Progressive latter-day saint women seem to have scored a victory, as exasperated Church leadership has announced they will allow women to attend the priesthood session.
But there is one caveat.
“Women are now allowed to come to priesthood,” said a clearly disappointed Elder Oaks. “But they will not be permitted to eat at IHOP afterwards with all the other priesthood holders.”
He added: “The men in the Church get to enjoy a half-stack of pancakes, and to women is given the joys of childbirth. This is equality.”
It’s widely known that every one of the roughly three-million priesthood holders in the Mormon Church eats at IHOP after attending priesthood session, usually bankrupting the restaurant’s store of pies and ice cream. For many, it is a treasured tradition.
“Eating after priesthood session is a special time between fathers and sons, a time when they can break bread together as priesthood holders, while the women get to stay home and get to sew and gab while watching romantic-comedies,” Elder Oaks continued. “We feel that this is the natural order of things, that this is how the Lord our God intended it to be.”
Despite the monumental step of being let into the priesthood’s inner sanctum, the fact that Church leadership is still trying to exclude bothers some. “I mean, it’s highly unlikely I will even want to go to IHOP afterwards,” said progressive Mormon activist and Ordain Women member Cheryl Thompson, who plans on attending the priesthood session. “But I don’t like being told that I’m not allowed to, either.”
Some see this a somewhat petty attempt to maintain an unbalanced gender dynamic, but Church leaders insist that having different roles doesn’t mean inequality. In this case, they maintain that eating at IHOP is simply a function designated for male priesthood bearers alone.
“Look, they’re wearing pants to Church now, they got to give a prayer last time, priesthood is being telecast live, now they can attend… what more do they want?” said visibly shaken Elder’s Quorum president, Chance Bowman. “Just let us keep this one last refuge of patriarchal privilege, please.”
“Maybe I should demand the ability to have babies, if we’re going to talk about equality,” added Bowman.
The post priesthood session engorgement is something many men hold as having much more than hunger satiating purposes. Indeed, many elders of Israel give it as much spiritual weight as they do the other ordinances of the priesthood. Women, some say, have not and should not be ordained for this sacred rite.
“When I order stuffed french toast alongside brethren of the holy priesthood, I feel fulfilled in my duties as a priesthood bearer,” said Kyle Pilcher, 1st counselor in the Kaysville 1st Ward. “I feel full and ready to execute my duties as a father to take care of my family. I’m just not sure that’s something a woman is cut out for.”
But the LDS women striving for priesthood equality are not deterred by this setback. Ordain Women released the following statement this afternoon: “We’ve gotten into priesthood, and we’ll get into IHOP. It’s only a matter of time. Besides, unlike with the conference center or stake centers, they don’t have the authority to enforce exclusion.”
In response, Church leadership, who in no way represent IHOP, released this statement: “Admittance into IHOP (for a brief time after general priesthood session) is reserved for men and young men and we are unable to honor your request for a booth or table.”