The Mormon Church is amongst the most insular and conservative Christian sects. That’s partly because they basically have an entire state populated with members, and everything there is run by the strictures of the Church’s values. Those values are outdated, to put it mildly.
There’s a podcast called Latter Day Lesbian Podcast which is run by two former members of the Latter-day Saints. They try to discuss issues in the Mormon Church especially from their own unique perspective of being gay (another big no-no for Mormons).
The show’s Twitter account shared a picture of a flyer titled “First Dance Kit” that is meant to be full of advice for young ladies going to their first dance. It starts with this suggestion:
“Get ready for the dance. Paint your nails, wear a little lip gloss and don’t forget to brush your teeth!”
Already weird, but from there it delves into darker territory. The podcast captioned the photo of the flyer with, “Rape culture, courtesy of Mormon youth dances. This and other equally horrible flyers are commonly given to 14-year-old Mormon girls from the leaders they look up to at church. Mormon parents, please tell your daughter’s leaders that this is 100% unacceptable.”
Rape culture, courtesy of Mormon youth dances. This and other equally horrible flyers are commonly given to 14 year old Mormon girls from the leaders they look up to at church. Mormon parents, please tell your daughter’s leaders that this is 100% unacceptable... pic.twitter.com/5e9MHNh4eP— LatterDayLesbianPodcast (@LatterDayLes) September 27, 2019
Please tell your daughters that she doesn’t owe anything to any boy and that his level of “comfort” is NOT her issue.
How many things can we find HORRIBLY wrong with this flyer? Go!
— LatterDayLesbianPodcast (@LatterDayLes) September 27, 2019
The “rape culture” sections are highlighted. One basically says not to dress suggestively, because it will make boys wonder what’s wrong with you. The other section the podcast emphasized was about never saying no to a boy who asks you to dance because he had the “courage to walk over” and ask. Nos are not allowed, ladies!
This flyer is all too familiar to women who have been in the Mormon Church, and they came out to share their stories about how this advice ruined dances for them:
One time at a Mormon youth dance I tried to convince my friend that it was okay to say no when a boy asked to dance. She ~dreaded certain boys asking her to dance. When they asked, she said yes. When I told her, "You can say no" she told me "that would be mean." https://t.co/HTvLQ45Lly— Elle Mae (@ElleMaeGal) September 27, 2019
Oh man I'm remembering several of the dances I attended and just cringing. The whole culture is subservient women. Yuck https://t.co/yu2WHpLClC— Squirrels (@JMG_33) September 28, 2019
Glad I got the f*ck outta that https://t.co/4qJwzFGb41— Calllayyyyy (@Thethirdogden) September 29, 2019
Reason #8273642698 why I'm no longer mormon. https://t.co/FmMP7L9IzN— Ana Maria Rodriguez (@Amariarv) September 30, 2019
This is the shit I had to deal with on a daily basis, and people wonder why I left. Smh https://t.co/fshCl8WR4O— Big Clown Girl🤡 (@Olivia_Nelson12) September 29, 2019
Mormons really just be like that. I was personally lectured growing up to ask a woman to change on a date if the clothing they wore was arousing. 😅 https://t.co/NnucWqEh0q— Brandon (@LonelyOctopus1) September 29, 2019
I went to a Mormon dance when I was 14. A guy I didn't like asked me to dance with him and I said no, and I received backlash from so many people there just because I said no. The Mormons there ended up guilt tripping me to dance with him and he almost assaulted me. Stop this. https://t.co/RiX463yybq— sophia navidad (@sophiakaleolani) September 28, 2019
I was once at one of these lovely dances and a young gentlemen who had been inappropriate and pushy with me in the past asked me to dance and I said no and he tattle taled on me and I got kicked out so I sat in the parking lot for 2 hours waiting for my ride ✌️ https://t.co/GZ7ogVt81F— kenz (@kizzie_leavitt) September 27, 2019
This flyer is pretty explicit in how hypocritical and misogynistic it is, but “rape culture” is a part of the entire world, not just one religion. We should all push back on directives that tell people their boundaries don’t mean anything and that they owe other people a “yes.” You don’t. And you don’t need to wear lip gloss either.