Does this young girl's dream of a church that is there for her to develop her spirituality, provide community, and be truly wholesome and good so she can go on to live the fairy tale of temple marriage with a charming returned missionary really have any basis in reality? It is a nice dream of a temple in the clouds, but not really.
I think most Mormon women today would deny that the church is sexist and it's true women aren't forced to do anything extreme like wear burkas. The church has made an effort to look more politically correct and modern in the last years as far as women. But denial is cultivated heavily in the church and I think any women who takes off her rose colored glasses could probably see that there is ingrained sexism in the LDS church. Church leaders promote the view that women are equal but are different and special and are made for a nurturing role. This sounds good on the surface but the actual results that occur from the church's structure and culture do not really support women at all from what I have observed.
The history of the church involved polygamy which definitely did not go both ways; it wasn't free love where men and women could choose multiple partners but only men who did this. The overall spiritual world view of the church is also quite sexist in that it believes that God is a physical man with a wife/(wives?) who is kept secret and not really worshipped, and that all LDS men are also working on ultimately getting to a point where they are also a god with their own planet and many wives. I think it is helpful to take an objective look at the structure of the church itself. The elite of the church are almost entirely men. I think there are about 70 men in the top structure and about 3 women. Why is this? Even down into the regional wards, men are the leaders of the wards who appoint the women leaders of the Relief Society, Primary, etc. Any women who rocked the boat or questioned how things were done or just in general thought for herself would not be chosen so men really have all the power. Men also are the only ones in the church who hold the priesthood so they handle the sacrament(Mormon communion ritual), bless the sick and are supposed to have special spiritual powers in general. It seems strange and unfair that only they are given these jobs.
Women are encouraged to have large families and stay home to nurture their children, which takes a lot of life energy and might prevent them from following their own interests. I think spending quality time with your children is great, but Mormonism encourages women especially to do this to an extreme. I can't help but think it might be one way it tries to disempower women. In my past I noticed that LDS women are especially encouraged to always be "nice" and never have a conflict or be negative in any way. This seems like an obvious way to control people who have a legitimate complaint. This extreme discouragement of "contention" is also ridiculous in certain situations and doesn't cultivate psychological health or truthfulness. I also noticed that women aren't usually assumed to be thinking about anything very serious, intelligent, or important by at least some men in the church and that they are supposed to spend much of their time at church activities doing handicrafts.
The case of Sonia Johnson is an interesting study in the way the church treats women. She was a vocal advocate of the Equal Rights Act for women which was a movement to put an amendment in the constitution that specifically states women have equal rights to men in the late 1970's. She was a free thinking, intelligent woman who sometimes prayed privately to a Mother in Heaven(gasp). She was eventually excommunicated for this although the church made up some other strange official reason for why she was being ousted. Interestingly enough many of the men at her excommunication trial were people that worked for government agencies like the NSA and FBI. I would recomment reading her book From Housewife to Heretic to get the full story.
I have to ask. Why would any divine power in the universe really want one sex of the human race to be put over the other in a strange hierarchical organization of brethren? How does that promote anything good? In reality it only promotes unfairness and division and a policy of not treating everyone as an important and loved human being. I have to say I never noticed Jesus in the New Testament putting together any organization that is similar to the LDS church. Women were treated quite equally and respectfully by Him given the extremely sexist society of that time. I think what the Mormon power structure really promotes is power and control for the male LDS elite who certainly have nothing to do with divinity at all. My husband has memories of meeting some of the LDS leaders and some of them are secretly Satanists who are OK with any kind of sexual perversion, not to mention trauma based mind control. This makes the image the church puts out that it is some kind of bastian of traditional values really just a big joke. The unequal treatment of women is just another sign that the LDS church is a controlling and cult-like organization.