I’m still sincerely interested in the reactions of committed, believing Latter-day Saint women to this item from back in 2014.
I’m not particularly interested in hearing from angry, alienated, and disaffected former Mormons, etc. Not because I’m trying to silence them, but because I already have a fairly good idea, I think, of what they’re likely to say.
I want to hear whether, or how much, believing women resonate to, or grant validity to, the sorts of things said in this article. I’m a member, of course, of the privileged Western and Mormon patriarchy, so, plainly, I’m very liable to overlook and minimize misogyny, sexism, and the like. But I really want to hear.
Still, I might note a couple of preliminary reactions:
Differential treatment of women’s modesty by religious leaders (something scarcely invented by Latter-day Saints) seems, to at least some degree, to rest on the different sexual reactions of male and female humans to visual stimuli — a difference that I think is both reasonably evident and rather well grounded, scientifically speaking. (I’m open to correction on that, of course.)
And my suspicion is that most women in the West buy into that difference; otherwise, it’s rather difficult to understand why women tend to pay much more attention to clothing, fashion, hairstyles, and so forth, than do men. Cosmopolitan is hard to confuse with Field & Stream. Playgirl — does it even still exist? and who, really, constituted its major audience? — never had a circulation remotely approaching that of Playboy, not to mention Mr. Hefner’s rival magazines.
One final parting thought: The idea of a general LDS “rape culture” seems to me wildly overwrought, and counterproductive. If there are serious concerns to be addressed here, that kind of rhetoric doesn’t help in taking them seriously.
But I’m sincere about wanting honest reactions.
I can’t be a woman. I can only ask.
On the general topic, I would like to recommend Sharon Eubank’s 2014 Fair Mormon conference talk “This is a Woman’s Church”:
In the meantime, here’s some additional Mormon-related news:
Posted from Jerusalem, Israel