No Prorogation

Today was YSA Stake Conference, which is when a large congregation made of sub-congregations meets to hear their regional and general leaders speak.

My solitary self arrived fifteen minutes early as instructed, and already, the parking lot and a quarter mile of the roads in either direction of the stake center were filled with cars.

I rushed into the chapel and chose a seat almost to the very back of the overflow, actively avoiding eye contact with others, and praying that i’d be left to sit alone for the duration of the meeting. Due to the overwhelmingly large number of attendees, we were all forced to sit shoulder-to-shoulder in order to accommodate everyone.

So there I was, sitting on a fold-up chair next to a red-headed gentleman in a sports coat with above-average singing capabilities, who probably came by himself, too.

To my delight, we avoided each other perfectly.

The fun thing about YSA anything is that the main goal is to get us all hitched. YSA Stake Conference is no exception. Our first speaker was our stake president, a man whom I love and respect. He counseled us to pray to find an eternal companion, and to not delay marriage. He then continued to emphasize that our biggest and most important decision in life is whom we choose to marry, which I agree with (if we decide to marry.)

This counsel seems contradictory to me for a couple of reasons. First off, if marriage is the most important decision we make in this life, why are we being told to rush it? Isn’t the universal advice to “sleep on it” when faced with big decisions?

Secondly, getting married complicates educational and career goals, especially for women in a lot of cases. My mom (whom i’d been texting throughout the meeting) told me that a woman in her ward told the story of how she’d achieved her dream of getting into medial school, but then she got engaged and gave it all up to raise a family. It breaks my heart to hear stories like this, because I don’t see why a person can’t pursue the career of their dreams and raise a family.

I do believe that it can be done, if timed and prioritized correctly.

This is not to say that I think that those who chose to get married young are wrong in doing so. We’re all individuals, and different circumstances yield different decisions.

I’ve been twenty for three days now, and at this stage in my life, I can’t imagine rushing much of anything, much less decisions of whom I choose to spend the rest of eternity with.




Women are people. 

Women are not objects, property, toys, second-class citizens, baby vessels, commodities, sandwich-makers, or psychologically/physically incapable of “masculine” tasks. 

Women are people. 

Men are people. 

Men are not financial plans, sugar daddies, jar-openers, or objects. 

Men are people. 

Homosexuals are people.

Blacks are people. 

Hispanics are people. 

(Insert any minority/group of people that differ from groups of people you belong to) 


I am willing to bet that a majority of you stable-minded people would be willing to come to a consensus that all of the the above statements are fact, and if you’re not, feel free to discontinue reading. 

Tell me this then: Why do sexism, racism, ethnic stereotyping, or homophobia exist? 

Those of you who are still reading have previously agreed with my argument that all variations of people are indeed people. More than that, they are equal people. 

Because all people are equal, all people are equally capable of making their own life-decisions, regardless of cultural norms or gender stereotypes. 

I am going to focus the majority of this post on the issue of sexism. 

Now, I understand that each sex is maybe better-equipped to fulfil certain roles in our world. By this, I mean that men are GENERALLY (not absolutely) physically more muscular, thus being able to develop a greater amount of physical strength at a more rapid pace than women. On the other hand, women are given the ability to bear children, thus making them GENERALLY more capable of nurturing their offspring. 

Both of these instances are due to each sex’s physical makeup, and I realize that there is nothing I could possibly do to change that. 

Because both instances are GENERALLY the case (not ABSOLUTELY the case), there is always deviation from the “norm.” Just because one sex may TEND to be better at fulfilling specific role, it is crucial to remember that every individual’s circumstances are unique. 

Each person ever born was born with this thing called “agency.” Agency means that we are willing to choose how we want to live our lives, regardless of our biological sex, skin color, religious beliefs, socioeconomic class, etc. 

Because all people are equal, it would only make sense that they should all be able to decide what to do with their lives, and other people should shut their fat pie-holes about it, even if they disagree with another’s choices. 

In my Utahn culture, it is virtually expected that a young woman marry as soon as she can so that she can pop out a half-dozen children and then spend the next 20 years raising said offspring. 

I have no problem with girls deciding to take this course in life. If being a housewife will be fulfilling to them, I say go for it! Even though I have prioritized my life a little differently, I respect their decisions to work within the home. 

Because I respect other peoples’ life choices, even if they are the complete obverse of my own, I expect the same from them. I have no desire to be a housewife. My aspiration is to establish myself in a successful and personally empowering career. Just because my decision deviates from the cultural norm, this does not make me any worse, less, or more selfish than those who choose to stick with what society expects of them. 

I believe that whatever will make a person happiest and help them to live the most fulfilling life possible, is the correct choice for the individual. May that be to join the marines, become a school teacher, or a stay-at-home mom. (Which, may I remind you, is a full-time job of its own. Don’t ever say you’re JUST a stay-at-home mom.) 

All I want out of this is to be presented with ALL the same opportunities as my male peers, and to be able to choose whatever is most suitable for me without being judged or questioned for pursuing said opportunities. Think about it. Nobody ever questions a GUY for earning a PhD. But when I say that getting a doctorate degree is my goal, people always ask me when I’m going to fit in marriage and a family. And the answer is, when I am good and ready, and inevitably fixed on achieving my educational and career goals. 

I am a feminist, because I am just as human as my male peers. And it’s about time that I begin to be treated as such. 

If you’re with me on this, congratulations! You’re a feminist, too, and you can sit by me. 



That’s Hot.

MEN: This may come as a surprise, but I just thought i’d casually bring to your attention that NOT EVERY ASPECT OF MY LIFE IS INTENDED TO PLEASE YOU.

Ready for my real-life example?

The other day, I was discussing my career plans with a man friend. I told him I was considering a career in English teaching or journalism, to which he bluntly responded, “That’s hot.”

Umm, okay?

What’s hot about my aspiration to become an English professor? Or a newspaper journalist? Is that some kind of joke? Or do people really have fetishes for those with a fondness for language arts?

This sort of makes me feel as though my man friend wasn’t taking my career plan seriously.

If this conversation had been an intelligent, two-sided conversation in which both participants were genuinely interested in what one participant was expressing, it would have gone a little more like this:

Me: “I’m thinking I want to be an English professor.”

Man friend: “Oh, really? What made you decide that career path?”

Me: “Well, I love to write and learn about literature, and I think it’d be a fun, challenging career to teach students how to write.”

Man friend: “Well that sounds like a great choice for you, then!”

And then it could continue in the same manner.

But, this was indeed not a two-sided conversation in which both participants were genuinely interested in what one participant was expressing. It was a boy belittling a woman’s intelligence and ambition.

I wasn’t trying to be hot. I was trying to answer his inquiry of what I would like to become when I grow up. Did it ever occur to him that maybe it isn’t my constant goal to impress him and gain his approval when we talk? That maybe I was trying to have a person-to-person conversation and express what my aspirations were?

It all comes back to shallow, physical attraction, doesn’t it?

Because Heaven forbid some guy would actually want to know what my passions and interests were, just for the sake of getting to know me better.

Another lad and I were having a similar discussion earlier today. In an effort to flatter me, he asked if i’d ever considered modeling as a career. I told him that I hadn’t because I do not advocate the fashion industry and media’s glorification of physical beauty and skinny-ness.

His response? “Well, maybe you could try acting then?”

Arg. Another point completely missed.

He thinks I have the looks to be displayed and manipulated in the media as an icon of what “ideal beauty” is. Which, frankly, I don’t take as a compliment at all. He hadn’t even considered the possibility that maybe I had no interest in a career in the media.

This is just a prime example of the objectification of women. The belief that my physical beauty should be used as a commodity to promote and sell physical items, as well as a skewed and artificial icon of what a beautiful woman is.

There is way more to a woman than her physical appearance. I have far more to offer than my looks, thank you. And I intend to pursue a career that suits my interests and puts my intellectuality to good use.