The Feminist Mormon Housewives

While everyone is obsessing with mommy bloggers who cook organic roasted squash for their babies, I’m over here watching and reading (for years now), the Feminist Mormon Housewives. I don’t remember where I first heard of them, but I joined their secret Facebook group and slowly started learning that they were just like me, except they decided to stay in the church and change it from the inside. For this, I applaud them. They are a brave group of women. Many of their experiences with doctrine have been similar to mine and their questions have been similar to the ones I raised.

“Why do we have modesty doctrines and guidelines?”

“What if a woman doesn’t want to raise children? Is she less of a woman?”

“Is a woman’s only role to bear children? Why not?”

“What is this patriarchal world we’re all living in and how did it get this controlling?”

As a young woman, I was drawn to Mormonism. Quite a few times, I almost made the leap and converted, but something held me back. Perhaps it was my parents’ voice saying, “No, they’re a cult.” (I don’t consider them a cult anymore than I would consider Evangelical Christianity as a whole a cult. Mainstream Mormonism is vastly different than Fundamentalist Mormonism, which is the most restrictive, and I’ll be honest, cult is a harsh term. Patriarchal religion is maybe the safest term for Mormonism and Evangelical Christianity, though it might not capture the complexities quite as well as a term like cult. And yes, both movements do have cult-like traits.)

Despite my parents not wanting me to join the Mormon church, I went to every Mormon dance I could in high school with my Mormon friends. I went to “Seminary” with them on a weekday before school. I sang with my Honor Choir in a Mormon church. I even dated young Mormon boys.

When I first entered Master’s Commission the appeal was simple: they based Master’s Commission’s rules on the Mormon missionary movement. No dating, limited communication with family and friends from back home, strict dress code, and a focus on purity, relationship with Christ, and evangelizing. Okay, okay…maybe Mormon missionaries do cult-like rituals when they sign up for the mission field.

Regardless, the new Mormon feminism is fascinating. There are thousands of women who are questioning the oppressive traditions of their church, wearing pants to church, and thinking like, well…feminists. I can’t explain how complex it all is without giving away some very private conversations and people’s identities, so for now I’ll let you explore if you’re interested.

Here’s their new campaign, called I’m a Mormon feminist where they feature stories of women: http://mormonfeminist.org/

Here’s their blog, which began in 2004. You can learn quite a bit about them here: http://www.feministmormonhousewives.org/

On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FeministMormonHousewives

Or read this piece in the Boston Globe: http://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2013/04/05/women-hope-for-mormon-spring/kSchzSqQDRRKAQtvfi8hhL/story.html

Here in Salon magazine: http://www.salon.com/2012/04/20/the_rise_of_the_mormon_feminist_housewife/

Mommy bloggers have it so easy

Sunday night I could not sleep. It was just after 1 am and I’d spent all weekend (literally) working on learning a web development platform called Drupal. I actually don’t remember getting up to eat at all either day, but that’s because I can focus…apparently.

Here’s what my Drupal test site started looking like:

 

My favorite part is the news aggregation on the sidebar. It’s so pretty and fancy.

I migrated my 300ish posts over and then got stuck with categorizing the pages and posts. Some bloggers go easy on content management. They just use the date and name of the post which is what I SHOULD do. But no, of course I have to map out all 400 posts in detail. And then I map out 3 other related websites and pretty soon I’m Ariana Fuckington.

Jesus Christ dude. I wish I could be less intense about websites but I’m obsessed. OBSESSED I TELL YOU.

I’ve also been trying to come up with a pseudo anonymous blog name and identity. Of course I get side tracked in the design, which WordPress sucks at. And a name? I’ve brainstormed the STUPIDEST names. They’re so funny though. At some point I was just going to name it Monkey’s  Blog. I obviously need[ed] sleep and maybe a long drive away from the computer, but it’s way too late for that now. Decisions must be made.

I really wish I was a mommy blogger. They have it so easy.

Boobies and The “Mommy Wars”

We’re all sick of the pretentious TIME magazine, asshole quip, “Are you mom enough?” with the cute uber-Christian tart on the cover. Now there’s another photo circulating and it should come as no surprise, because everyone wants to jump into the action.

We’re all sick of the pretentious TIME magazine, asshole quip, “Are you mom enough?” with the cute uber-Christian tart on the cover. Now there’s another photo circulating and it should come as no surprise, because everyone wants to jump into the action.

Nothing is wrong with breastfeeding, and to be honest, I could personally care less if you breastfeed your baby until he’s the size of Will Ferrell. Breastfeeding is healthier for children, except if you examine the toxins in breast tissue/milk (Did you know that breast milk contains substances similar to cannabis? Author Florence Williams’ investigation…discovers the presence of environmental toxins in her own breast milk.)

What inflames moms, dads and childless by choice people like myself has very little to do with actual breastfeeding, or anything that mother’s do. It’s the moral superiority with which some women flaunt their perfection (not necessarily the women in the photos floating around, just a general feeling in the “Designer Mommy” community). It’s like Designer Motherhood has become a woman’s key into the Kingdom of I’m-Better-Than-All-Of-You. Popping a little runt out of your vagine doesn’t necessarily give you keys to the castle, though. First, you must follow ALL THE RULES. But what are the rules?

DESIGNER MOMS & THEIR RULES:

BE RICH: I think I was reading Parents magazine in the work bathroom last week when I came across the “to-dos” of being pregnant. First you had to change the water you drink–no more tap water. Only filtered. And not just any filter, this special type of filter. Ship your purified water in from Hollywood if you’re really a good mommy-to-be. Then, once you popped out the child, you have to avoid all things plastic. DO NOT store fresh veggies in plastic. GLASS ONLY! And then eat only organic veggies and fruits, washing them thoroughly first. The only consistent factor here is, you have to be rich. If I were to get pregnant soon, my child and I would be lucky if we were able to eat Del Taco for a week straight. I’m what some white people would call…poor.

BE PRETENTIOUS: If you can’t name your favorite celebrity mommy, and if she’s not Gwyneth Paltrow, then you can’t join the club. Only Mommy Goddesses like Gwyneth get everything done–yoga, organic juicing, charity work, etc. Only subscribe to earth-saving, baby-wellness, break-your-back-because-it’s-so-much-work mothering activities like putting brown cloth diapers on your baby, followed by washing them in filtered water and special soap made by Jessica Alba.  Made? I mean…designed. Of course. Celebrities don’t make things, they outsource things to China like Wal-Mart and Apple iPad people-killing factories. Oops.

BE SKINNY & BECOME PRIVELEDGED: The other issue about listening to celebrities–as John Cheese writes , “They come from a world where money isn’t a thing.” There are a half dozen mommy bloggers or mommy spokespeople (like Gwyneth and Jessica Alba) who are pretty popular. They prepare only the finest organic meals for children. While this is wonderful, I take issue with their messages here: when you are a celebrity (and naturally very skinny) and you come from a world where money doesn’t matter, you can buy the most expensive ingredients and you’ve never struggled with gaining weight. You can condemn obesity and turn your nose to fat people for their “bad habits” and tell your kids that if they just run and play, they’ll never get fat, but your message is irrelevant to me. The rest of us don’t have the luxury of being naturally tiny, or spending whatever amount of money we want on fruits and veggies, so when you are a celebrity and you hand out advice, just know that it goes in one ear and out the other with me. Oh, and the rest of us don’t have enough money to afford therapy, and doctors, and dietiticians that might help us lose weight. I’m uninsured.

(Author’s note: I’m going through a very poor stage in my life. I was unemployed for six months and I’m literally counting coins to survive. Call me bitter, but rich people’s snobbery really infuriates me.)

As a blogger, I’ve noticed a trend. Everyone says the Internet is full of two things: cat videos and porn. But that’s not exactly true. There’s another thing we’ve missed: mommy blogs and mommy forums. Women have taken over the Internet, according to Tech Crunch. It’s true. And don’t you think TIME magazine knows that, which is why they strategically placed a mommy blogger on the cover? Don’t you think Mitt Romney’s wife knows that, which is why she decided to get in on the action and stir the Mommy War pot even further?

The Mommy Wars and Designer Motherhood boil down to two things: money and advertising. Advertisers and marketing gurus (“news” sources or political candidates) know the best way to get money is to target women. This isn’t anything new. The Internet is relatively new, though, so maybe this is why the Mommy Wars are being played out on the Internet more.

Either way, here’s how I feel about your boobies, your grown child feeding off them and the rest of the “drama”:

…It’s inevitable that at 30 years old, my friends are surrounding me with everything “baby.”

I can honestly say that I don’t mind the occasional update and picture. A baby might not be as cute as a puppy, but the little buggers can occasionally do things that warrant parental bragging and posting.

The problem arises when my friends—wearing their baby blinders—mistake my polite interest as an invitation to indulge me with stories of possible allergies and prolific artistic talents with macaroni and glue on a daily basis.

So in the interest of keeping me itchy trigger finger off the “unfriend” button, I thought I would give them a few tips about how to keep the anti-mommies from becoming anti-friends.

There are certain words that are acceptable and “normal” when bandied about with other parents, but that non-parents don’t need to hear. These include but are not limited to: kidlet, breast pump, nipple, baby bump or placenta. And for the record, any mention of placenta consumption is an automatic blocking for life… And as for ultrasound photos, just don’t. While it’s a miracle and lovely for you, to those of us who aren’t carrying that little lima bean inside our uterus, it looks like an alien. They all do.

Finally, know that when I say I don’t want to have children, I really mean I don’t want to have children. Do not look at me as if I just declared I don’t want to ever have fun or time to myself again, as for me, having children would amount to never having fun or time to myself again. To put it in parental terms, I would be in a permanent “time out.” (Quoted from Scary Mommy, the only mommy blogger I’m in love with. And I mean, in LOVE.)

And, I might add, your kid is not the smartest thing alive, nor the cutest. I’d rather see a picture of your cat, because most infants look weird.

And just stop with the working mom vs. stay at home mom fight. You’re all wonderful and deserve a pat on the back. My mom was a stay at home mom and it was awesome for us. I want to be a working mother (if I ever am a mother–and for the record, I’ll probably ship in organic breast milk if mine is found toxic and I’ll probably hire a full time gardener and juicer) with a few nannies, because to be honest: I love working and I love sleep more than anything in the world.