Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Fostering Patriarchy Spiritual Growth

mormon, lds, patriarchy, feminism, pink,
(h/t to Whore of All the Earth from Pharyngula's comments for the link that led to the link.)

The Mormon Church is, if you are not aware, awash in activities designed to strengthen one's mormonism, or to keep members so busy they don't have time to think about it. (Good strategy, that.) Their latest is a redesign of their Patriarchy Parade, otherwise known as the Personal Progress program for girls. It's very . . . pink*.

"We hope that Personal Progress will help [Mormon girls] understand who they are, their identity as daughters of our Heavenly Father, how precious they are in His sight and the great roles and responsibilities they have as His daughters here on the earth at this time," added Sister Dalton, general Young Women president.

. . .

In addition, the Young Women medallion has been redesigned and now includes age group historical symbols for Beehives, Mia Maids and Laurels, and has a ruby. "I want every young woman to realize that she is more precious than rubies," said Sister Dalton.

The booklets are pink. "We are excited about the color of pink, because we think these young women are pink. They resonate to the softness and the femininity of that color. We want them to understand that they are soft, they are unique, they are feminine and that they don't have to be like the boys."

Okay, credit where credit is due. Certain types of rubies are the most valuable gemstones in the world, which I did not know until I looked it up. However, the whole discussion of pink is sending me into feminist convulsions. Women are not soft. Hello, we give birth. We. Give. Birth. Women grow another life inside themselves, supporting it with their own bodies, and then expell something the size of a watermelon through a hole the size of a lemon. That's not soft. That's insane. We are unique, but so is every man. Not every woman is feminine in the sense they're using it.

And then we get to "don't have to be like boys." First of all, there's nothing wrong with being a boy. Of course, I happen to like boys. Also, being a feminist is not being like a man. Being strong, motivated, smart, educated, etc. is not masculine. Men do not own these traits, these are traits everyone can and should share in. I'll just blow a Mormon's mind right now and state that I am all those things and I'm wearing pink as I write this. Ha!

Sister Dalton said that few people are teaching values in society today. "Who is teaching values in our society today? Where will a young woman go to understand the values of faith, divine nature, individual worth, integrity, knowledge, choice and accountability? We believe this is probably one of the very few places that they are being taught values. And it is very important for strengthening homes and families and our entire society."

Sigh. That's right. We godless people just let our children murder and rape and pillage (Ar!). Haven't you heard about the random hordes of atheist pirate children overtaking the country? As for teaching girls the values of individual worth, integrity, knowledge, choice and accountability, I suggest a good feminist blog. I have a couple in my blogroll. Those values are the cornerstones of feminism. Wait, is that irony? Does anyone have Alannis Morrisette's phone number?

In the category of Don't Try This Analogy at Home, I give you:

"I think that sometimes, because this is small and simple, that we underestimate the power of small and simple things in a girl's life," said Sister Dalton. "It is like putting on an armor for a young woman, one chain at a time, one experience at a time. … We want to integrate this into a young woman's life."

Ummm . . . what? That doesn't even make sense. I'm fairly certain you cannot don chainmail one link at a time, though my actual experience with chainmail is limited. Which makes me wonder about Madame Dalton.

seems uncomfortable to me

"These young women are strong and they are noble," said Sister Dalton. "But it is as if they are standing in a riptide and trying to stay upright in the world. And this will be a tool for parents and priesthood leaders and all of us to really encircle a young women about with support and with faith and testimony and help her in her desire to be righteous and pure and worthy."

. . . and help her in the Church's desire to uphold the patriarchy. Fixed.

*I have no quarrels with the color pink itself. It's not pink's fault what the patriarchy does with it. I wear it fairly often because it looks good on me. Of course, ghosts look at me and think, "Damn, she is pale!", so color is a necessary thing for me.


  1. Wiki says;

    "In Western culture, the practice of assigning pink to an individual gender began in the 1920s.[5] From then until the 1940s, pink was considered appropriate for boys because being related to red it was the more masculine and decided color, while blue was considered appropriate for girls because it was the more delicate and dainty color, or related to the Virgin Mary."

    Fancy that!

  2. Isn't it funny how girls need special programs teaching them how to be feminine and girly, given that "femininity" is something that girls are supposedly born with?

    (Also, my nipples are cringing at the chain-link brassiere)

  3. "These young women are strong and they are noble," said Sister Dalton. "But it is as if they are standing in a riptide and trying to stay upright in the world."

    Were these people every young? Have they just forgotten what it was actually like? I just... you know, I used to hear things like that when I was young - "Oh, it's so much harder for kids today!" - and it always got my hackles up. Some of it was the implied subtext ("We know what's best for you."), but a lot of it was just that it felt so intrusive.

    Seriously, that's all kids need: random adults who don't know them trying to dramatize their daily lives.

  4. the random hordes of atheist pirate children overtaking the country

    That's so awesome it just might convince my husband to deconvert! (Now we'll just have to find an atheist pirate school in our area before the kidlet starts kindergarten...)

  5. ::ragespasm::

    i can't even...

    fyi: chainmail was worn one of two ways; as a SHIRT, or attached to something [generally boiled leather]. i supposed, looking at most plate armor that isn't full-plate-suit, there is chain there... attached to the plate.

    sigh. research before using metaphor, LDS!

  6. Hee. Just found your blog via a link, and realised I am wearing pink as I read this too.

    Also, word on the chainmail bra. A coupla years ago I was a volunteer labourer and got a nipple trapped in a bunch of roofing tiles I was carrying up a ladder (the big, chunky tiles about a foot square and a half-inch thick). Through clothes and a bra.
    Probably TMI there.

    Anyway, happy New Year! :)

  7. mormons are good people. you have no right to bash sister dalton. she is an amazing woman. and very in tune with the spirit. and pink is a color, when girls are born, they normally have PINK clothes or pink blanket, are you gonna go crazy about that too?? they wanted to chance the book, i have the old one, it is blue, they had a peach one before that as well. the reason why they changed the book is because a new value was added a while ago(virtue) so they made an insert, but to have it already bound in the book is more convenient.you should come to my ward and check out how amazing the program is, and how it does strengeten the girls. mormons dont bash your beliefs, so dont bash ours. thank you.


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