Mormons and Sexism

Most people would agree that the Mormon church is one of the more conservative institutions in America. In fact, in many ways it seems like an institution stuck in the 1950s. Feminists of course love to attack the Mormon church as being a bastion of patriarchy and sexist oppression.

However, I thought that the two videos below are an interesting illustration of the double standard that even the Mormon church has embraced. If you watch the video on how the Mormon Church believes that men should be defined there is a lot of commentary about the need to be responsible, to give, to commit, to be serious etc. They say the men will be blessed if they do well, but essentially the message is that men need to “man up” and do what is expected of them. It’s more about responsibilities than it is about privileges.

In contrast, the Mormon video about women doesn’t talk about the need for responsibility or commitment or giving. Instead, it’s a typical “up with women speech” about how wonderful, and nurturing, and great they all are. There’s no message that women need to be reminded to do their part. The message is that they are already so wonderful, and we need to just recognized it.

So, in other words the videos sends a message to men that they need to get their act together; while women are perfect as they are.

I suppose we can interpret this in one of two ways. First, that the old nasty Mormon patriarchal system may not always be quite so oppressive to women as we imagined. But, I assume that the difference in the messages probably boils down to the influence of feminism, which has even steeped into institutions which are as conservative as the Mormon church.

Feminists have been successful in America in propagating the meme that essentially women are better, nobler, smarter and generally more evolved and enlightened creatures. In contrast, men are presented as flawed beings-immature, infantile, not overly smart, etc.-who are graciously endured by women at best, and openly mocked at worst.

In my life experience I have not come to the conclusion that women are any smarter or nobler than men are. Women may be good at presenting a sweet image, but when it comes to fundamentals of goodness, decency and fair play, they’re no better-and often worse than men. I’ve certainly seen a deterioration in girls in the last few decades. I believe that all this feminism has created in them an enormous sense of entitlement and resentment, which is not attractive. I also believe that the demands of the work world have made them cold and neurotic.  And finally the superficiality of modern society and the mixed messages that they receive tends to make them neurotic.

Of course I don’t want to just blame women. We live in a society that in general is designed to be neurotic, often unhealthy and highly superficial. Women may excel at this, but they are not the only ones. Men contribute to the whole phenomenon as well.  It is not surprising that male and female relationships have deteriorated in the last few decades, with an emphasis placed on entitlement, self-centeredness, impatience, materialism, consumerism, immaturity, instant gratification and superficiality, with females tending to lead the pack.

For the Mormon view on women:

http://youtu.be/DkUwh1YUMtE

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