I’ve noticed that I often feel uncomfortable using the word, “sister,” both in Church and online because I feel like the term is often used to by women to put other women in their place.
Some examples I’ve heard:
Well, that’s your opinion, sister.
This isn’t the way God works, sisters.
Sister, can I give you some advice? (and then, not waiting to hear if the advice is wanted)
Come on, sisters, we need to…(begin some type of instruction)
In this context, “sister” feels like a passive-aggressive way to assert moral superiority over another woman. In fact, sometimes, I think that “stupid” or even “b—-” would work just as well because of the tone used in these statements.
It makes me sad because some of the most loving sentiments I have heard are also prefaced with “sister,” but the venom I have heard (or read) more often as of late makes me cringe.
I love my fellow LDS sisters; I feel a connection with them that differs from other women in my life. But, I just don’t use that title with them because I’ve heard it used negatively so often.
Perhaps my disconnect with the word represents a longing for a more cohesive sisterhood that makes all feel included, one that our leaders often talk about.
What do you think of the use of the title, “sister”? Do you use it much?
Do you feel like there is a true sisterhood in the Church? What do you think could happen on a local or church-wide level to make it better?