Why women want the priesthood — a pollBy: Stephen Marsh
Everyone speculates, but at Wheat and Tares we are asking our readers for answers. I have a poll, it goes over the following options, but the real goal is to hear what you think. The options (tightened up to fit in the poll tool that we have) are:
- I don’t want the priesthood silly — my husband told me so. That is, I’m the mythical woman who does not have any wants or desires of my own, only what men give me.
- Of course I want the priesthood — do I have to have a reason? That is, it is something that is good and praiseworthy, and like anything else that fits the thirteenth article of faith, I seek after it. Did Abraham need a reason to seek the blessing of the priesthood?
- I want equal power and influence, so I need equal priesthood. That is, the priesthood is about power and influence and I want more of it.
- I do not feel as if I am asked to serve enough, I need the priesthood in order to serve more. That is the option for those who are not so much interested in power and authority as they are interested in more options and chances to serve others.
- I want the priesthood so that I feel included. I’m the right social class and have the right professional background, but without the priesthood I’m stuck like all the men who are the wrong social class and won’t progress in the leadership. Yes, that is an entire post in itself, but I did not think anyone would be interested in it (if someone is, let me know in the comments and I’ll be glad to address it).
- I feel disconnected from the Church and my family and the priesthood would help me feel more connected. That is the reason Priesthood was extended to young men, to socialize them and make them a part of the community. Priesthood is one thing that can help people feel more connected.
- With thanks to Newly Housewife, “I’m tired with how priesthood holders and children frequently try to ‘one up’ me–claiming I can make babies AND bless them would beat it into their skulls that I am not to be ‘one upped’ or otherwise subjected to attempts to exercise power and influence by virtue of the priesthood.” That is, if we talk equal partnerships, and we can talk them all day and into the night until we are blue in the face, but it is just not going to happen without the priesthood. Nothing else will solve this issue, one that has been with us since Brigham Young tried to point out that women could vote, be lawyers or doctors or accountants or shop keepers just as well as men, and should be educated just like men.
So, here is the poll, in shorter form:
The genesis of this poll is that I got thinking about what Hawkgrrrl had to say earlier and so I thought I’d just ask our readers what they felt and why.
For reference, this was a relevant comment from Hawkgrrrl:
While we’re speculating on priesthood, I think a sociological argument can be made that priesthood service ties men to families and makes them feel needed in ways that they otherwise might not. In Spain, most men would spend their evenings in the bar with other men leaving the women at home to raise the kids, but when they joined the church, they became more family-centric and spent time serving others and supporting their families because it was their priesthood duty. Women already had a family-centric existence in that culture. If women also had the priesthood, it would reduce their reliance on men for those things. A role separation model may be more effective at creating family bonds (creating mutual reliance and respect for each other), improving the way men treat their families and others, and provide more support to children on the whole across large groups of people. Obviously, that’s more of an 80/20 principle – suitable to 80% of society, but not others.
In this sociological model, both motherhood and priesthood are duties and service provided to others, not gifts God gives to an individuall. But E. Oaks didn’t say that. It’s my own slightly more palatable spin on what he said.
Obviously her reflections took more than just a simple line on a poll. I expect that your reflections and real reasons, for or against wanting the priesthood will take more than a simple line. My thoughts would be influenced by foot-washing and by J. Stapley’s addendum on female healing at By Common Consent, but I want your thoughts, not mine.
So, if you are a woman, tell me why you do or do not want the priesthood and why. I want honest, both pro and con (you can do silly as well, my poll had that as an option, but I’m hoping for more).