Womens’ issues continue to be the hot topic in Mormondom this week!
First off, the dust hadn’t even settled on last week’s fiasco when LDS PR chief Michael Otterson decided to explain to Ordain Women (without actually mentioning them by name) the reasons why the CoCJoL-dS will not have a dialog with them. (Also note: faithful members of the CoJCoL-dS are not to have unauthorized dialogs among themselves.) He sparked quite a lot of discussion, allegories, parallels, and mixed reviews. Some problems are quite evident from what Otterson said:
So Otterson is telling Mormon feminists and others that his PR supervisors are all male. Really? And the LDS Church couldnâ€™t have women in this oversight group? If it did, it might not be in its current bind. The overwhelming male dominance in the LDS Church organization/leadership needs to end, with or without women getting the priesthood (preferably with).
Ottersonâ€™s aim in his last few paragraphs is to convince the audience of his text be nice to him: we are not to respond with cynicism, criticism, animosity, or basically, close-reading (the sins of â€œparsing wordsâ€ and â€œstraining at a gnatâ€ have in common an excess of focus). I frankly donâ€™t think these are entirely reasonable demands to make in a public document, especially one that addresses controversial topics. If I find the language or ideas coming out of the church odious, I retain the ethical right to respond with animosity. If something (like this document) strikes me as doing rhetorical work that exceeds its own admission of meaning, I think thoughtful criticism of it is merited. Without being rude, personal, or snarky, one ought to be able nonetheless to disagree rigorously. Civility does not preclude criticism. But beyond these concerns of principle, nothing in this document suggests to me that I will be on the receiving end of the respect and understanding that Otterson requests for himself and his staff.
And the Catholic women are in the same boat…
Another big topic was sparked by misogynistic mass-murderer Elliot Rodger — specifically, people are arguing that by dismissing him as “mentally ill” we’re misrepresenting how common his toxic beliefs are. And so new hashtags were born for women to talk openly about the times they’ve been harassed, abused, and victimized.
In probably-related news, a Utah High School edited students’ yearbook photos for modesty, with a glaring double-standard. And if that’s not enough to scare you away from Mormonism as a teenager, just look what’s in store for you when you hit Relief Society!
This week’s Old Testament lesson was on the importance of making your family stick to the gospel (and about some very weird stuff like golden haemorrhoids), and our Book of Mormon lesson wrapped up last week’s run-on cliffhanger.
Exmormonsunite explained the case for atheism after Mormonism. Thinker of Thoughts discussed the magic of volunteer work as PR. Runtu has posted the ninth installment of his story. And Cheryl L. Bruno reviewed a book about six of the original members of the Mormon Quorum of Twelve Apostles: the six that left the church.
In random stuff, the dogs of the Sidler-Lartey family love their new place in SLC, Knotty has been visiting Europe, and Uomo Nuovo has some entertaining tales from his trip to Europe as well. And we can always use some fun memes!
And for a bit of my own news, this past weekend I had a fantastic party this weekend with the Switzerland post-Mormons! For fun, we like to use the term “Leprechaun” as a code word for “Mormon” — and it turns out that Profet just provided a test so you can tell whether you might be a Leprechaun!!! Coincidence?! Yes, almost certainly. Anyway, my son (whose favorite color is green) was thrilled to discover that he might be one! 😀
I hope you’re having a nice weekend as well!