A while back, a group called the Feminist Mormon Housewives (and the award for most contradictory and odd group name goes to…) challenged the unwritten rule in Mormon society that women should wear dresses to church. There was backlash from the Mormon community and now, in response, the LDS General Young Women’s President, Elaine S. Dalton, has given a speech in which she argues that women have no need to lobby for rights.
Here’s the money clip from that talk, along with some pictures of heretical women. Strange how badass heresy often looks…
“Young women you will be the ones who will provide the example of virtuous womanhood and motherhood. … You will understand your roles and your responsibilities and thus will see no need to lobby for rights.” ~ Elaine S Dalton, Jan 15, 2013 (The whole speech is here, with this comment coming in at approximately the 32:28 mark)
What a despicable position it is that being “praise-worthy” amounts to not standing up for yourself. It is the wet dream of every abuser that those around them will swallow that lie.
This is not one person saying something stupid. This is part of the Mormon culture of which they are proud, not ashamed. And in the words of the former prophet, who told us men to treat women as possessions, in April 2007 Gordon B. Hinckley said to the General Conference during its priesthood session:
“Husbands, love and treasure your wives. They are your most precious possessions.”
During the 2006 priesthood session, Hinckley also expressed that men should be concerned if a woman is overly educated, more than her man.
“…young women are exceeding young men in pursuing educational programs. And so I say to you young men, rise up and discipline yourselves to take advantage of educational opportunities. Do you wish to marry a girl whose education has been far superior to your own?”
Or as Spencer W. Kimball, the twelfth president and prophet of the Mormon church said…
“[Women], you are to become a career woman in the greatest career on earth – that of homemaker, wife, and mother. It was never intended by the Lord that married women should compete with men in employment. They have a far greater and more important service to render.” (Spencer W. Kimball, Ensign, June 1975, & From Faith Precedes the Miracle)
“Too many mothers work away from home to furnish sweaters and music lessons and trips and fun for their children. Too many women spend their time in socializing, in politicking, in public services when they should be home to teach and train and receive and love their children into security” (Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, p. 319).
Ezra Taft Benson, the 9th president of the Mormon church, gave us lots of gems (handed straight to him by the inerrant god of the cosmos, of course):
“In the beginning, Adam–not Eve–was instructed to earn the bread by the sweat of his brow. Contrary to conventional wisdom, a mother’s calling is in the home, not in the market place.”
(Ezra Taft Benson, To the Mothers in Zion, 1987)
It’s not just from their prophets, it’s in their doctrinal sources.
“[a] woman’s primary place is in the home, where she is to rear children and abide by the righteous counsel of her husband” (McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, p. 844).
It is this kind of nonsense where women merely asking for the right to pray at general assembly is an enormous controversy, and the pinnacle of progressive thought in the Mormon church.
Some friends send each other flowers. Back in the day, my friends had a habit of getting online and sending Mormon missionaries to my door for me to chew up. They always told me how good Mormonism was for its adherents and how abiding by god’s rules, as delivered by their book and their prophets, made for a world much better than one built upon human reason and compassion alone. I think that may be one of the most egregious falsehoods I’ve ever encountered. Mormonism is a dehumanizing idea that turns otherwise compassionate men into bullies and fosters inequality, all while lavishing both as “praise-worthy”.