Atlanta based attorney Bryndis Roberts is the chair-elect of Ordain Women. In 2008 Bryndis joined the LDS church from the Black Baptist church and served for a number of years as a Relief Society President in an inner city Atlanta Ward. She soon discovered there to be several concerns with gender inequality in Mormon leadership. In this podcast Bryndis talks about why she is so passionate about women’s ordination. Bryndis believes that gender equality will offer the church much hope for its spiritual health and survival.
It’s disrespectful to ask for respect while being disrespectful. Please stop referring to men having an advantage just because we have a penis. Historically speaking men have inherited the present cultural authoritative situation, and we are more willing to listen to women’s pleas for equality when spoken with respect which is the general tone of the podcast. Doing otherwise, only places men in a defensive position.
I have no doubt that we are generally moving in the right direction, and perhaps one day we will be enlighten at a critical mass point that will bring the changes in the church that we seek.
I don’t think Bryndis is trying to be disrespectful to men, rather I think she is suggesting that the possession of masculine genitalia seems a really arbitrary prerequisite for priesthood – when you think about it.
She wasn’t meaning if offensively – perhaps descriptively but not with the intention of shaming males (and their body parts) 😉
“Please stop referring to men having an advantage just because we have a penis. Historically speaking men have inherited the present cultural authoritative situation, and we are more willing to listen to women’s pleas for equality when spoken with respect which is the general tone of the podcast. Doing otherwise, only places men in a defensive position.”
Men don’t have advantages because we have a penis. We have advantages because historically speaking men have inherited the present cultural authoritative situation. That’s the entire point of privilege. We didn’t do anything to gain these advantages ourselves. Because of that, we really don’t have any right to tell women that they have to ask us if we will give up some authority and make sure they say, “pretty please”. We should just recognize our unearned systemic advantage and do what we can to rectify the imbalance.
Well said Cory!
I agree with the discussion about making priesthood ordination a more deliberate process. I remembered hearing some time ago Charles Didier talk in general conference about his process of receiving the priesthood as a young convert in Belgium (I looked it up–April 1994) about his process as a young convert in Belgium. From baptism to becoming an elder took him 2 years. I think the desire to speed up the process comes from a notion that it will somehow improve retention of new members by getting them more involved quickly. I’m not convinced it actually makes a difference, and it comes at a cost of cheapening the significance of receiving the priesthood for men and making the exclusion of women seem all the more arbitrary.
In John Dehlin’s wonderful interview with the president of Community of Christ, the way he described the process of priesthood ordination in their church sounded exactly like what you discussed here: a serious step that individuals do not take without feeling a personal call.
Many faith traditions encourage that period of discernment. We do seem hurried and a bit thoughtless about it. I have tried to hold the process back with my own sons, asking them to take the path to baptism and ordination slowly. But the church sometimes speaks louder than me.
There is a heck of a lot we can learn from the Community of Christ -the way they think about priesthood is one of them. They are a light.
Perhaps we need to change the focus of age & gender to maturity and willingness.
It would be nice to see women have their own offices in the priesthood rather than using the same titles, even if they have equivalent responsibilities.
Perhaps maintain the present: Beehive, Maiden, Laurel. Afterwards Priestess, & High Priestess for equivalent Elder, & High Priest Positions.
We could see the return of other titles such as Pastor as title for the equivalent to Bishop instead of having the same title. Matriarch. Healer instead of Seventy and Prophetess instead of Apostles. Just a thought, I’m sure we can come up with better titles than the ones I’m suggesting.
I agree David. Allowing all people a period of discernment to determine if they want priesthood will give us some spiritual depth and respect. And lets detach priesthood from authority.
I’m behind the curve, just listened to this podcast last night. I’ve heard Bryndis on Feminist Mormon Housewives Podcast too. Bryndis is such a powerhouse, and so strong in her faith, though I’m not sure her deep faith is specific to Mormonism. Anyway, I loved listening to her again here. Keep up the good work. This is a great site.
She’s awesome! Glad you found ATF!