I’ve heard that phrase about a million times in my life. Every time someone is called to any position of leadership, teaching, or service in the church, the masses affected who are present to do so will participate in a sustaining vote. It’s an important ritual, though many do not think about its impact and many eyes are glazed over with boredom or apathy as they raise their right arms.
Why is it important to ask for this vote? It’s a way to demonstrate support, acknowledgement and agreement. A large body of people meets together and recognizes the importance of individuals in their purpose for existence. It prevents power-grabs, it helps defend against mutiny or erosion of motivation or purpose. A vote can unite, can create rational discourse where angry disagreement might have flared.
Sometimes, there are movements that have no recognized leadership. There are those women whose voices have been heard the loudest; there are those women whose resources and life situations have allowed them more space on the stage; there are those women whose brilliance is impossible to ignore. Are these fiery stars the only ones capable of leadership? Does their brilliance grant them an inherent authority? Should it? Should a movement be organized when it has so many organic limbs doing different things that are almost opposite in means, though common in goal?
These are difficult questions to answer. Maybe if the Mormon feminist movement had a recognized leadership, that leadership could carry the weight of thousands of voices with them to heavily entrenched patriarchy.
Imagine: a council of women (and men, even) elected by feminists both male and female who trust them to carry their pain and needs and ideals to those who have the power to change things.
Imagine: regular calls for the everywoman and the everyman and the everyfeminist to submit ideas and stories to this elected council so they know for certain who they represent.
Imagine: the elected feminist council taking the time to hear every idea or story and giving it weight (unlike some large organizations we all know so well).
Imagine: no more housewives reading blogs and wishing they could share their own stories, make their own connections, but feeling too intimidated or ashamed to do so.
Imagine: no more silenced voices, no more empty chairs.
(This is a guest post submitted by Genevieve: Genevieve is mom and wife and student and sometimes basket case. She would like to write more if she can break her addiction to old episodes of Crossing Jordan and new episodes of Warehouse 13.)
photo credit: http://bit.ly/Q9Glt0