This week Ziff used his amazing statistical analysis talents to answer a question we’ve all been wondering about:
Has there been an increase in modesty rhetoric in the Church in the past few years, or are we just imagining things?
Spoiler alert: There has indeed been a big increase. (Don’t forget to take this survey about garmies and body image.) And it’s not just the Mormons! Although the lessons are overwhelmingly directed at the women, modesty teachings also harm males by teaching unhealthy attitudes about bodies and sexuality. Fortunately, men can be nurturers and can also be part of the solution to our society’s misogyny problem.
Pandora posted three lessons that illustrate the problems with what girls learn at church:
And I remember on my first trek that they called away all those boys right before a big hill, just as it was beginning to rain. There I was with my â€œsistersâ€ and my â€œMaâ€ in my â€œpioneer familyâ€ pushing or pulling our handcart, slipping and stumbling up a big, muddy hill. And my sisters and Iâ€”we felt awesome. We did it all by ourselves! And honestly it wasnâ€™t that much harder without the boys than it was with them, and we learned that we were capable of doing hard things when we worked together with other women and supported each other!
Except, when I answered with those words when my â€œPaâ€ asked 14-year-old me what I learned from the Womenâ€™s Pull, he only looked at me blankly, chuckled a little and said, â€œNo, no. What you were supposed to learn was how hard and difficult things are without men and the Priesthood to help you. Iâ€™m sure it wasnâ€™t as easy as you think it was.â€
Back in April, I quoted a Mormon woman who wrote about how, being female, she didn’t have the privilege of ignoring women’s issues at church. This week, we see atheists making essentially the same point:
Jamila Bey, the communications director of the Secular Student Alliance, summed up the concerns of many in a recent interview: “There are people who say, ‘Why are we talking about racism? We would rather argue that Chupacabra are fake.’ And fine, that is their right. On the other hand, I don’t get to divorce my critical thinking from my blackness, from my femaleness, from my position as a mother. So when I see the only affordable child care in my community being offered at churches, that’s an issue for me that makes me say ‘Wait a minute, there’s a problem here. Why am I not being afforded the opportunity for my child not to be indoctrinated just so my kid has somewhere to play and meet other children?’ I can’t divorce my whole life from my skepticism and for anybody who says, well, talking about female issues or talking about issues that impact black people, oh, that’s taking away from skepticism, I go, well that’s really easy for you to say. This is my life. I can’t divorce the issues. You can choose to not care about them or whatever, but don’t tell me I’m diminishing skepticism because I’m talking about the reality of what my life is.”
In church these days, people are using the pulpit to make passive-aggressive swipes and unjustified claims. (Was church more fun in the olden days?) Glenn Beck learned why you shouldn’t test out stuff you learned in church while you’re on live television. In fact, the leaders probably don’t want members testing the church’s claims at all, and certainly don’t want them discussing doctrine among themselves. And you remember how you’re only allowed to discuss the temple ceremonies while you’re in the temple? Well, don’t discuss them there, either.
And now for a bit of a grab-bag of interesting posts on mo-and-non-mo-related topics!
Dan Pearce discussed the problem of excluding family from temple weddings. Making inappropriate judgments about others’ lack of kids isn’t just a Mormon thing. The CoJCoL-dS is again trying to claim legal ownership of the term “Mormon”. Read some entertaining critiques of LDS movies! And there was a bit of drama in the world of the gun-lovers.
And what is going on on our lives?
For Heather, quite a bit. And Kiley has some really exciting news coming up! The post-Mormons in San Francisco had a great gathering, and I posted a recipe of a little something I prepared for the recent Switzerland post-mo gathering.
That’s it for another fabulous week in Mormon-land! Happy reading!!