Saturday, February 27, 2010

Straight Talk to Consider for LDS Women: "Princess?"

It's no secret that I have a problem with Drama Queens, women who blame the church for their problems and persons, in general, who do not wish to be accountable for their own choices. I blogged about my admiration for Queen Elizabeth II and what a solid role model for mature, yes even LDS, womanhood she is. So I'd like to consider the following points from "You are not a princess 25 points for women and men to consider":

My responses are in Italics

1. You are not a princess. You do not deserve to be treated like royalty just by virtue of your sex. You deserve to be treated no better or worse than you treat others.

We are all sons and daughters of a King (and Queen, don't forget), remember the golden rule and the first commandment. The hardest place to apply this principle is in personal relationships. But if you find yourself falling into expectations wherein you think you deserve more because you are female-think about it. Please.

2. You are not any more “special” nor any more “entitled” than anyone else. You don’t deserve special privileges and nobody “owes” you anything by virtue of who you are or because of your gender.

I agree, along with the caveat of we are all special. When a male does show a woman traditional grace notes of opening doors, speaking kindly, please reciprocate with the traditionally appropriate thank you and other arts of graceful living.

3. You are just as “lucky” to have found your husband/boyfriend as he was to find you. Have you ever considered that there are times when you are lucky that he puts up with and tolerates you?

It is great fortune when a person finds the love of their life. But some partners are more blessed when others because the reality is that few relationships are 50/50 all the time, and there are ebbs and flows. It's nice to be evenly yoked but most marriages, partnerships and relationships are not that way. But it's probably better in many cases than pulling alone and when its not, well perhaps its time to go your own way.

4. Men have feelings, too. They hurt just as much as you do when you criticize, reject, dismiss, ignore, make fun of, disrespect, invalidate and/or mock them. In fact, they may hurt more because they don’t have as many emotional outlets as you—especially if you tell him his feelings “don’t count” or to “be a man” when he expresses his feelings that you mistakenly claim he doesn’t have and/or is “wrong” for having. He has feelings and he has a right to them even when they’re not the same as yours and/or are expressed differently than you express yours.

I've seen some terrible stuff along these lines from women, but men also do the same to women and some partners do this to each other. I don't think this is a uniquely princess failure.

5. If it’s okay for you to have male friends and maintain friendships with your exes, it’s also okay for your husband/boyfriend to have female friends and maintain friendships with his exes. It is not different for you because “you’re a woman.” It’s faulty logic to suppose women are inherently more trustworthy than men. This is called a double standard and it’s not okay. Otherwise, the culturally acceptable pronouncement, “Men are all dogs” should be met with “Women are all bitches” (i.e., female dogs) and should be equally culturally acceptable.

I agree, but note that we as LDS people probably exercise more caution in these relationships outside of the current marriage, partnership or relationship. On the other hand, we of all people, should be best equipped to have solid friendships with others including our ex's due to the twin principles of repentence and forgiveness. Note that I said "should" sometimes its just not humanly possible.

6. A father is just as important in a child’s life as a mother. Period. Just because you have a uterus doesn’t make you the better parent by default.

Well, this is an interesting argument for a Moho blog isn't it? I will agree that the optimum configuration for a family IS a mother and a father. The proclamation for the family also supports this family configuration. The question arises when a traditional (mother/father) family breaks up who is the better parent? It's not really relevant legally, because the law looks at what's best for the child. And, when you use that as your defining calculus, things change significantly. As a society we no longer dispose of fathers. Period. Because they are important to children. So is anyone who is important in the life of a child, both same sex parents, stepparents(I've seen it) and biological parent's exes.

7. Children are not “hers” and “his” objects. The correct possessive pronoun is “ours.”


8. Your husband/boyfriend does not “owe” you. He shouldn’t be expected to financially support you and shower you with gifts unless you’re willing to reciprocate and equally support him without question or complaint. You’re neither his child nor his dependent. You’re supposed to be his equal partner.

This brings up the question of the disposable LDS husband who is dumped because he is not a good provider through no fault of his own. Quite frankly, I've seen this way too many times. You may not have wanted to work, but if your husband is underemployed but diligent, stalwart and doing other things he needs to do, this is not a basis for destroying a family. Yes, my dear, you do need to seek employment or be willing to give up the second car and the scrapbooking hobby.

During times of prolonged unemployment as in the current he-cession will you support him by going out and getting a job of your own, taking a second or third job (as he would have) or will you fall back on the notion that it is not your role as an LDS woman because you have children?

If he's hurt, injured, mentally ill or just left behind by the workforce, will you pick up the slack with a cheerful heart?

9. Your husband’s/boyfriend’s desires, needs, wishes, feelings, likes and dislikes are just as important as yours. It’s not all about you all the time. You’re supposedly in a mutual and reciprocal relationship; not a service industry/client-vendor relationship.

10. If you’re not willing to make changes in yourself and your behavior, you’ve no right to demand that your husband/boyfriend do so. Nor is it reasonable to demand or expect your husband/boyfriend to make all the changes you want first before you’re willing to do your own work.

11. You are not a better human being by virtue of being a woman. You’re not a goddess. You’re not a sacred cow. You don’t “rule.” You’re a person, just like your husband/boyfriend is a person. You both deserve to be treated with equal dignity and respect when you act and treat each other with dignity and respect.

This is that strange place of bifurcation within the LDS church where women are placed on a pedestal due to their roles as mothers and men as their roles as priesthood bearers. Is one really better than the other and if you could see the dichotomy as equal dignity and respect how would that change things? I can see LDS feminists rewriting this statement as "You are not a better human being by virtue of being a man, . . . "

12. It’s a lie and a manipulation to say you “sacrificed” your career when you never really wanted to work in the first place. If you see your husband/boyfriend as your ticket to freedom from being a wage slave, be honest with yourself and your husband/boyfriend and most important of all, BE GRATEFUL. Having another person pay your way through life is not an inalienable right; it’s an enormous gift for which you should express gratitude on a regular basis.

It's also a lie and manipulation to say that you really wanted to stay home but couldn't afford to when you are working to afford a home that the majority of the inhabitants of the world would call a mansion.

It's a further lie and manipulations to say that you didn't pursue employment or educational opportunities because of your spouse, kids or the LDS church's stance on women working. These were your choices as many, many, many LDS women's careers now demonstrate.

Please do be grateful for the hard work of your spouse or partner when you have been able to have the luxury of staying home. This is particularly true if you have had the remarkable opportunity to care for your own children in their own home. This is something I wish I could desperately give my husband and baby song next year when he is the remaining child in our home, but I cannot. We have a situation where this would be the optimum for the three of us. I appreciate the handful of times I've been able to do it and my husband went off to work without ever complaining and has been unemployed less than .25% of the time we have been married. He is remarkable for that fact alone.

13. It is wrong to use your child(ren) to hurt, control or extort money from your husband/boyfriend/ex. In fact, it borders on child abuse. Children are not pawns or human shields to be used for your own selfish reasons. They’re people who will later grow to resent you for using them in this fashion and will likely develop psychological problems of their own as a result.

14. It is wrong to expect or demand that your ex continue to financially support you after the relationship ends. The children are entitled to support until they become adults at the age of 18. You’re already an adult and, as such, you’re capable of and should legally be expected to take care of yourself— unless you’re willing to continue to support your ex by doing his grocery shopping, cooking cleaning, errands, etc. If your obligations to your husband are finished after a divorce, his obligations to you should also be finished.

This depends on the circumstances and the laws where you live. Sometimes Women are required to support an ex after a divorce as well. But, while I cannot agree with this as a blanket statement, yes, part of being accountable is realizing that things change and usually not for the better after a divorce in terms of finances. Divorce and Bankruptcy tend to go hand in hand.

15. Your husband/boyfriend is not responsible for your happiness. It isn’t his job to make you happy; that’s your job. Just as he is responsible for his own happiness. He’s supposed to be your equal partner, not your emotional wet nurse.

Cruelly stated but true.

16. The desire for sex in a committed, loving relationship is healthy and natural. Using sex to control, shame or hurt your husband/boyfriend by withholding affection or making sex transactional is unhealthy and wrong.

Unfortunately, this assumes that only women play this game, but men do too. Respect of boundaries for both parties is also important-remember its possible to force your partner. Also, low libido and sexless relationships are, interestingly, not the sole province of opposite sex marriages, partnerships and relationships.

17. Your husband/boyfriend should be more important to you than your child(ren) just as you should be more important to your husband than the child(ren). In other words, you should be each others’ first priorities; children second. You don’t need a husband if your sole desire is to have children—unless you see the man as a source of income for yourself and the children. If you can’t support yourself, you probably shouldn’t be having children. Marriage is a bond between two grown adults; not a bond between parent and child (Marc Rudov, 2008). You vow to honor your spouse and put him or her before all others, this includes your children. Children eventually fly the coop. If you make them the focus and raison d’ĂȘtre of your marriage, don’t be surprised when you no longer have much of a marriage as the years pass.

18. You are only entitled to what you earn or produce. Men are neither beasts of burden nor “working boys” to be pimped out in the service of their partners or ex-partners. No one owes you a living. As an adult, you’re not entitled to be taken care of by another party unless you have documented cognitive or physical disabilities that prohibit you from working. Last time I checked, being a wife, ex-wife, girlfriend, ex-girlfriend, mistress, ex-mistress, mother and/or simply a woman wasn’t considered a disability.

See my comments under #14.

19. It is just as ABUSIVE when a woman slaps, kicks, hits, spits at, scratches, shoves, pushes, punches, pulls hair, uses a weapon, swings a golf club at or throws objects at a man. It isn’t funny, cute, justifiable or deserved. It is indefensible, inexcusable, criminal and just as prosecutable as when a man acts violently toward a woman. Period.


20. The same goes for emotional abuse. It is unacceptable.

I would add stalking under this category which can also occur within a marriage I've posted a you tube video also originally spotted by Dr. Tara who wrote these 25 points. This video has PG-13 language, but it is very typical of female stalking of husbands, partners and exes.

21. It is neither “normal” nor “acceptable” adult female behavior to throw temper tantrums, withhold sex, cry, rage, pout, have disproportionate reactions to events or be unable to control emotions and behaviors. At the very least, these are signs of emotional lability and poor impulse control; at worst, these are indicators of serious pathology and quite possibly some kind of personality disorder.

The same is true with certain male sterotypical behaviors as well. I would cut some slack on the crying though, we do a lot of that, both male and female in this culture.

I think we probably as an entire culture and I'm speaking of the complete overculture here need to do a better job at helping our people function emotionally.

22. It is not okay to divert money from your joint checking/savings account(s) or open credit cards in your husband’s/boyfriend’s name without his knowledge and explicit permission. The first instance is stealing and the second is considered identity theft and fraud. Signing your husband’s/boyfriend’s signature to financial and legal documents is forgery. All of these actions are illegal.

I would add that the converse is true as well, but a little less frequent in occurrence. Also you could substitute elderly parents and minor children for husband/boyfriend here as well.

23. It is irresponsible to live beyond your means and abusive to expect your husband/boyfriend to foot the bill or go into debt to cover your expenses. If you can’t responsibly use a credit/debit card then, much like a child, you shouldn’t have one.

24. It is never acceptable or permissible to threaten to deny your husband/boyfriend/ex access to the children you share. It is not okay to make up abuse allegations because you’re feeling angry, hurt or out of control. This is an act of slander (spoken) or libel (written) and if you swear to it in court, it’s also an act of perjury.

This aggravates me to no end when I experience this in my professional life. It is particularly annoying because so many women are actually victimized. Those that choose to lie about abuse make a mockery of the suffering of their sisters.

25. It is not fair to commit to or marry a man and then try to change him. If you don’t accept him as he is, just like you expect him to accept you and your faults, then you have no business being with him. Everyone has a right to feel accepted for who he or she is in a relationship. If he’s “not good enough” for you from the get go; keep looking and cut him loose so he can be with a woman who appreciates him.

Wow. I don't even want to touch 25 in terms of an LDS MOM marriage. But, yes I have to agree with the basis of this statement. And, I also have to state that it is not rational to expect no divergence, no change and no faults in a partner. It pretty much is an uncertain journey.


  1. Great post, QS. Thank you! This is a post I will need to read several times to get all of your educated knowledge.

    I do not want to detract from the insights of your post. Here is a little story, though, to further reinforce that women need to also treat men nicely.

    A feminist woman was getting onto an elevator and the man standing there held the door for her. She was irate and said, "I hope you did not hold that open for me because I am a woman." He assured, "No. I did it because I am a gentleman."

    Happy day! slp

  2. Great Post! Both Male and Female alike would do good to listen to the wisdom within!