Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Dear Elder Tad R. Callister,

Does this look like a girl who is asking to be sexually abused?

Today I am writing because I am well and truly pissed. Here I am considering going back to the Mormon church and up comes a news story about an article that will be part of the March issue of the Ensign. The article is by Elder Tad R. Callister. In his talk he states “Women particularly can dress modestly and in the process contribute to their own self­ respect and to the moral purity of men. In the end, most women get the type of man they dress for.” So I take this to mean that if I don't dress to the church's exact standards, I don't deserve a good man for a husband. There is nowhere in the scriptures that states I have to wear clothes that cover up my shoulders, are not lowcut, are not too short or tight. They want me to consider my body a temple so I have respect for myself. I do have respect for myself and my body. I do believe that sex is meant for marriage and committed relationships. And guess what?! I have a tattoo and more than one earring in each ear. I do not believe I am going to hell for something I did to my own body. I believe that if I act the way I believe the Lord wants me to or the best that I can then I will have the same chance at heaven as others who follow those same beliefs. It is also sexist to believe only women have to dress modestly. He's taking away all the responsibility of men.
In the article Tad R. Callister also stated,   "Our dress not only affects our thoughts and actions, but the thoughts and actions of others." and went on to say, "the dress of women has a powerful impact on the minds and passions of men, if it's too low, too high, too tight it might prompt improper thoughts in the mind of a young man striving to be pure." The fact that he is putting it all on the women is almost stating that it's ok to rape a woman who is wearing a tank top because she asked for it by the way she dressed. That was the point of the picture at the top. I can never see myself going to a church who teaches it's young men that the sexual relationship they have with women is up to the woman. Men have brains just like women and stating that it is up to the women to dress accordingly so as to not tempt them into an action they don't want to commit is degrading to everyone. It's almost like stating it's the child's fault you couldn't control your urges. This is coming from a little girl who has survived all kinds of abuse including sexual abuse. These teachings have made it very hard for me to get into a real relationship for fear of rejections because I'm not "pure". I believe Elders who have these kind of beliefs are sending the younger generation away from the church. This feels like a last straw for me. I've done really well on dealing with my childhood considering everything I went through but this is like telling me that my actions caused me to get physically, mentally and sexually abused.

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