I really think that this translates into the church. You can't take the cultural and historical context of our society/country/cultural world out of the administration of the church. From reading Marriage a History, I'm not so confident in the concept of traditional marriage that is being upheld by the church. If traditional marriage was only a short-lived phenomenon which only came about as a natural progression of people trying to figure out what was right, fair and good for them while at the same having subtle but very negative effects on women especially, how is that the will of God? And if the church is wrong on the ideal structure to marriage and women's and men's responsibilities to their families, then perhaps the extension of the priesthood is a continuation of the progress that we as people need to continue making so women can finally after so many centuries be treated equally.
It seems to me that the leaders need to be convinced of this but they are so busy only seeing it from their perspective and believing that they have the clarity of vision to know how women feel in relation to it that there's not a whole lot of hope to see things change. But perhaps there is hope, 50 years ago things were really sucking for women and I have to say that I prefer the role strain and frustration of being a woman now to envisioning living in that world then. 50 years from now could be better than what we have now, right?
There's some positive things taking place. Equality in parenting and employment is becoming more of a reality (reading War on Moms now). WAVE exists. I do believe that women's opportunities will expand in the next 50 years to where women will not be penalized to the extent that they are now for being mothers and caring for their children. It may take a great deal of time and patience for the leaders of the church to embrace the new order of men and women working part-time and caring for children part time relying little on childcare and having respected careers while being able to afford living comfortably. It sounds so utopian but I think that it could happen in the next 50 years in the United States. That's already the reality in Holland. It makes me want to move to Holland. I've been threatening becoming an ex-pat for so long that I wonder if someday we'll actually do it.
If the leaders of the church saw that reality, it makes me think that women's involvement in the church would change too because they'd finally be willing to seriously consider the thoughts and feelings of the sisters.
I originally wrote these thoughts with the ideas of from this post floating in my head where the writer is decidedly pessimistic in hopes of these things happening within the church. Where do you stand?