Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
JAHS

Mormon men are groomed not to listen to women

Recommended Posts

Here is Jana Riess' evidence:

"This is unacceptable, but not surprising, for three sad reasons.

The first is due to ingrained structural sexism. In the Church, men exist in entirely homosocial corridors of power. They rarely attend meetings with women or girls, and never with women as equal partners. They do not have to listen to women at church as anything but merely advisory voices if they listen to women at all, though many do choose to listen and go out of their way to correct the imbalance.

I’m sorry to be so blunt about it, but there is no way around the reality: Women do not lead men in this church. Ever. Women do not even lead teenage boys in this church. Starting from at least the age of 12, if not earlier, men are conditioned at church to see women as ancillary to decision making.

It’s not surprising that, given this reality, male Church leaders are more likely to believe male perpetrators then they are female victims.

It’s a trust issue. It is human nature that when we are presented with cold, hard facts about a person we have counseled with, served with, and sat with for many hours in meetings, our knee-jerk reaction is to discredit anything bad about them. We want to continue believing that this person is exactly what we thought they were: the affable and loving bishop, the kind-hearted and funny member of stake high council. When the accused are people we know personally, seeing their names in connection with degrading stories of sexual abuse and predatory misconduct does not compute.

This is why the system is entirely stacked against women. It’s not just that women are not permitted to make decisions that affect anyone but other women and perhaps children in the LDS Church (and even then, such decisions must always be approved by male priesthood leaders). It’s also that women simply do not have the access to decision-makers that men do. When Stephen Murdock comes before a disciplinary council on charges of sexual misconduct, which I fully expect will happen, it will be the exact stake high council he served on, with the same men deciding his fate. Men who know him well.

The second sad reality is related. All Latter-day Saints, both men and women, are counseled to obey their leaders. To do so is considered a blessing. We are instructed that the Lord himself called our bishops, stake presidents, and general authorities to the positions they hold, and it is not our place to question them. Such a system is at great risk for abuse. It’s interesting to me that both Steven Murdock and Paul Bur**** were arrested when charges were brought by women and girls who were not, to my knowledge at least, members of the Church. Is this because the men never perpetrated acts of abuse on fellow members, or because Latter-day Saint women and girls had been so conditioned by a culture of obeying male authority and protecting the institution of the Church that they dared not speak the truth?

Finally, our religion has a long and unfortunate history of regarding women as objects. Polygamy is no longer practiced, but it has also never been refuted. Its legacy lives on in temple sealing practices that require divorced or bereaved women to have their first marriage “canceled” before they can remarry in the temple; men are under no such obligation."

What this means in practice is that a man may look forward to an eternity in which all of the women who married him monogamously in life become polygamists in the afterlife. Their consent to this, it seems, is unimportant—which suggests that Mormon men expect that even in the eternities, their decisions about women will still be more important than women’s decisions about themselves.

_________________________________________

In my experience Bishops very much listen to and use the advice of the female leaders of the church. They also very much listen to the voice of their own wife. 
Some of it are valid observations but I think she is over exaggerating things a bit too much.
 

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
2 minutes ago, mfbukowski said:

Women do not even lead teenage boys in this church

That is a horrible fact.  Clearly young women of missionary age should be in charge of the teenage boys.   NOW we are talkin!   I doubt the boys would object much.

Or better yet combine young men and young women's groups for overnight camp outs with all female leaders.

THAT is the kind of thing I would have been enthusiastically behind instead of Boy Scouts, definitely :)

I mean its kind of like Trek, right?  So we even have precedence. 

Edited by mfbukowski
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

Error in quote name

Edited by mfbukowski

Share this post


Link to post
24 minutes ago, JAHS said:

Oh, that's just what she thinks.  I never pay much attention to anything she has to say.  I don't think any Mormon boys or men should look to her as the one we need to follow.

Share this post


Link to post

I am sorry if Ms. Riess’ life experience has given her such a low opinion of women.  It seems she believes women make no important decisions, have no lasting influence, are inconsequential in the lives of men.

My experience has been different.  The two most consequential people in my life are both women.  I esteem them more than any prophet or bishop.  Their counsel and guidance have played a central role in shaping me, certainly a much larger role than any of the fine prophets and bishops in my life.

And I have no doubt that not only are the Prophet and bishop ok with that, they would tell me that’s the way it should be.

And God would agree.  The Church and it’s leaders serve their limited purpose in mortality, family units are eternal and in my family (and many others) women are the core of that eternal bond.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
9 minutes ago, bluebell said:

 I think that Jana has a point and shouldn't be ignored (which makes me even madder at her that she has made it so easy for her words to be dismissed). 

The overall tone of what someone is saying is important, I think. So important, I think, that if one can spot a mean spirited tone in what someone else is saying, some hostility or desire to just complain about something, that it becomes very easy to just ignore EVERYTHING that person is saying.  And I would even say that not only is it easy to ignore someone who is talking that way but that it is also good to just ignore them when they are talking that way, maybe while saying to them, if the opportunity presents itself, that I will listen when they calm down and are not just going on in their mean spirited way.

All of us have weaknesses that we need to overcome but that doesn't mean we need to hear about so and so's weaknesses.  I get tired of hearing people complain pretty dang quick when I can actually hear that mean spirited tone in what they are saying.

If people want to be heard they should speak in a way that other people don't mind listening to what they are saying.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
41 minutes ago, ksfisher said:

Groomed is starting to be one of those words that is used far too often.  If a word gets used to much people start tuning it out.

Jana Riess has her own agenda which is very evident in her writing.

Wow you are right.  I didn't even notice it!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
2 minutes ago, mfbukowski said:

Wow you are right.  I didn't even notice it!

It's not easy to see at first, but if you stare at it for a few hours you start seeing things.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
18 minutes ago, ksfisher said:

It's not easy to see at first, but if you stare at it for a few hours you start seeing things.

It's best if you are staring at a stone in a hat, though I hear!

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
28 minutes ago, let’s roll said:

My experience has been different.  The two most consequential people in my life are both women.  I esteem them more than any prophet or bishop.

When it comes down to it, even though the father is supposed to preside in the family it is the mother and wife who usually is the one who has the greatest influence on how the family operates and how the children are nurtured. 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
3 minutes ago, JAHS said:

When it comes down to it, even though the father is supposed to preside in the family it is the mother and wife who usually is the one who has the greatest influence on how the family operates and how the children are nurtured. 

The traditional role of the father in a family has focused on the temporal, the mother on nurturing, in all its aspects, including spiritual.  

As between the two, it’s clear which one God deems of greater worth, regardless of how many mortals choose to more highly esteem the temporal and temporary.

Share this post


Link to post
20 minutes ago, bluebell said:

 It's very easy to trust people we have a good relationship with and to doubt those we don't know.  Too much trust has been given to messed up men and too little to victims and that's probably largely the reason. 

I think that's likely a big part of it as well.

When an accusation of misconduct arises, we are more likely to be skeptical of it's truthfulness if we have a very close connection with the accused and the accusation doesn't fit our experience.

But I don't really see that as being a male / gendered issue kind of thing - I think we all do that. 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
39 minutes ago, Calm said:

And unfortunately she takes it far enough that even though I agree with several of her basic observations, I am leaning to dismissing her comments as more misleading than helpful and more propaganda than informative. 

A little restraint would have made her comments much more effective. Instead it reads more like scare tactics imo. 

Yeah!  I mean, really, if she had not said the things I will highlight below she would have made it so much easier for me to listen to her:

Mormon men are groomed not to listen to women - I mean, come on, I am a "Mormon" man and I know that isn't true.

1 hour ago, JAHS said:

Here is Jana Riess' evidence:

"This is unacceptable, but not surprising, for three sad reasons.

The first is due to ingrained structural sexism. In the Church, men exist in entirely homosocial corridors of power. They rarely attend meetings with women or girls, and never with women as equal partners. They do not have to listen to women at church as anything but merely advisory voices if they listen to women at all, though many do choose to listen and go out of their way to correct the imbalance.  (I wonder how many meetings she has been to.  men work equally with women in all Church callings I have been part of.  we're not the same part of the body but we are all needed and equal in value to making the body work as it should work, with no part of the body able to say we have no need of it)

I’m sorry to be so blunt about it, but there is no way around the reality: Women do not lead men in this church. Ever. Women do not even lead teenage boys in this church. Starting from at least the age of 12, if not earlier, men are conditioned at church to see women as ancillary to decision making.  (On this point I'm thinking, okay, right, in a sense, and we don't even follow other men as our leaders either unless they are either Jesus Christ or our Father in heaven if she is thinking of following leaders in that sense)

It’s not surprising that, given this reality, male Church leaders are more likely to believe male perpetrators then they are female victims. (It's not reality as it really is, just her reality as she sees things from her warped perspective)

It’s a trust issue. It is human nature that when we are presented with cold, hard facts about a person we have counseled with, served with, and sat with for many hours in meetings, our knee-jerk reaction is to discredit anything bad about them. We want to continue believing that this person is exactly what we thought they were: the affable and loving bishop, the kind-hearted and funny member of stake high council. When the accused are people we know personally, seeing their names in connection with degrading stories of sexual abuse and predatory misconduct does not compute.

This is why the system is entirely stacked against women. It’s not just that women are not permitted to make decisions that affect anyone but other women and perhaps children in the LDS Church (and even then, such decisions must always be approved by male priesthood leaders). It’s also that women simply do not have the access to decision-makers that men do. When Stephen Murdock comes before a disciplinary council on charges of sexual misconduct, which I fully expect will happen, it will be the exact stake high council he served on, with the same men deciding his fate. Men who know him well. (yes and men can be as disappointed with the behavior of men they have known as with men they don't know very well.  usually even more so. I have seen many examples of this)

The second sad reality is related. All Latter-day Saints, both men and women, are counseled to obey their leaders. To do so is considered a blessing. We are instructed that the Lord himself called our bishops, stake presidents, and general authorities to the positions they hold, and it is not our place to question them. (but it is our place to choose whether or not we will follow them and we are taught that we should follow them only to the extent that we know they are representatives of our Lord, saying what he would and has told us himself) Such a system is at great risk for abuse. (Actually there is no better way to make it fool proof than to have a testimony from the Lord through the power of the Holy Ghost to tell us that we are doing the right thing in following our Lord's representatives the way he is leading us through his appointed servants) It’s interesting to me that both Steven Murdock and Paul Bur**** were arrested when charges were brought by women and girls who were not, to my knowledge at least, members of the Church. Is this because the men never perpetrated acts of abuse on fellow members, or because Latter-day Saint women and girls had been so conditioned by a culture of obeying male authority and protecting the institution of the Church that they dared not speak the truth?

Finally, our religion has a long and unfortunate history of regarding women as objects. (we are all objects, but what point was she trying to make here?) Polygamy is no longer practiced, but it has also never been refuted. Its legacy lives on in temple sealing practices that require divorced or bereaved women to have their first marriage “canceled” before they can remarry in the temple; men are under no such obligation."

What this means in practice is that a man may look forward to an eternity in which all of the women who married him monogamously in life become polygamists in the afterlife. Their consent to this, it seems, is unimportant—which suggests that Mormon men expect that even in the eternities, their decisions about women will still be more important than women’s decisions about themselves. (each of our own decisions is more important than someone else's decisions since we will be judged by our decisions and not somebody else's)

 

Edited by Ahab

Share this post


Link to post
12 minutes ago, Amulek said:

I think that's likely a big part of it as well.

When an accusation of misconduct arises, we are more likely to be skeptical of it's truthfulness if we have a very close connection with the accused and the accusation doesn't fit our experience.

But I don't really see that as being a male / gendered issue kind of thing - I think we all do that. 

 

We definitely all do that.  I think where it comes into play in the church is that males have a lot of chances and experience getting to know and serve with other males, but very little chances to have equal experiences with females in our religion.  

That means that it's easier (if what we said is true and that it's easier to trust people we know) for men in the church to trust other men and to discount (not on purpose but subconsciously) accusations from women, who they generally have no had a chance to know nearly as well.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
18 minutes ago, let’s roll said:

As between the two, it’s clear which one God deems of greater worth

I understand and agree with the spirit of what you are saying but I think both roles are of equal worth in the eyes of God, if they accept and perform their roles as they should. 
What I don't agree with is that the woman's role is not as important as the man's or that her opinions are of less worth or should hold less authority than the man's.  In the church the Priesthood authority has the final say, but that final say is quite often what the woman said first.  

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
28 minutes ago, let’s roll said:

The traditional role of the father in a family has focused on the temporal, the mother on nurturing, in all its aspects, including spiritual.  

As between the two, it’s clear which one God deems of greater worth, regardless of how many mortals choose to more highly esteem the temporal and temporary.

I see the priesthood duties God gives to men who receive the priesthood as God's way of helping men to have more of that nurturing influence the women usually get all of the credit for.  From washings and annointings to providing opportunities for growth through service, helping their children and others to grow spiritually, men and women work together as equals to provide for their family members and even help others as they are able and have the opportunity to serve other people.  Both in the here and now and into infinity and beyond! (as Buzz Lightyear would say)

Share this post


Link to post

 

20 minutes ago, JAHS said:

understand and agree with the spirit of what you are saying but I think both roles are of equal worth in the eyes of God, if they accept and perform their roles as they should. 

My comment was on where, historically,  the focus of the father and mother has been.  I didn’t mean to convey that the two roles are mutually exclusive.

 I know that as a father, I’ve never believed my efforts to provide temporally for my family were anywhere near as important as my role in nurturing my children, even though my nurturing efforts have always paled in comparison to those of my wife.

I agree with the idea that fathers and mothers are both deemed by God to be important in the family but don’t believe God places equal value on temporal and nurturing efforts.

 

Edited by let’s roll
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
2 hours ago, JAHS said:

Huh? whadja say? :) No offense, but I don't tend to listen to bloggers of any gender.

I find Reiss as lame as Kirby -- there's a reason I've read so very little of either and stopped!

Share this post


Link to post
48 minutes ago, Calm said:

A little restraint would have made her comments much more effective.

THIS!

I feel like I have been on the other side of this coin here before and I know that "a little restraint" would have been much more persuasive now that I have "seen the light" a bit more clearly.

I tend to take positions to their logical extremes because I look at the logic behind rules.  If a given rule to a game (and that includes linguistic and social reactions as a "game" in an Wittgensteinian sense) is rescinded or even adjusted, then anything implied by that rescission becomes "legal".

Suppose for example that cocaine usage under certain quantities was made legal for pain relief or as an antidepressant - then logically we are open to a re-definition of what precisely IS "pain relief" or "depression". Suddenly everyone has "pain" of one kind or another.

Yet in the real world such slippery slopes do not necessarily happen because people simply restrain themselves from what is technically allowed by a rule.   Most folks still pay their taxes without looking for arcane tax loopholes, most people do not smoke marijuana and most men are not considered "abusers" for disagreeing with their wives, perhaps even vociferously, while the wife responds just as vociferously ;)

That's why a little restraint in real world claims goes a long way in the real world instead of looking to literalistic definitions.

I think E.E. Cummings gave a new definition here to "sin-tax" ;)

I am sure there is something sexist in this wonderful poem if you look hard enough.

https://genius.com/E-e-cummings-since-feeling-is-first-annotated

Quote

 

since feeling is first
who pays any attention
to the syntax of things
will never wholly kiss you;
wholly to be a fool
while Spring is in the world

my blood approves
and kisses are a better fate
than wisdom
lady i swear by all flowers. Don't cry
—the best gesture of my brain is less than
your eyelids' flutter which says

we are for each other: then
laugh, leaning back in my arms
for life's not a paragraph

and death i think is no parenthesis


 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
Sign in to follow this  
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...