by Emily Holsinger Butler
What is a Girl Good For?
Nice question. I wonder who was asking it back in 1968, which was, incidentally, the year I was born. Answer: everyone was asking that question. In that decade, charged as it was with the high drama of sexual revolution, the Church missed few opportunities to address the issue of what part a woman should play. However, this is the freest, frankest, most unvarnished attempt to delineate a girl’s role I’ve ever come across. It’s just so very bald. Bald as a billiard ball. And from the candy cane stripes to the nursery rhyme title, it’s a message tailored to the youthiest youth in Zion. I’ll leave it to you to read the text, but essentially it goes like this:
Girl: “What should I do with my life?
Church: “You’re not a boy!”
Girl: “Sure, I hear what you’re saying. But what’s life all about? Why am I here?”
Church: “You do not have the priesthood!”
Girl: “Right, I get that. But what I’m asking is, what’s my place in the world? How should I act?”
Church: “HAVE THE BABIES.”
Girl: “Okay. Anything else?”
Church: “Um, mature in the sweet spirit of waiting upon others.”
Girl: “You mean like Cinderella?”
Church: “Yes. Precisely. Like Cinderella. Now go, and do not ask to see me again until you have done your task.”
That last part is a tiny joke–it’s a line from the Wonderful Wizard of Oz. And as we know, Dorothy had some work to do before she realized that the enormous (bald) Head was just an illusion.
Emily Holsinger Butler is a hausfrau living in Utah with delusions of grandeur & survival, a writer of books, a hoper of all things and a believer in several of them.