Michelle recently wrote that she considers some of the women at T & S
” . . . such a breath of fresh air because they are so well-educated, intelligent, and unafraid to put forth strongly held opinions. But may I point out the emperor’s lack of clothes and say you are not typical LDS women?”
I am bothered by Michelle’s suggestion that a ‘typical LDS woman’ is not well-educated, intelligent, or unafriad to put forth strongly held opinions.
Is this true? If so, why?
(1) I mentioned previously that waaaaay more women than men comment when I teach SS. Is this typical, in your experience? Is it only because the teacher is female? Is it because of the kinds of questions that I ask? Because women feel a need to keep conversation going (I don’t think I have ever heard a man get up in testimony mtg. and say, “Well, I hate to see time wasting, so . . .” but women do it on occassion.)
(2) If they are silenced, why? Because they misunderstand the Church’s teachings about women? Because they generally have a lower educational level and fewer professional accomplishments than the men with whom they associate at Church? Because they don’t want to come across as unfeminine? Because they don’t have a backload of missionary experiences or other leadership experiences with which to pepper the conversation?
Some scriptural thoughts:
(1) I read Mark 5:31-34 to be Jesus effort to ensure that the woman doesn’t silently slink away with her blessing but rather publicly commands the attention of the crowd, takes center stage if you will, and interacts with the Savior with the same level of dignity and forewardness that Jairus uses in the surrounding narrative.
(2) While Jesus disagrees with the woman in Luke 11:27-28, he doesn’t chastize her for publicly addressing him, commanding the attention of the crowd, etc.
(3) Silence is not to be equated with powerlessness in the gospel. I refer you to Mark 14:3-9, where the woman says nothing, yet shares a profound testimony of the Savior, His identity and His mission, that is (at that point) beyond the understanding of the apostles (cf. Mark 8:31-32). She anoints Him in preparation for His death and His kingship, certainly not the act of the powerless.
(4) And you already know how I feel about the daughters of Zelophehad.