Sunday in Outer Blogness: Rape room edition!
Hey folks — apologies for the salacious title, but wow — the latest from Mormon Leaks is quite a shocker! Audio of an interview in which a former president of the MTC admits to having a special basement office for very special interviews with Sister Missionaries who report to him!
Check out these responses:
- The Exponent has done a whole #MormonMeToo movement — in which women recount personal stories of receiving unwanted sexual advances and explicit discussions from their leaders, often in the context of “worthiness” interviews.
- The Mormon Therapist posted one as well.
- The Mormon Happy Hour Podcast provided tough discussion or two.
- The Infants on Thrones have done some podcasts on the subject, featuring Matt Long — who, through his experience as a Sex Crimes Prosecutor has some expertise on how to keep kids safe.
- Mormon Discussions posted a list of really eye-opening questions — and a podcast full of discussion — about the cover-up.
- And, hey, maybe always having exclusively men in positions of power over women is a big part of the cause of the problem…? And the whole idea of “worthiness interviews” is another big part.
“It sends a message to that individual person, but to everyone else, that if you come forward we are going to dig through your past we’re going to dig through your experiences who you are your very identity,” Bitton said.
It’s natural to be outraged when hearing of the church’s response, but their actions are hardly surprising. Further punishing rape victims for being harlots hasn’t even gone out of style yet in mainstream society.
As I discussed recently, the CoJCoL-dS uses polarization as a standard strategy. Those who were molested (and those who believe them) mistrust the church’s claims of having a trustworthy leadership hierarchy with the “power of discernment” — so the CoJCoL-dS throws them out violently and casts them as villains. That’s what retains the confidence of their target audience: the people who think the CoJCoL-dS is perfect, hence anyone who claims to have been harmed by it must be the minions of Satan, working to tear down the church. If that polarization tears your family apart, then T.S. for your family, as far as the church is concerned.
OK, well, let’s not get carried away — they did make some improvements.
And don’t miss this article in the Children’s Friend, explaining to young girls that if it seems unfair that they don’t get to pass the sacrament like their brothers, they should just put that worry “on the back-burner”. It’s just so gross — particularly this helpful explanation:
Mom said I could ask Dad for a blessing, and he blessed me to not feel too nervous. I feel a little better now. Dad told me that giving a blessing is an act of service for someone else, just like everything else we do with the priesthood. He said that when he needs a blessing, he asks our home teachers. I’d never thought about it that way.
Of course Dad can’t ask Mom to perform this act of service for him (because penis), so he has to ask some random male neighbors to do it. Gosh, that makes me feel so much better about this whole thing…
Plus another sad family story about not meeting expectations:
In his office, my dad has a frame on the wall containing a picture of each of my sisters. My picture is not in this frame.
When my second oldest sister went on her mission, she happened to send home a picture of herself standing on a street with her bag slung over one shoulder. Someone in the family realized that this photo had striking similarities with a picture my oldest sister had taken on her mission. The background was from a different country and the outfits were slightly different, but the poses and the facial expressions were nearly identical. A plan was quickly hatched for my youngest sister to pose the same way at some point during her mission and for me to follow suit a few years later, completing an amusing but meaningful set for my parents to frame. My dad went so far as to get the frame and arrange the portraits so that there were two empty spaces. It wasn’t long until the third space was filled. And I knew that the bottom right-hand corner was reserved for me.
In announcements: the Sunstone fiction contest is coming up — submission guidelines here.
Good luck with the heavy dose of reading this time! Oh, and Happy Easter! 😀