I’m tired. So so tired. Part of it is physical; I have a chronic thyroid condition that decided that this was the perfect time to implode my hormone levels. Part of it is that I’m the full-time caregiver to three children, ages five and under, and three years into a graduate program that seems to never end. But part of it is that the thing that I’m most passionate about–women’s rights–seem never to get any better.
I hit this state just about the time Rep. Todd Akin made his asinine comments about rape. I just…there are no words.
And it’s not just the War on Women, politicians defending rape and pundits telling people to move to Saudi Arabia where it’s legal to beat your wife, it’s the Mormon thing too. I have been self-proclaimed Mormon feminist for ten years. I have blogged here at Exponent for just over four. I helped WAVE get off the ground and still participate when I have extra time. And I go to church every. single. week. I have given so much to the church and Mormon feminism and the progress is disappointing.
There was a great article at Jezebel about “rape fatigue”, responding to the Akin controversy which perfectly described the way I feel in general (Warning: the language in this article is quite strong). I am fatigued–I sometimes feel like I have nothing left to give. And I wonder like the author wondered: “How much longer are we all going to have to stay angry, after our mothers spent their lives angry.”
That line kills me because I don’t want to spend the rest of my life being angry and I certainly don’t want my daughter to have to feel this way. But what other option is there? When church leaders police the bodies of women and young girls? When women’s voices are still considered optional to include? When women’s experiences in Sunday meeting, scriptures, temple ceremonies, council meetings are not even considered? When church members spout off so glibly apologetics for women’s inequality? What other choice do any of us have but to keep on fighting.
I was sitting in Relief Society last week listening to a dear friend wish that more female voices were included and then actively request for the women in that room to share their female models of faith. The sisters responded, telling story after beautiful story. It was a sacred moment. Until a woman visiting from another ward told us all that the voices of women are not necessary to hear because we are too sacred to be included.
She is wrong. Just like Rep. Todd Akin was wrong. And in this matter, the church is wrong. Women are human beings and children of God and our experiences are just as valid and important as men. We still have so much to do and we have to go on to fight another day. No matter how tired we are, there is no other choice.