It’s waiting time! General Conference is upon us with all that entails! As usual, it will take a bit of time for the juiciest nuggets to hit the discussion circuit. Apparently there’s also supposed to be something newsworthy in the batch of leaked documents that we’ll be hearing about soon. (* ETA: Some leaked videos made the news.) So far, the biggest scoop was that they had someone kneeling behind the prophet (to hold him up while giving his talk…?).
We fail to teach our young women that preparing to be a mother is of utmost importance because we don’t want to offend those who aren’t married, those who can’t have children, or to be seen as stifling future choices.
If only that were true, what a wonderful world for young women Mormonism would be! At least the CoJCoL-dS removed a verse from the YW’s lesson manual about how victims of sexual assault are permanently diminished, which is a good start. Although if they’d actually denounce/correct the bad teachings instead of just silently deleting them, that would be so much more awesome.
But virginity and motherhood aren’t the only messages the CoJCoL-dS has for women. There’s also the critical importance of not being fat:
One woman talks about how she still gets “dates” even though she’s fat, so she has no motivation to lose weight. How sad that is. The only reason she could possibly have to want to lose weight is to find a man? What about losing it because you want to? I also find it very strange that this film makes these women out to be binge and compulsive overeaters. Yes, it’s true that many people are heavy simply because they eat too much, but that’s not always true. The truth is, being overweight is a complex problem that can be caused by a variety of factors. I am myself overweight, but I don’t eat three bowls of ice cream in a sitting, as is depicted in this film.
To get rich view of Mormon women’s experiences, you can read this fantastic new book full of Mormon women’s personal experiences with love, sex, and marriage: Baring Witness. I contributed an essay to it, and I’m re-reading and enjoying it now. You’ll hear more about it in this space, but to start with, here’s what the Salt Lake Tribune’s Peggy Fletcher Stack had to say about it.
LGBT suicide continues to ravage the Mormon world, and the hate fueling this crisis is shockingly open. To the point where Mormons can’t believe that the CoJCoL-dS would have anything positive to say about gay people. This past week there were personal discussions of the problem on Infants on Thrones and another by the Crazy Mormon:
There were a lot of things that happened at the time that furthered my isolation and depression, some of which were at hands of LDS bishops and therapists. My bishop told me that being gay could be cured, that it had to do with a problematic relationship with parents. Therapists told me the atonement would cure me of my homosexuality. Reading statements from church leaders condemning homosexuality (especially The Miracle of Forgiveness) made things worse.
Other discussion topics from the past week include religious-based workplace harassment, polygamy’s lasting impact on Mormonism, perfectionism, going to hell, cognitive dissonance, and how the church’s bone-headed inflexibility turns membership into more a burden than a balm.
I hope you’re enjoying this conference weekend — with or without traditional items like cinnamon rolls and/or actually listening to conference. Happy reading!