not in Primary anymore

“gender flame war”s, byu memes, and the f word (feminism!)

Someone was wrong in a small corner of the internet last night. Hannah Wheelwright writes about it here. 

BYU Memes is somewhat notorious for proliferating somewhat (or really) offensive memes about Mormon culture. Recently, the following meme was posted:

original meme

It got over 100+ “like”s on Facebook, so the BYU Memes admins put it in their special sort of top hits album. I, along with many other feminists, think that this meme is offensive for the following reasons:

  • It suggests that women in general are too dumb to put gas instead of water in their cars.
  • It is no less sexist for being based off of an urban myth about sister missionaries not wanting to buy gas on Sunday.
  • If it had been any other group (Blacks, Hispanics, etc), it would be obvious how offensive it is.

However, the BYU Memes creators claim that:

  • It was not intended to be offensive.
  • Some people have claimed that it really did happen in their missions.
  • Not enough people stated that they found it offensive.

There were many, many comments on the original meme as many feminists (rallied from the Facebook groups of Feminist Mormon Housewives, Mormon Feminists in Transition, and Young Mormon Feminists) attempted to have a civil discussion with one of the admins, Sir Jeff Meadows, about why it was offensive and should be taken down. But his response was consistently the claims above. Also he suggested that we feminists talk about it with him in person over dinner, followed by either a smiley face or a winky face (alas, I can’t remember exactly, and I didn’t catch screenshots of those comments in time).

So a couple of us from Young Mormon Feminists decided it was time for a little injection of feminism on BYU Memes.

Here are some of the memes we posted:

sister pugs

#mormonanimal’shistory

feminist ryan gosling

i don't always judge people, but when i do, they're women

let me sing you a song of my people

Around this time, some guy thought he could fix this whole developing situation by just “fixing” the original meme:

femenists

We were undeterred.

feminist cat is not amused

i always honor and respect women except when i can make a funny joke

so you're saying DON'T post sexist memes

the silver fox

ain't nobody got time for polygamy

i don't always flood my school's meme page

that awkward moment when your roommate uses your consecrated oil

elder mansplainer

just made admin of byu memes

This was around 11pm/12am last night. Some commenters started to argue that we shouldn’t choose to be offended, that we were just riling up contention, and that they were startled that there was now a “gender flame war” going down on the BYU Memes page. A female admin began commenting that she was a female and she did not find the original meme offensive and she had served a mission and it was just the culture of missions that is like that. To which we responded:

rainbow gender flame war

contention cat meme

Around this time, the BYU Memes admins began to lose their cool.

kindly shut up

laura the female admin 1

david and sir jeff

laura the female admin 2

To which we responded:

what if people of the same gender can have different reactions

oh you're a female admin- tell me more about how these memes aren't sexist

It was around that time that the BYU Memes admins shut down the page:

byu memes shut down

To which we responded (by posting in the Young Mormon Feminists Facebook group):

did your page receive a lot of thoughtful posts from feminists

shut down everything

shut up that's cyber bullying

In the morning, they deleted the original gas tank meme, claiming that it brought up too much contention. So that’s great.

Unfortunately though, there’s still work to do in promoting feminist dialogue at BYU. Because people are still saying things like this:

reaction 1

reaction 2

reaction 3

reaction 4

reaction 5

reaction 6

reaction 7

reaction 8

I guess a feminist’s work is never done, right?

143 Responses to ““gender flame war”s, byu memes, and the f word (feminism!)”

  1. thedavidpearson

    Hannah! You forgot to mention the creators comments about how if we found proof that it actually happened he would pull it. As if that would make it any more offensive!

    PS. Thanks for compiling this.

    Reply
    • Jesse

      Lol people always say this but there are plenty of memes that make fun of men. haha, you guys make me laugh. Nice memes too.

      Reply
  2. hannahwheelwright

    I’m glad you did, Sir Jeff Meadows. But I’m leaving it in this post because it happened, it’s part of the story, and it heavily affected how myself and other feminists reacted at the time. Regardless of whether you regret saying it now, it impacted us and provides context for our frustrations. Sorry if it makes you look bad when you are in actuality a nice guy, but you still said it, and it’s still part of what happened.

    Reply
    • Sír Jeff Meadows

      Context? In what you post above, you do not cite that we were engaged in dialogue the whole time. You do not mention that after more then 3 or 4 people started commenting that it was offensive that I brought it up with the other admins to discuss.

      And while injection of feminism is fine and dandy, memes like the success kid saying that he can be as sexist as he wants now that he is an admin is not appreciative, as it insults my and the other admins character, for having a difference of opinion as to whether the meme should have been deleted or not in a civil conversation. Which is why the posts by others was disabled overnight.

      The context of what you posted makes it sound like we were very disengaged, when we were considering your words, when we were involved in discussion.

      Reply
    • Mike

      You don’t know me. I stumbled on to this blog from somewhere else. I think it’s great you decided to use absurdity to combat bigotry and stupidity – that’s probably the best way to do it – but a reading of Jeff’s comments after the fact makes it plainly clear he’ll gain no knowledge or insight from this incident. In my experience those who hide their bigotry behind a religion generally don’t ever grow out of it.

      Anyway, good luck, and keep up the fight. Let’s hope Jeff never has a daughter.

      Reply
      • Lake A Rivers

        Oh, my goodness, Mike. That was such an ignorant, arrogant comment, I don’t even know how to respond. I’ve been reading this and laughing at most of it. However there have been a few comment that have irked me a little; yours is among the worst. “Let’s hope Jeff never has a daughter”? Seriously? I’m fairly neutral on this matter, but that was plain mean.
        If I saw you on the edge of a cliff or standing on a high balcony, I would much like to push you off. (And don’t you dare try to turn that into a civil debate, because it was an empty, hyperbolic threat to illustrate my point).

  3. jakedandy

    Geeze, I am torn on this issue. One one hand I don’t want this stuff floating around because even as a “joke” I feel like it perpetuates negative thoughts in guy’s heads. I know, because I have to work all the time to clear them out of mine. I have kids, and I don’t want my girls to be told they are bad drivers, or my son to snicker when others talk about women drivers.

    On the other hand,I understand the need for humor. I honestly wasn’t offended when “The Book of Mormon Musical” came out. It beats us over the head with our lame traditions and is an interesting snippet of a whole portion of the church that lives so protected in the Utah enclave. However, many of my friends were totally offended. I like what humor does to us to make us aware of some of the stupid things we carry with us. Some of these memes are great.

    The reaction both sides have of digging their heels in seems totally counter productive. The Memes folks end up looking like a bunch of meatheads, while the feminists whether intentional or not, come off looking hypersensitive and easily as bull headed. Mainly because instead of sticking to the fact that it is just inappropriate and offensive and dealing with one thing at a time, I read post after post that drags a bunch of other stuff into it, ultimately looking like every time that a woman is offended, what they really want is to be a Bishop.

    There are some lines that could be drawn in the sand… You couldn’t look at me and tell if I were Mormon, Baptist, Muslim, Gay or Straight, or even if I am Irish or German… I can however tell what color or basic ethnic background you are from, or whether you are a boy or a girl, ( most of the time…) Those things, you can’t change. It would be totally inappropriate for me to belittle someone or make them feel bad or less of a person because of those things. Now… If you are talking about the vain traditions of our forefathers, I am fine with it… A meme mocking taking the sacrament with your right hand only, the poofy hair of the 80’s, emo, hipster, backpacks, bike helmets, not being married by age 25, honor code, etc…. All these are free game. I think it is great to use a meme to bring it to our attention. I would even go so far as to tease about relief society phone trees or fresh bread for move ins… but to make fun specifically of a woman, implying she is too dumb to put gas in her tank seems to me to be a legitimate beef.

    Certainly to set up a page as a personal “Mormon Meme” page is totally legit. Offend away, because if there is a finger pointed at someone that is being a D-bag, it would be the person running the page. But since it is tossed up as BYU Mormon Memes, and it somehow implies that it is run are associated with BYU, It certainly show poorly on a large demographic who is likely not associated with the page in the first place.

    I will be the first to admit, I am conservative, and even a little sexist, (though I try not to be.) When the feminists really get going I just kinda tune out, like when my mom used to nag me about homework as a kid. However respect is not just a feminist issue. It is something that should be automatically extended regardless of your feelings on gender roles within our volunteer organization. Demeaning a woman as so dumb they put water where the gas goes is not ok. No more than saying a gay member wants to get into nursery to molest kids, or that ward building cleanup is only for Mexicans. This kind of stuff is just plain wrong. Use some good judgement, and consider if it were your wife, husband, or kids that came up and said their feelings were hurt. Would you tell them to “get over it?”

    Reply
  4. tristin

    I don’t think the meme about 18-year-old district leaders is getting enough attention. That is priceless!

    Reply
  5. Kaimi

    Future ad campaign: “I’m a mansplaining asshole who tells unfunny sexist jokes, and I’m a Mormon.”

    Reply
  6. Anonymous

    What happened to the days when if people were offended by something they just chose not to participate or be involved with the organization promoting what they deemed “offensive”?
    I just find it ridiculous that these particular mormon feminists feel the need to ask that the “meme” be removed, instead of just removing themselves from participating with a group that they feel is sexist.

    I find many of the TV shows today that portray men as stupid, fat, ignorant pigs (and their wives are always beautiful and intelligent) offensive but I’m not rallying a cry to have such things banned or taken off TV. I choose not to support or participate by not watching.

    Reply
    • tristin

      That’s a little ironic, considering you chose to come in here and make an argument rather than just “removing yourself from participating in a group that you feel is” ridiculous. But I suppose you have a just cause in breaking your own rule. Gotta make sure these ladies are properly educated, right?

      Reply
      • Jessi

        Not to nit-pick here, but he said offensive, not ridiculous. I don’t think that he found the post offensive. If you’re going to quote someone don’t take their quote out of context so it means something completely different. He clearly was here to suggest ignoring those who offend you rather than attacking them. It wasn’t an attack on women or an attempt “make sure these ladies are properly educated.” You took his statement out of context and took offense where none was intended or even implied.

      • Adam

        (I formerly posted under anonymous)

        Tristin,
        I think you misunderstood my point. If I was asking that this website be abolished then I would be hypocritical

      • Anonymous

        Tristin, if he was asking for the website to be removed, then he would be a hypocrite. I’ve got no problem with the femies complaining about the offensive meme, but there call to have it removed is childish and immature. Waaaaa take it down waaaa I don’t like it so no one else should laugh at it! waaa!!

    • Moss

      Yeah, but we have to live in this world and engage with this church, as sexist as it all may be. We can’t just leave. We have to try and make things better- we, as a church, as a culture, can do better! And you know what? We hate the ‘bumbling TV Dad and super-perfect wife’ trope just as much as you do.

      Reply
      • Adam

        What in particular do you find sexist about the church? And I agree with your point by the way! We all have to be better (I’m not referring to sexism exclusively) to make our wards more perfected like Zion. There’s many flawed people in the church.

    • Anonymous

      The days when “if people were offended by something they just chose not to participate or be involved with the organization promoting what they deemed “offensive”?” were the days of the KKK, witch hunting, lynching, killing homosexuals for their preferences, the holy inquisition, manifest destiny and desimation of the American indian. Yeah, those were the days.

      Reply
      • Adam

        Your putting this “meme” on the same level as witch burnings, KKK and execution of homosexuals, etc? First of all the things you mentioned were illegal ACTS (by US standard of law) that physically harmed/killed people, a “meme” is simply an expression of opinion, you can’t compare the two.

        We still have KKK groups and other extremists in the US today that express violent ideas, they are allowed to voice their opinions and believe what they believe without being penalized. Freedom of speech is sacred, regardless of whether you agree or not with the person speaking.

      • Anonymous

        C’mon I had to take it to the utmost extreme. Would you expect anything less on the iterwebs? Taking this meme to a whole ‘nother innapropriate level = true. Pointing out the fact that racism, and bigotry of all types was also once upon a time looked at innocently, and those perpetrating said offensiveness were baffled at certain peoples reaction = legit. Times change, and though you long for the days where you could jokingly mock and accentuate stereotypes, and bigotry, those days are a changin’. Keep the jokes to you and your killer macho friends.

      • Adam

        “Anonymous”, First of all I’m not racist or bigoted as you insinuated in your comment. None of my comments would lead anyone to believe that.

        You better believe I sure hope those times aren’t changing! If we get to a point where it is unlawful to be offensive (we’re already heading down that road) then that is a dangerous sign. I hope that it will always be lawful (not moral) for people to say racist/sexist/homophobic/bigoted comments.

    • Nich

      It’s easy to remove yourself from a TV show or not support a network. It’s a much different story with the church. What are people who believe the doctrine but not the culture supposed to do? Leave the church? or quietly subject themselves to senseless traditions they find offensive?

      Reply
      • Adam

        I don’t feel like I can address your point/question without knowing what senseless offensive traditions you’re referring to?

      • Rune

        Does it matter which one? Your one proposed option for dealing with any organization that supported something you disagreed with is to leave it. Does it matter what the particular point of disagreement is? Your original point left no room at all for any other options, essentially implying that addressing a problem this way or any other way instead of just leaving was wrong.

      • Adam

        I think it’s quite important to know what offensive things Nich was referring to! I’ll continue this conversation once we get a response.

  7. Shelby Hornback

    You do realize that starting a huge fight over a stupid meme on a facebook page only furthered the stereotype that feminists are just looking for things to be offended about, right? I mean seriously? It’s a JOKE. Yes it makes fun of women, but the whole point of memes is to make fun of EVERYTHING. You guys just need to chill out. Maybe focus on some ACTUAL feminist issues.

    Reply
    • weedlord bonerhitler

      Shelby. Feminism IS the joke. *gets into car* *drives car into lake* *sets lake on fire*

      Reply
    • justinanfinsen

      So the original “joke” did not upset you, but people responding with their own jokes do upset you? Do you see the logic gap here?

      Reply
      • Jessi

        I don’t think there is a logic gap. She was upset by the sidelining of real feminist issues by a silly meme. The meme wasn’t offensive enough to warrant that level of reaction. Yes, it was distasteful, but it didn’t warrant the response it received. I think that Shelby was merely saying that she wishes that the effort spent on blowing a bad joke out of proportion would have been spent on promoting female equality in the work place or other, more important issues.

      • justinanfinsen

        @Jessi EXACTLY! If only there was some space where like minded people could gather to and contribute ideas to, you know, something where a lot of different viewpoints could be shared and examined. Kind of like an online journal where experiences could be uploaded…to my knowledge no such place exists, oh well, it was fun to dream.

  8. Shelby Hornback

    It doesn’t upset me at all. On the contrary, I think it was stupid for the admins to shut down the page because of it. However, that doesn’t change the fact that the massive response of the feminists to a silly, harmless meme made them look like a bunch of butt-hurt little girls who just wanted to fight about something.

    Reply
    • justinanfinsen

      I think throwing out names like that isn’t helping make your case, it’s not helping me take your arguments with any amount of legitimacy either. I think we all have to concede that the definition of “harmless” here, is entirely subjective. On that note what is wrong with fighting an idea that is perpetuated inside Mormon sub-culture you don’t agree with? It must be fantastic to live in a reality where nothing upsets you and hence no displays of opinion are warranted, but thats not the reality in which I live.

      Reply
      • Shelby Hornback

        Yeah being able to take a joke is pretty fantastic, I won’t lie. And actually I don’t concede that the definition of harmless is subjective. Was anyone harmed by this meme? No. And I’m still not really sure what idea was being fought. The idea that girls put water in gas tanks? Well guess what? They do! Stereotypes get started for a reason! Just because the stereotype doesn’t apply to you doesn’t mean you have to get all offended about it!

    • Zara

      The fact that you immediately went to “little girls” as your insult pretty well proves Hannah’s point. Not even the neutral “kids” or “babies.” No, “little girls” = the whiny stereotype.

      We have work to do, and it’s not “just a joke.” Jokes, as it turns out, need to rely on a solid premise and not just a tired old stereotype to be funny. “Girls are so ditzy they do dumb things like put water in a gas tank…so watch out, boys!” just reinforces a tired old stereotype.

      Reply
      • Shelby Hornback

        I actually only went with “little girls” for the sake of the flow of my sentence. “Girls” alone just wasn’t quite the same. I didn’t even think about the implication of little girls as the whiny stereotype because I don’t search for things to be offended about.

        See the thing is, it IS just a joke. I don’t think a single guy (or girl for that matter) on that meme page really thinks that all girls are ditzy enough to put water in a gas tank. I would understand your outrage if, say, the church decided to stop allowing sisters to use cars on missions because of the bad driver/ditzy stereotype. That would be a real issue. But a stupid meme is not.

    • Sír Jeff Meadows

      It probably was an overreaction, yes. It was late in the night, and with some of the memes calling me and the other admins sexist for deciding to keep the meme up, or mocking one of the Admins expressing that she was female and it wasn’t an all male decision; we decided at the time that it was best to prevent posting to the timeline to keep the “flame war” from going too out of control.

      Reply
  9. hannahwheelwright

    @Shelby: Ah, in that case, I’d say you’re getting “butt-hurt” about me and other feminists getting “butt-hurt.” Why are even commenting on this page? You sound really worked up; I hope that the devastating effects of our antics are not disrupting your sleeping pattern. I recommend taking some deep breaths, and then maybe since you don’t consider this an “ACTUAL feminist issue,” maybe you should go work on those. Because heaven knows you wouldn’t find any discussions of any other feminist issues ANYWHERE on this blog, so obviously this flame war is the only thing you can judge our feminist credit on.

    Reply
    • Shelby Hornback

      I’m gathering from your sarcasm that you DO do things beside make angry memes! Good for you! And I’d say that I’m commenting on this page for the same reason that you ladies decided to take over BYU memes last night. I disagree with what you’re posting. Are feminists the only people who are allowed to start flame wars around here?

      Reply
      • Curtis Penfold

        Some people started a meme war because they were offended. And now you’re coming on here, offended, saying that these same people shouldn’t be offended, and that it’s actually wrong to be offended, even though you yourself are offended.

        It’s just…ironic.

      • Shelby Hornback

        @Curtis, I never said I was offended, I just said I didn’t agree with them. Contrary to popular belief, it is possible to disagree with someone without being personally offended. I was actually quite entertained by their little flamewar, but I still thought it was kind of stupid, and I enjoy a good internet argument so here I am.

      • Rune

        Why do you allow yourself the room to disagree without being personally offended, but do not allow that room for the people with whom you are disagreeing, and who you are holding as being “just offended?”

        Serious double-standard there. Someone disagreeing vocally, even against something that they do find offensive, does not mean that they are “personally offended.” It could just mean that they’re standing up for something.

      • Shelby Hornback

        Oh yeah you’re right they probably weren’t offended at all. Oh wait, they all SAID they were offended and that’s the whole reason they wanted the meme taken down! Nice try though.

      • Curtis Penfold

        When somebody puts up a racist meme, and others get offended, it’s taken down.

        Why is this any different?

      • Rune

        Right, I’m sure every single one said, “I’m offended!” rather than, “This is offensive,” or, “this is sexist,” or, “this is rude.”

      • Shelby Hornback

        Generally when people say “this is offensive” it means they are offended. And Curtis, this situation is exactly the same as racist memes, in that not all of them are offensive enough to be taken down. Gingers and Asians get no breaks in the meme world. Why should women get special treatment.

      • Rune

        Because we’re Christian and ought to love one another? Why should -any- rude, derogatory, or hurtful stereotypes get a pass?

        Not everyone said, “I’m offended,” or even, “this is offensive,” so the generalization is off base. And at the same time, it’s not even bad to address offense when it happens. We get so caught up in the “they chose to be offended” rhetoric used to paint those who leave the church that people use it as an excuse for when they are, in fact, being rude, and to defend themselves against those who call them out for it or ask for consideration. Sometimes you need to own up that you’re not playing nice, and someone else has the right to tell you how they feel about it.

  10. justinanfinsen

    Shelby says: Nothing is offensive unless I say it is!

    For being so dismissive of other people you sure are taking a lot of in to invest yourself into a concern that is none of your business.

    Reply
    • Jessi

      Justin says: No one is allowed to think something different from me and still be intelligent.

      Reply
      • justinanfinsen

        If your argument consists of calling the opposition butt hurt little girls, who are mad just for the sake of being mad then no, you are not intelligent. I’m sorry I have to be the one to tell you this. Regards and best wishes.

      • Jessi

        Justin, your comments were just as ad hominen as hers. I was just trying to make a joke about the irony of you calling her out on something you were doing as well. I should have explained it better.

      • Shelby Hornback

        Insulting my intelligence, eh? Classy. I’m sorry, but they WERE being butt-hurt girls (I’ll omit the little as I can see how that could be offensive) who were mad for the sake of being mad. Or, more accurately, mad for the sake of making a scene. There was no reason for them to react so hostilely to one dumb little joke. And what exactly did this tantrum accomplish besides making them look bad?

        Seriously, I’d like to know.

      • Curtis Penfold

        First of all, I’d be a butt hurt man, not a butt hurt girl. Not that there’s anything wrong with being a girl.

        Second of all, you’re making a major judgment. You’re saying that we as a group are butt hurt. You’re making a claim on who all of us are, (we’re a big group) not on what some of us did. As far as I understand, most of the people here did not say that the creator of the meme was sexist. Simply that the meme itself is sexist. You can criticize a person’s actions without criticizing them.

        And what did those who were involved in the “flame war” accomplish? You now know that Mormon feminists exist. You know that we’re funny. (I personally thought our memes were pretty funny). You know that we’re willing to stand up for what we believe in a thoughtful, creative way. You know that we’re human and that we’re just as imperfect as everybody else.

        For me, I’m thankful for all those involved in the “flame war” that stood up and shouted, “We exist! We have feelings! We don’t like sexism!” Could it have been done better? Probably. But for an out-of-the-blue midnight trolling session, I think the people involved did a pretty good job representing themselves with the little time and planning that they had.

      • Shelby Hornback

        My bad. I should have said butt hurt PEOPLE. Much more gender equal.

        I believe I was criticizing the actions. Sorry if I implied that I thought you are all butt hurt all the time. I was really just referring to this one instance. And no, they weren’t calling the creator of the meme sexist, but they were sure hammering the admins with the accusation.

        Already knew there were Mormon feminists. I don’t think anyone could forget the great “wear pants to church day” debacle. Funny is debatable. (Don’t take it personally, I haven’t really been a fan of any of the BYU memes recently). And I think it’s a little generous to call starting a flamewar on a Facebook page “thoughtful and creative.” You did get yourselves noticed, I’ll give you that.

      • Rune

        You’re still criticizing what you, yourself, suppose and accuse the groups motivations to be, rather than the actions taken.

  11. gabrielapalacios

    I like to consider myself a feminist too, but more than our gender or our race or our economic class (all of which people have attempted to use to define me) the characteristic that should be our most defining is that we are all disciples of Christ. Contention is of the devil. Christ was ridiculed. He stated his beliefs. He was not shy in telling people what was right and what was wrong. But he did it with love. Being a feminist is not about being angry. It is about showing everyone what a woman is capable of. I am sad to say the only thing you have shown us is that woman are capable of being angry, lashing out, and causing a fun page to be suspended for everyone. I get the feeling you are capable of so much more than that. Woman are known for being gentle and kind and beautiful. And that shouldn’t be an insult.

    “Women of God can never be like women of the world. The world has enough women who are tough; we need women who are tender. There are enough women who are coarse; we need women who are kind. There are enough women who are rude; we need women who are refined. We have enough women of fame and fortune; we need more women of faith. We have enough greed; we need more goodness. We have enough vanity; we need more virtue. We have enough popularity; we need more purity.”

    -Margaret D. Nadauld
    Young Women General President
    October 2000 General Conference from her talk “The Joy of Womanhood”

    I think you’re heart is in the right place. But you are going about this the wrong way. Women deserve respect. I promise no matter where in this world you go you will encounter prejudices of the most meaningless basis. And you can help to change that. And things are changing. Life is good for a woman today. And it is increasingly getting better. Take some time to count your blessings. I believe that true feminists such as Sojourner Truth and Susan B. Anthony did much good for this world. How would they have reacted in such a situation?

    I rarely post on matters that other find contentious. But this was just too much. I had something to say. I’ve said. I will inform you now I will make no more comments. You can take what I said and rip it to shreds or turn it around in any way you want, but this is still all I have to say on the matter. I hope you can see that I say this with love an concern because no one can be happy and this angry at the same time. I wish you the best.

    -Gabriela

    Reply
    • Anonymous

      Was Christ gentle and kind when he cleared the temple? Sometimes when you have a message people don’t take it seriously until there is a little heat behind it. Just because someone shows anger from time to time does not make them and angry or an unhappy person

      Reply
      • jakedandy

        To play devils advocate, I would argue that facebook is no temple. The memes that are produced, even the “acceptable ones” would have no place in any sort of temple.

  12. LDSMominWA

    I think perhaps the root of the flame war “problem” was the in my opinion condescending attitude of one of the Admins (below, and on this meme http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10100821780916429&set=o.228394063918921&type=1&ref=nf), and dang the “feminist” memes above are awesome Hannah! (PS I’m not even a feminist, unless a person who thinks women should be praying at General Conference is a feminist, in that case my husband who is kind of a sexist actually, is a feminist too).

    Sír Jeff Meadows While we are on the topic of the album, does anyone find it ridiculous that the water in the gas tank meme has cries of sexism only after it is posted in the 100+ album? https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=428334207258238&set=pb.228394063918921.-2207520000.1363132463&type=3&src=https%3A%2F%2Fsphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net%2Fhphotos-ash4%2F482599_428334207258238_1238920625_n.jpg&size=960%2C651 Tuesday at 5:02pm · Like..

    Joey Waxter @Jeff: In regards to the Gas Tank meme: *If you try to make everybody happy, you’re gonna have a bad time. Tuesday at 5:11pm · Like · 3..

    Sír Jeff Meadows ^It just boggles the mind. Only now they cry sexism, claiming it is offensive; being ignorant of the grand urban myth that it is, and the few times that it has happened. And nothing was said when it was in the timeline. It’s just astounding that people are complaining now. Tuesday at 5:20pm · Like · 3..

    Joey Waxter Yeah, it’s usually the people who have never been on the page before or even know what a meme is, or as they say, “me-me.” Tuesday at 5:22pm · Like · 2..

    Reply
    • Sír Jeff Meadows

      Funny how no one in the comment thread where the discussion was going on accused me being condescending. Circular logic maybe, but not condescension.

      Laying off the humor, it was surprise at the time that were people expressing their opinions that the meme was offensive, when it had been up for a week and no one complained. It seemed fishy to me initially not realizing that some people don’t look at the timeline.

      Reply
      • Andy

        Maybe you weren’t accused of condescension over there, but how is this not condescending to sister missionaries?

        “…it was funny due to the myth and story of sister missionaries putting water in gas tanks, but also due to the many stories people tell (on and off the internet) of sister missionaries putting water in the gas tank with misguided/optimistic faith that it will turn to gasoline so they would not have to buy gas on Sunday.”

        Sadly, I saw a lot of condescending male missionaries in my mission (sadly, most were in leadership positions) while at the same time the sisters were amazing missionaries and brought more families into the church than the men did. Looking down on sister missionaries is part of the mission culture that needs fixing. By the way, the only real story I heard of this happening was a set of Elders in my brother’s district.

      • Robin

        Andy, I hope you see this… Im not sure if Im posting this in the right box… anyways

        “Maybe you weren’t accused of condescension over there, but how is this not condescending to sister missionaries?

        “…it was funny due to the myth and story of sister missionaries putting water in gas tanks, but also due to the many stories people tell (on and off the internet) of sister missionaries putting water in the gas tank with misguided/optimistic faith that it will turn to gasoline so they would not have to buy gas on Sunday.”

        Sadly, I saw a lot of condescending male missionaries in my mission (sadly, most were in leadership positions) while at the same time the sisters were amazing missionaries and brought more families into the church than the men did. Looking down on sister missionaries is part of the mission culture that needs fixing. By the way, the only real story I heard of this happening was a set of Elders in my brother’s district.”

        The general consensus with most missionaries in most missions is that the women are better, more capable, more spiritual, more mature, and connect better with families when teaching, just ask me or any of my friends working at the MTC. Anyways, there is no reason to be offended. This is just a joke and this knee-jerk feminist reaction should not have occurred.

  13. Branden

    You all really need to learn how to take a joke. Groups I belong to have been the butt of many jokes, but you’ll never see me getting into a flame war because of it (in fact, you’ll just see me laughing, because even if it’s just a stereotype or flat out wrong, there’s usually humor to be found in it). It must be horrible to get so angry about inconsequential things so easily. No matter how the admins reacted, your reaction was just as (and in my opinion much more) infantile.

    Reply
  14. Just-some-guy

    BYU: Confronting issues the rest of the world solved 50 years ago.

    Reply
  15. Simon

    It is childish to flood their page just because you can’t take a joke.

    Reply
  16. Ally Grigg

    Did anyone else feel like they were just having fun trolling the BYU memes page? Like everyone’s getting upset that we overreacted. Yeah, we did overreact. This wasn’t some thought-out campaign. This was us being trolls on the internet because it was midnight and it was fun. It was definitely immature and not my finest work ever, but that’s exactly what it was meant to be.
    However, that does not undermine the fact that I did find this “joke” to be offensive and dumb. We feminists absolutely can take a joke, but not ones that we find perpetuate harmful stereotypes. This particular joke was essentially the equivalent that all women are bad drivers/ all women are dumb. Or replace “women” with “sister missionaries.” Either way, there is a group of people out there trying very hard to serve the Lord, and we are putting them all down and making them second-rate compared to the male missionaries. I cannot stand by that, especially when that is already an attitude so prevalent in male missionary culture.
    It also does not undermine the fact that we started a “flame war” because we felt that the admins and the person who created the meme were being very callous and not listening to us. Clearly, the admins have a different side of their story. But that’s pretty much why we went overboard with this.

    Reply
    • Sír Jeff Meadows

      I’m sorry we came off as callous and unlistening Ally. In your opinion, what could we have done better to show that we were engaged in dialogue over the meme? Acknowledging that the offense isn’t as other claims, not just being able to take a joke? Saying your opinions are valid?

      Reply
  17. Dan

    So, a person makes a meme targeting a specific audience that has a history of being mistreated, then gets overwhelmed with the response, reacting as if that wasn’t at all the intent of the meme. If you can’t handle the backlash of something that can very easily be interpreted as offensive, you really shouldn’t be making memes.

    But then, other people respond with a much higher number of memes that target the creator of the original meme, and act totally dignified and justified in their actions, and continue with this flavor of responses until the page is locked, but don’t stop there, continuing to post more and more targeted memes on their own page.

    Something tells me this could’ve been handled more appropriately. I can’t agree that “just walking away” is the proper course of action, you are doing victims a disservice by just letting attacks continue unhindered. But there are other options for how to respond. A simple response that clearly identifies the original meme as targeting a group that has been mistreated for a long time, and asks for it to be removed would’ve been my first response. If it is ignored, and particularly if it is followed by ANOTHER meme of a similar nature, then I’d report it (the page) as offensive. That IS an option on Facebook, isn’t it?

    Making memes at the expense of others is entertaining, otherwise people wouldn’t do it. But there are more effective, less contentious ways to react that make you, and your cause, appear more mature and more serious. I believe in the lds feminist cause since I see a grossly unequal treatment of women in the church, but I also think it’s doomed since this treatment is the result of doctrine, not merely application of principle. Either you believe that god has predefined your gender role and is, therefore, sexist, or you believe that the prophets and other countless leaders of this church are misguided and not actually inspired, even when discussing some very normal, deeply important day-to-day lifestyles and behaviors when referring to gender. There really isn’t a middle ground here. A true study of lds doctrine reveals this inherent sexism is deep in it’s core; you’re not going to escape sexism entirely while being a member of the lds church. Might as well face facts.

    Reply
    • Rune

      Those other options were also tried, but FB doesn’t exactly have it’s own stellar track record when it comes to taking sexism seriously. It was made pretty clear that the original meme was being left up because the admins didn’t want to be “free speech nazis” (their words) so we took them at their word and exercised our own free speech. Free speech doesn’t mean that people aren’t allowed to speak in kind in response to you.

      Reply
      • Dan

        I totally agree, and if other avenues failed, then I find absolutely no fault in the course taken…if perhaps maybe a little hesitation as to the exuberance of the response, but that’s also hard to fault.

      • Sír Jeff Meadows

        Umm, if you’re referring to the decision to keep the meme up, that was made because none of the admins thought it was offensive. It had nothing to do with free speech, at least not that I personally said. I believe you are thinking of the policy on what comments to delete or not delete.

      • Rune

        I’m referring to something that the female admin, (I’m sorry, I forget her name,) said to me publicly in the discussion under one of the memes.

  18. Jenn

    You need to change your website to :

    Immaturemormonfeminists.org

    That fits you much better. Please stop undermining the decent work others are trying to accomplish

    Reply
  19. Sara

    I cannot believe you we’re offended by a joke. You are the joke,to Feminists everywhere.

    Reply
  20. Anonymous

    You are possibly the biggest bitch I’ve had the unfortunate pleasure of reading about on the internet.

    Reply
    • vicvic

      … you haven’t been on the internet much, have you?
      Also, rude.

      Reply
    • Jordan White

      Ooooooo he said bitch! I wonder if you are a BYU student or Mormon? I mean, I use language now and then but I usually don’t call people a bitch since that is pretty bad. I guess you feel like a big strong person calling someone a name safely from your computer and under an anonymous name. See, I am not a two-bit asshole coward, thus I am not afraid to call you out.

      Reply
    • Sír Jeff Meadows

      While I disagree with Hannah on several things, she is a spectacular person and fun to talk to. She is hardly what you say. Get ye back to Pluto’s Cave.

      Reply
  21. tracee

    God forbid Mormon Feminists insist they can drive properly or wear pants to church. Bitches unite.

    Reply
  22. Jordan White

    I didn’t initially see the problem with the meme other than it made all Mormons look like idiots. However, I can understand people being upset at it. What offended me was the response from people. Many started to get very confrontational to some legitimate concerns. After seeing some pretty sexist responses I found it necessary that people were getting involved since clearly sexism was an issue. Thus, I don’t believe the outcome was truly about the meme, rather the sexism from the people who didn’t care about others concerns

    Reply
  23. Anonymous

    I’m very disappointed. Memes are not supposed to used in such an immature or childish way. Shame on you for taking a webpage that is so reverential and tasteful and making a mockery of it. BYU Memes is very important to our community. There were literally HOURS that this vital resource could not be accessed… just because you got tired of sister missionaries being constantly demeaned. Very selfish of you.

    Reply
  24. Anonymous

    So does no one on either side of this craziness have homework to do? For real y’all

    Reply
  25. Matt H.

    Hmm. As a male Mormon feminist, this makes me sad because it’s clear how much work we have to do. People can’t even recognize how the urban legend about the sisters putting gas in their cars is sexist; I can understand disagreeing, but there’s a complete inability to even consider the other side.

    This is why even women in the church won’t ask questions about why women can’t be in a Sunday school presidency or pray in general conference. Sigh.

    Reply
    • Matt H.

      On the plus side, your response memes were amazingly funny. Nice work.

      Reply
  26. Anonymous

    Go ahead and hate me, but I feel that the way you went about this was immature and childish. I don’t disagree with your views (I’m completely for feminism), I disagree with your method. You’re only going to make a bad name for yourself if you continue to react in that way. There are much better ways to get your point across… Seriously disappointed in the BYU feminists who partook in this flame war. You’re trying to do something good, but right now it’s just backfiring on you, and you’re making yourselves look really stupid. Try again.

    Reply
    • Jason T

      haha yup. I’m all for equal rights and everything too but I agree 100% with this guys ^^ statement. Epic fail on Mormon Feminists part

      Reply
    • MHeart

      Your agreement with feminist views, but not this particular presentation, would be so much more believable if you set an example yourself and actually defended the views here in the manner you thought “better to get the point across”. (Please note the INTENDED irony of dismissing your argument because of the manner in which you delivered it.)

      Reply
  27. Mason

    A lot of these retaliatory memes aren’t even used properly, which makes this more funny. At any rate, the original meme was based on an urban legend of sister missionaries praying for water to turn into gas and then pouring it into their out of gas car. The point wasn’t to objectify women by saying “women are dumb and ditzy and pour water in the gas tank, herp derp.” It was A JOKE. By reacting in such a way (spamming the page) you played directly into the hands of whoever created the original post. Kind of shortsighted because you fit yourself right into the very stereotype you were trying to distance yourself from.

    Reply
    • Matt H.

      But here’s the point: at least in my mission, the story was told to illustrate how foolish sister missionaries are, playing off gender stereotypes (women don’t understand cars, women are less spiritual because they don’t have the priesthood, etc.). So that’s the sexist part. Not all objectification is sexual.

      Reply
  28. weedlord bonerhitler

    hey femininsts a joke is a joke stupid learn how to take one

    Reply
  29. weedlord bonerhitler

    when god was giving out senses of humor you must have thought that HE said “senses of TUMOR” and you were like, “do not give me a tumor!!!!” ha ha ha ha good luck taking THAT joke its just one (a joke)

    Reply
  30. Justin Pumford

    Hi Hannah,

    My roommate and I made BYU Memes a little over a year ago. We didn’t anticipate all the attention it would get, nor did we anticipate having to police a large group of (sometimes controversial) people. We’re all working at it, but we work and go to school full-time. Sometimes we make poor choices and sometimes what we think are good choices end with a group of people being unhappy. Either way, we try to keep good intentions at the forefront of our reasoning.

    I attend BYU Democrats most Tuesday nights (I’m from Montreal and I sometimes yearn for some of my own!). I would be very happy to speak with you in person tomorrow.

    Reply
  31. Ru

    I know I’m super late to the commenting party, but my favorite part is that clearly, “it was just a joke,” and “can’t you take a joke?” if the meme was theirs. But all the hilarious memes you guys added were “contentious.”

    Reply
  32. Decently Nice Guy

    To YMF: My respect for you has plummeted as a result of your handling of this meme.

    Reply
  33. Vickie

    So, are you as quick to jump on anti-male memes and attitudes? Or are you lying hypocrites? Because you are one or the other.

    Reply
  34. K

    I’m a Mormon woman, approaching 30, pursuing a Master’s degree. Having spent my formative years in California public schools, I’m highly conscious of sexism. I’ve definitely said a FEW things to a FEW Mormon fellows who’ve made the mistake of saying negative and/or condescending things about “sister missionaries” in my presence. Fortunately it hasn’t happened nearly as often as the sincere (non-condescending) praise and honest admiration I’ve heard from brothers when describing sister missionaries.

    I’m also a Mormon woman who has never felt comfortable applying the label “feminist” to myself. I’ve spent quite some time on FMH trying to understand the perspective of those who do label themselves this way. Oftentimes I sympathize–if not always empathize–with their concerns. Frequently I’m profoundly uncomfortable with the way they address those concerns. Charity is more important to me than feminism because charity is salvific. When feminism is functioning to promote the pure love of Christ, I feel comfortable with it. When it starts to become tribal and promotes its cause at the expense of charity, then I find it uncomfortable.

    The contents of this post have made me feel decidedly less excited about self-identifying as a “Mormon feminist.”

    I don’t mean that as condemnation so much as feedback. I’m skeptical that such actions are good PR for your cause or really working to promote mutually respectful dialogue. For what it’s worth (and it might not be worth a lot; I may not be the target audience for your blog).

    Reply
  35. Johnny "DeShaun'ris" Lowe

    So there was a big Internet argument over radical sides and some people want to drive the knife in further, and someone is just tallying up their evidence. Big deal.

    Reply
  36. Caramel

    If you teach a bunch of people that snakes can talk, a man can survive inside of a whale for three days, and that their happiness depends on marrying the first willing, worthy Mormon they see and producing babies ASAP, I don’t know why anyone’s THAT surprised when some of them start thinking that water will change to gasoline inside of their cars. I find the meme/folkloric sister missionary tale to be making fun of a belief in miracles just as much as it is of women.

    Reply
    • Caramel

      Not to scoff at anyone’s beliefs. I simply meant that, from an outsider’s perspective, water changing to gasoline doesn’t seem any more far-fetched than many of the other occurrences in the Bible and Book of Mormon. I can easily see how one might conclude it was possible. No shame for faith, right?

      Reply

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