Saturday, July 25, 2009

Equal Rights...and pioneers?!

I just came across this photo again and I wanted to say something about it. The Mormon (LDS) Church gets a lot of people thinking erroniously that they oppress women. Of course no sect or group of any sort in our society is without its abuses, but I just had to speak up briefly with regards to this issue. I am an LDS women who is pursuing law school and, eventually, an international career. And although many of my LDS peers may not share my plans and aspirations, that does not mean that I am one whit less worthy of a member of this church. All of my church leaders are constantly telling me how proud they are of my achievements and none of them have ever discouraged me from continuing my education. Now, the point. In Nauvoo, the beautiful city established by early members of the Church in Illinois before their forced migration to Utah, there is a plaque that I am here pictured standing next to that reads:

"Last evening the ladies met to organize...Several resolutions were adopted...If the men wish to hold control over women, let them be on alert. We believe in equal rights."
-Louisa Barns Pratt
June 7, 1846

Yeah, we are talking a whopping 74 years before the 19th Amendment which gave women the right to vote in the US in 1920. Besides being whimsical, this quote is surprisingly prophetic. These were not your average barefoot "baby-makers" that are so belittled in our day. These early women were among the first pioneers to cross the plains and to settle uncharted land. They were courageous and fought death daily on behalf of their beliefs. They exibited enormous physical, emotional, and moral strength that any modern feminist could be proud of.

Happy Pioneer Day

2 comments:

Grandma Collene! said...

Right you are!
Love the photos too.

kambam said...

Hell yeah feminism! Let's go look at another case study of gender roles... come to India with us!!