I spent some time researching the women behind the protest and their reasons for initiating it. They are Latter-day Saint feminist women who take issue with the fact that women cannot hold the priesthood and therefore cannot hold certain callings in the church, including what they see as prominent callings. They wish to give their children priesthood blessings on their own, instead of relying on men. They believe women have limited agency in the church when it comes to callings, modesty, career decisions, and the priesthood. They take issue with Mormon culture, which they feel is suppressive and judgmental.
I get where these women are coming from, but what I can't wrap my head around is the arrogance of believing your own understanding is above God's.
If they believe the priesthood has power to bless and heal, they know it is from God and not from man alone. If you believe the priesthood is from God, then take your protests to God, not the church. Anyone aspiring to "prominent" callings in the church has some serious pride issues. "Prominent" callings give us opportunity to serve others and lead them to truth. The fact that women can't fill all of those positions doesn't bother me. I don't feel that it sends the message that women are less valid, less righteous, or less capable of leading.
As far as Mormon culture, it has its flaws because people aren't perfect. We are all imperfect and say dumb and hurtful things sometimes. The church is founded on Truth. Our membership in the church and willingness to follow God's commandments shouldn't be based on the culture of imperfect individuals, but on the Truth.
The biggest issue I have with feminism is its denigration of children. Inherent in the talk of "shackles" of family is the idea that children ruin our lives. Feminists would have us believe husbands and children are a ball and chain, forever limiting our ability to make choices. Mormon feminists take issue with the line "mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children" from The Family: A Proclamation to the World, because they feel it limits their ability to choose what they want to do with their lives. I'm not sure exactly why they feel limited. They have freedom to follow the council or not follow the council. As for me and my house, we will follow the direction of Heavenly Father.
I would like to speak on behalf of children. We were all children once, and the home we came from did shape who we became. I refuse any movement that treats children like a burden, a ball and chain, and a last choice. I insist on treating children like a first priority because they are worth it. I believe that mothers are better equipped than any other person to raise their own children. I shutter to think that my kids could be under the care of someone who doesn't have their absolute best interest in mind. No amount of love a caretaker has for a child will ever come close to the love a mother has for her child. No caretaker could care as much as I do about what my children are understanding about the world, and how they are progressing physically, emotionally and spiritually. I simply cannot understand how a women's rights platform can ignore the wellbeing of women at ALL ages.
Mormon feminists take issue with the fact that men aren't expected to stay home with kids. But I can't figure out why the answer is to fight for equality at the expense of your children. Sometimes, I too think "this is totally unequal" and "I feel trapped." It finally donned on me, without any prompting from my husband, how hard his life is. While I spend my day chasing, crawling, building forts and making meals, and sharing hugs, kisses and meaningful moments with my kids, he spends his sitting in a chair sharing emails with acquaintences. He spends 10 hours a day sitting in the same spot, every day. This is hard on him. He does it because we are worth it. After spending 10 hours at work, he comes to a home where he doesn't have much control over how clean it is, what's for dinner, or which of his clothes are clean. Furthermore, he has to forfeit all job earnings to go toward home and family expenses. We both sacrifice because we are worth it to each other and because we know our kids are worth it.
I don't understand why we think we can spend our time fighting for our individual fulfillment and remain clueless as to why there are so many single mothers, deadbeat dads, abused or abandoned children, and divorces followed by divorces. Maybe there'd be a lot more happiness in this world if we each fought for our loved ones, their well being, and their happiness. There's so much to give and go around if we would only give it instead of demanding more. Wake up world.