"Separate but equal" is a phrase I keep hearing in the Mormon church. The leaders have really upped the rhetoric since the whole Kate Kelly fiasco. I have heard it repeated in Sunday school, priesthood, even while walking past a YW classrom.
It was a stupid decision to excommunicate Kate. Members will say the "inspired" general authorities had nothing to do with the decision. It was only a local matter. That may be the case, but when an apostle goes to Virginia to give training, eyebrows must be raised. I've been in leadership positions. I've had the training, I understand how things work. My feeling is that something was said that ignited the firestorm. And based on the past honesty record of the church, I wouldn't give too much credit to anything that comes out of Salt Lake City.
The church, as in the general authority leadership, is scared and understands their situation. They can't have women empowered outside of the paradigm they've created. It undermines the established authority leadership chain. They will simply lose their power.
Lindsay Park stated it clearly on the last Mormon Expression podcast. "The church hates women". These men are afraid their system of power will unravel if women can have the priesthood which qualifies them for the"real" leadership positions.
Women can really do anything a man can do. I remember during my education, one department had a female chief resident. She was the best surgeon I had seen during my residency. Over the last 10 years, I have seen male and female counselors, to help with marriage and faith issues. The women were by far more helpful and understanding of my issues. Just my two cents based on my experience. I'm not saying they are better than men, just equal.
Where the church has confused me is when the leaders state men and women are equal. Let's look at the evidence. Women have no real authority in the church. Everything that a primary or RS president does must be approved by a male in an authority position. The only authority position a woman can hold is in an AUXILIARY group or in other words a non essential organization.
In the temple women must cover their faces when praying to God. Only a male can take them through the temple veil. This is symbolic of entering into heaven. Women can't make it without a man. Women must tell their husband their new temple names but can't know their husband's name. Even the garments strip away a women's feminine attributes. The garment asexualizes the appearance of the women. It makes them look like a man.
It seems as if, to the church, women are no more than property. That women have no abilities other than having and caring for children. It is as if Brigham Young's teachings are still hanging around-that women are only property for the priesthood. But he was only speaking as a man.