Monday, September 5, 2011

Grrrrrrrrrl Power!

I have read the Bible a few times during my life, from cover to cover. I think I was about 12 years old the first time I did it. Before then there were cartoon slides that our parents would show us on a Monday night for Family Home Evening. This was always preferable to a boring lesson; the darkened room and the light from the projector elicited movie theatre magic and the treats were pretty cool too. 

Fast forward a few years and the church brought out VHS and now the ultra modern, DVDs. Yay, so now on Sundays Mormon children all over the world can subvert the rule of 'NO TV on Sundays' by asking for a Living Scipture Animated Book of Mormon Story.  (In our house though there were a few other things that our parents approved of on a Sunday: Mickey Mouse and Roadrunner cartoons, David Attenborough documentaries and John Wayne Westerns [which began at midday so there was always a rush to get home for the gun-toting madness... a bloodthirsty childhood to be sure, and here I am referring to the Bible, not the Westerns]). 

A friend posted a link on fb the other day to the 'Living Scriptures' website and also posted this comment about it.     

  "love that the first line from a woman in the entire Book of Mormon series is Lehi's wife saying "What does the Lord want NOW?" LOL!!!"

And by god she is right! Check out the titles just on the main page of this website:

Just check out all of those rad hero's and heroines for the kiddies to emulate. Wait a minute, no heroine's you say? goddamit you are right!

And THAT is yet another reason why I am so glad that I am not raising my kids in this patriarchal mess of a religion. Even when we were still IN I used to scour the scriptures for heroine's and stories to bolster my little girls' confidence in herself. Now I don't have to bend the subject matter to my feminist ideals, the whole world and all of it's history and experience is now at my hands and ready for me to share with my daughter and my son.


  1. I was very focused on the few biblical heroines as a kid. Jael was my favourite - blood thirsty indeed!

  2. I had not heard of Jael. Nor had I heard of Deborah (the woman whose name I was given in the temple). Even though I had read the Bible several times I had obviously not picked up much from their obscure inclusion there and our Sunday worship didn't do much to highlight them. I've copied a piece from feministmormonhousewives to help explain:

    "Then there is that other celebrated prophetess, Deborah. She wasn’t just a woman accepted as some wise oracle to seek for advice. Also a judge, Deborah held real political power. Better translated as “chief,” judges led their followers into battle–in other words, Deborah was successful in mastering the roles typically associated with masculinity. The tribal champion, Barak, refused to undertake the campaign against the Canaanites unless he was accompanied by Deborah (a campaign which was ultimately won by the decisive and bold actions of Jael, another woman). I was really peeved that the lesson manual (lesson 19) sidestepped all this. Their take? “Deborah–the Strength of a Righteous Friend.” From a prophet and war chief to friend? I don’t think so! Ignoring the manual, I made the discussion of Deborah as prophet the center of that part of the lesson. My class was very candid. They knew that Deborah was obviously something more than a prophet in the most generic sense, someone who preaches of Christ or who receives personal revelation. This was obviously some calling, something akin to the men we call prophets. No rationalizing, no extemporizing some equivalence to Relief Society president. They admitted that Deborah doesn’t fit into the model presented by conventional LDS theology. There must be something more: what exactly, they couldn’t tell. Someday I hope we’ll have “The Rest of The Story.” For now, I suppose I must just appreciate that we have some stories and examples, fragmentary though they may be, of women in the Old Testament."

    I think I'd find it interesting even now to seek out these women in 'history' (?). I think there are probably some more very interesting stories there that I never noticed. Squashed and minimised by the patriarchy, pooh to that!