The LDS church, if you’re new to its intricacies, has a series of programs set up for children and youth to participate in and advance through. For the boys, this is Boy Scouts. For the girls, this is Achievement Days for the 8-11 year-olds and Personal Progress for the teens.
This year, a new Personal Progress book was released with a smattering of updates. I believe that the awards were even upped a notch. Whereas before, a young woman received a necklace medallion for completing various steps in the progress, now she can add on a worker-bee pendant as well!
The book is also notably, drastically, pink. And this pinkness is actually an important part of the program…apparently. At its release, President Elaine Dalton made a point of it when she said, “The new Personal Progress book is pink! [well, yes it is!] It is a reminder that you are a daughter of our Heavenly Father and have unique feminine characteristics, gifts, and roles.”
Of course, this quote sure got a whole heck of a lot of attention when it first appeared–what with all its hints at gender essentialism. Caused quite a flurry, actually.
But, most of this discussion centered around whether actual, troops-on-the-ground young women in the church actually believed any of it. Did young women buy into the pinkness campaign? Did young women see themselves as pink, soft, and feminine? Would this pink-push alienate young women who felt, well, more like a “chartruse” kind of gal?
No one really, definitively could say. [Read more...]