Virtual Oases

“So, what have the Feminists been up to this week?” asks my husband quite regularly. Now I just show him this post and he learns for himself!

Enjoy the weekend reading, everyone!

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Neckties: Priesthood Attire or Lucifer’s Lust Pointer?

mens-fashion-ties-002 Neckties are arrows that point to the male genitalia. Why are they considered “priesthood attire” in the LDS community? In some congregations otherwise worthy men are not allowed to participate in priesthood ordinances unless wearing a white shirt and necktie. The male missionary uniform is a white shirt and conservative necktie, symbols of orthodoxy in the LDS Church. Salt Lake Tribune columnist Robert Kirby recently noted,

Neckties are so important to Mormons that it’s only a matter of time before we start seeing them airbrushed onto young men in church publications.

Oh, the horror! Before such a perilous day dawns, I must sound a warning. Neckties are leading women far from the iron rod of righteousness into the shadowy mists of lust. The influence of the necktie is subtle and pernicious and has infiltrated every level of Church leadership. legends-of-the-summer-justin-timberlake-jay-z-1.492.325.c The white shirt and necktie are ubiquitous symbols for male professional conformity and power, but some Christians contend that a man in a suit is too much temptation for the modern Christian sister.

Justin Timberlake and Jay Z acknowledge the power of the well dressed man in the song Suit and Tie. Brother Timberlake croons in the chorus,

And as long as I got my suit and tie, Ima leave it all on the floor tonight.

You are mistaken in hoping Brother Timberlake took off his suit and tie to put on his pajamas,

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Finding God Again

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By Alicia.

The tension of the past few days of Mormonism is an embodiment of the terrifying fear that maybe, just maybe, God isn’t real. Or rather, that godliness is much more vengeful and strict than we had hoped. That maybe God is less progressed than we had convinced ourselves and carved out for ourselves to functionally exist in a church that promised us such incredibly great love and space, that purported to contain all of the answers, because of all the right questions. What if the right questions haven’t yet been asked entirely? What if, in finding answers to them, we are shown that we are wrong? Where is the balm of Gilead for those whose access is restricted inherently?

In very real ways, the issue at stake in Zion is the issue of privilege, and to whom it is extended. I talked to my best loved, most well-intentioned, and most innocently faithful brother about recent events. Though I have never thrown my support fully behind the ordination of women and Kate Kelly’s activism, I will always sustain and support the seeking of truth. The news broke my heart because I took her claim to be “seeking further light and knowledge” at face value, and if that is the cause for a claim to apostasy, then I too have no place in Mormonism. The conversation became terse when I started crying over the possibility of Kelly’s excommunication.

I begged him to pause in his indignation and simply mourn with me- not to believe as I believe or change his course in any way. Simply to be my friend and comfort my need. I needed him, in that moment, to make a place for me in his heart, and thereby in the church.

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God Recognizes the Matriarchy

Last Sunday in Sunday School, we discussed the book of Judges. As a Mormon feminist, my normal instinct is to turn to the Deborah chapters and start chattering away on prophetesses and female judges. However, our teacher started with a different story that turned my world upside down. I’ll admit that I haven’t gotten very far in my Old Testament reading this year and I had never heard of the annunciation experience of Samson’s mother. This was an entirely new story to me!

I’ll give a short summary, but you can read it in full in Judges 13.

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