Saturday, July 7, 2012

Rocking the world, Mormon girl style

It's the political season round these parts.  If you are American, you know that.  If you aren't American, you probably know it as well.  We're a bit obnoxious with our politics.
Sometimes I worry about posting here during said political season.  The possibility exists that I am a bit obnoxious as well.  But, last weekend, TMOTH's auntie kindly reminded me that it is my blog and I should feel quite free to post my opinions and thoughts here.  I like her. 
So, I'm a Mormon.  I think everyone knows that.  If you don't, well, now you do.  Hope you still love me.
As part of said Mormonism, I belong to the nation's oldest and largest women's organization, known as the Relief Society.  As part of membership in said society, I have a certain job.  We all do.  Part of the deal.  And, it's all volunteer, by the way.
Anyway, my job (or calling, as we like to call it) is to work on the Relief Society Committee.  This means, we are in charge of the monthly activities. 
This month, our theme for the activity was, um, multi-fold, for lack of a better term.  We wanted to focus on the theme of "becoming one in purpose", but we also wanted to bring in some history, since it was Independence Day and all that, and sort of combine in a getting to know each other and our past kind of thing.  Yeah, sounds complicated, I know.
Well, the other ladies on the committee assigned to me the part about the History of The Ladies. And by ladies, I mean people of the female sort.  They may have come to regret that.  I love Women's History.  I am an ardent feminist.  I will happily lecture you on the waves of feminism, what they accomplished and which wave I identify with the most.  I will gladly go into detail about the accomplishments of the women in history, and it won't be hard for you to figure out which women I admire the most.
Naturally, being me, I gravitate toward the mega-accomplishers.  I like the ladies who "foment rebellion" to further their cause.  I am not a background sitter, so I like the ladies who are also not background sitters.  And I DO admire them.  I admire their tenacity in the face of opposition, I admire their willingness to go beyond the boundaries set for them by society.  I admire them for the many, many doors they opened for me and others like me.  Without the accomplishments of these women, I would not be able to do many of the things I take for granted now.
So, although I think some of my fellow committee members expected me to choose the sweet fluff, the kind who stand in the background and support their husbands (not that that is a bad thing...), but I wanted to talk about women who stood on their own, accomplished things as WOMEN.  Yeah, girl power and all.  I heart it.
Here is a list of the ladies I felt made a good sized impact in my world.
Abigail Adams
Emma Hale Smith
Susa Young Gates
Martha Hughes Cannon
Elizabeth Cady Stanton
Eliza R. Snow
Some of you non-Mormon types will only recognize Abigail Adams and Elizabeth Cady Stanton.  Some of you Mormon types probably only recognize Emma Hale Smith and Eliza R. Snow.  ;)  Well, aside from Abigail and Elizabeth.  I hope.  ;)
Look them all up.  You'll be impressed.
In the meantime, I am going to post a few quotes from them that I love.  And my love for them is quite telling of my personality, I think. 
Speaking of personalities, one of the ladies at the activity today came up afterward to talk to me.  She said "You have a very strong spirit.  It's good that you are aware of it."  I smiled and thanked her.  But I was not then, nor am I now, sure of what she meant by that. 
Ok, quotes-
"-and by the way in the new Code of Laws which I suppose it will be necessary for you to make I desire you would Remember the Ladies, and be more generous and favourable to them than your ancestors. Do not put such unlimited power into the hands of the Husbands. Remember all Men would be tyrants if they could. If perticuliar care and attention is not paid to the Laidies we are determined to foment a Rebelion, and will not hold ourselves bound by any Laws in which we have no voice, or Representation."
     -Abigail Adams

"Keep busy in the face of discouragement."
     -Susa Young Gates

"Somehow I know that women who stay home all the time have the most unpleasant homes there are. You give me a woman who thinks about something besides cook stoves and wash tubs and baby flannels, and I'll show you, nine times out of ten, a successful mother."
     -Martha Hughes Cannon

"Come, come, my conservative friend, wipe the dew off your spectacles, and see that the world is moving."
     -Elizabeth Cady Stanton

" Women should be women and not babies that need petting and correction all the time. I know we like to be appreciated but if we do not get all the appreciation which we think is our due, what matters? We know the Lord has laid high responsibility upon us, and there is not a wish or desire that the Lord has implanted in our hearts in righteousness but will be realized, and the greatest good we can do to ourselves and each other is to refine and cultivate ourselves in everything that is good and ennobling to qualify us for those responsibilities."
     -Eliza R. Snow

Can you see why I love these women?   My current particular fave is Martha Hughes Cannon.  Not only was she an amazing mother, she was also a doctor, AND defeated her husband in the race for  the Utah Senate, in which she served two terms.  Now that is a hell of woman.


Linda Sappington said...

I have a somewhat special connection to Susa Young Gates. Her first husband was a dentist in southern Utah (Dunford, I think. His picture is up on the wall of the Dunford Auditorium at Dixie State College)who was a great, great something grandfather of Mark Greene, MD whose life story I wrote. I was particularly interested in Susa . . . who in those days decided she no longer LOVED living in southern Utah (perhaps because of the heat and the insects . . . perhaps because TMOTH [her's, not yours] traveled a great deal taking care of peoples dental needs). I wonder how "the Lion of the Lord" felt about his daughter being a divorcee. Good write up, Tara!!!

lala said...

Martha Hughes Cannon is my fav. But you knew that. There is an awesome painting of her casting the first woman vote in Utah in I think 1870 in the State Capitol long before women had any voice in the rest of the nation. Women here did not sit back and wait for things to happen. They made it happen.

Julie said...

Oh ho, I've got to meet this Martha Hughes Cannon lady. Thanks, Tara, for the research incentive...she might just make an appearance on a future syllabus!

There is Beauty all Around said...

Thanks for sharing your research. I wrote a little about Eliza R Snow last month, on my power of friendship post. She was very inspiring. Do you have a separate blog for your dresses?

Ikhsan Jauhari said...

you have a nice blog design... and also a wonderful talent

regards from indonesia

Dunia Cewe