As Sisters in Zion
I see you’re hurting. This was never your battle. You like things the way they are. You have felt loved and honoured in our faith. You don’t want the balance you have found in your life to be upset. You feel that the assertions made by Kate Kelly, myself and a growing list of others–that women are not equal in this Church–are not only untrue but hurtful. This simply isn’t your experience. You proclaim, “stop speaking for me! These are not my feelings at all!” You feel betrayed, perhaps even belittled.
I honestly don’t know how to share my frustrations with the inequality I see every.single.day and still honour your feelings and experiences. Sometimes I would give anything to be able to watch a television show without seeing the blatant sexism, to look at toys my daughter will probably ask for in a few years without considering subliminal dis-empowering messages. I wish I could go to church without this stabbing feeling in my heart that cries, “when will this end?” But like Pandora who couldn’t put everything back into the box, I realize the futility of trying to pretend I don’t see it. The only thing I have left is hope–hope for change, hope for a better tomorrow, hope for eventual peace.
But I know you don’t feel this way. How will our thoughts and experiences co-exist? How can I exercise that hope in asking, in conversing, in writing and acting while making space for my sisters who feel differently? I don’t know yet, but I want you to know that I honour you. I claim you as my sister even if I know you may not claim me as yours. I want us to join hands and learn to understand one another, to carry one another’s burdens and to work together to build a sisterhood in Zion. Perhaps being of one heart and one mind doesn’t mean that we agree or see things the same, perhaps it just means that we learn to honour one another and knit our hearts together in spite of our differences.
I don’t have the answers, but let’s keep trying.