What’s in a name?
Mister-Mistress, Lord-Lady, King-Queen, Actor-Actress, Aviator-Aviatrix, President, Boss, Bishop, Deacon, Teacher, Priest-Priestess?, Elder, Provider, Presider, Nurturer, Pilot, Captain, and etc. So many titles. All referring to positions, qualifications, status, or location in a hierarchy. So many attached to men, with lesser, corresponding feminized versions sometimes. Certainly part of our patriarchal heritage, part of our human desire to categorize each other. Labels help us make sense of the world but also put children of God into boxes.
How many titles or boxes contain you? Or do you contain? Surely we all contain multitudes. What names will never be attached to you, perhaps because of gender roles?
If “all are alike unto God,” and we really believe it, we shouldn’t use honorific titles. I’ve long felt that we should all be “brother” and “sister” without regard to callings or positions. Or maybe, in acknowledgment of a non-binary world, “friend” or “sibling.”
I was in a youth meeting recently. When the young men’s president turned the time over to the young women’s president, he referred to her as “President _____.” This struck me; I don’t think I’ve heard that before. Usually the man is called “President” and the woman is called “Sister.” It really made me feel something. That something was good. Eventually I do believe we will do away with labels and titles. When we achieve Zion, there won’t be any manner of -ites among us, and we will be one.
But until that time, it was really good to hear the young women’s president called “President.” An easy and achievable step towards reducing the unnecessary boxes around all of us children of Heavenly Parents.
Are female presidents referred to as “President” in your ward? I live in a very conservative area, is this just an issue in Utah?