Been there, (was) done (like) that.
What a week for Hollywood. I have my eye on my newsfeed, and every twenty-nine minutes, someone new steps forward and details yet another disgusting, humiliating encounter with a certain movie mogul.
It isn’t that people are shocked. Nobody in their right mind looks to the movie industry (in almost any country, I’ll hazard a guess) to get their ethical bearings. If you’d like to fish in a cesspool for your moral compass, that is surely your choice, but I don’t suppose you’ll have very much company. Does anyone really need The New York Times to make the case that Hollywood can be and often is, in a word, gross?
No, Harvey Weinstein’s transgressions against younger, vulnerable women are not shocking. The sheer magnitude of his bad behavior is bloodcurdling, and the fact that so many people covered for him is hideous, but people are not clutching their pearls and insisting that they are “shocked! shocked I tell you!”
Also not shocking: sexism itself, its ubiquity, the everlasting universality of it, the fact that I do not have a single girlfriend who has not experienced it in one form or another, at some point in her life. Big incident or small, nasty transaction, everyone has her* story. Everyone.
Do some of these stories happen within the context of the international LDS church? Oh yes, and it is heartbreaking. But again, it is not shocking. We have a system of church governance in which the power lies entirely with men. We are literally structured to ensure that a gendered power imbalance will exist anywhere the Church does, and that girls and women will be subject to a disproportionate amount of what I will not-so-fondly call unrighteous dominion.
This is quite a different issue than sex and the priesthood. Church administration can be peeled away from a male-only priesthood and discussed on its own merits, or lack thereof. In other words, we can address one thing without addressing the other, and that is what I’m doing right now. In the space of one General Conference to the next, the Church could address its own staggering gender inequalities, and (with nary a “thus saith the Lord” or doctrinal dictum) take radical steps to fix them. We’re great at radical change. We could do it.
My husband points out (and I fully agree with him) that it’s a very fallen world. But could we not be such a part of it?
*and sometimes his