On this podcast I discuss Patriarchy, where it came from and why it exists in The Church of Jesus Christ Of Latter Day Saints. I talk about how we can change it within our church and in a way that serves us, without changing the doctrine.
You're listening to the modern Mormon, Episode 13. Hey there, I'm kami Satterlee. And I'm the modern Mormon. I'm an Advanced Certified Life coach who's dropped the all or nothing approach to life, and religion. I can't wait to show you how. I've got you, girl. Let's go Hello, beautiful souls. And welcome to the podcast. Today we are diving deep into patriarchy and women in the church. And this is a very hot topic. And we could probably talk about this for days, I'm not going to go too deep into it, mostly, what I want you to get through it today is just to understand it to see where it comes from. And then find ways where we can make changes and drop it in our lives or find ways that it can serve us. So I'm mostly going to just share my personal experiences with it. And then I would love for you guys to comment right in and kind of share yours. So in the last couple of years, there have been a lot of feminist women who have brought up patriarchy within the Church and its doctrine and tried to tear it down women who were not happy with the priesthood, and that women could not hold the priesthood. And I disagree with them on that. But I can understand also where they're coming from, and why they are so angry about it. So patriarchy is a human construct, meaning that it was created by humans, and it can be ended by humans as well. So stuttering, studying history, you can see how these things were created. When you look back, even in the Bible, how women were so badly mistreated, and treated completely less than men, there is no equal, they were basically just kind of you help the man do everything, but you mean nothing kind of, you know, stories that I have read in the Bible, it kind of felt that way. So we can take a look at it when we look at history and decide that that's not how we want to continue with it, which in order to do that, we have to understand it in order to create that change. So throughout history, and specifically, when we're talking about religion, I'll just talk about the Bible, you will find a lot of misogynistic quotes towards women, but then you will actually find a lot of really lovely ones as well. Specifically, in the New Testament, when Jesus is speaking, I absolutely love the way that he specifically speaks to women. You don't find a lot of this in the Old Testament. And I think it's because, you know, the Old Testament was written, you know, all the events happened. And then it wasn't even written, like until 100 years later. That's why within the church, we say, we believe it as far as it is translated correctly, because somebody else wrote it, after the fact. And if you think about that, you know, if I was to go write in my journal about an event that happened, even 15 years ago, it's going to be way different than the day it actually happened. And so it's almost portrayed, like, you know, God is just so angry, I feel like he kind of seems like such a mean God in the Old Testament, and especially towards women. But then when you go to the New Testament, which was also written later, but it's almost like he specifically speaks to women, he lets you know, women touch him. When you know, back in the day, when a woman was on her period, it was like considered, you know, disgusting. And she's, you know, all these horrible things. But then he specifically as she's, you know, the, the woman with the blood disease, he let her touch him and some of those signs and some of those specific stories, it goes to show how much God loved women, how much he appreciated them, and how much he honored them and considered them equal. And the reason I bring that up is because when we read things, we see church history, we see how women were treated, and kind of the role that they have taken. Just basically all of the inequality throughout all of time, it can kind of make you angry, it can get you frustrated, and it can kind of make you question some of your beliefs. But when I bring it back to who's in charge, I remember the way he treated women and the way that he created this world, and it's not about other people's beliefs and other people's actions. It's about becoming like him, and that is exactly who he was, was somebody who thought that, you know, women were incredible beings. So I want to just kind of share my experience with all of this growing up. I knew that there were certain roles that we were taught within the church that women you know, hold and same with the men they hold specific roles as well. It never it never bothered me that they had to pre scripted and I did not. I always saw it as the man is the head of the house. The man is the one that kind of takes care of the woman. My role was to be a mother, my role was to be a wife to take care of children to nurture. That is what I was taught. This was all great and grand until it kind of became a problem within my brain growing up, I wasn't super nurturing, I kind of wanted to do the things the boys wanted to do. I wasn't super girly, until up until about like eighth grade, I was much like very much tomboy. And I would see my dad specifically would take my brothers out to go hunting and to do all the outdoor stuff, he would take him on surf trips, and, and never really his girls. And it bothered me because I wanted to do all those things as well. But it was kind of just like the roll. That's what happens dad takes the boys and leaves the girls. And that was the earliest I can remember that this started to kind of become a problem in my brain. Where it really stood out was when I was in ninth grade, and I got a boyfriend. And I was boy crazy. Up until that point, that was my big struggle, I think in life is I loved the boys. And it makes sense because I was taught that that is my main goal in life. This is where the patriarchy really came in. And where I noticed it was we were taught to be desired, we needed to be virtuous and lovely towards, you know, our future husbands, we that was our goal where we were striving to become and so everything was about that from the way we dressed the way we acted, our behaviors. And most importantly, how we looked, the emphasis of being pretty was such a big deal within the church, I would hear things like just be a good girl, which to me was like, just do what you're told, be a good girl don't, you know, raise your voice you're not supposed to, you know, be controversial or anything. So to me, that just meant having an opinion in general. So it was mostly like I was silenced. So it's like be super desirable, but yet hold back from any type of sexuality. But also, I was taught that you don't have sex until you're married. So it kind of became this role I took on that I was to be a desirable by men. And so I became the biggest flirt, the biggest tease, I wanted all eyes on me. And then it was like, but don't do anything. And so it was really hard. By the time I was in ninth grade, I got a boyfriend. And that became really difficult. You know, to hold back when you you know, of course, when you're in ninth grade, you feel like you just love them. So I remember sitting in my bishops office, across from him and kind of telling him some things that I had screwed up on. And watching his face, he, you know, put his head down. And he just started shaking it and did a heavy sigh. And he didn't even say anything. And the amount of shame that I felt in that moment was awful. I wanted to just run an escape from that room. I came in there, you know, to try and be better I came in there because that wasn't who I wanted to be. And those weren't the things I wanted to be doing. I was needing help. Like, I felt like it was really hard and looking back on it, I can understand why. But watching him shake his head instead of, you know, being Christ, like in the way that Christ would probably throw his arms around me and tell me it's okay, and that I'm a good person, and I'm going to do better. And he did the complete opposite, where I left that office feeling like, I don't ever want to go back in there. I hate this church. I hate the way it's set up. I hate that I had to sit next to a man across from him and tell him confess to him something that's so personal, and felt so gross to be telling a grown man and don't even know. But I think the hardest part of all of that was that I really thought I loved my, my boyfriend. And I mean, you could say I did love him. I did. I felt love towards him. And it felt like I was pushing against something that felt so natural that I wanted to do in the church up until that point, it was taught, you know, don't have sex before you were married. But I don't feel like I was ever taught the why. To me, it was always I just needed to remain pure for my husband, because that's what he wanted. And that's where that patriarchy comes in. Which is not the doctrine of the Church. It was the way we taught it. It was just like, No, you don't do this. And so then I viewed sex as bad. And if I wanted to have sex, I was bad. So I felt this constant shame, guilt, but I do want to do this cycle. And I you know, had to push through that all through high school, obviously until I met Steve but it was it felt wrong and it felt like I was going against something that I naturally wanted inside. You know, I remember hearing church lessons about basically scenarios where if you do screw up or you know sex or not you do anything you're used goods now and I felt that way after I let left that Bishop's office and, and I even heard you know, some of the men talk about, I will only marry a virgin. Which is just crazy to me, because it's not about that it's about virtue. Virtue is the Christ like attribute that you're actually seeking. But it's kind of that checklist even within the men about having a perfect woman. And so over here, we're trying to, you know, become this perfect wife, we also want to be desired we fall in love. It's this constant battle, this, you know, pushing against what we feel is natural, where we can't even be ourselves. So you can also imagine, you know, after I did get pregnant at 18, with Steve Howe, I just thought I would never find someone ever again, like, if Steve didn't want me, then I was used goods, and I was done. I couldn't marry a man in the church, because why would he want me when he could choose a perfect, you know, Virgin, that just, you know, graduated BYU. And society does this as well. Everything is so sexualized, everything is about, you know, you will need to look a certain way and act a certain way and be a certain way to be desired. And it's not you know, what we truly have and what we feel inside for ourselves, it's always about somebody else. It's always about trying to take care and feel somebody else's emotion. And what I love so much is that none of this is doctrine. None of this is what the Church teaches it is the verbiage and the culture that has made us believe that if you aren't a virgin in the church, then you're used goods. But on the flip side, the rest of the world believes that if you don't try the car out before you buy it, you're an idiot. So it's a constant battle. And it's a constant back and forth, especially for women. And through all of this, we forget the number one most important thing is the Atonement of Jesus Christ. And the ability we have to repent and be made clean and be be made new. I wish I would have been told that within that Bishop's interview, it would have changed everything for me. So when we are teaching this to our sons and daughters, it's important for your son to know that he is in charge of his own brain, it is not a woman's job to dress in a way that doesn't cause him thoughts. He is in control of that. It's also important for a woman to know that it is not her job to make men desire her, it is her job to make herself desire her sex should be taught that it is a wonderful, amazing, one of the greatest things in the whole world. And the way that I teach it to my daughter is when it's done, right? It's incredible. And when it's not, it's left with a lot of heavy emotion, and a lot of self doubt, which then leads to a lack of self confidence and can lead to more behaviors that are not in line with your true spirit and who you are. So I don't teach that you're bad. If you have sex, I teach that you're supposed to want to have sex. But I teach the importance of why we want to wait. I've never met anyone who said, Oh, I'm so glad I had sex in high school. It taught me so much. It's more of looking back on it. I can't believe I was that young. I didn't understand the responsibility of that decision and some of the leading emotions and heartache that I had to experience. Okay, so moving on later on, when Steve and I got married, I had a really difficult time with him. Because I was taught that a man should take care of his wife, Steve was taught completely different, where he, his mom was fully capable of taking care of herself. And she was able to do all the things that a man could do change a tire fix a snowmobile, like the woman is awesome, I did not have that experience, and wasn't taught those things. So it was really difficult in the beginning, where he expected me to just know how to do things and to do them on my own. So it caused a lot of back and forth, anger, attention, disconnect, until I realized who do I want to be. And I want to be a woman that takes care of herself. And so I finally started doing these things. And when I did, I felt empowered. And I felt my capabilities expand, and I suddenly felt like my own person. It was amazing. Through our role as women in the church, we take on that we're in charge of nurturing, taking care of kids, we're supposed to stay home. And I do think that the church has come a long ways from this type of verbiage, where it doesn't always look like that within your home. But it can still make you feel a lot of shame if you are not fully committed to that decision. And so it's important to teach our children that, you know, they can be anything that they truly want. A woman is supposed to do all the same things that a man is, but we do have certain roles within our homes, and they are important roles and they are there to protect us to help our you know, family feel unified. And I think that power comes from being a female and a male. I really do. Different people can take on different roles, like externally, the things that they're actually doing within their home. Whether the man wants to stay home or the woman wants to work, like, I don't think that truly matters. But I do think that as women, we have an ability to bring a certain element that is different than a man can bring. That can also be the same thing within a same sex marriage. I think opposites attract, there's always one that's, you know, a little bit more nurturing. And the other one is, you know, probably more of the, the head of the house, okay. I don't think the focus needs to be who's doing what, but just that it is getting done, there is somebody there that is fulfilling that role. For me, when I became a wife, it was very difficult. I was not a cook, I didn't enjoy cleaning, I couldn't create things, I wasn't really good at making things I've always just kind of been a woman of words, I love language. And I it's everything to me, I love to write, I used to write a blog. That's kind of my way of contributing, that didn't really do anything within the house, though. So I kind of felt worthless, like I was a broken wife. And my husband also used to joke about that I got the broken Mormon is what he would call me. He said it as a joke. But I truly felt that way growing up, like what is my purpose here, I don't really do the girly things. I'm not a really good wife, what am I supposed to do. And I think that is the beauty of it all. whatever I want. There is no specific I'm supposed to be this person and do these things. It is more of who do I want to become, if I want to figure out what my person purpose is and what God has planned for me, I need to pursue that, and not focus on the things that I'm lacking. In a society mostly ran by men, and in a church ran by men, it can make the woman feel as if she is kind of put in this box of what she can and is able to do. And I love that things are starting to change where we as women are being able to pursue our passions and our goals because of who we are. And not because of what we're told that we need to be and do. I have not attended the temple. But I have heard from a lot of people that there are some things said within the temple, some promises made where the verbiage is a little bit questionable, where it kind of bothers them. And this is a great example of a make or break situation where you can either use this as there's something wrong with the system that I was born into, like what's happening, my foundation is breaking, it will have an underlining emotion of fear. When it comes to these things, or you can use it as a time to question a test, like a time to evolve and to change. God expects you to figure these things out, he expects you to improve them. He doesn't want you to just say oh, well, I don't believe this. So I'm out. I truly think that these things are said and given so that we can evolve as humans. So if something said in the temple that you don't agree with, it's time to question that what's coming up for you in those moments? What are you making it mean? Is it true? What else could it mean? Those are times that you can really hone in on your belief system, and really gain a really strong testimony of something or not. And then you get to decide whether you want to continue on. Or if it's something that you want to just drop altogether. Now I understand because it's in the temple, it can really freak you out a little bit as this is what we believe. And I truly, I truly don't believe this. But I promise you that if you just sit with it, and you study it, you'd get to understand it the same way with patriarchy, you understand what's actually being said, then also taking it to what you want it to mean, for you. It can make the biggest impact on your life. And in a great way. I am not a fan of saying oh, it will just work itself out. I'm not worried about it. That may work for some people. But I also think that that's your brain's way of saying, I don't want to I don't want to feel this emotion that I feel by disagreeing with whatever's being said. So I'm just going to push it away. It's a resistance. Instead, get to know it, understand it, question it. If you don't like the way something's being said or done or questionable in the church, specifically church history. That was a big deal to me, between polygamy. Some of this, you know, talks that were being given, I felt like they were almost degrading towards women, I didn't like it. I decided to go through each one of those, and Dakota in a way that serves me best. In order for patriarchy, to change in our culture and in our religion. We need to be the first to do it. We need to be the first to change if we're pushing it away and pretending it's not there. It's not going to serve us it's not going to serve our children. So it's important to question those things and decide what you want to make them mean. Then you can go and teach them to your kids in a way that serves them and makes you be authentic to yourself and growing your testimony as you do it. When I became an inactive Mormon, one of My major reasons for that was that I didn't want to teach my children or bring them to church with all of this. Patriarchy. And I did not want my daughter to feel and grow up the same way I felt where you sat in church, and you just it was a constant feeling of guilt and never measuring up. And for 15 years, I battled this because I did want spirituality, I did want her to know God, I just did not want all the other, you know, crap that came with it. And that's where we finally started. You know, I read actually the Book of Mormon and I loved it. But then we went to the Christian church thinking, Oh, nondenominational. It'll be just kind of easy peasy. And not all the extra stuff. Well, then when it became the extra stuff, I was like, gosh, what the heck do I want to believe? I realized that I do want to believe the LDS church, I just don't want all the garbage that comes with it. When I understood coaching, and that that garbage was actual, just thoughts, I could teach my daughter in ways that she could believe the doctrine of the Church, but also drop the culture, the expectations that the culture brings on its members. And also just society's thoughts of what religion should look like. So my kids will go to primary and they will sing, follow the Prophet, and they'll come home. And I'll talk about that. What does that mean to follow the Prophet? Does it mean do everything? The Prophet says and not question it? No, follow the Prophet means when the Prophet says something, you pray about it, you question it, you research it to understand it more, you decide whether it's something you want to believe yourself or not. That is what follow the Prophet means. And by teaching this, they can also use it within their own family someday. What do you mean, the the husband? is the head of the house? Does that mean you can't have an opinion or a say in anything? No, it doesn't, it means he presides over the family, but that you two are equal. And that means that you are equal in the decisions that are made and equal in your thoughts that they are valid and important. When we talk about choose the right. Is there a right? Is there a wrong? What do you want to think about that? I teach my children that there is no right and wrong. But I do teach that there is their right and they're wrong, where they can understand that every choice they make has a consequence. And that's going to lead them in the direction they want to go in their life. And it's important to make decisions based off of their spirit and not based off of their lower brain and what they just want to do in a moment. When we talk about forever, families I talked about, if dad and I were to just go to the temple right now, we would probably feel really uncomfortable. Because we're not ready for it. We're not ready for it spiritually, we don't have the wisdom needed to go to the temple and we are working on it. Well, at least I am. But I talk about that when it comes to heaven. Like we're all going to be happy wherever we're at. But if you want to be a person that is going in this direction, then you need to just start moving in that direction. And it's not about the end product necessarily. It's the journey in that my children see through our own marriage that there is no dad makes the money and mom doesn't do anything. It is always equal. Where I am working at home just as hard as dad is. I take my job as a stay at home mom seriously. And I take it as a job. And I just like a job. It's not an eight to five, we do everything together, Steve can take the kids if I need to leave, it's not Oh, Dad's gonna babysit. It's Dad's watching his own kids. And it's never been a problem for us, it's never been an argument. Same with chores around the house, it is everybody's job to take care of each other and of themselves. Nobody is higher up in our household, we are all equal. And then because of that, we have expectations. And we are required to do our part. I just recently got a calling within the church. And this is my first calling. I've been called to be young women's advisor where I help all the young woman with their goals. So I'm super pumped about that. But when they set me apart for this, they gave me a blessing. And they basically bestowed the keys of the priesthood to me where I can, you know, use that priesthood power within my calling. And what even got me to make this podcast was when that happened. I remember thinking, Oh, I had no clue that we could as women use the priesthood in the same way the men did. And there was no part of me that said, oh, there's so much better than me. They, you know, have more tools that they can use. I never even thought twice. So when I was given those keys, I thought, Oh, cool. Yeah, we're equal. I should have known that the whole time. And that, my friends is the power of the brain. You can choose to think anything that you want, about anything. So what I want you to get from this is that your life is 100% your own. It's not about being a hardcore feminist and ditching all of your beliefs. It's about regaining authority over those beliefs. stop relying on your husband and those around you to know if the church is true. stop relying on them to take care of you. start questioning those things that are bothering you when it comes to patriarchy, and the beliefs within it. Choose intentionally whether you want to continue believing those beliefs, or look at them in a way that serves you. You don't have to like church history, you don't like hat, you don't have to like the way that the church is organized. You don't even have to agree with it. But you can decide you're going to view it in a way that makes you believe its purpose and continue moving forward. If not, it will haunt you and bring you down in times of doubt. This is why so many people have begun to leave the church lately is because of all of these church history issues. And because of a lot of patriarchy, and women's rights during this time. I am a big, huge believer in women's rights. I am also a believer in God's authority and God's organized church, which is why I'm part of that you can find these beliefs to serve you and you can choose to view them in a way and teach them in a way that doesn't cause shame within your children or yourself. It causes women to really be who God put them on this earth to be incredible, powerful, equal, and unstoppable. If you're ready to drop the all or nothing in your life, then I would be honored to be your life coach, head over to the modern mormon.com To start your journey in becoming the confident authentic and best version of you