Friday, August 22, 2014

For the Young Mormon Feminists. From an Old Mormon Feminist.

Recently a brave BYU sophomore named Keli Byers challenged her school's ban on sex for unmarried students, and more specifically, berated the BYU administration for its bias against women. In an article published on August 13, 2014 in Cosmopolitan Byers described how, at age 15, she was assaulted by an LDS returned missionary and then blamed by her bishop for having invited the sexual violation. She then went on to explain:
"When I came to BYU last year I signed its honor code and promised to live a 'chaste life' — students who don't could get expelled. But my attitude changed after I joined the Young Mormon Feminists, a group that's not endorsed by the Church or BYU. We talk about how the Church doesn't see women as equal to men and how BYU is slut-shaming. The school's honor code forces women to dress modestly — no skirts above the knee — supposedly to help men control their thoughts. The group helped me reclaim my sexuality and realize my sexual assault wasn't my fault.”
Predictably, her opinion drew angry and defensive responses from believing Mormons. Read both the article and reader comments here.

As I pondered my own reaction to Keli's brave admission, I concluded that my opinion is probably best expressed in the Vagina Testimony I presented at the 2012 Sunstone Symposium, earlier only excerpted here on Ward Gossip.

So this week for Keli, the Young Mormon Feminists, and my Gentle Readers, I again present my Vagina Testimony, this time in full:

I have a vagina. I have a womb. I possess the procreative power, the fertile valley. I am the sacred feminine. My holy female cycle keeps me in tune with God by way of heavenly mood swings and hot flashes of inspiration. I am a member of the stronger sex.

We women did not choose this role. Rather, it was thrust upon us. And it is a heavy mantle to bear. Every day brings new challenges, especially in these troubled times, when increasing numbers seek to challenge our God-given authority. Even here, in the heart of Zion.

For example, yesterday I awoke, dressed, and came downstairs to take on the day. My helpmeet, Mark, served breakfast. Just the usual. Eggs, bacon, waffles, homemade banana muffins and orange juice for me. Half a grapefruit for him. – I appreciate that Mark works at keeping his figure. It’s important. Especially for men of a “certain age.”

I kissed him goodbye and rushed to an important leadership meeting on the BYU campus. Nine o’clock sharp. I was gathered around the well-lacquered conference table with my fellow sisters. As always, we grappled with the day’s tough issues.

n    First on the agenda: A sensitively worded statement to be read to all LDS wards and stakes. One that tactfully marginalizes all members who are not white, straight, married with at least five kids, living on one income, and fulfilling their gender-specific roles.
n    Second on the agenda: A hip LDS PR campaign that only features Mormons who do not fit the above profile.

Afterward, my colleagues and I headed across campus for some good old gal talk at the Sisterhood Bakery. On my way there I marveled at the many righteous young women I encountered who were striving to live the Gospel. But I had a growing unease about the young men, as some engaged in conduct that was unseemly at best, borderline “vagina envy” at worst.

First, outside the bookstore, I spotted a rather homely young man holding up a placard that read, “It’s My Sperm!” (I chalked this up to his obvious inability to get a date.) Then a few minutes later, as my sisters and I were approaching our destination, another woman-hater shouted, “No fair! Why can’t men eat at the Sisterhood Bakery?”

This insubordinate could not be excused. I drew a breath, mustered all of my patience, and said, “Young man, in the unlikely event that the Lord allows men to hold the keys to the Sisterhood Bakery, which cookie would you want?”

After lunch I headed to the library hoping to do some research. Unfortunately, I found it impossible to concentrate, thanks to a shockingly immodest young man in a pair of Levi 501 Shrink to Fit jeans.

Now, you may ask, “Don’t lots of boys at BYU wear 501 Shrink to Fits?” Yes they do, and for most it is an acceptable choice. But this particular young man had an especially curvy backside that strained the confines of his tightly shrunk pants and left nothing to the imagination. Hot, breathless, and teased out of my mind, I quit the building. Honestly, it’s a wonder that a BYU coed gets any work done in such an environment.

This is difficult to explain to somebody who only has a penis. Because, as we know, God designed the penis for a single purpose -- the impregnating of the holy female womb -- an act that is efficient, perfunctory, and complete inside of a minute.

The vagina, on the other hand, has that sacred spot that God created specifically for pleasure and nothing else. Men don’t have that. So by nature they are naïve and vulnerable to the dangerous power of the female orgasm.

The young men must realize that once aroused, a woman’s passion gathers, builds, swells with quivering anticipation, and finally peaks in hot, wet waves of erotic pleasure that drive the female into a prolonged climax of frenzied desire. Even then she is not sated, and may achieve orgasm again and again for hour upon hour with no end in sight.

That young man in the 501’s has no idea how lucky he was. If I hadn’t had the courage to leave when I did, anything could have happened. And it would have been entirely his fault.

I rushed home to find my helpmeet, Mark, at our kitchen table, hot gluing felt for an upcoming Elders’ Quorum lesson.

I ripped open his shirt. “I have to have you now!”
“Um, okay, but can I at least finish my felt . . .”
“Screw the felt.”
“Darling…please be gentle.”

Five hours later, I left Mark collapsed in a puddle of hot glue and headed to my office at the church. I had only one appointment that evening, but it was a lengthy one, as most confessions are. Sven, a young swimsuit model, had taken a job for a prescription drug company. – It was one of those ads promoting the custom fit vaginal vibrators that are covered by insurance. The commercial featured Sven in a swimming pool surrounded by a bunch of peri-menopausal hotties. When the shoot was over, the women—predictably—lost control and forced Sven to perform oral sex on all six of them.

Wait. Or was it seven? … Just to be safe, I made him repeat the whole story again. It was six women in the pool.

Or was it the hot tub? … I’d better have him back.

Finally I went home, retired to my bed, and drifted off to sleep thinking of all the other privileges I might be entitled to simply because of the anatomy inside of my underpants.

And more importantly, I wondered how much longer I would be able to get away with it.

--Those of you who use Goodreads may check out my new author page here and even friend me! Please be my friend. 


  1. Men just don't understand what it's like for us. Thankfully, they don't have to worry their pretty little heads about it.

    1. Amen! Those screeching Men's Libbers are never going to find wives with attitudes like THAT! Is it true they burn their ties and don't shave their faces?

    2. I've heard some scary rumors Ahab. But as long as they get testicle implants and don't try thinking for themselves (yikes!), I won't complain. Too loudly.

  2. I bear my testimony that the Vagina Testimony is True. In the name of Glenn Beck Dislikers Everywhere. Amen

  3. Thanks for your comments AT and Alexis. It is beyond me that there are LDS women who claim they are treated fairly within Mormonism.

  4. Sister Banta, this is spot-on, as always. Society was much more virtuous before Levi 501 Shrink to Fit jeans and all this misguided Men's Lib. Back then, men like Sven knew their place, married young, and fathered future tithers, instead of reducing themselves to objects and earning paychecks.

    1. Yes I wonder about Sven's misguided desire for a career. I think I'll have him back for another interview...

  5. Replies
    1. Indeed. And alone in a room with a woman who is twice his age and has no counseling experience.

      So maddening that the Brethren don't get this!

  6. Any woman or man who claims Mormonism is an equal opportunity religion is seriously delusional.

    great post as always.