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Linda & Richard Eyre: Why gender matters

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  • donn layton, UT
    May 10, 2014 2:25 p.m.

    RE: Gmlewis,I testify that in the eternities we will be sons and daughters of God, manifesting a gender identity through eternity.
    VS
    …. the resurrection of the dead. Our earthly bodies are planted in the ground when we die, but they will be raised to live forever. Our bodies are buried in brokenness, but they will be raised in glory. They are buried in weakness, but they will be raised in strength. They are buried as natural human bodies, but they will be raised as spiritual bodies. For just as there are natural bodies, there are also Spiritual bodies. 1 Cor 15:42-44(NLT)

    God [is] spirit. ( *pneuma ο theos). There is ‘*no article’ in the Greek text before the word spirit, and that emphasizes the quality or essence of the word. Furthermore, the word spirit occurs first in the sentence for emphasis. The literal idea would be something like, “Absolutely spirit in His essence is God.” (John 4:24). God(The Father)= spirit.

    E.g..J S, Lectures on Faith(5:2), Q. What is the Father? A. He is a personage of glory and of power.. What is the son? First, he is a personage of tabernacle.

  • K Mchenry, IL
    May 10, 2014 1:44 p.m.

    They are not chosing a different gender. I find it odd in an article that points out how important it is that there are in fact different genders that this isn't accepted. We are not a boy or girl cause we like blue or pink. Or because of the parts we were born with. It is not different than any other potential physical problems present at birth. Only when you are born in the wrong body you can't tell someone until you are old enough to talk. They can physically see an extra finger or heart problem at birth. How is that different than other parts?

    Could you convince yourself you are the gender opposite your parts? Of course not. Your head knows which gender you are. Further could you live in the wrong parts and then marry the person opposite of those parts knowing what churches tend to think about that? You would in your heart be in a same sex relationship.

  • Stormwalker Cleveland , OH
    May 9, 2014 11:05 a.m.

    @wilsclanmom: "If God can fix all the other things that can go wrong with bodies, He can fix the things that go awry with gender expression."

    Two realities. First, God dies not fix those problems. The are fixed by doctors using medical science.

    And, second, when someone is born with a problem, we look to medical science to diagnose and treat it. In the case of Gender Identity Disorder the treatment can include hormones and surgery.

  • koseighty The Shire, UT
    May 9, 2014 10:34 a.m.

    @wilsclanmom who said:
    "There are things that malfunction or are disordered in every physically based system of the body, and gender is one of those things. If God can fix all the other things that can go wrong with bodies, He can fix the things that go awry with gender expression."

    And here we come to the truly insidious part of this worldview -- that people who are different than you are broken and must be "fixed." In the original editorial, the implication is that women who don't want traditional roles of wife and mother are wrong, broken and must be fixed. They are less than people like the authors who know and follow God's word (and we all KNOW my God is the one truest god and your's isn't).

    People say "We love our LGBT friends and neighbors" and then work to deny LGBT rights. "Families are the foundation of society" and then work to deny the formation of families for those they consider broken and in need of Devine fixing.

  • gmlewis Houston, TX
    May 9, 2014 10:32 a.m.

    @RanchHand - I really thought that Donn's remark about everyone being male in the resurrection was intended to be a joke.

    D&C 76:22-24 "And now, after the many testimonies which have been given of him, this is the testimony, last of all, that we give of him: That he lives! For we saw him, even on the right hand of God; and we heard the voice bearing record that he is the Only Begotten of the Father - That by him, and through him, and of him, the worlds are and were created, and the inhabitants thereof are begotten sons and daughters unto God."

    I testify that in the eternities we will be sons and daughters of God, manifesting a gender identity through eternity.

  • Tiago Seattle, WA
    May 9, 2014 10:06 a.m.

    Hi wilsclanmom,
    You're right, gender aberrations don't nullify the point of the article or disprove God. They do highlight a need for nuance, empathy, and compassion in these discussion.
    I'm taking a bit of storage on the DesNews server with my comments in case someone who reads this is hurting because they don't conform. Faith and repentance change our hearts, but usually won't take away blindness, autism, SSA, or transgender feelings. Successful people accept their reality and deal with it.
    I see people who I love hurt because we like to "stay on point" and talk about absolutes in a way that makes anyone who is different (and we all are different in some ways) feel like we are, fundamentally broken and wrong. Most LGBT people end up outside the church and sometimes even excluded from their families. It doesn't have to be like that. Christ left the 99 to go after the one.
    When the people asked Jesus who sinned to make a man blind from birth, Jesus answered "Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him."

  • RanchHand Huntsville, UT
    May 9, 2014 8:33 a.m.

    @@Charles;

    What was truly "sad" was living a lie for the first 30+ years of my life. I haven't "turned my back on the true teachings of life", I've embraced the "true teachings of life" (i.e., self awareness and acceptance).

    @gmlewis;

    According to donn's post from the Bible above, we're all going to be "ressurrected as male" per the Bible; in which case, if there IS marriage in heaven it'll ALL BE SSM!!! (So much for "traditional"...)

  • gmlewis Houston, TX
    May 9, 2014 7:24 a.m.

    @RanchHand - I keep talking about the characteristics of a resurrected body, and you respond with comments about marriage in heaven. That's a different topic.

    When Mary looked upon the Savior following His resurrection, she didn't ask Him why He didn't look like a man. None of the apostles were perplexed when He appeared to them.

    Luke 24:39 "Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have."

    3 Nephi 11:8-10 "And it came to pass, as they understood they cast their eyes up again towards heaven; and behold, they saw a Man descending out of heaven; and he was clothed in a white robe; and he came down and stood in the midst of them; ... Behold, I am Jesus Christ, whom the prophets testified shall come into the world."

  • wilsclanmom Alexandria, VA
    May 9, 2014 1:17 a.m.

    To all those pointing out gender aberrations as if they somehow nullified the Eyre's point, they do not. Vision anomalies, blindness and babies born with cancer of the eye don't tell us anything about the optimal functioning of the eye. They are two different subjects. And the fact that people are born with malfunctions of their optic nerves or eyes, doesn't mean there is no God, or that He didn't design a perfect system for sight.
    This is a fallen world, and that means things can and do go wrong with every part of it.
    There are things that malfunction or are disordered in every physically based system of the body, and gender is one of those things. If God can fix all the other things that can go wrong with bodies, He can fix the things that go awry with gender expression.
    The fact that you know someone or of someone carrying the heavy load of a gender issue, has really nothing to say to the main point of the Eyre's article. I echo @atrulson's sentiments. Stay on point folks.

  • SuziQ Springville, UT
    May 8, 2014 9:30 p.m.

    I agree with atrulson. The women's liberation that started in the early 70's was about women being more like men, in hopes of feeling more equal. It wasn't about being the best woman you could be. It wasn't about embracing whatever you were and being treated equally. It was just about getting rid of the female role of mother and mother in favor or embracing the (then) male role of provider. It defined success by your career and salary, not your home and family. It emphasized personal fulfillment over everything else. The question is are all the women who have careers feeling fulfilled? Maybe equality is more simple. Maybe it is just being treated as if you are valuable simply because you are a human. In all our crying for equality, does it ever occur to anyone that it starts with each one of us and that no one else's opinion of us ought to make us feel less than who we are? That means we each need to be civil in the face of differing views and firm in standing in what we believe in.

  • @Charles not from utah, 00
    May 8, 2014 4:12 p.m.

    Ranch it will be boring for you and your partner. It's sad that you chose to turn your back on the true teachings of life. We all have to live with our consequences.

    Donn people will be married in the afterlife.

    Karen, truth is hard to take sometimes, keyboard or not. Stating facts is not dismissing pain or issues associated with it. Are you not a parent who has ever corrected a child? It's amazing that people like you make those silly comments. No one said what you claim. Strawwoman argument.

  • RanchHand Huntsville, UT
    May 8, 2014 2:27 p.m.

    @donn;

    The afterlife is going to be very, very boring.

    @gmlewis;

    Who are we going to believe, Jesus, from the Bible, or Alma from the BOM? Hmmm.

  • gmlewis Houston, TX
    May 8, 2014 2:19 p.m.

    Alma 40:23 "The soul shall be restored to the body, and the body to the soul; yea, and every limb and joint shall be restored to its body; yea, even a hair of the head shall not be lost; but all things shall be restored to their proper and perfect frame."

    Spirit bodies have gender, mortal bodies have gender, and resurrected bodies have gender. The skeletons of resurrected women will be feminine, and the resurrected bodies of men will be masculine.

    It really isn't that complicated.

  • donn layton, UT
    May 8, 2014 12:20 p.m.

    RE: RanchHand, Which leads one to conclude that we're all going to be male in the afterlife. So much for "gender differences" to celebrate. Context,

    At the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven.(MT 22:30)

    Marriage is an earthly relationship, and can have no place in a spiritual condition. All that is of the earth, all that is carnal and gross, all human passions, all that is connected with sin and corruption, shall pass away. The risen life is no mere reproduction of the present, but a regeneration, new life added to the old, with new powers, acting under new laws, ranged in a new community. On earth men are mortal, and marriage is necessary to perpetuate the race; no such necessity obtains in the other life, where men are immortal.

  • Karen R. Houston, TX
    May 8, 2014 10:34 a.m.

    @ 1.96 SDs

    Responding to Tiago's question: Is the benefit of teaching strict gender norms worth the pain that it causes to the people who naturally don't fit those norms?

    "Yes! Is this not in the same vein as feeling pain sometimes when the gospel is preached and we realize we need to repent?"

    It's incredibly easy to dismiss another's pain as unimportant, isn't it? A few strokes of the keyboard and DONE!

    @ RanchHand

    Your response to donn made me laugh out loud.

  • RanchHand Huntsville, UT
    May 8, 2014 10:19 a.m.

    donn says:
    "Jesus replied, “Marriage is for people here on earth, but when those who are counted worthy of being raised from the dead get to heaven, they do not marry. And they never die again; in these respects they are like angels, and are sons of God, for they are raised up in new life from the dead. Luke 20:34-36(TLB)"

    Which leads one to conclude that we're all going to be male in the afterlife. So much for "gender differences" to celebrate. :)

    @1.96 Standard Deviations;

    I don't recall the Proclamation EVER being called "church doctrine". It is the opinion of those LDS leaders who wrote it and in a few years, possibly a generation, it'll be denounced similarly to Brigham's opinions (and other leader's) were recently denounced.

  • RanchHand Huntsville, UT
    May 8, 2014 10:04 a.m.

    Vive la discrimination, eh?

  • 1.96 Standard Deviations OREM, UT
    May 8, 2014 7:52 a.m.

    Tiago:

    "Is the benefit of teaching strict gender norms worth the pain that it causes to the people who naturally don't fit those norms?"

    Yes! Is this not in the same vein as feeling pain sometimes when the gospel is preached and we realize we need to repent? The proclamation to the world on the family, which includes teachings on gender, is church doctrine. It needs to be taught and it is up to us to give heed to the word of God.

    If this teaching on gender causes pain to someone who doesn't naturally fit those expectations, he/she needs to "put off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord" (Mosiah 3:19) and have confidence "the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them" (1 Nephi 3:7).

  • donn layton, UT
    May 8, 2014 7:31 a.m.

    RE: Gmlewis ,It will be relevant to our existence after death in the Spirit World and after the Final Judgement, for all eternity.

    Jesus replied, “Marriage is for people here on earth, but when those who are counted worthy of being raised from the dead get to heaven, they do not marry. And they never die again; in these respects they are like angels, and are sons of God, for they are raised up in new life from the dead. Luke 20:34-36(TLB)

  • atrulson cohoes, NY
    May 8, 2014 6:30 a.m.

    To all those addressing the reality and concern of transgendered people. This article is focused on the 99% of people who identify themselves with their physical gender.

    As for the 0.3% of transgendered people out there, I see no reason they couldn't support the message here, which is that if women feel marginalized, then the approach should not be to become more like the other men, but to promote the importance, beauty and strengths of women as the are.

  • koseighty The Shire, UT
    May 8, 2014 3:56 a.m.

    How beautiful the world would be if it would just conform to MY simple, easy worldview.

    Every home would have a mother, a father, 2.3 children, one dog and one cat. Every father would be a Ward Cleaver, every mother a June. Every boy would be captain of his football team and every girl, head cheerleader.

    The simple view tells us that God would never make someone gay or who identifies as a gender other than the one SO obvious to ME. But the reality is that the world is much more complicated than that. There are more chromosome groupings than just XX and XY. There are more combinations of hormones and brain chemicals than mentioned in 8th grade health class.

    Sadly, we have a history of treating people outside the norm really, really badly. Also sadly, the message of this editorial is not "We all deserve kindness and respect" but instead it tells us "Conform so I won't have to keep treating you really, really badly."

  • panamadesnews Lindon, UT
    May 8, 2014 1:55 a.m.

    Patriot: I believe the Eyer's meant when they said "worthy goal of complete equality with men", complete eqaulity in the things that men and women can be equal in, such as same pay for the same work position, equal in job opportunities, equal in receiving grades in a class - there are many ways they can be equal, but still maintain their feminity, and their place in the world as righteous, beautiful daughters of our heavenly father.

  • Karen R. Houston, TX
    May 7, 2014 8:42 p.m.

    "We love feminism when it is defined and devoted to the true celebration of womanhood..."

    There's that word again: true. "True patriots." "True Christians." And now "true celebrations of womanhood."

    In other words, "I know the one right definition/religion/viewpoint."

    True presumption.

  • Stormwalker Cleveland , OH
    May 7, 2014 8:22 p.m.

    @Let it Go!

    That is a religious document and may serve for the followers of your religion.

    It does not address a myriad of very real medical conditions that can and do blur the lines of gender for many people.

    Modern technology is being used to study the brain functions of homosexuals, heterosexuals and transgender individuals of both genders. While that research is new, it is already showing patterns that seem to confirm what people have long claimed experientially: brain function is different in some significant ways, and gay men and transgender women often have patterns that resemble those of natal women; lesbians and transmen often resemble natal men.

    I work as a patient advocate, and know several doctors who are on the cutting edge of research. Much of the population is clearly male or female, however there is a significant "gray area" where such distinctions are harder to make.

    I hope you might take some time to do research, so you can have some understanding of these people who are often reviled or bullied, adding significant pain to an already hard path.

  • Stormwalker Cleveland , OH
    May 7, 2014 8:07 p.m.

    @rad3:

    I hope your cousin's family is relying on the advice of competent medical providers to deal with the situation, and then explaining to the non-medical religious people how it is and how it will be.

    @Tiago:
    Several people in my life are transgender, both MtoF and FtoM. That connecting has led me to work as an advocate in medical settings for trans individuals and to teach classes to medical personnel about caring for transgender patients.

    Thank you for taking the time to watch that video. Trans people are rejected by both sides, making a painful situation even worse. Education and understanding can help so much.

    I also recommend an older documentary called "Southern Comfort" about the death of a transman named Robert Eades from uterine cancer. There is also a book called "Transmen and FTMs" that details reports of Female to Male people through history.

    My experience is that we have a social concept of gender that is based on assumptions about biology. The actual expression of gender is varied and only conforms to the stereotypes in some cases.

  • Tiago Seattle, WA
    May 7, 2014 3:49 p.m.

    @1.96 Standard Deviations
    You can find the video on YouTube if you search for "LDSwalkwithyou" It is called the "The Allgood/Moore Family.

    The young man who transitioned female to male is active LDS attending a YSA ward where leaders include him and make him feel welcome. His extended family and friends have all rallied around him now, but he went through a lot of pain in middle and high school to get to the point he is at now.

    Is the benefit of teaching strict gender norms worth the pain that it causes to the people who naturally don't fit those norms? Can we teach the truth about gender without excluding, and maybe even while celebrating people who are different?

    I got really emotional watching the video as I realized how little I understood or had ever tried to understand transgender issues. His life has been complicated and it is tough to rationalize with strict gender norms, but when I hear him tell his story, I see God working in his life and recognize that he is loved by God and is my brother.

  • 1.96 Standard Deviations OREM, UT
    May 7, 2014 1:41 p.m.

    rad3:

    "Do the prophets tell her to marry a man because she looks female? Or a woman because she is genetically male?"

    If your cousin is LDS, the local church leader (stake president) can refer to the office of the first presidency for counsel. There is not a blanket LDS policy for every anomaly that occurs regarding gender. It gets reviewed on an individual basis.

    Please don't be offended by my use of the term anomaly. The reason for this term is because of AIS' rarity. It is estimated that complete Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome (AIS) affects 2 to 5 individuals per 100,000 people who are genetically male. If the U.S has 150 million genetically male individuals, there would be up to an estimated 3,000-7,500 individuals with complete AIS the U.S.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    May 7, 2014 12:57 p.m.

    "We love feminism when it is defined and devoted to the true celebration of womanhood and to the worthy goal of complete equality with men"

    Is this the same feminism that we saw on display at Gen Conf that demanded the Priesthood? Also the feminism I have seen over the years promotes abortion, hates marriage and children and encourages women to focus on themselves and their careers. This is 100% opposite from what the Savior taught in the New Testament.

    I think the Eyre's are a bit confused.

  • rad3 SLC, UT
    May 7, 2014 12:48 p.m.

    @Let it Go!

    So what of my cousin who has Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome? She was born with XY chromosomes but her body does not respond at all to testosterone, and thus developed to be a mature and beautiful female. Do the prophets tell her to marry a man because she looks female? Or a woman because she is genetically male? Gender is more complex than genitals or chromosomes. It is not as simple as the authors of this document would have you want to believe.

    I think they missed the mark and ended up humiliating and causing psychological grief to a whole class of already harassed and misunderstood individuals.

  • 1.96 Standard Deviations OREM, UT
    May 7, 2014 12:46 p.m.

    Tiago:

    "I recently watched a video [...] where an active Mormon who transitioned from female to male in high school [...]."

    Mentioning "active" Mormon and changing genders perked my ears up. I was unable to find the video you mention.

    Keep in mind general church policy is church members who change genders are very likely to receive church discipline. This can potentially result in excommunication. Local leaders can refer to the office of the first presidency for an individual's particular situation.

    On a related matter, those who are not church members, but have changed genders, can still possibly be baptized into the church. The mission president has to get involved for the baptismal interview and review the case individually.

    Those who have changed genders, either before or after being baptized into the church, cannot receive a temple recommend or receive the priesthood. These policies are consistent with the church's teachings on the importance of gender in all stages of life -- pre-mortality, mortality, post-mortality -- and family responsibilities.

  • Let it Go! Omaha, NE
    May 7, 2014 12:24 p.m.

    "WE, THE FIRST PRESIDENCY, and the Council of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, solemnly proclaim that marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God and that the family is central to the Creator" plan for the eternal destiny of His children.

    ALL HUMAN BEINGS, male and female, are created in the image of God. Each is a beloved spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents, and, as such, each has a divine nature and destiny. Gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose...

    ...WE WARN that individuals who violate covenants of chastity, who abuse spouse or offspring, or who fail to fulfill family responsibilities will one day stand accountable before God. Further, we warn that the disintegration of the family will bring upon individuals, communities, and nations the calamities foretold by ancient and modern prophets.

    WE CALL UPON responsible citizens and officers of government everywhere to promote those measures designed to maintain and strengthen the family as the fundamental unit of society." (The Family: A Proclamation to the World)

    I stand with what the prophets had spoken concerning gender. How about you?

  • rad3 SLC, UT
    May 7, 2014 12:18 p.m.

    I'm still not convinced that it is helpful (much less necessary) to assign particular attributes to specific genders. Differences are wonderful. And I will agree, softly, that men can have similar qualities that are different from those of women. A lot of this can be attributed to the sex hormones testosterone and estrogen. But labeling those qualities as strictly male or female doesn't really benefit anyone, but rather has great potential to do harm to an individual that does not exhibit those specific qualities. You cannot tell me that even still strong, forthright women are often not constantly denigrated unfairly in society. This is not an LGBTQ issue. There are many straight men who demonstrate "classically" feminine qualities and vise versa. But putting a societal implication that a person is somehow less desirable or important in society simply because they do not express a particular set of norms tied to their gender is damaging, especially to developing adolescents. Remove the "feminine" and "masculine" titles and just call them qualities and celebrate the strengths and differences of those qualities.

  • Spangs Salt Lake City, UT
    May 7, 2014 11:55 a.m.

    This is an excellent article, and I agree with everything the Eyres say for the most part. In fact, in a different context, this would be an excellent manifesto for those that are 'different,' namely gays, lesbians and those with gender identity issues. We should celebrate their differences and fight for equality when it comes to how they live their lives.

  • gee-en Salt Lake City, UT
    May 7, 2014 11:38 a.m.

    Great article, thank you Eyres! Once again, something so basic had been twisted by modern society...something so wonderful as gender differences has been vilified to make it seem wrong and bad.

  • Irony Guy Bountiful, Utah
    May 7, 2014 10:54 a.m.

    So what do the Eyres propose to do with people like my good friend, a little boy I grew up with, who played the violin, liked to dance and read fairy tales and play with dolls, and who had no interest whatsoever in girls? His male anatomy just didn't connect with his individuality. Of course, he was mercilessly tormented by all the "real men" in our school class (his nickname was "Pansy"). What, pray tell, will it mean for him to get "ironed out" in the next life? Will it mean that he will automatically become a "real man" and love football and girls?

  • Tiago Seattle, WA
    May 7, 2014 10:43 a.m.

    I appreciate many of the ideas in this article. There is value is celebrating differences rather than trying to make everything the same.
    Those who are gay do not believe that gender is irrelevant. People who are gay only fall in love with people of one gender and not the other, so there is a definite distinction of gender. Gender matters to gay people as a much as to straight people, the difference is the nature of their romantic attractions.
    Many, but not all, gay people experience some gender non-conformity, meaning their behavior or gender expression does not conform to dominant gender norms of male and female. Just as it is important to celebrate macro differences between genders, I think it is also valuable to appreciate and celebrate the micro differences between individuals within a gender.
    I recently watched a video on the ldswalkwithyou youtube channel where an active Mormon who transitioned from female to male in high school and his family tell their story. It helped me have a bit of empathy for that situation. I definitely recommend anyone who doesn't know much about transgender issues to look that up and try to understand a bit more.

  • gmlewis Houston, TX
    May 7, 2014 10:30 a.m.

    I appreciated the author's clarification that there are two representations of feminism, and that the problem with the second representation is that it promotes making gender irrelevant. Gender is as relevant during this mortal stage of our eternal existence as it was in our pre-mortal existance. It will be relevant to our existence after death in the Spirit World and after the Final Judgement, for all eternity.

  • 1.96 Standard Deviations OREM, UT
    May 7, 2014 9:37 a.m.

    Good article. It is sad we have to state the obvious sometimes. To see how far things have fallen regarding gender, here are a few examples in recent news:

    - India's supreme court recently ruled to recognize transgender people as third gender
    - Germany recently changed its law to allow a third gender option for parents filling out birth certificates
    - Though not directly gender related, a Florida judge recently approved that a baby girl will list three people as parents on her birth certificate -- a married lesbian couple and a gay man

    So, what a world we live in! Birth certificates with 3 or more genders and 3 or more parents. What other nonsense is coming in the future?

    The scripture in Mormon 6:19 comes to mind, "O ye fair sons and daughters, ye fathers and mothers, ye husbands and wives, ye fair ones, how is it that ye could have fallen!"

  • dr.bridell mclean, VA
    May 7, 2014 7:57 a.m.

    I agree with and appreciate the line:
    "We love feminism when it is defined and devoted to the true celebration of womanhood and to the worthy goal of complete equality with men. "
    That is what feminism should be about, not the blurring of the roles of men and of women!