I originally wrote a different post on the subject, but my Lover told me that it would be better if I went into more depth with the story, so I’ve decided to make it into a series of posts. I hope that this will turn out to be an adequate retelling of this particular period of my life.
Part One, The Background
It happened in Utah, in the beginning of 2009. Utah is undeniably the most conservative state in the US, thanks to the Mormon church. Since I was young and naive in those days, I thought that the counter-culture swung to the extreme side of liberal, though compared to the rest of the world, I now realize that they are closer to moderate.
I was freshly 21, and very seriously considering taking a personal vow of celibacy. I revered my virginity. Perhaps it is impossible to describe how I felt about it, other than to say that I believed the lowest act that I could ever perform would be to give my virginity to the wrong person. At that point I had become so consumed by the isolation I was experiencing that I was convinced that I would never find the right person, and I wanted to remove the possibility and temptation to give in to a Mr Wrong. I ended up never quite being able to go through with the vow, but my feelings on the subject remained the same.
I had left the Mormon church two years prior and had spent that time developing my own inner belief structure; and with the beginning of that year I decided that I felt ready to start exploring the external world of being a non-Mormon. I had been unhappy with the portrait of womanhood that Mormonism had given me (especially the parts about polygamy in the afterlife), so I decided to look into feminism to see what that was all about.
I’m a Thinker, so the logical thing for me to do was take a Feminist Theories class that was offered by my university. I went to a different sort of university that, despite its reputation of being easy, was anything but a party school. It was the school where people in their thirties went, after they realized that they didn’t like where their careers were going and wanted to start over; it was also where the poor 20-somethings went, because the tuition was cheap and they had to foot the bill on their own. Yes, the curriculum was easy, but the students were there to learn — they just had to fit classes in between their jobs and families.
On the surface feminism seemed all right. I didn’t like the idea of being forced into a lifestyle that didn’t fit me, and since I had grown up feeling inferior to my brothers, the equality thing didn’t seem half bad. I was willing to think that maybe feminism was a beneficial movement.
I was wrong.