not in Primary anymore

pantsgate 2012

Guest post by Curtis Penfold, member of All Enlisted, on the inside of Pantsgate 2012

pants

This graphic is borrowed from Feminist Mormon Housewives- see the original post here http://www.feministmormonhousewives.org/2012/12/what-wasnt-expected-or-more-about-pants/

As a Mormon feminist, sometimes you talk and talk about how you’d like the Church and its culture to change, but you just don’t know how to change it.

In your personal life, you treat people in an egalitarian way. You try to see individuals instead of just gender. You try to pass your new way of seeing the world to those around you. When you hear sexism, you call it out. You try to explain to women and men that they can do what they like to do, and that they don’t have to be defined by old fashioned and unhealthy gender roles.

For me, I want to change the world. I want the Mormon Church to become the egalitarian Zion I think it can become–not just in my local ward, but worldwide.

So when I heard about “All Enlisted”, a brand new Mormon feminism activist group that started last Thursday, I got excited.

Joining the group, I loved the enthusiasm and creativity it contained. We threw out ideas of demonstrations we could perform until we decided on starting it all off with “Wear Pants to Church Day.” We thought it’d be good to start small, and that it’d be sure to get some attention.

Some in the group had contact with media personnel. I wrote a press release that we then sent to various media agencies. We made the event, and I helped to post it in as many Mormon groups as I could.

The first to report on us was KSL. They briefly mentioned that some Mormon women wanted to be able to wear pants to church. From there, we were in the Salt Lake Tribune, Jezebel, Fox News, and ABC.

As our event grew in fame, the haters started coming. They’d attack us in every possible way, telling us we should leave the Church for even suggesting that women and men were unequal.

Yesterday, as the attacks kept coming, we were shocked when we heard that Stephanie Lauritzen, All Enlisted’s creator, received a private death threat. I was very sad as I learned of all the hate mail we received. When it was leaked that Stephanie received a death threat, I thought people would show sympathy, and some did. But others said she deserved it. And that just got me really mad. How is it, in this beautiful Church we participate in, that people are going to justify sending death threats just because we disagree with somebody? Can’t we disagree with love? When I wear my purple tie this Sunday, I’m going to be thinking of Stephanie Lauritzen and my many other oppressed sisters out there who are afraid to be themselves and speak for themselves in what should be the Kingdom of God.

I woke up this morning still upset. Later that afternoon, I found that our event page was taken off Facebook. Looks like too many people reported it. (And yet, things like 12 year old sluts are still on Facebook?) We had 2200 people planning to attend before the page went down. We now have a fan page, though, for all those who’d like to support, and a  Twitter for anybody who’d like to follow.

Look out for us in the future as we continue to try to draw attention to the gender problems we’re facing in the Mormon community, and as we try to find a way to fix them.

—————–

For the official Church statement (pulled from the first Salt Lake Tribune article)- “Attending church is about worship and learning to be followers of Jesus Christ,” LDS spokesman Scott Trotter said Tuesday in a statement. “Generally church members are encouraged to wear their best clothing as a sign of respect for the Savior, but we don’t counsel people beyond that.”

For a taste of some of the negative response the event received on its Facebook page before being shut down, see these comments written on the event wall:

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For a taste of some positive comments from the Facebook event:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For other reports on Pantpocolypse 0’12, see:

http://www.religiondispatches.org/dispatches/joannabrooks/6693/mormon_women_declare__wear_pants_to_church_day__december_16/
http://www.feministmormonhousewives.org/2012/12/mormon-feminists-in-whoville-and-why-you-should-wear-pants-to-church-this-sunday/
http://www.dovesandserpents.org/wp/2012/12/45-mcs-women-running-wild/
http://www.the-exponent.com/its-not-about-the-pants/
http://zelophehadsdaughters.com/2012/12/12/it-wasnt-about-pants-but-then-it-became-about-pants-and-thats-why-im-wearing-pants/
http://www.sfgate.com/business/prweb/article/Mormon-Feminists-Kick-off-a-Pants-Wearing-4113392.php
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2247550/Mormon-women-launch-wear-pants-church-day-backlash-strict-dress-code.html?ito=feeds-newsxml
http://bycommonconsent.com/2012/12/12/women-wearing-pants-at-church-bingo/
http://www.heraldextra.com/news/local/mofemday-group-encouraging-women-to-wear-pants-to-church/article_bc132208-e944-559f-9991-11e87749e766.html — in which the founder of this blog, Hannah Wheelwright, is quoted
http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2012/12/12/3722634/push-for-mormon-women-to-wear.html
http://feministmormonhousewivespodcast.org/fmh-podcast-bonus-episode-pantpocalypse/
http://www.feministmormonhousewives.org/2012/12/on-nastiness-why-nice-mormons-can-be-so-very-very-mean-about-pants/
http://vozesmormons.com.br/2012/12/13/machismo-no-mormonismo/
And the blog post that started it all:  http://mormonchildbride.blogspot.com/2012/12/the-dignity-of-your-womanhood.html

30 Responses to “pantsgate 2012”

  1. fmhLisa

    Wow thanks for all those screen shots. Make me kinda wanna claw my eye’s out. but it’s an important collection, even if I do have to take a shower afterwards.

    Reply
  2. Wendy Allen Rose

    Well awesome.

    I left the church a number of years ago, but currently wear pants whenever I desire to the non-denominational Christian worship services I attend.

    Have to admit, though…all this pants drama almost make me want to throw on a pair, and show up for a Sacrament Meeting just to watch it unfold.

    Almost.

    Reply
  3. Rachael Rose

    thanks for the review. This whole thing has been incredibly discouraging in some ways, but its also reminded me that Mormon feminists are strong in numbers and ready to talk.

    Reply
    • Marcello Jun

      Please, post them up! I want to link back to them on my blog, because some of my readers just haven’t believed me describing the “nastiness”.

      Reply
    • nm

      Posting screen shots without blurring the names is illegal, and you should probably change it if you can. I’d hate for this to get taken down because you didn’t know that, so you should address it as soon as you can.

      Reply
      • Curtis Penfold

        It’s not illegal. This was a public event. The whole world could see what was posted.

        If these were comments made in a private group or in a private message, perhaps things would be different. But it’s like quoting somebody without permission who speaks in a public forum. Sorry. It’s a public forum. Hence the word “public.”

  4. stephanieparrycoleman

    Gah seeing that in print again just turns my stomach. I am grateful for those who came out in support and even the open minded, loving individuals who disagreed but did so in a respectful kind manner. The haters are gonna hate and all they’re doing is adding fuel to the fire!

    Reply
  5. Kerry Ballard

    The price paid for simply saying you don’t like how things are being run is amazing. Of real concern is the backlash from those content with the status quo and who are willing to threaten (and act?) to silence anyone with a difference from them. How will leadership respond to those willing to threaten violence and proudly attach their names to their words? Mormons, as disciples of Christ, like to think they are “in the world but not of the world” yet a number have proven themselves to have fallen far short of the tenents of their faith. And those willing to speak now have a greater appreciation of the blowback from being willing to upend the apple cart. (Or maybe it’s actually just rearrange a few apples and not really upend the cart).
    Unfortunately, the negative responses to “Wear Pants to Church” casts Mormons in the same light as the rest of society – no better and no worse. Amazing how a woman’s voice still causes so much agitation unless it is coming from the kitchen or the bedroom.
    http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/commentators/laurie-penny-a-womans-opinion-is-the-miniskirt-of-the-internet-6256946.html

    Reply
  6. Wayne H

    Maybe we should all put on the long white rob and come to church in this.
    What you think this wrong, gee didn’t Christ wear this in the day. Wait I think they still have this in the middle east. I think they are cool.

    Reply
  7. bangkokjaap

    I sure hope that the one who threatened the “activists” gets in trouble. That’s not funny, even if he claims it was a joke. Not funny at all. I heard he was reported to the BYU Honor Code Office

    Reply
  8. Marcello Jun

    What? No shout-outs to your Brazilian allies? ;-)

    http://vozesmormons.com.br/2012/12/13/machismo-no-mormonismo/

    Seriously, this is not a simple, unimportant cause, and the “hate” is only proof of how crucial and relevant your contribution has been so far, and can be for the future of womankind and Mormonism. Each one of us can only do so little, but together we can accomplish much.

    Thank you for helping bring a lot of women-loving, forward-thinking people together. I pray this is not your (our) last “incursion”.

    Cheers.

    Reply
  9. Anne Landman

    Take it from someone who started an atheist group in mega-conservative western Colorado: if you don’t get at least a couple of death threats, you’re not really making a difference. Be fearless and forge on. It’s sad, but the death threats you are getting make it clear you are making a BIG difference!

    Reply
  10. Spencer

    It isn’t like there aren’t plenty of other examples of nastiness from the feminist side as well.

    I don’t care what women wear to church. I just don’t think the place to send a political statement is Sacrament meeting. By all means, spread the message that you don’t have to wear skirts. Just don’t do it as a silent protest to other things about the Church of Christ that you don’t agree with during the very meeting that is most centered on Him.

    Reply
  11. Anonymous

    Well the guy who wrote this article seems kinda sketchy to me. Curtis Penfold himself said in another blog: “Apparently some of the male worshipers of Kali dress like women to connect with the Dark Mother.

    I didn’t really understand this until I started dedicating myself to what I call my Heavenly Mother (I’m Mormon and Joseph Smith once taught that Heavenly Father had a wife, equal in glory and power and love).

    As I’ve worshiped Her, I’ve felt this desire to cross-dress. I feel there’s a part of the Mother in me. I haven’t done so since I am almost never alone, but as I imagine doing so I feel that Divine Feminine inside of me. And afterwards, I love my masculinity even more. My scruff, my penis, my desire to hang loose with the guys–I just love that even more after imagining myself as a woman.”

    http://occultcorpus.com/forums/index.php?/topic/25331-cross-dressing-and-worship/page__p__135040#entry135040

    Reply
    • Curtis Penfold

      Ah yes, the horrible sin of cross-dressing. Or worshiping our Mother in Heaven.

      I don’t know which one’s worse!

      Reply
  12. Young Mormon Feminists

    [...] the would-be whistleblower, and founds the firm resistance to social justice shared by a pants-ton of the faithful (all credit to fellow blogger Hannah Wheelwright for that delightful little [...]

    Reply
  13. nm

    Posting screen shots without blurring/blocking out the names is illegal, and costly if any of them choose to sue over it. If their nastiness could be so extreme as to threaten to kill someone, you should probably change it if you can. They would most certainly sue, win, and likely be able to get this entire site taken down for libel. Just something to consider…

    Reply
    • Curtis Penfold

      As I said above, when a person make a comment in a public forum, their comments become public property, with their names. (If their names were also shared in a public forum).

      Sorry, nm. You don’t have a case to sue us here. Everything we cached was done legally.

      Reply
      • nm

        I don’t want to sue you. I’m not saying the images were taken illegally, but rather that posting them, in a page where you ridicule them was. I have no quarrel with you at all. I just don’t want you to get in trouble.

        And yes, it can get you in trouble because they posted to their own personal wall, which, according to Facebook’s terms of use, they own. By default it is intended only to be seen on their wall. If you choose not to change it I won’t alert the authorities or anything, because I don’t care to get you in trouble. I just think you hurt your cause by effectively generating libel on your pages. And yes, it is libelous because you have posted it here. Whether it is public or not aside, your posting them here, and exposing them to a third party is precisely the legal definition of libel., which honestly destroys any positive message you can build here. Mocking those with different opinions is not conducive to your cause of engaging people in discussion anyhow, nor is publicly shaming them.

        That is all I was trying to convey. Please consider it. I won’t be returning to a site that feels they are above the basic human decency of blurring people’s names out of respect for their opinions, no matter how mean, wrong, or stupid you find them to be. All in all? I side with you on this issue. But your methods of making this point lower your message in this article nearly to the same level as those whose opinion you seek to invalidate.

        I’m sorry if you disagree, but all else aside, it is just indecent, public shaming, which is at its core, a bullying tactic. Consider what I’ve said. Take this as kindly as it was meant, please. I mean no disrespect, nor do I consider you a bad person or anything. I sought, and seek, only to elevate the dialogue on this topic as best I can.

      • Curtis Penfold

        But these comments were posted on OUR wall, on OUR event.

        The event was public. They already exposed themselves to a third party (and many more parties including the New York Times) when they posted on our public event.

        We’re the victims here. We made an event. Some people came on and said we were mocking God, following Satan, and should be shot.

        They shamed themselves with their comments (which were made on a public event page). We’re not the bullies here. They are.

        To ask us to keep names and faces private is like asking somebody who was abused to not tell anybody who did it. If they didn’t want the whole world to know how mean they are, they shouldn’t be mean. Period.

    • Marcos

      God’s Temple is not made with hands Acts Chapter 17, verse 24 says God that made the world and all things threein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; neither is worshiopped with men’s hands, as though he needeth anything, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things. The word Church comes from the greek word Called Out , so we who believe in Christ and accept him as Lord and Savior our our lives are part of a body of believers and not a building. We have a direct line with him in prayer and also in I John 2:27, it says But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you; but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him . All you need to do is to accept Christ as Savior and Lord and learn from the Holy Spirit and follow Christ’s teachings and not Sin and you are a part of Christ who is the head of the body of believers. +6Was this answer helpful?

      Reply
  14. Debi

    I hope you won’t see my comment as disrespectful, but this just makes me sad. If you truly understand the doctrine of the LDS church, then you know that we are one of the few Abrahamic religions (Christian, Muslim, Judaism) that view women as completely equal to men in every way. We have different stewardships, but both are necessary and of equal importance. Our culture may need to be changed, but the doctrine of the Savior’s church tells us that women are valuable, necessary, and loved just as much as men. Just look at our amazing Mother Eve. We know that she courageously partook of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil because she understood God’s plan. She knew that part of her Stewardship was to assist God’s children in leaving his presence and gaining the wisdom that comes from knowing good and bad. She knew that Adam’s stewardship was to assist God’s children in returning back to His presence through the ordinances of the Priesthood. Both are equally necessary.

    Reply
    • Curtis Penfold

      I personally don’t view your comment as disrespectful. But I just want to throw out there that there are many Christian traditions, including the Episcopalian tradition, that have both women and men leading congregations, women and men laying on of the hands to heal the sick, women and men baptizing one another–

      Mormonism may be better than some religious traditions. But there are others that TRULY treat women and men as equals.

      Reply

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