Happy New Year! It’s time for me to start 2014 right. Yes, it is time for me to air my first Mormon pet peeve of the year. Here the focus of my irritation:
Arizona YSA Conference

It looks super great, doesn’t it? Almost makes me want to be a Young Single Adult again (but not really, not for a million dollars do I want to go back to the stress of single hood again. I am a lousy dater.)

I assumed the last time I was aware of this kind of nonsense, it was an anomaly of the area I lived in. The last/first time, it was a Youth Conference for my stake. This time it is a much bigger deal. Bigger audience, older, yet still impressionable young people in the middle of making permanent life choices. And it happened again. Dang it.

Look at the link above and pay attention to the conference speakers. We have men, and lots of them. Successful in business, wealthy and powerful. We also have Sheri Dew, who is apparently the only Mormon woman on the planet who is qualified to speak at ALL conferences to add the female perspective. We do have a couple of accomplished women speaking, accompanied by their husbands who will be speaking also, in a joint ticket. Because apparently women can’t speak on their own? Nothing against their husbands – obviously they are smart guys for marrying so well. But none of the male speakers are sharing the podium with their wives. Like somehow, men and women don’t need to hear from 1/2 of the people on the planet. Female perspectives just don’t seem to rate very high when conferences are planned.

Before you get all huffy and sputter, “But Living in Zion, Women get a whole weekend Women’s Conference to themselves! It travels around and is all women speakers (mostly) talking to women! How fabulous is that? What else do you want?” I’ll tell you what I want:
A conference for men and women, TOGETHER, with male and female speakers talking about their lives and the lessons they have learned. Sort of an unspoken acknowledgement that we are all in this life game together as a team and all members deserve a voice.

I really thought we were doing better at this male/female balance stuff. Sigh….I guess I know what my suggestion for Mormon Improvement 2014 will be. I was just hoping it would be a little while longer before our New Year’s goal would appear.