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Mormon men are groomed not to listen to women

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55 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.

I'm frankly skeptical of this story.  It sounds pretty farfetched (or at least decontextualized, or embellished).  And even supposing it is true, the bishop was obviously out of bounds.

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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. 

"Many other painful situations involving her leaders?"  

I get that local leaders can and do make mistakes.  Sometimes even significant ones.  But an anonymous, hearsay, woe-is-me narrative that involves systemic "pain" being inflicted on one particular woman by various nefarious male leaders in the Church sounds a lot like embellishment / fabrication.  Again, color me skeptical.

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In the absence of being able to record and tally such instances

Or even establish that "such instances" have happened at all, or that they are being accurately and fairly characterized, etc.

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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?

Well, not really.  The neverending men-are-bad-and-women-are-hapless-victims narrative to be harvested from farfetched and vague and anonymously-sourced hearsay anecdotes just isn't very valuable.

Thanks,

-Smac

Edited by smac97
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Reply to questions:

Baptisms are much more personal that the sacrament, you feel almost naked in the act and it involves touching --- things that would be okay with a brother or other relative, but intimacy that shouldn't be by assignment, and shouldn't be encouraged for teens who are still learning to manage all their mortal reactions.  And the kids often know when the others are going but also behave awfully in other circumstances, so it raises questions of why he's trusted in this way.  It would be excruciating to be demeaned one day and then have the same person baptizing you at the temple.   I do not want any girl ever to think they are not fully equal in dating situations or in the world with any boy.  But when one party exercises authority for them, it cannot help but risk at least one girl thinking that if this is what that boy who was worthy to baptize her wants, then who is she to think differently.   Or one girl feeling more exposed than they should have to feel in pursuit of good.  

And the solution would be to have adults or family members baptize the girls.

I suppose talking directly about it could help.    "You do know that just because the boys do all the ordinances, that doesn't mean you should think that what they say and want is what you need to say and want, I hope?"   "I hope you know that if you want an adult or not this specific boy to baptize you, you can speak up and decline.   It is okay not to do what everyone else is doing, if that is what you feel."   "If someone feels uncomfortable about being baptized by someone, it is okay for them to ask that someone else perform the ordinance, and we should all accept that choice as a worthy valid option, without comment.   Consent matters in every context, not just in dating."

This isn't about power in the ordinance.   It is about every person being able to choose the level of their intimacy with another for themselves, without pressure or expectation from another.  

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13 minutes ago, bluebell said:

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.

You can ask her about how she's educated herself about this topic. There are ample testimonials of women feeling like they will be required to live polygamy in the eternities, that it will not be a matter of preference to consent to it. D&C 132 seems to suggest the as accepting plural marriage is righteousness, and that rejecting it means destruction.

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5 minutes ago, rpn said:

Baptisms are much more personal that the sacrament, you feel almost naked in the act and it involves touching --- things that would be okay with a brother or other relative, but intimacy that shouldn't be by assignment, and shouldn't be encouraged for teens who are still learning to manage all their mortal reactions.

OK that settles it. No more youth dances. 😉

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3 minutes ago, smac97 said:

I'm frankly skeptical of this story.  It sounds pretty farfetched (or at least decontextualized, or embellished).  And even supposing it is true, the bishop was obviously out of bounds.

"Many other painful situations involving her leaders?"  

I get that local leaders can and do make mistakes.  Sometimes even significant ones.  But anonymous, hearsay, woe-is-me narratives that that involve systemic "pain" being inflicted by nefarious men in the Church sound a lot like embellishment / fabrication.  Again, color me skeptical.

Or even establish that "such instances" have happened at all, or that they are being accurately and fairly characterized, etc.

Well, not really.  The neverending men-are-bad-and-women-are-hapless-victims narrative to be harvested from farfetched and vague and anonymously-sourced hearsay anecdotes just isn't very valuable.

Thanks,

-Smac

So you don't think the structural assymmetry might help perpetuate out-of-bounds behaviours? Do reject the possibility that this assymmetry creates blind spots? If it did, how could you know? 

 

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7 minutes ago, bluebell said:

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?".

 

I think you misunderstand my use of the word "fair", but otherwise you're correct.

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6 minutes ago, Meadowchik said:

You can ask her about how she's educated herself about this topic. There are ample testimonials of women feeling like they will be required to live polygamy in the eternities, that it will not be a matter of preference to consent to it. D&C 132 seems to suggest the as accepting plural marriage is righteousness, and that rejecting it means destruction.

"Feeling like" and "seems to suggest" being the operative phrases here.

Thanks,

-Smac

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11 hours ago, JAHS said:

No, the church is stuck in God's way of thinking, where it should be.  Utah women were the first women to vote in a national election, and later, when Utah became a state, it was the second state to extend the right to vote to women, following behind Wyoming.

I thought it was Wyoming who gave women the right to vote first?  Wyoming gave women the right to vote (while still a territory) in 1869 while Utah gave them the right (while still a territory) in 1870.    

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9 minutes ago, Ahab said:

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.

She did go to her stake president, etc... What can a woman do when the leadership fails her?

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29 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?

I suspect there is a LOT more to this story. Also that is not “in his words” unless it is a direct quote.

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3 hours 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.

I agree, and welcome!

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2 minutes ago, smac97 said:

"Feeling like" and "seems to suggest" being the operative phrases here.

Thanks,

-Smac

Why? Is believing the scriptural instructions only a feeling? Isn't it a reasonable conclusion?

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2 minutes ago, The Nehor said:

I suspect there is a LOT more to this story. Also that is not “in his words” unless it is a direct quote.

So what would your response be if you were satisfied it was true?

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1 hour 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 :) 

His story doesn't surprise me at all, and I'm glad it's part of the culture that is ebbing out.  In August I was invited to a stake leadership training meeting with Elder Uchtdorf.  It was the first time that women had been invited (in our stake, not saying world-wide or anything) so things are definitely changing.

Interestingly enough, they were very strict with security at our event as well.  Everyone had to wear a name tag badge and the doors were locked once the meeting started so you had to be there early or you weren't going to be able to go.

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1 minute ago, Meadowchik said:
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I'm frankly skeptical of this story.  It sounds pretty farfetched (or at least decontextualized, or embellished).  And even supposing it is true, the bishop was obviously out of bounds.

"Many other painful situations involving her leaders?"  

I get that local leaders can and do make mistakes.  Sometimes even significant ones.  But anonymous, hearsay, woe-is-me narratives that that involve systemic "pain" being inflicted by nefarious men in the Church sound a lot like embellishment / fabrication.  Again, color me skeptical.

Or even establish that "such instances" have happened at all, or that they are being accurately and fairly characterized, etc.

Well, not really.  The neverending men-are-bad-and-women-are-hapless-victims narrative to be harvested from farfetched and vague and anonymously-sourced hearsay anecdotes just isn't very valuable.

Thanks,

-Smac

So you don't think the structural assymmetry might help perpetuate out-of-bounds behaviours?

No, not really.  Unrighteous dominion is not a matter of gender.  It's a question of improper use of power.  Women are, I think, just about as susceptible to abusing power as men are.

As for "out-of-bounds behaviours" in the Church, there are plenty of men who have claimed mistreatment by a bishop or other leader.

If you are advocating the idea that "If only women were in charge..." would eliminate unrighteous dominion issues, I think you're in for some real disappointment.

1 minute ago, Meadowchik said:

Do reject the possibility that this assymmetry creates blind spots? If it did, how could you know? 

I'm not sure what you mean by "blind spots."

And asymmetry in callings doesn't mean that members are bereft of options if a local leader messes up.  To the contrary, the member has all sorts of options available to him/her.  And those options reduce and/or eliminate most of what I think you mean by "blind spots."

Thanks,

-Smac

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7 minutes ago, bluebell said:

I thought it was Wyoming who gave women the right to vote first?  Wyoming gave women the right to vote (while still a territory) in 1869 while Utah gave them the right (while still a territory) in 1870.    

IIRC, Wyoming gave women the right to vote first, followed by Utah a few months later.  However, Utah actually held an election in which women could (and did) vote prior to Wyoming's first such election.

Thanks,

-Smac

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1 minute ago, Meadowchik said:

She did go to her stake president, etc... What can a woman do when the leadership fails her?

Uh huh, and what was the Stake president’s response? Supporting the bishop in not baptizing solely because the child was not adopted out? Doubt it.

This story screams false to me. How active is this woman? Why is she having all these continuous negative experiences with priesthood leaders throughout her whole life? What is the common denominator in all these experiences? It is probably not the same leader every time.

I have been close to local church leadership most of my adult life in a position to know the more difficult members and I have met many people (male and female) who are constantly at odds with church leadership. I have never found the leader to be the problem. They also love lying about why the bishop made decisions because telling the truth would mean having to admit their own faults and sins. There is always a sigh of relief when they move away.

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19 minutes ago, rpn said:

Reply to questions:

Baptisms are much more personal that the sacrament, you feel almost naked in the act and it involves touching --- things that would be okay with a brother or other relative, but intimacy that shouldn't be by assignment, and shouldn't be encouraged for teens who are still learning to manage all their mortal reactions.  And the kids often know when the others are going but also behave awfully in other circumstances, so it raises questions of why he's trusted in this way.  It would be excruciating to be demeaned one day and then have the same person baptizing you at the temple.   I do not want any girl ever to think they are not fully equal in dating situations or in the world with any boy.  But when one party exercises authority for them, it cannot help but risk at least one girl thinking that if this is what that boy who was worthy to baptize her wants, then who is she to think differently.   Or one girl feeling more exposed than they should have to feel in pursuit of good.  

And the solution would be to have adults or family members baptize the girls.

I suppose talking directly about it could help.    "You do know that just because the boys do all the ordinances, that doesn't mean you should think that what they say and want is what you need to say and want, I hope?"   "I hope you know that if you want an adult or not this specific boy to baptize you, you can speak up and decline.   It is okay not to do what everyone else is doing, if that is what you feel."   "If someone feels uncomfortable about being baptized by someone, it is okay for them to ask that someone else perform the ordinance, and we should all accept that choice as a worthy valid option, without comment.   Consent matters in every context, not just in dating."

This isn't about power in the ordinance.   It is about every person being able to choose the level of their intimacy with another for themselves, without pressure or expectation from another.  

I'm guessing from the bolded part that you don't allow your children to go to any dances then?  

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1 hour 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”.

That's an accurate explanation of classical conditioning. There is no compelling or even rational way to claim that classical conditioning is at play here. 

What she may be able to argue is that this is a result of operant conditioning. This is the form of conditioning with positive and negative reinforcers and punishments. 

I'm not convinced that even then operant conditioning is the best explanation, but at least it is possible. 

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7 minutes ago, Meadowchik said:

So what would your response be if you were satisfied it was true?

Contact the area president with my concerns or maybe talk to other local leaders like the RS President and share my concerns about this strange policy violation and ask why this decision was made.

Again, it would take a lot to substantiate this. If her dad is not supporting her in getting his grandchild baptized I am guessing there is a lot going on here. I also suspect she is lying about the primary reason her son is not allowed to be baptized.

staceys_dad.jpg

 

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19 minutes ago, Meadowchik said:

You can ask her about how she's educated herself about this topic. There are ample testimonials of women feeling like they will be required to live polygamy in the eternities, that it will not be a matter of preference to consent to it. D&C 132 seems to suggest the as accepting plural marriage is righteousness, and that rejecting it means destruction.

There are lots of examples and testimonials of people believing all sorts of wrong things.  That doesn't mean that's what the church teaches on the subject.  

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13 minutes ago, Meadowchik said:

She did go to her stake president, etc... What can a woman do when the leadership fails her?

Go higher up.  An Area Authority is over the stake president so he is the next person up the ladder to appeal to.  And then above that person is someone in the first quorum of Seventy, and then above that is an Apostle.  And if it still doesn't seem right we can appeal to our Father in heaven who will eventually straighten everything out as he wants it, either personally or through Jesus Christ.

We're all in this together but clearly some of us are not on the same page.

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40 minutes ago, Avatar4321 said:

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

Please know that what I say next comes from a place of pain and not contrariness.

I was just thinking yesterday how much I dislike that it is the faith of the stripling warrior moms that is almost always the first and often the only thing that comes to mind when we talk about women.  

The subject goes something like this: they had faith, they taught their sons, the sons listened, acted and were saved.

Where I struggle with this is that so very often it is taught as moms have the ability to save their children if they have enough faith. We want so much to honor these women that we emphasize the faith and neglect to clearly state this is only half of the story - the stripling warriors had the agency to follow what their moms taught and we neglect to acknowledge that no amount of faith can change that agency. In doing this we sometimes cripple moms until they work through and understand in their hearts that the whole thing is not on them.

I'd like to challenge others that the next time they think about stripling women mothers first that they then find another woman/women in the scriptures that also might fit the example of what they are trying to explain. Hmmm. Maybe I will turn that into a thread.

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Just now, kllindley said:

That's an accurate explanation of classical conditioning. There is no compelling or even rational way to claim that classical conditioning is at play here. 

What she may be able to argue is that this is a result of operant conditioning. This is the form of conditioning with positive and negative reinforcers and punishments. 

I'm not convinced that even then operant conditioning is the best explanation, but at least it is possible. 

Yeah, it does not fit for me. If listening to women has negative reinforcement or is punished I would like to know what those are.

It is also hard to imagine it is discouraged with the number of General Conference and local talks I have heard praising what the person learned from their mothers (and fathers). I think this is less what Jana saw and more what she thinks must be there because, given the preconditions she has adopted, it must logically be there.

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19 minutes ago, Meadowchik said:

 

Quote

 

Quote

You can ask her about how she's educated herself about this topic. There are ample testimonials of women feeling like they will be required to live polygamy in the eternities, that it will not be a matter of preference to consent to it. D&C 132 seems to suggest the as accepting plural marriage is righteousness, and that rejecting it means destruction.

"Feeling like" and "seems to suggest" being the operative phrases here.

Thanks,

-Smac

Why? Is believing the scriptural instructions only a feeling? Isn't it a reasonable conclusion?

With respect, no, I don't think it is a "reasonable conclusion."   I think most of what your are talking about here is not based on reason, study, revelation, etc., but instead is an emotion-based reaction to "scriptural instructions" which is based on a blinkered and finite and somewhat erroneous perspective.

Thanks,

-Smac

Edited by smac97
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