Sunday Spotlight is a series where we profile individuals in the Young Mormon Feminists community to hear their story and get to know them a little better through Q&A or their personal narrative. This week we talked with Stephen.
I’m Stephen \(^_^)/ . I’m a bug. I grew up in Murrieta, CA. In elementary school, I would read all night long and then forge my parents signatures on my reading logs. I always stole my report cards from the mailbox in hopes that my parents would forget. I didn’t care at all for sports, which hasn’t changed (I think Skyrim is considered a sport now, though.)
I live in Provo, now and I’m at BYU for a few more months (a semester ridden with despair, I assure you). I’m a songwriter and producer and, please, if you’d like to hear, my records are up at http://stephencope.bandcamp.com.
As for feminism, I was first exposed to gender theory in my critical theory courses at BYU. I guess it started to make sense to me that all the insecurities I’d had about my own masculinity and all the confusion I’d had regarding relationships and all the fears I had about marriage and sex and children went away if I threw out everything I’d been taught about gender and sex and relationships. Before, my gender had limited what I could wear (it still does, thanks BYU T_T), how I could act, what I could enjoy, etc. Before, my relationships were all destined to make me unhappy because what I want from love and intimacy isn’t what I’m told I’m supposed to want. So that’s why I did feminism. What the Church and Disney Channel and my schools and the people around me teach about gender and sex make me sad and ashamed and hurt me and people I love. Those things need to go away, please
As for feminism and the Church, I’m not fond at all of the way they’ve managed to bind and gag our Heavenly Mother. v_v She loves and us, and it doesn’t make any sense to me at all that my mom who cares about me would just ignore me the entire time I’m away from her, I just can’t understand that. I don’t like the way Church leaders and teachers spiritually abuse Church members, shaming them into a morbid fear of sex and masturbation and anything but male/female heterosexuality. I can’t stand the way women are pedestalised at the pulpit and then marginalized in the meetingrooms. I don’t like that when my mother was the Relief Society President, my bishop at the time (a man who unwittingly taught me to detest authority) made certain to pull the invisible strings, the ones the men have tied to the women in the Church. I don’t like that last night in a car ride home, a woman told me about her first marriage of ten years, and how awful it was, and how constantly sad she was, and how the reason she married that man was because, well, he was an RM and was going to get an education and support her and his parents had brought him up in the Church and he wanted to get married in the temple, and she’d always been taught that those things were enough to know it would work.
I just think that people should be happy, and everybody’s happiness is different, and we should let everybody be happy the way they want to. (˘ ᵕ˘(˘ᵕ ˘)