Saturday, March 8, 2014

Germany, Belgium, and Washington State… and ridiculous modesty expectations...

Those are the three locations where Bill has so far applied for jobs.  He's applied for one job each in Belgium and Washington and five, I think, in Germany.  I would enjoy any of those places.  Chances are, he won't get anything in any of those places, but there's always a chance.  So hope springs eternal, right?

In other news, a friend of mine from college is very religious and she just posted this video made by a bunch of young Mormon guys.

I have nothing against virtue or modesty, but I do find it disingenuous that a bunch of young guys would be dancing around singing something like this.  It pretty much goes against nature.  I mean, these guys are at an age at which their hormones are raging and they're not supposed to relieve themselves by jerking off.  And yet, here they are pleading with young women not to dress like harlots.

I think they are singing this song, mostly, because it's been ingrained in them that girls they deem "slutty" are less worthwhile than so-called decent, modest girls.  I wonder how many of these guys, given a choice between a less modest pretty girl and a very chaste, "modest" girl would choose the modest girl…  I think this song about sums it up.

In LDS circles, a "sweet spirit" is a young woman who may not be very pretty, but has a heart of gold…  It seems to be a term used followed the obligatory "Bless her heart".  From what I've heard, most Mormon guys worth their salt wouldn't choose a "sweet spirit".

I'm really supposed to believe that a bunch of teenaged guys singing about modesty and virtue are worth listening to?  Are these guys really singing this because they want to and believe in the message?  Or are they singing about this because they were asked to… or expected to… or felt they had a penishood duty to?  Mormon guys certainly don't corner the market on decency or high-mindedness, but they seem pressured to act as if they do.  It comes off as fake and, frankly, very self-righteous.  This "performance" is clearly aimed at impressionable young women hoping to catch themselves a mate.  These guys are all "wholesome" and no doubt have "high standards".  They seem to be selling the idea that they want good girls to marry, not sluts.  If you want a cute singing, dancing, moral Mormon man, you have to be respectable.  

Most of the guys in this video could be considered "catches", after all, and young LDS women are expected to find themselves a worthy returned missionary to marry and make babies with.  To get one of those guys, you have to fit the part.  And they have to fit the part, too.  And all of this part fitting is determined by church leaders instead of the individuals involved.  Young people are indoctrinated and influenced to choose appropriate partners who tick all the boxes of acceptability.  They grow up thinking no decent, self-respecting LDS woman will want a guy who hasn't served an honorable mission.  No decent, self-respecting LDS man will want a woman who's been defiled by someone else.  That's why girls are taught to stay "virtuous" and virginal, so they won't be viewed as a licked cupcake or chewed up wad of gum.  And guys are taught to be honorable and set a good example, so some cute little Mormon girl with the right breeding will want to marry them.

Here's the thing, though.  A lot of Mormon guys look very respectable and decent.  But many of them turn out to be just as piggish as other, non-religious guys are.  Take, for instance, former Utah House majority leader, Kevin Garn.  I'm sure that a lot of young women thought he was quite the catch when he was a young whippersnapper.  He looked the part and had ticked all the boxes, after all.

In 2010, Garn admitted to paying Cheryl Maher $150,000 in hush money back in 2002.  Why?  Because in the 1980s, when she was a teenager, Mr. Garn and Ms. Maher fooled around.  She was his babysitter.  He was her Sunday school teacher.  When she was 15 and he was 28, they went hot tubbing in the nude.  Mr. Garn went on to become a successful politician for years until this bombshell was dropped on his career.  Why did he pay her off?  Because as a politician, especially in Utah, he was supposed to appear to be above reproach.  I'm sure he did look the part and play the role successfully… but then the skeletons came out of the closet and he was exposed.

Sadly, in 2011, Cheryl Maher, who was then living in Derry, New Hampshire, died.  She was murdered by Jacob Geiser, the 18 year old son of her boyfriend, Joseph Geiser.  Jacob Geiser also committed suicide.  I linked to an article from Deseret News, which ties her tragic death to the hot tubbing incident from the 80s.  The comments on the article are pretty telling of the mindset among people in the church.  Some people seem to think that Maher's choices led to her murder and if she hadn't been living with a man outside of marriage, she would still be alive today.  I don't know why Geiser killed Maher, but I'd be willing to guess that if his father had married Maher, she would have died anyway.  I doubt her murder had anything to do with the lack of a piece of paper issued by the state.  It looks like Maher had a lot of trouble in her life, based on another article I read.  

Stetson Hallam was another upstanding Mormon guy who could have been dancing in that video.  In April 2010, Hallam, who was a student at Brigham Young University, used a stun gun to subdue a young woman who had rejected his romantic advances toward her.  He attempted to handcuff the young woman and stuff her into a bin.  Then he claimed it was just an "April Fool's joke".  I remember when this happened and all the comments about what a great guy everybody thought Stetson was.  He ticked all the boxes, but turned out to be a turd.

The list goes on.  Mark Hacking ticked all the boxes and looked the part.  But he lied about attending medical school and murdered his pregnant wife, Lori, when she found out he was full of shit.  Same with Josh Powell, whose wife disappeared.  Years later, he killed himself and their two sons in a blaze, but not before he seriously wounded them with a knife.  And then there's Travis Alexander, a good, upstanding Mormon man who got involved with the wrong female and ended up being savagely murdered.  Except Alexander, who supposedly wanted a nice, virtuous Mormon woman, was a hypocrite who used Jodi Arias for sex.  He was a pig.  He didn't deserve to be murdered for being a pig, but the point is, his Mormonness did not make him a better person.  He was just like a lot of guys.

This is not to say that Mormon men are more dangerous than other guys are.  It's to say that they are no more "virtuous" or decent than any other guy is.  And having them dance around singing about modesty is really no more than just a song and dance.  It has nothing to do with reality.  Moreover, it's not a woman's responsibility to help a man control himself.    

Again, there's nothing wrong with dressing modestly and being "chaste", if that's what makes you comfortable.  But I do think it's distasteful when cute white guys (with one token black dude) presume to advertise themselves as a payoff for doing what church people think they should do.  The fact is, those guys likely don't practice what they preach.  And a girl who dresses modestly and happens to be a sweet spirit is not likely to be chosen over a hot looking girl who dresses a little slutty… at least not by a lot of guys, Mormon or not.          

Phew.  This rant turned out longer than I meant it to.  In fact, I was planning for this to be a somewhat lighthearted post.  I guess that's what happens when you start thinking.


  1. I rather enjoyed the rant.

    My dad thinks that nice Mormon boys may be more dangerous than non.Mormons. He says that in part because he WAS a "nice Mormon boy" so he knows what's really on their minds. Also he says their lack of honesty with themselves leads to their not being honest with the girls they date, which sometimes leads to their leading "double lives." When he was in high school in Florida, he tells me, there weren't usually very many Mormons at a given high school, so Mormons attended seminary and stake activities with kids from many high schools. Most of the guys, he said, had "school girlfriends," with whom they usually screwed around, and church girlfriends, with whom they maintained chaste relationships but dated only at church events. He says also that when boys, their parents, their ecclesiastical authorities, and everyone surrounding them are unrealistic and dishonest about biology and human nature, nothing good ever comes of it, but it's potentially even disastrous -- sort of like the Travis Alexander situation, where Alexander wanted a mate who was virtuous, lovely, of good report, and praiseworthy, but he also wanted to screw around with a woman who was none of those things. Eventually she got hurt, and because she was missing several key marbles and was evil to boot, she ascertained that he felt even greater pain than she did.

    My dad likes Jared, but he will be happier if I end up with someone else. He doesn't trust the Mormon baggage. He does accept that it is up to me to decide whom I will date and marry.

    Which would be your first choice of the three locales so far: Washington state, Belgium, or Germany?

    1. Your dad and I are on the same wavelength. That video is kind of false advertising based on the church's image, not reality.

      You are still very young to even think about marriage. I don't regret marrying a Mormon (mainly because he was a convert on his way out), but I would think it would be difficult to have a mixed faith marriage with one. I married Bill more naive than I am today. I don't regret marrying him at all… it was probably a blessing I wasn't "wiser". But it is something you have to be very careful of.

      I think I would enjoy any of those places. They all have their plusses and minuses. I like Germany because we lived there before and are familiar with it. It was my favorite place to live of all the places we've been. I love Belgium because I haven't lived there, but have visited and it's my kind of place. Either European location would be difficult, though, because of the logistics involved. I like Washington state. We can drive there and I won't have to leave a bunch of stuff in storage in Texas. But I like Europe better than America. ;-)

  2. P.S. I don't say much about this for confidentiality reasons, but I LOVE the LDS-genre movie from which you included a song. I know one of the actors. I'm not supposed to say much, but he's pseudo's cousin. He's the one married to the Broadway diva. I'm sure you know of whom I write. i don't want to generate any hits.

    1. That song is so snarky… but the words are pretty much spot on, right?


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