Daughters of God

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Photograph by D’Arcy Benincosa, Washington D.C

Just so we’re clear: Marching is not a sin. Protesting is not a sin.

If you didn’t feel compelled to march in any of the more than 600 peaceful Women’s Marches around the world, that’s great for you. My conscience dictated that I do otherwise, and I don’t need anyone else to quote The Family: A Proclamation to the World in some misguided attempt to correct me.

Women asking to be heard and considered as fully people by their government is not against the family. Women asking for health care and for the education of their children to be protected is not against God. Women asking to have their elected representatives hear them is not against the Gospel of Jesus Christ- not in word nor in action.

I live just outside of Washington D.C. On Saturday morning, my husband and I took our children with us into our nation’s capitol and we joined our voices and bodies with the hundreds of thousands of other people who had similar concerns about being heard. There is no way to be certain of the actual number of people, but there are reasonable estimates making this the largest march in history. I was in Washington D.C. with my sisters and brothers and children, but there were marches in cities all over the world, and on all seven continents. I am clearly not alone in my feelings.

Within Christian life, there may be times when God may call upon us to complement our prayers with action. As Mormons, we know this- we preach this! Not just by faith alone are we saved, but after all we can do. If we look to Jesus as our leader, by his very example we see a Savior who spoke out, who acted, who stood up, who questioned, who defended and who challenged the status quo.

See: Luke 4:16-31, John 2:13-25, Matt. 4:23-25, John 5:16, and Mark 3:1-6.

To those who feel compelled to remind me that we have a sisterhood in Relief Society, I remind you—the Relief Society is not run by women, and the only way to join it is to be a member of the church. There are no dues, we do not manage our own funds, we do not do our own charity work any longer with those funds, and every Relief Society President, from the tiniest branch up to the General President reports to the man above her.

And finally, to my sisters who point out that they have no need for “those” feminists—you are standing on the shoulders of giants, and you are blind to the privilege of living in a garden your foremothers had the foresight and fortitude to plant for you.

Can you vote? Have you ever used any form of birth control? Can you read, write, and do you have an education? Can you walk down the street alone? Can you own property? Can you go to the doctor and receive health care for your female body? Can you file a legal suit, including filing for divorce? Can you have legal custody of your children? Can you drive? Can you have your own bank account? Can you enter a legal contract? Can you worship as you see fit? Can you choose for yourself whom to marry?

Thank a feminist.

So you didn’t march? I did. I didn’t like being up on a pedestal, and I find it much better down here on the ground, with my feet on the earth. It’s okay you didn’t march. We’re Mormon—I marched for you. You’re free to accept or reject my gift. I did it because it was the answer to a prayer, and I will continue to leave my pedestal empty, and tend that garden my foremothers planted. And I will continue to offer the work of my life because I, too, love my Savior.

I’ll see you in the pew on Sunday.

Comments

  1. *standing ovation*

  2. Nailed it.

  3. Admire your passion and completely support your rights, but threatening to blow up the White House is not peaceful.

  4. I didn’t do that. Celebrities on stage were not part of the peaceful march. There were ZERO arrests or disturbances anywhere among the hundreds of thousands of marchers.

  5. Thank you for this powerful post. And thank you to all the women (and men) who made sacrifices to be at these marches all over the world. My daughter marched in SLC today, and though my health precluded me joining her, I was with her in spirit.

  6. Really, Peter? You’re going to hold millions of participants responsible for one stupid comment made by one celebrity with an exaggerated view of her own importance? Come on.

  7. Bravo!!

  8. Amen, Tracey.

    I marched because I want to be remembered as one who participated; I knew there would be a large crowd, though I had no idea that it would be historic.

    I marched because I wanted my voice represented, saying things about building bridges across the terrible divide we have in our political landscape. There were other voices that were saying divisive things, which I agreed with somewhat, but I felt that balance was needed. (That’s for you, Peter.)

    I marched because my daughters did, and it was the best way I knew to show them how proud I am of them.

    I am not shamed in the least by the rhetoric which I see as being about being docile and keeping quiet, “keeping sweet” as it were.

    I found that I like using my voice.

  9. Well said, Tracy. I was with you in spirit, and I salute your actions.

  10. Kevin Barney says:

    Dei filias (daughters of God) indeed.

  11. Mary Lythgoe Bradfford says:

    I can’t march any more but my daughter and son in law did

  12. Preach.

  13. Amen Tracy M.
    Brava!!!!
    I marched as well and one of the marches in my Midwest state was organized by a faithful LDS sister.

  14. Question: Can FMH continue to call themselves feminists when they missed or bypassed every opportunity to promote or discuss the largest feminist rally -ever? It seems like they should have to give up the “F” in their name after this.

  15. I suspect, Mortimer, that our friends were busy out marching. I know for certain many of them were. Let’s trust them to manage their own identities.

  16. mikerharris says:

    They could be fighting for a lot of good but throwing pro-choice in the mix is sad and tragic.

  17. Abortion is not the only women’s reproductive issue- it’s not even the main one. The sooner people realize that women’s health cannot be boiled down to abortion, the sooner we’ll make some real progress.

  18. Thank you. Thank you. I couldn’t march because I currently live in a country where marches are banned, and even if they weren’t the women participating would have been wearing a mandated robe over their clothes and would have had to find a male person to provide transportation to the march. I cannot begin to express how it feels to sit here and watch people dismiss this march and all the reasons why it could even happen. I felt *no* support from people who didn’t march, even though some used women in countries like the one I live in now as a justification for why they didn’t participate.

    Nothing can blot out the wonderful feelings I had on Saturday and Sunday looking at photos of friends all over the world marching, but the response has been so disappointing even if it isn’t surprising.

  19. “God may be in the details, but the Goddess is in connections.” (Thank you, Gloria Steinem.) Thank you, Heavenly Parents, for giving us strong backs and good feet to do good work in this beautiful garden, for the sisters and brothers who marched and for the hope and courage I feel that I didn’t feel before. Thank you for these words, Tracy, for your clear and lovely voice.

  20. mikerharris says:

    How many abortions last year? Not a main issue, really?
    Curious though, what is the main issue?

  21. Thank you for this. Was so proud to see everyone marching this weekend.

  22. mikerharris: Do you think that a woman who has been impregnated by rape or incest or whose life or whose child’s life is in danger should have the ability to end her pregnancy? If yes, then you too are pro-choice.

  23. Also, Thank you Tracy. I felt much the same here in our satellite march in San Diego. It was an incredibly empowering and positive day.

    I pray for the day that a post by a woman isn’t trolled by a man who is apparently unable to listen with his God-given two ears within minutes of posting.

  24. Mike, abortions are at their lowest since 1974. Beyond that, I am not going to engage you. That’s not the subject of this post, and there are many women’s health issues and concerns above and beyond abortion.

  25. Amen to everything, Tracy. I have been shocked and saddened by the people in my church communities who do not understand that what happened on Saturday was every bit as important to democracy, patriotism, and the peaceful transfer of power as what happened on Friday.

  26. Audrey S. says:

    Your post was overshadowed by your haughty tone towards those “misguided” sisters and brothers you were chastising; because of that your message comes across as “tinkling brass” to me. Correct me with kindness. Don’t tell me that you marched for me because you didn’t. You marched because you were angry and that’s okay. A lot of us are angry. Don’t lecture me about Relief Society, voting rights, or any of the other things you listed. Your march wasn’t a gift to me; you weren’t thinking about me. Don’t try to hold me under your thumb of superiority by making me think you were marching for me. We can still be kind, even charitable when we disagree with our sisters and brothers. We certainly don’t need to be condescending. We are all doing the best we can in difficult circumstances. Anger begets anger, love begets love, charity begets charity. 1 Corinthians 13 comes to mind.

  27. Sunday morning found me on a bench at church with 4 womĺen who were all over 80. (One had her 93 birthday the day before the march.) All 4 of them were talking about marching here in Fairbanks, Alaska in -30°F temperatures. Another elderly woman can in wearing a purple sash she had worn the day before, and she was so tickled with it she was going to keep finding special occasions to wear it. It proudly announced her status as “Female God In Progress.”

    Throughout the service people talked about their experiences with watching the inauguration and the Women’s March. One Sunday school girl (8-10ish) said that March was better because people were all doing something good for themselves and other people. All but one if the church leaders had attended or helped with the tea/coffee/cocoa stations, (that one deacon was doing a graveside service out of town) and the spirit of love and hope continued to spill and float, finger beckoning
    through the twilight

  28. Hey, tone policing and a dude talking about abortion! We’re right on schedule.

  29. Audrey, I have spent the last 48 hours with women who profess to believe in the same God I do chastising me, tearing me down, accusing me of faithlessness, of not following the prophet, and crying while they literally wave the Proclamation. I’ve had just about enough. So if you didn’t like my tone, perhaps you could have shown some charity towards me, too.

  30. J. Stapley says:

    Thanks for marching, Tracy.

  31. A hearty amen and thank you!!

  32. So happy and proud of you and so many other women I know who marched. Women seem consistently at the forefront of making the world better. And I don’t mean that in a “hand that rocks the cradle” sense – I mean that it’s the women I know who are the most prophetic, most decisive, most inclusive people. Thank you for your examples.

  33. Beautiful! My 17-year old daughter marched in Denver and I could not have been more proud of her. She is more brave than I ever was. Thankful for eloquent and courageous women like you!

  34. Thank you for marching. I marched too out here in lovely Park City. See y’all in church or in the temple! <3

  35. The Women’s March inspired me to call my senators and my congressman and make my voice heard. I am proud as orange soda of everyone who marched. I nearly lost it on the voicemail of one of my senators thanking her for representing me and the millions of women in my state on Saturday. Thank you for the post.

  36. mikerharris says:

    I asked sincere questions… Where did I go wrong to deserve prickly responses? If abortion isn’t the main issue of the marches, educated me. I’m listening.

  37. Mike, a piece of quick advice: just read the comments and listen. People are speaking to your question already. But you need to take a break from comments and just let the responses sink in.

  38. Audrey S. says:

    My tone was meant to be stern, but not uncharitable. I’m sorry if you were hurt by my comments, but I stand by them just as I’m sure you do yours. Is it possible those uncharitable women were feeling as disrespected and put down by your words as you do now by their’s? I think we are all learning that the way we communicate is probably more important than what we are trying to communicate. I wish you the very best.

  39. Stern but not uncharitable to call someone’s post “tinkling brass”? Your sternometer needs calibration. Let us know when you’re able to be nice.

  40. Brava! Thank you for this. I attended the Denver march, and I was deeply touched by the experience. This perfectly encapsulates what I’ve been feeling since coming home with my cup overflowing, only to be met with sanctimonious, passive-aggressive comments and social media posts.

  41. I don’t think this post was haughty or condescending.

    It was kind.

    It was kind to women who know what it feels like to speak and be abused for it.

    It was kind because it did not tell me I just need to be more kind.

  42. Audrey S. says:

    Oops that would be “tinkling cymbal,” not “tinkling brass.” Humbled again.

  43. Scott Thompson says:

    So…you’re Jesus. Good to know.

  44. Thank you, Tracy.

    I marched to be counted. To reaffirm a commitment to civil rights, freedom of the press, religious freedoms, arts and humanities education, public lands, public services, healthcare, global goals. And to pay tribute to the indignation and activism of my Mormon pioneer foremothers.

  45. BCC conscience, you have put forth a false analogy. As a man, you will only have other men presiding over your EQ. You can rest easy in your privilege, knowing that many of these men up to the top GAs are jealously guarding your patriarchal power, both at church and within the home. Though you may be presided over by men, you know that your interests, as a man, are being protected. You will never have to experience being presided over by a woman (which I assume from your misogynistic comments is something you might seriously struggle with.)

    Women in the Relief Society, on the other hand, will always have their decisions subject to a man’s oversight and approval. The Relief Society is not the autonomous women’s organization is was meant to be. If you can’t see how the EQ and Relief Society are importantly disanalogous in this way, then maybe you should work on your logic skills before critiquing other’s arguments.

  46. Thank you, Tracy. Thank you for being tough. The panic in the people who wave the Proclamation in our faces is not really about religious faith. It’s about politics masquerading as faith. As long as I stay clear about that point, their panic is easier for me to deal with. Those passive-aggressive conflicts are still a pain and a hurdle, but that’s all part of politics. And it’s worth it.

    Saturday was a most beautiful day.

  47. BCC conscience says:

    Rachel, you have committed the Cardinal sin in today’s PC culture, as you have no idea with which of the 67 and possible genders am currently identifying with today…

    Also, you seem unaware that people identifying as women serve as primary presidents, and tell people identifying as men what to do all the time…

    Funny how people identifying as feminists only want to boss everyone else around… For people who claim that gender doesn’t matter very much, you sure seem to say that gender matters a lot…

    Also, moderating a link that shows violent feminists lighting a woman’s hair on fire only indicates your willingness to woman wash the marches violent tendencies… So much for history, warts and all… I guess transparency only suits you when it suits your narrative…

  48. Elizabeth St Dunstan says:

    Tracy – thank you. Thank you for articulating what I’ve been forced to try to say to so many haters since Sunday.

    Steve Evans – you are a gentleman and a scholar. Thank you for not putting up with bludgeoning in the comments section.

  49. I didn’t march. I had no desire to. All I could see were people dressed up as vagina’s and celebrities running their mouths.

    The way I see it, Trump winning doesn’t mean I’ll lose birth control. Abortions could lose funding but I (and many apostles in the LDS church) find abortions absolutely wrong, especially after carrying my own son. Trump winning doesn’t mean I can’t have my bank account, own land, vote, etc.

    And as for those celebrities? They can just sit down. They can claim inequality all they want and then go back to their fancy mansions and check their large bank accounts without a worry in the world. They don’t know what real life is like for the vast majority of the American people.

    And finally, I believe men and women are equal but different. And that’s okay.

    So you can march and protest. As long as it’s peaceful (which it was this time but not always), I don’t care because it’s what you feel is right. But don’t you dare try and make me feel bad for not doing the same. Don’t you dare say you’re marching for my “right” to have an abortion. And don’t you dare look down at me for not voting for Clinton. You can live your life the way you see fit, and I’ll live my life the way I see fit.

  50. Tracy, I am grateful for your gift and the gift of all those who joined the march. Every woman, man and child standing up for equality and standing up for science, for good government, for education, for access to health care, and for true religious freedom in our pluralistic society, these are the people who make me proud to be an American in the current climate. I’m not sure marching was courageous (in such numbers, there is plenty of solidarity), but neither is sitting on our butts at home letting everyone else do the work of communicating to government what is acceptable to “we the people.”

  51. The wonderful thing (well, a wonderful thing) about the march Saturday was that, even though I don’t live in the same city as you do, Tracy, and even though I don’t live in the same city as any number of my high school, college, and law school friends, we were able to engage with the same topics on the same day in a similar way.

    The march was a way my daughters—who are too young to vote, but who have distinct and important political opinions—could express their opinions. They were able to see how a large (like, hundreds of thousands of people large) group of people, people with different priorities and preferences and personal histories, could come together anyway, how those differences could coexist and be subjugated to other ideas. They could see a massive group demand change peacefully (zero arrests in Chicago, for what it’s worth). The could see protestors respectful of police, and police respectful of protestors. (My son could see all of those things, too, but he’s significantly younger than his sisters, so for him, walking in the street and petting the police horses may be the things he remembers.)

    Thank you, Tracy, for your thoughts on this; I’m proud to have walked with you, if not physically, at least in spirit. And I totally understand the underlying religious need to do this, because our religious beliefs were one of the underlying motivations that got us outside and marching on Saturday, too.

  52. Tracy never said she was marching for anyone’s right to have an abortion.

  53. And if you haven’t been criticizing women for participating in Saturday’s march, obviously this post isn’t directed at you. Or at least it should be obvious. I suppose it wasn’t. But I just explained it to you, so now it should be obvious.

  54. Raquel, I’m sorry that all you saw was vaginas and mouthy celebrities. Could I gently suggest that maybe you weren’t looking too hard? Could I suggest, based on the tone of your comment, that you’re not really listening? At the march I was at, a pastor opened with prayer that we would have our eyes opened to all the invisible women who struggle, those who are poor and in need of help. It was lovely. We marched around the town, thanking the police officers as we went. There were tears and hugs and love. I was there because I fear the normalization of sexual assault, I fear for the safety of religious minorities, and I worry about the accountability mechanisms in the criminal justice system. These, and other foreign policy issues weigh on my mind. The march was a reinvigoration for me. A promise to myself that I won’t stop raising my voice and standing up for myself. I think about generations of women who had to make much greater sacrifices than me to ensure that I have a political voice at all. I’m grateful to Tracy for reminding me of that. I think it’s something we could all use a reminder about.

  55. Thanks for the recap, Tracy. My wife was in D.C. too, and she said it was lovely, peaceful, clean, friendly, funny—all the things a large group of decent humans should be. I feel bad for the people who fixate on a couple bad comments, bad actors (literal bad actors, in Madonna’s case…have you seen Dick Tracy?), or issues that don’t align with their own. I think they missed something beautiful on Saturday.

  56. BCC conscience, the point still stands. The EQ is governed by men, men, and more men, while the Relief Society is ultimately governed by the Bishop who has the final overriding say in what the Relief Society in his ward does. Wanting to have true self governance is not about being bossy, it is about being able to participate meaningfully in a church women’s organization that is autonomously run by women; women who personally understand the concerns that women face.

    As for the misogyny in the rest of your comment, I won’t bother to respond; it speaks for itself.

  57. Rachael: “Women in the Relief Society, on the other hand, will always have their decisions subject to a man’s oversight and approval. The Relief Society is not the autonomous women’s organization is was meant to be.”
    An interesting remark to make, given that Jesus the Son of God stands at the head of the church and therefore any version of the Relief Society not subject to His oversight and approval would be apostate by definition. Of course if fostering the illusion that the Relief Society is an autonomous women’s organization (which it cannot literally be without rejecting the Son of God’s personal authority) is so important, I’m sure pointless symbolic concessions could be made for the sake of appearances. No doubt empty formalities rooted in the tried and tested soil of modern progressive philosophy are the key to fully living Gospel of Christ.

  58. Yes, give me a Relief Society president who only answers to Jesus Christ himself, and I will be a happy camper.

  59. I marched as well, and felt so empowered by the women, men, and children around me. But reading your post doubles that sense of empowerment. Thank you.

  60. Well, our Stake Relief Society president felt inspired to join the Women’s March, and she did.

  61. I was proud to march to the Utah capitol today. I marched for paid family leave. My mom marched for a return to decency. I walked with men and women who marched for equal pay, LGBTQ rights, clean air, medical autonomy, better health care, support for Muslims, and respect for facts and science. The signs were thoughtful, funny, crude, sober, loving, and religious (though rarely all at once). There were pro-life and pro-choice signs present. The mood was cheerful and polite. One thing we all agreed on – what is happening right now is not OK.

  62. Tracy, you literally marched for me (carried my name), and many others, and I appreciate that more than I can say. And you marched for others who maybe didn’t want it, but will maybe appreciate it later. And you marched for those who didn’t know they wanted it, but who will be negatively impacted if many of the issues and rights you marched in support of aren’t fought for and protected. So thank you.

  63. mikerharris says:

    Steve, For being a valuable contributor to this site, your condescending replies are beneath you. If Tracy chooses not to tell me what her main point is, fine. However, reading her post and comments on this blog still have me wondering. Is it to protest Trump because of the despicable things he said about women? Is it to lobby for continued planned parenthood funding? Is it to angrily bash the male prophets and the proclamation? Is it about all the above and more? Is it to just vent? I don’t know. She states in her post that “Women asking to have their elected representatives hear them is not against the Gospel of Jesus Christ”. Right. No problem. Great. So, what would she say to the elected representatives? (Tracy, That’s fine if you don’t want to “engage” but Steve felt to march and come to your rescue because of my “bludgeoning” so I had to comment on his comment.)

  64. Jean van Asperen says:

    Thank you for expressing yourself well. I totally agree with you.

  65. Look again and you will find yourself firmly planted on that pedestal you thought was empty. Nothing but an angry rant. I find it incredibly disrespectful to Gods perfect plan to get up in arms about relief society being governed by those with priesthood authority.

  66. I didnt march because it didn’t align with my politics…. but I am genuinely confused about how marching violated the proclamation on the family or went against the prophet. I am not seeing the connection…

  67. Marsha Ellis says:

    Word

  68. The answer to all of those questions is yes and I do thank the brave women who sacrificed a lot to ensure those rights to me and all women of all generations since. However, because all my answers to those questions are yes, I fail to see what more there is to fight for. What is the feminist movement about anymore? I’m willing to bet that most of Americans look down at feminism because the movement seems to do more harm than good these days. What is being accomplished? What is there that still needs to be accomplished? Yes, there is still sexism in the world, but the larger portion is over it. We are not in that time anymore. Men respect women and the few who do not are looked down on. At this point, it seems to me like feminists are fighting for an reachable goal. Sexism will never end. Not completely. There will always be some sexist men, but we can’t make them disappear. If you are still trying to prove to men that women are strong and capable, that’s enough. They are well aware. I know it feels good to a lot of people to be a part of a cause. It boosts your self esteem and it makes us feel like our mistakes don’t matter as much because we are a part of a cause! But yelling at others and rioting and protesting the presidency of the country to make yourself feel important is not right. The majority of the country is over it. They find these protests obnoxious. If I am wrong, you could easily express to me the importance of feminism. And I’d like to hear it.

  69. “Men respect women and the few who do not are looked down on.” Really!?! Well I’m trying not to laugh but … looked down on sufficiently to be elected president of the US apparently.
    And large parts of the world aren’t over it, which is why, unprecedented in history, it became a global event.

    Thanks, Tracy M.

  70. Thanks for marching, and for writing this, Tracy.

    My mother marched in Seneca Falls with several other sisters from the ward. These are not angry extremists or marginal Mormons, either. These are some of the most committed, faithful, actively serving sisters in the ward and stake (RS Pres, former stake public affairs rep, mission president’s wife, etc.), people that are the backbone of the ward and stake. You can’t dismiss them so easily.

    And if it isn’t clear, I’ll clarify: I’m not by any means trying to use these church positions as evidence that God approved the March. That would be just as inappropriate as arguing that God approves of president Trump because Julie Beck prayed at his rally one time. The point is that these are not the angry, disaffected liberals that you may have been misled to think made up this march. These are everyday people that I guarantee are at least as faithful and as committed to the gospel and to the family as you are.

  71. I realize this is merely a side-topic, but I wish someone could explain to me how it is possible for Raquel’s alleged “many apostles in the LDS church) find abortions absolutely wrong” when the Church handbook explicitly approves of abortion in some cases. Is this an assertion that those unidentified many apostles don’t know what they or their predecessors approved in the handbook?

  72. No, Mike, Tracy doesn’t need any rescuing. I figured I’d chime in because you obviously don’t listen to women.

  73. Margaret H. says:

    As an English/Australian woman who has lived in and visited a number of countries throughout the world, has grown up with a strong religious background, held “high office,” been well educated and been praised for creativity, but also personally criticized for “thinking for myself rather than believing the thinking has been done for me,” I have found everyone’s comments very interesting. In some instances I have been uplifted and inspired, in others concerned. “Judge not that ye be not judged,”…” As I have loved you love on another,” and “Charity is the greatest of Faith Hope and Charity” often came to mind. Firstly I would like to thank those who offered hope to the rest of the world this weekend by being brave enough to show in a unified and in many instances (unfortunately not reported on) dignified way that they believe… “all is not well”. Many of us outside the USA have looked on in bemused amazement at what has occurred over the last few weeks. Out of 358 million people we saw 2 unsuitable candidates be promoted so that many found it difficult to know who to vote for. We saw people ridiculed, defamed, tormented, heckled and those that had tried hard to make a difference be jeered and condemned. We heard totally inappropriate ” locker room talk”, nationalities and genders belittled.We saw bullying, heard disparaging remarks and the promotion of elitism. We heard that we could get away without paying personal taxes if we knew the ways to get around it and we were the smart ones if we figured it out. We heard that isolation is the way forward. So I would personally like to thank those who have tried to make a difference. I am proud of those who marched for righteous reasons and renewed my confidence that I was not the only person that felt “all is not well”. I am proud of those in the past who have helped make my life so much more pleasant by striving to bring about an equality our ancestors could only dream of. I am proud of those that recognize we still have a long way to go and are willing to continue the battle. I am proud of those who are charitable, caring and recognize we are all children of God. I am proud of those looking beyond their boarders and want to make “The World Great” by working cooperatively together. If there is one thing I have come to realize more and more as I have lived and traveled to different parts of the world …Love and peace are the key to making this world a better place. As Weary Dunlop a great Australian Surgeon stated…” if everyone lived the Sermon on the Mount what a wonderful place this would be”. Thank you to those who are striving to make the world a better place through their righteous actions. It has been heartening to see.and read about.

  74. I do not think the marches and protests help the liberal cause. They simply make your political opponents double down on their voting choices. I hear comments from soft Trump voters like…. Look at these crazy protesters. Sure glad I voted for Trump. The BLM violence/anarchist violence/ campus silliness gets all rolled in with the Saturday march. Throw in some nekkid people and stupid celebrities and your political opponents have ammo to use against your movement.

  75. bbell, that feels like a fairly off-topic comment, but it also totally misses the point.

    I mean, you’re right, if the goal of the protests were to change Trump’s or his supporters’ minds, it almost certainly failed. Of course, if there were no protests, Trump and his supporters could argue that the public at large supported his presidency; he’s willing to claim that he had a mandate in spite of losing the popular vote.

    On the other hand, speech doesn’t just serve instrumental purposes. It is also communicative, it is also coalition-building, and good speech is the most valuable way to counter bad speech. So don’t argue that the protests were counterproductive without evaluating the multiple purposes they have, and, to the extent you care, if you find protest counterproductive, how about you suggest something that would, in your humble opinion, effectively communicate with Trump and his voters.

  76. I respect the women who marched because I am excited when people excercise their free speech. I just wish this march showed more support for the pro-lifers who are still feminists. Our country has spent decades fighting for a woman’s right to end a pregnancy but has done very little to support working women who want to have a baby and continue to work. Would be nice to see that issue get a little more attention.

  77. Wonderful, Tracy! I love that you marched and I love your response post here. I especially appreciate your points about women’s rights having been advanced in the past by feminists standing up and pushing.

  78. Tracy M.
    Really? FMH was too busy rallying to take three minutes to post ANYTHING about the March? It wasn’t like it popped out of thin air…there were weeks of planning involved and the debriefing continues. Surely someone could have posted a little blurb, but no, they didn’t. You are right, they have the right to call themselves whatever they want, but we have the power to call it into question. As Linda (played by Mike Meyers) on SNL might say on “Coffee Tawlk”, “Feminist Mormon Housewives are neither feminist, Mormon, nor housewives, discuss”. It seemed to me that they were avoiding taking a stand for women’s issues in order to not lose red readers. Cowardly.

  79. hawleyberry says:

    I marched in DC for the same reasons that I voted – because I am not complacent. I do not believe in resting on past laurels and accomplishments. I do not believe that we are done as a mature society in the US or abroad. True equality (under the law) is still out of reach for many. I marched because I see a need for higher dialogue. I marched because the fight for care of the most vulnerable (in our neighborhoods and worldwide) is not done.

    This was one of the most spiritually uplifting experiences I have experienced. The diversity of population, personality and beliefs was so beautiful to experience. I was moved to tears several times because of the beauty that I saw around me.

  80. Amen, Tracy. Thank you.

  81. mikerharris says:

    Really?! I’ll have you know that I’ve sat down and watched Pride and Prejudice and the whole Anne of Green Gables series with my wife and daughters.

  82. Note: comments indulging in body-shaming or similar misogyny will be modded. They’re off-topic, they aren’t funny, and they’re offensive. If the person now sitting in the mod queue tries it again, you’ll be banned.

  83. laelgilbert says:

    I accept it, thank you! Next, I’ll make further commitment to pull this cause forward in a civil, kind, and productive way.

  84. hawleyberry says:

    @Dan – There was definitely support for mothers – from the visible designated lactation areas to near-universal conversations around childcare, taxation, healthcare and education. I agree that connection with pro-life groups needs to be strengthened, but the focus I saw was for whole-life and was incredibly inclusive.

  85. What is sad to me is that this march seems to have become about women beating other women up about pro-choice or pro-life. I understand why, but wish there had been a way for all women to feel comfortable or welcome at the marches. I see truth in all arguments but maybe that the problem we are argueing. In this past week I have felt more threatened by women this week than by any man. I personally supported the march. Even though I feel abortion is wrong, I am aware that women’s issues are complicated and feel its important for people to be free to make choices. I imagine most women don’t walk in and have an abortion without having cried many tears. I don’t know live their reality and neither do they live mine. I can think of so many other ways to love women than the argueing that has consumed us. I have great respect for men, women and children and sincerely look forward to a day when we will listen to each other and try to understand and maybe then even though we all might still disagree there will be more decency. It is sad that other LDS women are shaming other women over this whole matter. I wish everyone would try to be better.

  86. Dan-

    From the DNC platform:

    “We will increase investments to make quality childcare more affordable, boost wages for childcare workers, and support the millions of people paying for, coordinating, or providing care for aging relatives or those with disabilities.
    Our work and family policies must also help family caregivers. We will ensure that family
    caregivers have the support, respite care, and training they need to support their loved ones. We
    will create a strong stable paid caregiving workforce to help meet families’ needs, by raising
    wages, improving access to training, and giving workers the opportunity to come together to
    make their voices heard in support of a stronger system. We will address the conditions that
    make it hard for workers with unpredictable or inflexible schedules to meet caregiving
    responsibilities. We will take steps to expand and strengthen the home care workforce.”

  87. rebeccadalmas says:

    Thank you.

    I’m going to touch on the point of a abortion. Sunday, a friend flippingly, accusingly made reference to aborted babies when I spoke admiringly about the March. With that, it was hard for me to imagine if she’s ever honestly imagined walking in the shoes of a woman who has aborted.

    About ten years ago I started a topic on a social media forum against abortion. Boy oh boy it was a flamer, though I didn’t intend in to be. It grew to more than a hundred pages of comments. And it contained women’s personal stories. I read all of it and dang was I humbled.

    I am still pro-life. However, I am certain that I cannot consider my political position morally superior to pro-choice. There are pro-choice women/agendas helping to reduce the demand for abortions and there are pro-life women/agendas having/increasing abortions.

    The friend with the flippant moment has a medical condition that makes carrying babies to term very unlikely. Yet she continues to try, and she’s miscarried more than she’s given birth.

    To be absolutely clear, I don’t fault her for that. I assume she is acting in faith that whatever happens, God will care for those little beings that never reached term. Yet I also will extend the same charitable assumption to a woman aborting, usually one who’s concluded that she cannot continue the pregnancy, that she, too, acts in a faith that God will care for that little being.

    In other words, an honest observation of what we know will, eventually, inevitably, lead to humility and compassion in our convictions. Just consider that others with opposing views may just as honestly be convinced of their views as you are of yours, possibly even moreso.

  88. Lorna brown says:

    Thank you! I’m grateful you marched for me.

  89. Thank you, Tracy. There comes a time when you have to stand up and be counted and this, for me, was one of those times. It was raining where we were, and cold, and hard to hear the people who were speaking, but when I got home and saw all those pictures from all over the world, I was so proud and happy to have been a part of it all, to be a part of that number.

  90. Thanks, Tracy, for marching for me. I have a neighbor here in Utah who went all the way to Washington, DC, to march. She represented me too. From some of the comments, though, it appears there is plenty of self-righteousness to go around and lots of people who are threatened by change. Unfortunately, there are always those who will oppose progress and who will abuse power in an attempt to stop it.

  91. stephenchardy says:

    I’m feeling bad now that I didn’t join the march. I have heard (from co-workers) that it was a great event. From my perspective (colleagues marching in Boston) it was a highly positive experience. BCC, I know that your comment must be fun to repeat (talk radio has been repeating this “funny” and “clever” observation.) When you repeat it you manage to insult Michelle Obama (a professional woman with two daughters who has raised them well), the hundreds of thousands of women who marched, and fat people all at once. Posting such a comment says much about you.

  92. Um, I hate to feed the abortion trolls, but the fact is that the LDS church policy on abortion is considered “pro-choice” by academics who study abortion policy and those in the pro-life movement. Not only do we have exceptions for the health (not just life) of the mother, but also “A competent physician determines that the fetus has severe defects that will not allow the baby to survive beyond birth.”(Handbook 2)

    This puts us firmly in the pro-choice camp. And I am grateful that abortions are safe and legal for when those needs arise.

    I was active in the pro-life movement when we lived in Tallahasee FL, which is very much deep South, and I was made to feel very unwelcome.

    Please let’s be accurate about what the church actually teaches.

  93. Thank you for marching Tracy. You marched for me. I will forever regret not being able to march either in DC or locally. It was just literally impossible for me. I envy people who are free to do these things.

  94. I’m all for the marching. It’s healthy and peaceful catharsis. No issues.

    All that said, the hyperfocus on government as the answer to so many issues that truly arise in the home is a much larger problem. Many abortions are wrought from a lack of stability in the home. So much crime and adolescent acting out is wrought from a disinterest in real parenting. And the willful blindness to the disinterest in God and, in turn, the divinely-instituted pattern for families, gives me concern. The fall of the unprecedented peace and prosperity we enjoy in this land, so say the prophets, will not come from the top down. That’s a grass roots effort. And I’m afraid virtue has already gone out of us. Attack if you must, but my concern is far from orientation-specific. It is charity specific. And morality specific. One can be charitable and rooted in covenant and commandment. But it requires that we be like Him. And that’s a tall order.

    The current binary discourse (you’re with him or with her, or you’re not with me!) loses this nuance. Much to our collective detriment, I’m afraid.

  95. Naismith,

    I think it is a stretch to say that the church policy is pro-choice. Sure, many pro-life groups think it doesn’t go far enough. But if the church’s stance were the law of the land, maybe 70-80% of abortions that happen today would be illegal.

  96. “maybe 70-80% of abortions that happen today would be illegal” — Even if that’s true (it’s not — the elective abortions you are talking about are a lower percentage than that), those abortions absolutely would still happen but just under illegal, unsafe conditions. Does pro-life include concerns about the life and health of the woman?

  97. john f,

    This isn’t about abortion, so this will be my last comment on it. the 70-80% stats I found from various polls online (and not from pro-life sites). If you find something that indicates the elective abortion % is less than that, please let me know. I would genuinely like to know.

  98. ABM, the church’s position only addresses the morality of abortion, not it’s legality. In fact, the official policy makes a point to specifically say that the church is not for or against any legislative proposal regarding abortion. I get your point, but I think it’s a false comparison to hypothetically think about the church’s position as if it here the law of the land, because, unlike lots of other churches that do take a position on the legality of abortion, our church doesn’t, and confines itself to the morality of it. Assuming that you’re right that 70-80% of abortions that actually happen would be considered immoral under the church’s position, it does not follow that the church’s position is not pro-choice, any more than the fact our position that porn is immoral makes the church pro-censorship.

    My experiences may not be representative, but almost everybody I know that call themselves pro-choice (both church members and non-members) thinks that abortion as a form of birth control is wrong, and that we need to do things other than pass laws to reduce the number of abortions (like expanding access to contraceptives, increasing support to mothers, enacting policies that are supportive of increased maternity leave, etc., for instance).

  99. The point is, it only seems like a stretch because church members are so culturally aligned with GOP partisanship that it seems unthinkable that the church could have a position other than the standard republican position. But if you actually get into the substance of it, the church’s official position is not at all the standard GOP pro-life position, and is at least arguably, pro-choice.

    But like you said, ABM, this is a tangent, so I’ll get off it.

  100. Every damn time women talk about women’s health, we are reduced to our uteruses. Until men can see that, and understand it, and back off and listen enough to understand we are WHOLE PEOPLE, with long lives and complicated health issues and concerns, we’re never going to get anywhere.

    This post was not about abortion. I never mentioned it. It was about finding my voice. My voice comes from my mouth, near my brain, another organ women possess. But it has been reduced to one walnut-sized focus on reproductive organs.

    How about every time a man writes something, we make it about his testicles? Men are fertile 365 days a year. Women +/- 38 days a year.

  101. Thank you everyone for participating. I appreciate the votes of confidence and support, and I look forward to the day when we do a better job of listening, hearing and loving one another. Saturday gave me hope. I’m going to hold onto that.