Sunday, July 16, 2017

Defending marriage and family or defending women?

There was an interesting comment in Relief Society today. I don't know if I disagree or agree, but I don't have the clarity on it. Maybe it's an opposition in all things kind of thing.

Elder Christofferson said this in April's General Conference:
Deseret News opinion editor Hal Boyd cited one example of the disservice inherent in staying silent. He noted that while the idea of marriage is still a matter of “intellectual debate” among elites in American society, marriage itself is not a matter of debate for them in practice. “‘Elites get and stay married and make sure their kids enjoy the benefits of stable marriage.’ … The problem, however, is that [they] tend not to preach what they practice.” They don’t want to “impose” on those who really could use their moral leadership, but “it is perhaps time for those with education and strong families to stop feigning neutrality and start preaching what they practice pertaining to marriage and parenting … [and] help their fellow Americans embrace it.”32
I think the teacher then asked how we share the concept of marriage or support it. Perhaps she didn't ask the question, but that's where the discussion was leading. One sister reminded us how Mike Pence was basically attacked for not going to lunch with women. Here he was trying to do a good thing, but people won't honor him in that respect for his wife, that personal boundary.

Another sister raised her hand and as a professional feels such discrimination when things like that happen. However, at the same time, her husband doesn't like it when she goes out with other men, so she tries to go out to cafeterias/open settings, or invite another person along.

When I was single and did anything one-on-one with a guy, it was great. No questions asked. It was like a date. It was even an opportunity to get to know the guy better and maybe even have hope, on occasion, that it might go somewhere. But what changes when we get married? It wasn't awkward being alone with a member of the opposite sex when I was first married because I was used to it, I guess. But now, 18 (yes, 18 tomorrow!) it seems totally weird. I have to wonder if respecting that boundary is a way to honor marriage and family and say, I'm not going to cross into your personal space? I don't know. Or, is it really a discrimination thing, not letting women into that good old boys' club? In which case, that's totally inappropriate, too. I do believe women should have every right to succeed and to be treated fairly.

I also wonder why people are having one-on-one lunch dates in the first place? Is this a newer thing? When I worked (now I did work for the LDS Church), I met in my boss' offices one-on-one. No problem. We went out to lunch sometimes, but it was for fun, not for work, and there were always many people and much socializing. I think we felt we needed a break during the day, so why work at lunch?

Of course we should expect that adults can behave themselves in honorable ways and know that people can control themselves. Sadly, though, it's not always the case. Just recently I was talking to a friend who said that her husband had been traveling extensively with another woman and he'd become rather attached to her; insomuch that he preferred the other woman over the wife. It does happen, even to good people, who don't intend it to. I felt so sad for this friend. I don't know how common this kind of thing is, but it is still devastating to those involved.

So, I don't know. Do we try and honor marriage by not having one-on-one business dates which might inadvertently hurt women's advancements in the work field? Personally I'll err on not having one-on-ones with other men, leave lunches for social gatherings, and hope any one-on-one stuff happens in the office/public spaces.

Although, I'm still curious to know when one-on-ones MUST happen where there wouldn't be other people around, at least through a closed door.