Declaration of Independence

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. - That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Battle of the Sexes

                Families, communities, and nations are strengthened when we all recognize that men and women are equal but different.  Families are more likely to be successful when husbands and wives are equal partners in their homes; organizations are also more productive when men and women work together as equals with different gifts to bring to the table.

                I believe that this “battle” began with the beginning of the feminist movement.  I was never part of this movement nor did I take part in the “battle of the sexes.”  I was a youth or young adult during the days when women were burning their bras publicly to show they were liberated.  I never felt “enslaved” and could never understand why I needed to be “liberated.”  I believe that my attitude was formed by my parents.

                I grew up in a household with a mother and a father who loved each other and their children.  We were always a close family, and my siblings and I are still very close.  As one of the younger children, I looked to my older siblings as examples to follow, and I was never disappointed.  One of the greatest examples they set was their dedication to their marriages.  Five of my older siblings have celebrated fifty years or more with their spouse; the rest of us are on track to follow their example.  I joined my older brother and his wife last fall as they celebrated sixty years together.  I was and still am surrounded by people who are dedicated to marriage, and I join them in seeking to strengthen my own marriage as well as the marriages of other people. 

                Suzanne Venker wrote an interesting article entitled “To be happy, we must admit women and men aren’t `equal’.”   She is the author of How to Choose a Husband and Make Peace with Marriage.  The premise of her book is that “if women want to be successful in love, they should reject the cultural script they’ve been sold and adopt a whole new view of men and marriage.

I was particularly touched by Venker’s suggestion that young women today have “few role models for lasting love” because they are often the product of divorce.  Venker added that young women have the additional “burden” of being “taught instead to honor sex, singlehood and female empowerment.”  I feel pity for such young women!  This statement helps me to better understand the attitudes of some young women.

Venker concluded her interesting article with this statement:  “The battle of the sexes is over.  And guess what?  No one won.  Why not try something else on for size?  Like this:  men and women are equal, but different.  They’ve each been blessed with amazing and unique qualities that they bring to the table.  Isn’t it time we stopped fussing about who brought what and simply enjoy the feast?”

Kelly O’Connell believes that “feminism is hateful and hated” and needs to be killed.  “If you were to ask men off the record, most would express displeasure and disagreement with Feminism.  Pressed, many would even confess open hatred of this ideology and a curse upon its originators.  But don’t be surprised if many women feel the same way because of how it has confused gender roles and poisoned everyday discourse.  This article is written to argue that feminism is unnatural, creates more harm than good, and has left generations of unhappy and lost persons in its wake, many still searching for their place in society and God’s universe.

“Perhaps the most startling aspect of Feminism is how it engenders and encourages disrespect from women to men.  While this can be regularly seen in popular culture, it has also been so widely dispersed that disrespect regularly courses through the everyday lives of many Americans.  Shockingly, American women have been convinced through the strange, mindless alchemy of pop culture that by refusing to recognize or honor men for their unique merits, they have somehow bagged some great achievement.  Unfortunately this unpleasant conviction has percolated down into the DNA of several generations of females, creating much of the rude culture dominating our society today.  Such insipid rudeness will not easily be removed, but probably will need to be rooted out after a Christian revival which reminds us that all people deserve polite treatment and honor, as we are all made in the image of God the Father….

“The answer to the question - `If the Women’s Movement is Dense, Obnoxious & Contradictory, Why Does it Persist?” is – Because we let it.  America is in desperate need to revive its respect for men, fatherhood, polite society and masculine-based religion  This can only happen when men themselves stand up for their dignity and demand a return to roles as leaders in politics, religion, family and society.  Until this happens, expect women to walk all over wimpy men until confronted by real men.”

I know about the indoctrination taking place – the “percolating down in the DNA of several generations of females.”  I taught a group of teenagers about fifteen years ago in our Church.  After class every Friday morning, we took time to fold up the tables and chairs for the weekend meetings.  One day I said something to the effect that the boys will fold up the tables and the girls will fold up the chairs.  The girls were highly insulted that I would think they were incapable of carrying the tables.  It was not my intent to insult them for I knew they could do it; I simply felt that the heavier pieces of furniture should be carried by the boys because of their stronger muscles.  I was trying to “protect” the femininity of the girls, and my efforts were not appreciated.

Many people are concerned about how the leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints treat the female members of the Church.  President Gordon B. Hinckley said it best when he said:  “People wonder what we do for our women….  We get out of their way and look with wonder at what they are accomplishing.”

A family friend named David, the husband of Donna who is a very dynamic and accomplished woman, said the same thing.  He said that he never tries to stop her or get in her way because he knows she will just run over him.  Instead, he simply asks how he can support her.  Another husband, while introducing himself in our ward, simply introduced himself as “Tammy’s husband” and supporter.  Tammy is another talented and accomplished woman who has the full support of her husband.  A third example is a man whose wife was chosen to be the president of a parent group to support a basketball team.  Her husband immediately agreed to be co-president because they “work as a team.”  These men are just three of the many examples I could share of men who are very accomplished in their own way but who are firm supporters for their wives.  In return, the wives give their full support to their husbands. 

I agree that the battle of the sexes is over.  No one won the war, but there are many victims of the war in the rising generations.  While men and women have been battling, the children have suffered.  We are responsible to show the rising generation that men and women can work together for the good of all.  My friends and I understand that wives are on the same team as our husbands.  We have the same goal, and we use our different skills and talents to reach that goal.  Because we work as equal partners, our families are strengthened.  Strong families are better able to strengthen communities and nations.

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