Sunday, March 29, 2009

To sell my priesthood for a plate of nachos

I have a lie that I have been living the last few days that I need to come clean with. I presented my paper on Friday pretending that I was some sort of liberal thinker who was advocating for a more egalitarian Mormonism that would liberate Mormon women from our rather patriarchal and potentially oppressing theological practice.

That my friends was all a deliberate and deceiving guise. I'm a fake, a deception.

To be honest, I'm not pushing for a more egalitarian Mormonism for the sake of my sisters in (and out of) the Church. I'm doing it for purely selfish reasons. I'm doing it for me, myself, and I.

I'm doing it because I get hungry.

You see, each Sunday after our meetings the men (a.k.a., the priesthood) are expected to go to the Relief Society room to fold up the soft padded chairs for all of the able-bodied and capable women in my ward. I often do this joking with others that we ought not to be doing this because doing so is a way to enforce and maintain our male-centered system of power in the Church. By giving women padded chairs and then folding up the chairs afterward for the women, we are able to coddle the women and let them feel that they are too special and fragile to ever have any real positions of authority. Even if given a male-only priesthood, by treating women like delicate flowers (and continually letting them know how delicate they really are), we are able to maintain control of other non-Priesthood callings in the Church - such as Sunday School presidents, ward clerks, and ward mission leaders.

But yes, that is all a guise as well. For the most part, I'm just lazy at times and would rather not be folding up chairs. Sometimes I would like a nice padded chair to situate my butt on for an hour on Sundays. Others retort saying that it is an opportunity to serve. I'm fine with that... So when are the women going to come and put away our chairs for us men?

The worst of this comes on fast sundays where my singles' ward follows the three hour block with a monthly "Break-the-Fast." After putting away the soft padded chairs while the women mingle and chitter-chatter, the men then need to move into the gym to start setting up tables and chairs, while the women continue to mingle and chitter-chatter. After it is all set up, an announcement is made that the women get to serve themselves food first while us men have to wait until they have all made it through the line.

I know it's just another way for us men to maintain our power and authority in the Church, another way for us to let all the women know that they are too special and delicate to have any real positions of power. But by this point in the late afternoon of a Fast Sunday, I don't care anymore. I'm hungry and could care less about power. I want an egalitarian Mormonism so I can eat.

I can understand why Esau would sell his birthright to Jacob for a mess of pottage. When I'm hungry I'm ready to sell my priesthood for a plate of nachos (and not just any plate, this has chips, beef, chicken, beans, cheese, lettuce, guacamole, salsa, olives, green onions, chives, and sour cream).

Well perhaps not yet. Maybe I do like holding onto this power...


  1. i offered you my apron...hahaha

  2. In my elder's quorum's room about half of our chairs are padded. They're not the thick-padded chairs from the relief society room, but they have a thinner padding. I think we stole the chairs from the primary room.

    It's no plate of nachos, but it's a start.

  3. That Break-the-Fast business doesn't sound worth it. I would be in the drive-thru at In-n-Out before the elders had even finished setting up tables in the cultural hall.

  4. My singles ward stopped doing the whole ladies first thing so that men and women would sit together more. I'm not sure if that's egalitarianism or not.

  5. This is fabulous


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