I’m actually not all that interested in feminism in general. So much of what they (or certain brands of them) espouse seem like foregone conclusions to me. What I’ve always considered to be “the way it should be” is what many of these different brands of feminism use as their megaphones. Of course there are things I don’t agree with (i.e. some of their definitions of choice (my simplified definition here); sensitivities to phantom sexism; etc.) but on the whole I’d have to say that I agree with most of their ideals.
All that being said, my feeling on the women/priesthood issue is somewhere between “this is the eternal way of things” and “I don’t know” with a healthy dose of “no righteous priesthood holder would abuse that priesthood”. If it were ever revealed that women could get the priesthood I wouldn’t even bat an eye. A female bishop? Fine. Whatever. But I personally don’t think the system is broken the way that it is, I think it’s the people (men abusing their priesthood) that are broken.
I’ve had a couple conversations about this issue with a friend of mine in my ward. She’s a very intelligent Mormon feminist. The title of this post is her basic sentiment. I’ve heard a number of different explanations as to why women don’t have the priesthood in our church, many of which are reasonable, others that are ridiculous. This one is intriguing to me because the same could have been said about blacks and the priesthood. This parallel raises the obvious question: the prophets did it once before and it worked, who’s to say it couldn’t happen again?
Of course the answer might be that they have asked and received an answer but don’t feel the need to tell the general membership, “we prayed about women and the priesthood and have been told that it’s not going to happen.” The other possibility (or probability) is that they haven’t asked that specific question because our current doctrine is fine just the way that it is (gender is different than race and has different implications). In other words, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
What do you guys/gals think? Why don’t women have the priesthood? And do you have a problem with the fact that they don’t?
NOTE: This topic has a propensity to heat up so I’ll warn you upfront that disparaging remarks about prophets will be deleted. Polite disagreement is welcome.