Yesterday in Relief Society we had another you-women-are-so-awesome-do-not-be-hard-on-yourselves lesson, this one from the bishop. I wasn’t there, I just heard (positive, glowing) reports second hand. The intentions are good — and my bishop is a very good man. But when I get my nose out of joint for church inequities, I can’t ignore them when they go in my favor.
Men regularly get hammered for their bad behavior in church. Women get told they are super duper. I’m not sure if this is because:
- Men (generally) excuse their sins and women (generally) beat themselves silly over theirs.
- Men really are scumbags and women really are super duper.
- Women can’t handle genuine criticism, so we get them to act by guilting them through excessive praise.
- We use a “see how good we are to women” technique to assuage guilt and compensate for gender inequities.
During this meeting, a woman reported (from my second-hand, glowing report) that she no longer feels guilty that she gets up to get the kids off to school and then goes back to bed. And then naps later, too. This was roundly found to be an agreeable, positive attitude among the women discussing the lesson.
When I heard it, my first thought was that I would feel guilty if I did that. I would feel like I was being lazy and not “pulling my weight.” I would feel like I didn’t have enough productive things to do if I could send everyone else off to do a full day’s work, while I snoozed.
My second thought was that if a man slept in until late morning and then napped during the day, we’d never, ever applaud it. He’d be labeled a lazy bum.
I love men. I adore my husband. Although I’m bothered by gender inequities, I don’t think creating a double standard or mercilessly bashing men is the answer.
Do you see a double standard? Does it bother you?