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 Post subject: Feminism and the LDS church
PostPosted: Wed Feb 12, 2020 10:36 pm 
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From the NonProfit Quarterly, excerpts from an article on feminism and the LDS church:

Quote:
”Latter-day Saints Take a Stand on Feminism…and It Isn’t Pretty”

Carole Levine
January 25, 2020; Daily Utah Chronicle

It takes only four paragraphs for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS, popularly known as Mormons) to explain its “updated” stance on feminism.

Their position, while allowing just a wee bit of wiggle room for women to express themselves as individuals, used its opening statement to reiterate its belief that “men and women fulfill their highest purpose together as husband and wife” and referenced a 1995 statement, The Family: A Proclamation to the World.

The second paragraph of this statement spells out just what forms of feminism the Latter-day Saints support, including efforts to ensure basic human rights and basic fairness for women, as well as efforts to encourage women to obtain an education, develop their talents, and serve humankind in any field they choose. These sound much like what would be appropriate for any person, not specifically women…unless, perhaps, women were being denied these rights within the LDS church community. But it isn’t until the last two paragraphs that the church reiterates the largely unchanged core of its stance.

While the statement is clear in declaring that men and women are equal, but with “distinct roles in the family,” it is equally clear in its aversion to “extreme ideals” of feminism that distract “from (or even work against) the ideals of marriage and family.”

This is a major principle in LDS teaching. Women are seen by the all-male leaders of the church to be critical in a domestic role and as teachers within the church structure. They serve alongside men as missionaries. But they have no role in policymaking, nor are they ordained as priests within the church.


Writing for the Daily Utah Chronicle, Natalie Colby interviewed Brigham Young college freshman and LDS church member Gwen Christopherson about women in the church.

....Christopherson points to the priesthood as the place where the power and authority of the church and of God rests.

“This authority is not based on spirituality, good works, faith, or even adherence to the commandments in many cases. It is based solely on gender,” she says. “Keep in mind that because women aren’t allowed to have priesthood authority, it is only men who are making church policy changes, and so it seems to be a hopeless case.” She points out that women are given the same amount of credibility as children as witnesses in the church: “If that doesn’t prove how sexist the Church is, then I don’t know what does.”

This situation reminds us a bit of the Boy Scouts of America, which approached the issue of gay scouts and leaders so incrementally that they finally fell off the edge of the world—which, for them, is still flat. —Carole Levine

https://nonprofitquarterly.org/latter-d ... nt-pretty/


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 Post subject: Re: Feminism and the LDS church
PostPosted: Wed Feb 12, 2020 11:04 pm 
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What are the extreme ideals of feminism they, the Mormons, are alluding to? Like, is this particular feminist ideal what they’re warning against?

Image

Is it SSM the linked article talks about? Is there a concise and comprehensive list we can look at the Church provides?

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 Post subject: Re: Feminism and the LDS church
PostPosted: Thu Feb 13, 2020 8:00 am 
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Hey Cam, the article notes what the Church has articulated as extreme feminism. That being, anything that varies from the ingrained LDS view women are "elevated" when they are filling nurturing roles like being mothers who prioritize family. It's a fact of LDS culture we were raised in that we inherently assume men lead and women comfort. Men are the authorities and can assume said authority where a woman in a role as expert or professional can seem out of place, instinctively. Maybe I can only speak for myself here, but I do find myself having to actively question and work against subconscious reactions and assumed roles derived from spending childhood and early adulthood in a culture where men are considered qualified for leadership because of birthright. The church was still teaching that fathers are the final decision makers in a family when I was a deacon at least. And the joke by the adults always being we knew that mothers held power over their husbands because...that's a healthy relationship dynamic right there.

Anyway, the article points out that the church wouldn't know the difference between the woman in your example and a woman who became a leading expert in a field that wasn't home economics. When we can't, either, we are showing we aren't as removed from our LDS upbringing as we might like to think.

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 Post subject: Re: Feminism and the LDS church
PostPosted: Thu Feb 13, 2020 8:12 am 
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https://dailyutahchronicle.com/2020/01/25/lds-church-statement-feminism/

The original article is safe for non-LDS work environments.

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 Post subject: Re: Feminism and the LDS church
PostPosted: Thu Feb 13, 2020 9:40 am 
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honorentheos wrote:
Hey Cam, the article notes what the Church has articulated as extreme feminism. That being, anything that varies from the ingrained LDS view women are "elevated" when they are filling nurturing roles like being mothers who prioritize family.

I think I'm trying to pinpoint what, exactly, is the Church's views on extreme feminism. When I was growing up in the 70's and 80's it was repeatedly drummed home that women who pursue higher education and careers and 'immodest' dress were deceived by feminism.

Nowadays I see female missionaries being allowed to wear pants, the Church kinda shrugs at women in higher education, and, well, I'm not sure about careers. Are those still considered a form of extreme feminism, or is the Church just worried about man-hating lesbians posting on Twitter? I can't really tell where the Church is at on the issue of feminism because it's shifty and they use vague talking points.

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 Post subject: Re: Feminism and the LDS church
PostPosted: Thu Feb 13, 2020 9:51 am 
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What?! The Mormon Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is shifty, inconsistent and ambiguous about something where it also claims to have a strong, moral belief? Say it ain't so!

I hear you in that sense. I do think we all know they mean more than the almost parody of feminism that is in the Twitter example, and being decentralized I'm sure two people attending two different wards would be receiving two very different messages every week at church. But the fact still is, they considered letting a woman pray in conference to be progress within the last decade so...

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 Post subject: Re: Feminism and the LDS church
PostPosted: Thu Feb 13, 2020 9:55 am 
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Here's the statement verbatim from the Church website: First, some basics: We are children of Heavenly Parents. Gender is an important part of who we are—both before, during, and after this life. Men and women are equal—one is not superior to the other. They are also different, with different roles within a family. Both men and women fulfill their highest purpose together as husband and wife, not separately. (See “The Family: A Proclamation to the World,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2017, 145, familyproclamation.ChurchofJesusChrist.org).

Now, feminism can mean different things to different people. Sometimes it refers to efforts to ensure basic human rights and basic fairness for women, as well as efforts to encourage women to obtain an education, develop their talents, and serve humankind in any field they choose. Latter-day Saints support these things.

However, sometimes certain philosophies and social movements bearing the feminism label advocate extreme ideas that are not in harmony with the teachings of the gospel. These can lead people to become distracted from (or even work against) the ideals of marriage and family. Latter-day Saints frown upon such things.

By that same token, we also frown upon extremes such as male chauvinism, sexism, machismo, or any other cultural influence that would cause men to think and act in ways that are not in harmony with gospel teachings of respect, love, modesty, chastity, equality, and family responsibilities.

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 Post subject: Re: Feminism and the LDS church
PostPosted: Thu Feb 13, 2020 10:07 am 
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I think the Church is vaguebooking again, and letting members fill in the blanks as to what they think 'extreme feminism' means. Typical.

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 Post subject: Re: Feminism and the LDS church
PostPosted: Thu Feb 13, 2020 10:07 am 
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By that same token, we also frown upon extremes such as male chauvinism, sexism, machismo, or any other cultural influence that would cause men to think and act in ways that are not in harmony with gospel teachings of respect, love, modesty, chastity, equality, and family responsibilities.

That's obviously dishonest. The Church doesn't frown upon male chauvinism and sexism, the power and authority structure of the Church is inherently and systemically male chauvinistic and sexist. Just take a look at the number of male speakers versus female speakers at General Conferences for the last 100 years - is it an equal number of men and women? Of course not. It's unequal in favour of men. Because the Church believes the members need to hear talks from men far more than they should hear from women.

If the Church leaders (all men) believed that statement, last October there'd have been an equal number of male and female speakers at General Conference. That's undeniable male chauvinism and sexism just in that one current example.

You'll have noticed recently that during devotionals and the like, the General Authority will have his wife stood next to him and there'll take it in turns to speak. He will give an important talk, then she will give a primary child level anecdote. It's designed to make the unsuspecting observer and the wilfully ignorant member, the impression that men and women are equal in the Church. We are however, a very very very long way away from gender equality in the Church, as the General Conference example shows.

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 Post subject: Re: Feminism and the LDS church
PostPosted: Thu Feb 13, 2020 11:22 am 
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church website wrote:
Sometimes [feminism] refers to efforts to ... encourage women to ... serve humankind in any field they choose. Latter-day Saints support these things.

Would church leadership be a field that women can choose, then?


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 Post subject: Re: Feminism and the LDS church
PostPosted: Thu Feb 13, 2020 12:03 pm 
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Doctor CamNC4Me wrote:
I think the Church is vaguebooking again, and letting members fill in the blanks as to what they think 'extreme feminism' means. Typical.

- Doc

Feminism is good, unless it contradicts any of the many things we've said over time about the role of women, in which case it's bad. We'll leave it to you to figure out the line, but if you get it wrong, we'll kick your ass out.

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 Post subject: Re: Feminism and the LDS church
PostPosted: Fri Feb 14, 2020 5:00 am 
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Quote:
referenced a 1995 statement, The Family: A Proclamation to the World

A statement that received zero input or feedback from women prior to being released.

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 Post subject: Re: Feminism and the LDS church
PostPosted: Fri Feb 14, 2020 12:41 pm 
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LDS Church Website wrote:
By that same token, we also frown upon extremes such as male chauvinism, sexism, machismo, or any other cultural influence that would cause men to think and act in ways that are not in harmony with gospel teachings of respect, love, modesty, chastity, equality, and family responsibilities.


How can they say this when the church explicitly believes in sexist ideas and institutionalises sexism? Is this a total lack of self-awareness or are they trying to mislead people about what words mean?

Benevolent sexism is still sexism and it can still harm. And, despite what some men might think about what women feel, and despite what some women may feel, equality is not a feeling.


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 Post subject: Re: Feminism and the LDS church
PostPosted: Fri Feb 14, 2020 3:06 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: Feminism and the LDS church
PostPosted: Fri Feb 14, 2020 3:20 pm 
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Fiannan wrote:
Image

Camille Paglia wrote:
As far as Ginsberg's pro-NAMBLA stand goes, this is one of the things I most admire him for. I have repeatedly protested the lynch-mob hysteria that dogs the issue of man-boy love. In "Sexual Personae," I argued that male pedophilia is intricately intertwined with the cardinal moments of Western civilization. Donatello's historically pivotal bronze sculpture, "David" (1430), was my main exhibit -- a languidly flirtatious work that would get the artist arrested for kiddie porn these days. In "Vamps & Tramps," I said that Western moralism and hypocrisy have driven the matter underground and overseas, where impoverished Third World boys now supply the sex trade.

Allen Ginsberg was the apostle of a truly visionary sexuality. Like the expansive, sensual, democratic Whitman but unlike the twisted, dishonest, pretentious Foucault, he saw the continuity between great nature and the human body, bathed in waves of cosmic energy. Seen from this pagan perspective, Ginsberg's celebration of boy-love was pure and sinless, demonstrating the limitations of Judeo-Christian paradigms of sexuality.

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 Post subject: Re: Feminism and the LDS church
PostPosted: Fri Feb 14, 2020 4:29 pm 
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Fiannan wrote:
Image

Any particular reason for contributing that quote to this thread?


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 Post subject: Re: Feminism and the LDS church
PostPosted: Sat Feb 15, 2020 2:31 am 
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Lemmie wrote:
Fiannan wrote:
Image

Any particular reason for contributing that quote to this thread?

Absolutely. Feminism was one thing in the 60s and another thing today. 3rd wave feminism is anything but affirming to women in sexuality or finding happiness in life.


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 Post subject: Re: Feminism and the LDS church
PostPosted: Sat Feb 15, 2020 4:07 am 
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How so? Can you give some examples? How has it impacted your sexuality or your happiness?

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 Post subject: Re: Feminism and the LDS church
PostPosted: Sat Feb 22, 2020 10:42 pm 
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Lemmie wrote:
“Keep in mind that because women aren’t allowed to have priesthood authority


"Men's historical dominance of the workplace may, in part, be because of their ability to reconcile with enemies after conflict, a new study suggests...Researchers have long been puzzled by the abilities of male chimpanzees, who constantly bicker and fight, to put aside their differences and co-operate and work together in struggles for territory with other groups. Studies showed that male and female chimps acted differently in the aftermath of fights, with males much more inclined to engage in reconciliation behaviours.... Prof Benenson believe that overall, her new work shows that these reconciliation abilities are an "evolved sex difference that still operates today". "It's the idea that you can have a mechanism that allows you to go from that tremendous competition to beat others to being able to form groups and create human society. "Really men have done that in business, in religion, in education and the military - they form these relationships where they are willing to die for each other in some cases." These traits have been, and continue to be, to the detriment of women in the workplace, Prof Benenson believes. She argues that in family settings, women are able to fight and make up in the same way as men, but in the office environment the same incentives don't seem to be there"...That men are more likely to reconcile after a conflict supports other studies showing that male-male relationships are generally different than female-female relationships," said Prof Robert Deaner from Grand Valley State University, who wasn't involved in the work. "A woman's relationship with another woman is often gravely damaged if one woman achieves greater status than the other or somehow outdoes her."
https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-36969103

Just wanted to share it, but I do believe in gender equality and equal opportunities.

I have a question wrote:
We are however, a very very very long way away from gender equality in the Church, as the General Conference example shows.


It really doesn't matter because the LDS church is just a church and LDS women like it. 54% of LDS members in the US are women. If adult LDS women want to follow a sexist church there isn't much we can do about it. Just let them follow it.


Last edited by DoubtingThomas on Sat Feb 22, 2020 11:17 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Feminism and the LDS church
PostPosted: Sat Feb 22, 2020 10:53 pm 
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I would rather like to see more female leaders in STEM than in the LDS church.


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 Post subject: Re: Feminism and the LDS church
PostPosted: Sun Feb 23, 2020 1:24 am 
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DoubtingThomas wrote:
I would rather like to see more female leaders in STEM than in the LDS church.

Good point. STEM was never designed to be an Old Boys Club.

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