I've been thinking a lot about women and women's rights lately. I never considered myself a feminist before, but as time goes by and I get older, I realize that I just might be a closet feminist.
The feminist that I speak of has nothing to do with burning bras or rabid man-haters.
My type of feminist is confident. She has dignity and pride in herself and her accomplishments. She respects her male counterpart, and expects respect in return. She stands up for herself. She receives equal pay for equal work. She takes good care of her children. She is able to work in any field that she has an aptitude for, be it a rocket scientist at NASA or a domestic engineer at home. The right to vote is a given.
One of my favorite prophets, Gordon B. Hinckley, was a great champion for women.
Strong and able women today fill responsible posts in industry, government, education, and the professions. ... It is wonderful to witness this great renaissance. I think it will continue to grow for the blessing of people everywhere. The Church has been in the forefront in training the daughters of Zion and in giving them responsibility. ... There are tremendous responsibilities for women in the Church as well as in the community consistent with and in total harmony with marriage, motherhood, and the rearing of good and able children.
Gordon B. Hinckley, Prophet
"Our Responsibility to Our Young Women." Ensign, September 1988
Here's another from John A. Widstoe, way back in 1942.
The place of woman in the Church is to walk beside the man, not in front of him nor behind him. In the Church there is full equality between man and woman. The gospel, which is the only concern of the Church, was devised by the Lord for men and women alike
John A. Widstoe, Apostle
Improvement Era, March 1942, p. 161
I am so grateful to belong to a church that loves and respects women. Our greatest leaders have taught and continue to teach 'neither the man without the woman, nor the woman without the man'. What a contrast to some of the cultures and religions we see on the earth today.