the opposition is freaking out and holding on even tighter and more desperately. It's selfish of me, but God I wish I could have skipped this agony and come in when we're just a little more evolved.


  1. Amen! I want to comment more but it just makes me so angry to think about how horrible people can be, that my comment would just be an incoherent, rage-filled jumble.

  2. I definitelly agree with you. I have felt that way for some time. Even when I was trying to be more active in the church, when a member of the Q of the 12 died, I hoped for diversity. I still hope for that, but not just in terms of race now. I know this will infuriate you as it did me, but when I mentioned that though to a co-worker (RS Pres, husband has been Bishop), sh said "It will happen when one of them is worthy enough." I had to walk out of the room, it made me so mad.

  3. Oh, wow, Megan. That's... just beyond words. Actually, I feel like Meg right now. :) An incoherent, rage-filled jumble, that's all I could manage if I were to keep talking.