Public-School

Socialization.

That is one of the arguments for the public school system.  Kids need a chance to learn about the real world through interactions with their peers and school.

Jimmy needs to learn that there are meany-heads out there and how to deal.  Am I right?  Sounds fair enough.  I’ll jump right on this party bus if you can answer me one question:

Where else in “real life” will these future adults be treated to an environment with 30+ peers of their OWN AGE doing ANYTHING at all?

Let’s see…

families? nope

the work place? nah

church? uh uh

humanitarian projects? the gym? community theater? politics? neighborhoods? a hut in the forest?

hmmm….

Okay so there aren’t any real world examples.  Shoot.

I think there is a reason!  There are skills learned in a public school setting that are not only un-applicable to real life, but extremely unhelpful to real life.  So damaging in fact, that often the ones who survive real life and become successful are the ones who were immunized by their home environment.

Let me break it down.

Right now on my kitchen countertop there is an assortment of fruit.  I’ve got some apples, avacados, bananas, half a lemon, and an apricot.  When they are in a group I see a bunch of snack-worthy fruit.  However, if I were to take the bunch of bananas and line each one up on the table side by side.  My eyes would naturally start to compare each one.  Which one is greener or more speckled?

Have you ever noticed it is most easy to compare ourselves (usually to our detriment) to others of our own age rather than those with more or less life experience?

Second, remember back to a stupid, intentional, regrettable choice.  That unicorn tattoo, shooting that firework in through the front door, licking that frozen pole.  You name it.  Who egged you on? Was is grandma? your kid sister? the librarian? No, final answer, it was your peers.  Kids with the same life experience, same inhibitions-or lack of, same insecurities.  All getting together to share in pig-headed, attention-seeking nightmares.

In an environment of intense comparison, and mutual stupidity is it any wonder that the most memorable lessons from public school result in an inability to cooperate and a lack of self worth.

Sounds like What Life is Not 101 if you ask me.

tiger

I gather your movement has been met with some exasperation.  One brief comment from an LDS woman just said, “why.” as though sighing deeply, with eyes closed, at the thought of what you are taking a stand for.

I must admit I’ve been right there with them.  Silently groaning.  But I had to ask myself, why am I so peeved?

After all, I consider myself a feminist!  A march-in-the-streets, equal opportunity reform, landholding, educated feminist.  Isn’t this the same kind of rally for equality that I normally champion?

I’ve finally put my finger on it.

In the well worn declaration, The Family, A Proclamation to the World, we’ve heard that men provide and protect, and women nurture.

In reference to that teaching, here is a cringe-worthy statement by an Ordain Women member,

“we don’t want to just nurture.”

I wipe the sweat off my face after a day of multi-tasking, warrioring, persuading, and nurturing, a day that requires uniquely feminine strengths.  A day that I remind myself, time and time again, is powerful and worthwhile.  Only to encounter members of my own church–who also stand for family–joining the worldly chorus of voices that say what I do isn’t worthwhile.  It doesn’t give me enough power or prestige, leadership opportunities or lime-light moments.  It’s not important, it’s not as cool as what men are called to.

So, I sigh.

You know that quote from Margaret D. Nadauld that has been pinned and posted until we are all sick of it?

“The world has enough women who are tough; we need women who are tender. There are enough women who are coarse; we need women who are kind. There are enough women who are rude; we need women who are refined…” etc. etc.

It’s a wonderful sentiment that many identify with.  But, I’ve got a quote of my own.

The church has enough women who are quiet, we need women who are loud.  We have enough cute women, we need tigers.  We have plenty of women who rely on the testimonies of men, who fail to become scripture scholars, who don’t teach their children about sex because they are scared.  We need women who are bold, who ask questions, and proclaim truth.

What do we need these roaring women for?  As voices for virtue.  Trumpeting loud and clear that we don’t “just” nurture.  We rock the world through families that teach character.  We solve the world’s problems (violence, crime, obesity, hunger, psychological damage, you name it) one time-out, FHE lesson, and talk-over-dinner at a time.

Kate Kelly, the founder of Ordain Women was quoted saying “it’s such a terrible thing to know…the church that you love and want to invest in doesn’t want you.”

We DO want you!  Desperately!  With all your leadership, power of persuasion, and persistence.  Join in the fight against, sexual exploitation, pornography, abortion, child and spouse abuse. We need your loud voice for these relevant feminist issues.

Who knows, maybe if we are loud enough the world will listen.

Sincerely,

Katie Liff