September’s Topic: Evaluating Equality
Our September conversation is a response to a thoughtful comment made by one of our listeners regarding a previous podcast. She wrote:
You can see a disagreement here, among the participants, about whether a woman has the right to be her own ultimate authority on whether she is experiencing equality, both in her marriage and in the church. One participant seems to argue that it is how the woman feels that is most important, while others seem to propose that there may be an outside measure that, if the woman’s perceptions don’t jive with, should carry more weight, in terms of assessing and labeling whether or not the inequality exists. Here is the point of contention among LDS women: if you tell me that I am unequal when I feel equal, I feel you are saying that my own perceptions of my life situation don’t matter—and that it is in the very point of disagreeing with you about my situation that I have disqualified myself in your eyes from being a reliable judge about the situation of Mormon women in general. This is why many women feel silenced or defensive around women who call themselves feminists.
We invite you to listen in as the six of us discuss the challenge of differing personal perspectives on the issue of gender equality in the Church. For this month’s challenge, we encourage you to share your own answers to these questions:
1. What does gender equality mean to you?
2. If a woman doesn’t perceive any issues with equality but others around her perceive inequality, is that inequality an issue? Why or why not?
3. Is there a difference between being valued equally and having actual equality? What is that difference? Does it matter?
4. Does a woman have the right to be the ultimate authority on whether or not she is experiencing equality? Should there be an outside measure of equality that should carry more weight than the woman’s own feeling on how equal she feels? Should efforts be made to help a woman see the inequality that she doesn’t see? Why?
This month we’re experimenting with a shorter podcast format–let us know what you think!