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Mormon men are groomed not to listen to women

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52 minutes ago, truth a la carte said:

Well, this is the thread that did it. Time to finally comment. 

First, I have really enjoyed being a lurker these past many months and reading your thoughtful comments here. Thank you all.

Second, I also believe Jana Reiss went too far in her article (e.g., “groomed,” “[men] rarely attend meetings with women or girls,” “women do not lead men in this church – ever”). However… Her main points are solid.

1)    Women do not lead this church.
2)    On the grand scale of the church, women’s voices are advisory
3)    Both 1) and 2) can lead to negative impacts for women

Each of these points could have its own thread. I agree with many who have commented previously, that different men take advice from women very differently. On the whole, I believe most men try. And, on the whole, I believe most women have suffered at least a few negative impacts. Which is why this is such an interesting thread.

Yes, and I think it also helps to remember this addresses a systemic issue that an individual cannot control on their own. It is the organisational structure that Riess is attributing cause of it, which no person alive originated. The structure impacts us, and even if the structure does not change, awareness of its systemic effects can be a primary step of mitigating any negatives.

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The "groomed" is really strange.   But I am deeply concerned by the recent move to let teen boys perform baptisms in the temple of the young women.   I think that has huge risk of leading those young women to feel an inbalance of power in dating and decisions.    I do not want my boys baptizing the young women in our ward and stake.   And I don't want my daughters being baptized by the young men in our stake.

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17 hours ago, mfbukowski said:

And besides wives, whom we never consult, none of us have mothers and so we learned nothing from them and find them without any authority and consequently have no respect for them.

My parents were members of the ward in which I served as bishop. Early on my mom sat me down and said, “Marty, you may be my bishop, but you are still my little boy!”

Edited by Bernard Gui
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I haven't finished the article yet. She is so outright against the church and so bias, for me it is hard to read her writings. I don't truly believe that Jana believes what she is writing. I think she is trying to pull people from the church as fast as she can and by any means necessary in order to get a response from the church. I think she will continue to be more aggressive in her writing until she faces church discipline. It is my opinion that is her endgame.  Once she reaches that we will truly see the real Jana. This is only my opinion and I could very well be 100% wring.

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1 hour ago, rpn said:

The "groomed" is really strange.   But I am deeply concerned by the recent move to let teen boys perform baptisms in the temple of the young women.   I think that has huge risk of leading those young women to feel an inbalance of power in dating and decisions.    I do not want my boys baptizing the young women in our ward and stake.   And I don't want my daughters being baptized by the young men in our stake.

That would not have occurred to me to look at it that way. Do you see performing the baptism as having some sense of authority over the individual?  What is it that you see as so imbalanced?

Edited by Calm
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16 minutes ago, Bernard Gui said:

My parents were members of the ward in which I served as bishop. Early on my mom sat me down and said, “Marty, you may be my bishop, but you are still my little boy!”

How much advice did she give you as a bishop?Just curious, no gotcha; I can see my grandmother as taking on the role of mother of the ward if my dad was bishop, but then she was willing to give advice to everyone as far as I could tell; my husband’s mother otoh wouldn’t have said a thing to him I am guessing unless she held a calling and it was her stewardship. Me, I wouldn’t even say “you are still my little boy” as I don’t look at my kids that way. Once they are adults, they are adults in my eyes. 

Edited by Calm

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15 hours ago, mfbukowski said:

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.

Yesterday when Sister Gui was going over the classroom rules with her new kindergarteners, she came to the part about raising your hand if you need to go to the bathroom. All the kids raised their hands.

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10 minutes ago, Nacho2dope said:

I haven't finished the article yet. She is so outright against the church and so bias, for me it is hard to read her writings. I don't truly believe that Jana believes what she is writing. I think she is trying to pull people from the church as fast as she can and by any means necessary in order to get a response from the church. I think she will continue to be more aggressive in her writing until she faces church discipline. It is my opinion that is her endgame.  Once she reaches that we will truly see the real Jana. This is only my opinion and I could very well be 100% wring.

Actually I think part of her reason for writing this is simply a matter of click bait. She posts the same article in the SL Tribune. 

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14 minutes ago, Calm said:

How much advice did she give you as a bishop?Just curious, no gotcha; I can see my grandmother as taking in the role of mother of the ward of my dad was bishop, but then she was willing to give advice to everyone as far as I could tell; my husband’s mother otoh wouldn’t have said a thing to him I am guessing unless she held a calling?  Me, I wouldn’t even say “you are still my little boy” as I don’t look at my kids that way. Once they are adults, they are adults in my eyes. 

She didn’t treat me as her little boy but rather respected me as her bishop. It was part of her sense of humor. She gave me a lot of advice, but in her gentle suggestive way. It was mostly about how to treat the sisters. And it was good advice. I’m glad I followed it. For example, she suggested my Mothers Day talk be about specific acts of service and sacrifice by sisters that I had observed in the ward. It was perhaps the most spirit-filled talk I ever gave. I had a very hard time getting through it. She and Dad became the ward “grandparents.”

Edited by Bernard Gui
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13 hours ago, Robert F. Smith said:

Actually, I have met her (at a conference at UVU this year), and Jana is very nice in person.  Even funny.  She got on her high horse in this article, perhaps exhibiting a mood she was in.  Who knows?

I'm glad to hear she's a nice person, but nothing she described in her blog was anything I've experienced in the church.  I think it was all an overreaction of some sort.

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5 hours ago, Meadowchik said:

We are all subject to developing responses similar to that seen in Pavlov's dog, yes. Obviously his and subsequent studies are used to also understand human behaviour. It might be a good concept to use to understand ourselves and others.

My point is that pavlov’s experiences were about raw sensory stimuli, stuff like the smell of food, a specific or a visual object of erotic desire. Conditioning does not generally work on so subtle a level. People have inbuilt prejudices from genetic and environmental sources but I would not call them “conditioning”.

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48 minutes ago, rpn said:

The "groomed" is really strange.   But I am deeply concerned by the recent move to let teen boys perform baptisms in the temple of the young women.   I think that has huge risk of leading those young women to feel an inbalance of power in dating and decisions.    I do not want my boys baptizing the young women in our ward and stake.   And I don't want my daughters being baptized by the young men in our stake.

That's an interesting way to look at it.  It hasn't been my experience personally.  

I've been able to go to a lot of temple baptisms with the young women and young men, and having the young men baptizing has seemed to be a plus for everyone.  The girls seem to like it (there has been no imbalance of power that i have seen, and I see the laurels and priests interact a LOT since they are all close friends with each other and my son is part of that friend group), the boys are stepping up to the new responsibility, and it's so much easier to get into the temple since we don't have to bring a bunch of adult men with us now when we make a reservation.

The priests and laurels in my ward also have a habit of going on their own together to do baptisms since they know they always have a baptizer with them.  Before they were at the mercy of who else was present at the temple and able to help them out with that.

But I'll ask the girls next time we are together how they feel about it.

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59 minutes ago, rpn said:

The "groomed" is really strange.   But I am deeply concerned by the recent move to let teen boys perform baptisms in the temple of the young women.   I think that has huge risk of leading those young women to feel an inbalance of power in dating and decisions.    I do not want my boys baptizing the young women in our ward and stake.   And I don't want my daughters being baptized by the young men in our stake.

You're turning it into a power thing?  I guess you're ok with the young men blessing the sacrament for the young women.  How about passing it to them?

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13 hours ago, Robert F. Smith said:

Actually, I have met her (at a conference at UVU this year), and Jana is very nice in person.  Even funny.  She got on her high horse in this article, perhaps exhibiting a mood she was in.  Who knows?

Niceness and goodness probably have some correlative value but I think we overestimate that correlation.

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1 hour ago, rpn said:

The "groomed" is really strange.   But I am deeply concerned by the recent move to let teen boys perform baptisms in the temple of the young women.   I think that has huge risk of leading those young women to feel an inbalance of power in dating and decisions.    I do not want my boys baptizing the young women in our ward and stake.   And I don't want my daughters being baptized by the young men in our stake.

Wait, what? Why? Who would you rather they be baptized by?

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1 minute ago, The Nehor said:

Wait, what? Why? Who would you rather they be baptized by?

I admit I am having difficulty trying to figure out her issue. Even with one’s own baptism, we have young missionaries baptizing older, higher social status converts, so baptism isn’t automatically an authority thing (often it is a father so I get some might see it that way). And these aren’t personal baptisms, but proxy baptisms...so what authority over the individual would there be?

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16 minutes ago, The Nehor said:

My point is that pavlov’s experiences were about raw sensory stimuli, stuff like the smell of food, a specific or a visual object of erotic desire. Conditioning does not generally work on so subtle a level. People have inbuilt prejudices from genetic and environmental sources but I would not call them “conditioning”.

What would you call those environmental effects?

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7 minutes ago, alter idem said:

 As a woman who has served in various leadership callings, I can tell you from my experience she's incorrect in her broad conclusions.   Men are not 'groomed' and they aren't 'conditioned'.  In fact, from my experience, men in the church listen to women a lot more than men in the secular world.  IMO, what Riess has offered is her own particular conditioning/bias on this subject and a knee jerk reaction to it.  She's assumes that men in leadership positions react as a block and they all don't listen to women as a rule.  She's ignoring what I've found, which is that it's not that simple.  It is true that some men in leadership positions don't listen to women, but they also don't listen to other men for that matter.  It's not the fault of the church or how it's organized, but the fault of the individual.  A good example is that Bishops need to be married to serve, and with only some exceptions, Stake Pres, General Authorities, Apostles are all married.  That means that unless they are an unusual man who doesn't listen or consult his wife, they are influenced greatly by the women around them and if anything they are 'conditioned' to do so, from birth to a nurturing mother and continuing on with Primary teachers, female scout leaders, Primary presidents, counselors and of course, the YW pres. who holds as much and sometimes more power than the YM pres. in a ward.  Then there's the Relief Society Pres.  They have a great deal of influence in a ward--unless they are serving under a Bishop who doesn't utilize them, but if that's the case, he likely doesn't utilize the men in his ward either.  Personally, I think one of the good things that came out of polygamy during the short duration it was practiced, was to put the influence of women more firmly in the governing and evolution of the church.  It was done during a time when Victorian women had little influence or power in the secular world, and upset the cultural norm by putting more female influence on the men who served in leadership, because they outnumbered them in the most important place of influence--the home.  The reason this was a positive influence was because the church already had a system of egalitarianism where women were seen as valued members of the community who worked alongside the men and enjoyed the same spiritual gifts etc. It would not have had the same effect in a church that limited women's role to child bearing and domestic work.  It would seem that Riess incorrectly perceives the church's attitude toward women to be the latter.

Are you arguing that there is no significant systemic difference in the church between how members experience male leadership/authority versus how members experience female leadership/authority?

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6 minutes ago, Meadowchik said:

What would you call those environmental effects?

Prejudices. Pre judgement based on anything from experience to tribalism, sexism, racism, classism, culturism, or just plain xenophobia.

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1 hour ago, PacMan said:

She’s not just overstating things - she’s just wrong.

I think she stated things in a very extreme manner (I don't agree with using the word "grooming", for example).  But she's not "just wrong"....she gets some things right.

It doesn't help when posters come on and respond in just as an extreme manner in disagreement as the manner in which she stated things, IMO.

1 hour ago, PacMan said:

1) The Primary President (a woman) is over both our Cub Scout leaders (and Cub Scout Committee Chair - a man) as well as our Boy Scout leaders (men) over the 11 year olds. This includes budgeting.

Yes, when I have thought about this, the only area I can think of where a woman (in leadership) actually presides over men is the Primary President (male teachers, music people, cub scouts, etc.).  Or can you think of another leadership calling where a sister presides over men?  

But even in this calling, she follows what her male Bishopric member (or Bishop) approves or disapproves of.  She still answers to men.  She can of course make decisions on her own and the Bishopric values her input and listens to her.  But, they (men) make the final decisions (in my experience).

1 hour ago, PacMan said:

(3) The RS President is effectively “over” families needing certain welfare help - including men (not so for EQ).

YM/YW is a wash, so what’s left is SS and Bishopric/Stake Presidency.

But, never let the facts get in the way of a good rant.

All of those sisters you're referring to still answer to men in the final decisions.  Yes, the Bishopric won't get involved much of the time unless they see something that is being done that they don't agree with or feel is inappropriate (ie. a youth activity, music planned, RS activity, etc.).  

And yes, YM/YW are equal when they meet....but it's still men (Bishopric) who make final decisions when in doubt or if they see something they don't approve or have requests to make.  Also with making any callings, it comes down to men approving or disapproving and issuing those calls.

So yes, Reiss does make some accurate points....but in a very extreme, black and white manner and I agree that isn't the most effective way to express things.  But responding in like manner isn't correct either, IMO.

I love bluebell's post and agree:

Quote

And 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).  Our church does have a history of protecting men who have done bad things to women and children.  I think that she makes a good point about why it's easy for that to happen.  It's something that should be acknowledged so it can be changed.  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. 

 

Edited by ALarson

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2 hours ago, truth a la carte said:

Not yet able to edit my posts yet. The following is a better list of Reiss's main points:

1)    Women do not lead this church.
2)    On the grand scale of the church, women’s voices are advisory
3)    Both 1) and 2) can lead to men not listening to women
4)    Items 1), 2), and 3) can lead to negative impacts for women
 

Women do not hold Priesthood authority to lead the church, you are correct.  That doesn't mean they don't hold power within the church.  They are not always simply advisory.  If a woman serves as Primary President, Young Women President, Relief Society President, and  the correlating stake positions, they 'lead',  these are not advisory positions, if they are working as they were meant to.  What makes men not listen to women is their own insecurities, personal weaknesses or arrogance.  As I mentioned, this often means they don't listen to other men as well.  I agree, men who don't listen to the spirit when serving in leadership roles, can also mean they don't listen to women or to other men.  IMO, Some of what Riess wrote may have a bit of truth in certain situations, but so much of what she said was overgeneralized and biased; just plain wrong and does more damage than good.  If she'd wanted to change hearts and minds, be an influence for good, she certainly went about it in the wrong way.

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16 minutes ago, Calm said:

I admit I am having difficulty trying to figure out her issue. Even with one’s own baptism, we have young missionaries baptizing older, higher social status converts, so baptism isn’t automatically an authority thing (often it is a father so I get some might see it that way). And these aren’t personal baptisms, but proxy baptisms...so what authority over the individual would there be?

I am wondering if my friend who I baptized into the church now thinks I am somehow superior to her........

I went ahead and texted her and asked and explained what the discussion was.

She laughed and reminded me of the best prank she ever pulled on me.

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1 hour ago, rpn said:

The "groomed" is really strange.   But I am deeply concerned by the recent move to let teen boys perform baptisms in the temple of the young women.   I think that has huge risk of leading those young women to feel an inbalance of power in dating and decisions.    I do not want my boys baptizing the young women in our ward and stake.   And I don't want my daughters being baptized by the young men in our stake.

Why? It's a great thing for boys to be given this opportunity.  My nephew gets to baptize in the temple. My daughter thinks it pretty neat that it's her cousin baptizing her and not some stranger.

     I don't see how it's an imbalance of power? 

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