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) of the happy family and fulfilled womanhood, all is not well in Zion: all is particularly not well among Zion's women.In recent years, considerable hue and cry has arisen over the subject of depression among Mormon women, inspiring a spate of documentaries and articles.Mormon sexual politics today is an uneasy mixture of explosive phenomena: the recent profound disenfranchisement of Mormon women by Church leaders, the Church's sudden strong political presence in the anti-ERA arena and the women's movement.Saturated as it is with the anti-female bias that is patriarchy's very definition and reason for being, the Mormon Church can legitimately be termed "The Last Unmitigated Western Patriarchy." (I know you Catholics and Jews in this audience will want to argue with that but I will put my patriarchs up against yours any day!Another example: Under the Heavenly mandate against the Equal Rights Amendment, Mormons in Virginia last winter , wearing their EQUALITY YES, ERA NO!buttons (a typical boggling example of patriarchal doublethink), lobbied not only against the ERA but against ALL bills for women—many of which were models of their kind.Because the organization of the Church is marvelously tight and the obedience of the members marvelously thorough-going, potentially thousands of people can be mobilized in a very short time to do—conscientiously—whatever they are told, without more explanation than "the Prophet has spoken." But Mormon anti-ERA activity, though organized and directed by the hierarchy of the Church from Salt Lake down through regional and local male leaders, is covert activity, not openly done in the name of the Church.
During the ensuing discussion, they solemnly vowed that if the Prophet told them to go out and shoot all Black people, they would do so without hesitation.
Instead, they are directed to say that they are concerned citizens following the dictates of their individual consciences.
Since they are, in fact, following the dictates of the Prophet's conscience and would revise their own overnight if he were to revise his, nothing could be further from the truth.
And it is no accident that they were enacted just as the feminist tide in the United States began to swell.
But we have other, more direct, ways of knowing how badly threatened and angry our brethren are by the existence of women who are not under their control.