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Mormon men are groomed not to listen to women

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6 minutes ago, The Nehor said:

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

It appears to me that words like grooming, conditioning, and maybe habituation are trying to describe systemic tendencies with effects like prejudice and pre-judgment.

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18 hours ago, bluebell said:

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.

This is certainly true, but it is unfair to ascribe this to the Church alone (even if true) because it is a feature of our culture and probably all human cultures.  Disregard of the witness of women has plagued all societies at one time or another, and still continues.  Consider Islamic society, where in numerous countries (esp. under Sharia Law) a woman's witness is worth half of a man's.

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Yesterday I spent a little time with the LDS guy I know and with whom I've attended church in the past. I mentioned some of the women's issues topics that come up on this board and asked his thoughts. He was protective of the LDS church, mirroring many of the posts I've read on this thread. He did share one story that was intriguing so I put the notes in my phone so I could share with you and see if any of you had similar experiences. I wanted to get the names and terms right :) 

He said when he was a teenager, I'm guessing late 80s early 90s since he's about my age, Elder Packer came to visit his stake. There was an adult men only priesthood meeting at the stake center (makes me think of a steak house, ha). This was a late Saturday morning. Elder Packer said no women were allowed in the building at all, not just the meeting. However, the relief society was expected to provide food after the meeting. So the women prepared the food at home and then the teenage boys took the food to the building since women weren't allowed in.

He said at the time he didn't think much of it but now he really dislikes it. He also said that stuff like that wouldn't happen now.

Anyone have a similar experience or was that a rare thing back in that time?

No disparagement intended -- the Catholic Church definitely has its patriarchal issues...

Oh, and he teasingly invited me to church on Sunday when he found out how much time I've been spending on this board lately, so he's being a good missionary. Unfortunately, he meets at the same time as High Mass, so I won't make it :) 

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11 hours ago, sunstoned said:

Until recently your mum and two sisters would not be allowed to give the closing prayer sacrament meeting because of their gender.

Actually, that's not all that recently, nor is it particularly accurate. The closing prayer (and still earlier the opening prayer as well) could only be offered by a Melchizedek Priesthood holder. Granted an MP holder would always be male, but the requirement was not maleness.

Perhaps this is a quibble, but still.

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14 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 a nice person too and as you may have noticed I have also had some "moments" of my own..  Or if you haven't my wife has certainly noticed some of those "moments".  And my wife has helped me more than anyone else to keep these kinds of "moments' to a minimum.

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1 hour 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!”

"Marty"?  

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11 hours ago, sunstoned said:

You are in luck because Mormon boys and men don't have to look to or follow any women.  Its not allowed.

Good.  I'm glad we have made that a rule now. The only person we need to follow is our Father in heaven.  Well, and anyone else he chooses to work through as one of his representatives.

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8 hours ago, Meadowchik said:

Mormons are conditioned to prioritize men's leadership over women's, and to listen to men more than women. Riess makes a valid argument that, as you have just done, can still be beneficial even if you need to filter some of her language.

Which "Mormons" are thus conditioned?  Did I miss a memo somewhere?  Where am I supposed to go to get thus conditioned?  Is every Mormon man but me thus conditioned?  How did this happen?  Why wasn't I told, until now?

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5 minutes ago, Ahab said:

I'm a nice person too and as you may have noticed I have also had some "moments" of my own..  Or if you haven't my wife has certainly noticed some of those "moments".  And my wife has helped me more than anyone else to keep these kinds of "moments' to a minimum.

Yeh, I notice in EQ mtgs, the guys sometimes have very nice things to say about their wives.

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5 minutes ago, Stargazer said:

"Marty"?  

We affectionately refer to him as McFly.

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41 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.

Wow, that's the best response to this Jana Riess's opinion piece that I've seen.

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19 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.

 

 

When I read this article immediately the strippling warriors came to mind and the brethren encouraging us to follow our mothers faithfulness.

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19 hours 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.

I think that may be an intentional tactic of adversary.

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18 hours ago, bluebell said:

The bolded statements aren't true.  

As the YW's president in my ward I am often in meetings where I am equal partners (and the men treat me like one).  When I meet with the YMs president, for example.  When I meet with his counselors or advisors about activities or issues that relate to both the YM and YW, I am treated like the presiding person in the room (and I am).  And I boss the teenage boys around all the time was well.  When the YW are in charge of a combined activity then we are in charge, of the boys too and the YM leaders make sure the boys know that.  The same goes for the YW when the YM are in charge.  This is true for the Primary president dealing with any male teachers or cub scout leaders as well.  The primary president isn't equal partners with those males in their callings, she is their leader.

And Jana should know better than say the last bolded thing.  It is completely against church doctrine and teachings and makes me completely question her agenda and honesty in writing this piece. What could have been a good point is wasted when the writer does this kind of stuff.  She made it really easy for people to ignore her by doing that.

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. 

I wanted to add:  I'm not saying that our church has a history of knowingly protecting evil men.  Only that our culture makes it easy for evil men to gain the trust and camaraderie of those who are in charge of disciplinary decisions while not making it very easy for female victims to have the same relationship of trust and familiarity with those in charge.  

You said Jana should know better. Should she? Has she been going to church?

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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.

My mother would have taken issue with you on that, because her main concern (seems to me) was that I was altogether too shy, especially around girls.  So she had me going to ballroom dance classes, where I suffered from extreme anxiety.  Then, our old fashioned Boy Scout troop had a Halloween party with the local Girl Scouts, and the parents seemed intent on getting us together in apple bobbing, and passing apples from girls to guys, etc., with no hands (neck to neck).  I barely survived.  The girls seemed to hold all the power over most of the guys.  Power imbalance is right.  😕

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15 minutes ago, MiserereNobis said:

Yesterday I spent a little time with the LDS guy I know and with whom I've attended church in the past. I mentioned some of the women's issues topics that come up on this board and asked his thoughts. He was protective of the LDS church, mirroring many of the posts I've read on this thread. He did share one story that was intriguing so I put the notes in my phone so I could share with you and see if any of you had similar experiences. I wanted to get the names and terms right :) 

He said when he was a teenager, I'm guessing late 80s early 90s since he's about my age, Elder Packer came to visit his stake. There was an adult men only priesthood meeting at the stake center (makes me think of a steak house, ha). This was a late Saturday morning. Elder Packer said no women were allowed in the building at all, not just the meeting. However, the relief society was expected to provide food after the meeting. So the women prepared the food at home and then the teenage boys took the food to the building since women weren't allowed in.

He said at the time he didn't think much of it but now he really dislikes it. He also said that stuff like that wouldn't happen now.

Anyone have a similar experience or was that a rare thing back in that time?

No disparagement intended -- the Catholic Church definitely has its patriarchal issues...

Oh, and he teasingly invited me to church on Sunday when he found out how much time I've been spending on this board lately, so he's being a good missionary. Unfortunately, he meets at the same time as High Mass, so I won't make it :) 

Was that the priesthood meeting where Elder Packer told the men they needed to surprise their wives with something special more often to keep the romance in their marriage alive?  I'm surprised he even allowed the young men to hear that, but I suppose they need to know what kind of marriage they should look forward to.

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14 minutes ago, Ahab said:

Which "Mormons" are thus conditioned?  Did I miss a memo somewhere?  Where am I supposed to go to get thus conditioned?  Is every Mormon man but me thus conditioned?  How did this happen?  Why wasn't I told, until now?

So I am watching some of my FB friends get reactions as they share this. One friend is trying to explain the pain she felt when her Bishop refused to allow her son to get baptised because, in his words, she had not given him up for adoption 8 years previous after getting pregnant without being married.She's trying to explain this pain to her dad, who was in the room when the bishop said this and who did not stand up to the bishop for her. And many other painful situations involving her leaders. And this friend is one of many women with very painful experiences, not being listened to. 

In the absence of being able to record and tally such instances and create an informative dataset, we have the male-dominated leadership structure of the system to evaluate. Can you please try to consider how the structure impacts women in such situations?

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14 minutes ago, Avatar4321 said:

You said Jana should know better. Should she? Has she been going to church?

It doesn't matter if she has been going to church or not.  If you decide to professionally write about the teachings or beliefs of a religion, then you have a duty to write about them accurately.  If she doesn't know what we believe or teach concerning consent after death, then she should educate herself before writing about it.

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11 hours ago, sunstoned said:

You are in luck because Mormon boys and men don't have to look to or follow any women.  Its not allowed.

CFR that the male primary teachers are not allowed to follow the Primary president.

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11 hours ago, sunstoned said:

Until recently your mum and two sisters would not be allowed to give the closing prayer sacrament meeting because of their gender. 

That's not the case in my ward/stake.  Never has been (in the 14 years I've lived here).

11 hours ago, sunstoned said:

They still cannot hold most leadership positions in the ward/stake/church.  How is this okay?  

Men are categorically barred from being in the Relief Society.  How is this okay?

Injecting the Gender Wars into the Church.  It's a tiresome thing to see, particularly where the answer to the question is so very obvious.

Thanks,

-Smac

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let's be honest, what teenager wouldn't want to go to the baptisms for the dead at the Temple, it's a free date!!! if not a date at least you'd hope the ward's  Pretty Prunella or Hot stuff Herman will be there and that might spur your interest in attending🥰

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1 hour ago, bluebell said:

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.

May I humbly suggest that with the world as it is as young men by far being idle and crude, that seeing young men in the Church honoring their priesthood and serving might be a blessing to the young women?

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6 minutes ago, Meadowchik said:

So I am watching some of my FB friends get reactions as they share this. One friend is trying to explain the pain she felt when her Bishop refused to allow her son to get baptised because, in his words, she had not given him up for adoption 8 years previous after getting pregnant without being married.She's trying to explain this pain to her dad, who was in the room when the bishop said this and who did not stand up to the bishop for her. And many other painful situations involving her leaders. And this friend is one of many women with very painful experiences, not being listened to. 

In the absence of being able to record and tally such instances and create an informative dataset, we have the male-dominated leadership structure of the system to evaluate. Can you please try to consider how the structure impacts women in such situations?

That was a clear violation of Church handbook instructions and that bishop should have been called out on it, with either your friend or her Dad telling that bishop that what he decided wasn't right or by your friend setting up an appointment with her stake president and appealing to him for his support.  Why didn't your friend think about that?  Why did she think she had no other recourse other than to just accept what her bishop told her?  Was she conditioned to just accept whatever that man told her simply because he was put into that position as her bishop?  If women expect to become leaders they need to do the right thing and lead by example, which means women need to be able to stand up for what is right rather than just sitting back and feeling like a victim.  There are remedies to unrighteous actions for every man or woman, if not in this world then in the next one, and your friend will be able to overcome this setback either now or sometime in the future.  People just need to stand up for what is right and stop with the complaining and whining for no other purpose than to complain and whine about it.  Take action, instead.  Do something about it when you see people act unrighteously.

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44 minutes ago, Stargazer said:

This is certainly true, but it is unfair to ascribe this to the Church alone (even if true) because it is a feature of our culture and probably all human cultures.  Disregard of the witness of women has plagued all societies at one time or another, and still continues.  Consider Islamic society, where in numerous countries (esp. under Sharia Law) a woman's witness is worth half of a man's.

You are right.  Sexism is a feature of our culture and most of the cultures of the world and has been for millennia. Women, historically and even now, are mistreated much of the time.  But the church is supposed to transcend worldly culture, especially where it deviates from God's will.  When erroneous culture creeps into the church (as it will because we are all human and fallen), the church, once aware, has a duty to halt its approach.     

Beyond that, it's not a question of fair or not, and trying to discuss fairness usually just muddies the waters and deflects from the real issues trying to be resolved.  The church didn't set out for this to happen--it's a great example of the law of unintended consequences--but it has happened/is happening so the responsible thing to do would be to acknowledge and work to correct.  How do we stop this from happening?  That's the question we need to be working on.  Not "is this fair?".

 

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