First of all, wasn’t that last post written by my husband amazing?! I love him. And I love the way he thinks about things. He really has inspired me to ponder everything so much deeper than I ever have before. Not to brag, but our conversations are usually awesome. If you haven’t read it yet, you should definitely go check it out!
Now, back to my (significantly less philosophical and deep) thoughts.
Yesterday morning I was looking through Facebook. I find so much inspiration there, since I have friends with a wide variety of differing opinions. It gives me the opportunity to see what others think and believe, and then to decide if I agree with them or not. While I was browsing my newsfeed, a video popped up that one of my friends had liked. I didn’t watch it because I could tell, just from the title, that it was going to annoy me. I just wasn’t looking to start my day that way. The title of the video was something along the lines of “If mansplaining is a thing then what about womansplaining.” The video was of a man and a woman in some kind of court and the woman is presumably trying to explain something to him that he already knows. I don’t know. What I do know is that I think things like this are so stupid. I’ll explain later. For now, let me tell you another story.
Recently in church, someone was giving a talk. He was talking about the Second Coming of Christ and saying how when it happens everyone will be like, “Oh, the Mormons were right *pause* and so were the people who believe in Christ.” Then he said something to the effect of, “…and when that happens it’ll be like, ‘I told you so’. But I wouldn’t actually say it. But I would probably be thinking it.” We believe that in the Second Coming people will be smitten. So this guy is saying that he’ll be standing there as people are perishing just thinking, “Well… I told you so. You had your chance.” This is such a bad attitude for anyone to have. Now, I understand that this was probably meant as a joke or an attempt at humor. I want to give that speaker the benefit of the doubt. The real issue is that I’m sure there are people out there who really think things like that. This is one reason Mormons don’t have the best rep. We can sometimes set ourselves apart from other people in a really divisive way.
These two stories may not seem to have anything in common, but in my twisted way of thinking, they do. They both focus on dividing people, rather than trying to bring people together.
On a very fundamental level, our society was created by white Christian men, and because of this (and through no fault of their own), that automatically gives them the best position in society. Think about it. If a businessman were building a huge tower for his company, wouldn’t he put his office at the very top? It’s not that he wants the people below him to suffer in their tiny cubicles, but the top floor definitely has the best views. Our society is very much the same way. So when mansplaining is recognized and called out, people have to turn around and say, “But see… women do it, too,” even though in general, it happens to women FAR more often than to men. My husband is nearly perfect and he even mansplains things to me sometimes. Women just don’t get top floor offices, and when they try to do the same thing a man does, she is metaphorically burned at the stake for it.
And this issue is not just a gender thing. In my second story, it is clear that some people divide others based on religion. I’m saved and you’re not. I believe in Christ and you don’t, so you’re going to be pretty screwed in the Last Days. But here, let me teach you what I believe, because it’s better than what you believe. It’s a tricky situation, because as members of the LDS church we do believe that we have the full gospel and the ordinances that everyone needs for salvation. But we don’t really know how things are going to happen after we die. We don’t know exactly how we will be judged. We do know that we are commanded to love our neighbors, and I think petty gloating (even if we don’t REALLY mean it) would not fall under that category.
Basically what I’m trying to get at is that I’m tired of all this dumb finger-pointing, blaming, and dividing. IT DOESN’T HELP. Seriously. Instead of pointing out the women who may be “womensplaining” we could just all try to be respectful to everyone around us. And if you’re being condescending to anyone, stop. Just stop doing that. We are brothers and sisters. Not enemies. Why does there seem to be an ever-widening gap between groups of different people? It always seems to be White vs. Black, Democrat vs. Republican, Man vs. Woman. What’s the point of that? In this society, living that way will lead everyone to eventually lose. Problems are not able to be solved and people can only grow to resent each other. That’s not what we’re here for, though. No one has to prove that they are the most correct person or group. It’s not a “winner takes all” kind of deal. We all have things to learn and we can learn them from each other. But not if we create giant rifts and only hole up with people who are similar and dismiss anyone who is different.
Please, just try to be humble, listen to others around you, and maybe try to embrace their differences instead of standing on your pedestal, shouting about how right you think you are. That just seems sad and lonely to me.
Like the strands of a rope, we can be strengthened in unity. We need unity.