*This is a lively record of Onli A. Pawne and Eris’ reactions to General Conference. It contains strong language and comments that some might not agree with. Young Mormon Feminists attempts to highlight the many different viewpoints on Mormon feminism, and readers are encouraged to visit other articles on this site as well to better understand those various perspectives.
Last weekend, fellow blogger eris and I, Onli A. Pawne, found ourselves live t(w)e(e/x)ting General Conference. Between transcribing our copious amounts of snark and deciding whether it was really necessary to expose the world to said snark, I dawdled so much of the week away this may seem to be coming a little bit out of nowhere. In fact, I’ve put posting this off so long I’m afraid it’d be more accurate to consider this an exercise in revisionist history than one in tone-setting. Nevertheless, I think it’s vitally important for the so-called “MoFem” community at large to acknowledge just how unambiguous a defeat the 183rd Annual was, in spite or in light of the success of the Let Women Pray campaign (and yes, in spite of Elder Holland’s talk!) and discuss the Conference’s impact on its strategies before it can move on. That said, … enjoy?
SATURDAY MORNING: Pawne: Wow wow wow who else tuned out of this sesh when a p(ri)e(ni)s(hood)-holder gave the opening prayer.
Pawne: Bpacks at least ten years behind the times (Lawrence v. Texas) as he urges Mormons not to support the repeal of sodomy laws.
Pawne: … & Dalton at least fifty (feminine mystique) as she quotes the Proc
Pawne: M. Russell Ballard: priesthood = motherhood; also commits polygamy erasure
Pawne: Eyring: “women saw Jesus first!” The “bottom line”, one might say, is “most reactionary GC session ever”, in spite of the female prayer at the end
Eris: Omg how predictable is that? It’s like breaking the proverbial taboo by talking about hmuthz, only to depict her as the prototypal victorian angel in the fucking house. People very rarely address this trend – they’re too enamored with representation to think further than that.
Pawne: yea/yay They (by which I mean the LORD [Elohim–yay gender equality except not gotcha] that chooses the conf topix) just lit’rully made it impossible to make the prayer a symbolic victory.
Eris: I agree. I’m anticipating a celebration of grassroots efforts as a coping mechanism – not taking into consideration, of course, that talks are much more concrete (modern-day scripture etc.) than the parochial symbolism of a prayer.
SATURDAY AFTERNOON: Can someone please explain this Mormon fetish for Idaho farm boys
Pawne: I want to know what a virtue tie is–the reactionary counterpart of a suffrage(/pants) tie??
Pawne: Omg omg “the evils of the dole”! Also when he cracks up he sounds like Ernie of Ses. St.
Pawne: Or maybe Bert. Idk. Either way it’s supes ironic given his glib gay condemnation.
Eris: Omg omg nothing like a healthy dose of mormon paternalism towards africans all of them ever
Pawne: I love how he brags about the “all-African temple presidencies”–in West f**king Africa; wow wow wow the Church is so prog.
Eris: Note the (strategic?) erasure of South Africa in this picture of progressive perfection.
Pawne: Ofc. Dontcha know South Africa is the prime example of reverse racism.
Pawne: “all beings, male and female”… Are intersex created in the image of God? What about Herculine? 😥 Obvi someone hasn’t read Foucault.
Eris: Ew, we don’t need to rely on the secular “history of sexuality”; we have adam and (not st)eve “bridle all your passions” was NOT referencing sex you selective bastard
Eris: Every gens confs is like a deja vu sesh on loop. I swear, I’ve heard every sentiment and syntactical quirk before. I grew up on them. So many retches.
Pawne: Your point about worn-out cliches (which is itself one, meta-ly enough) is apropos, but the combo this time around has made the 183rd Annual truly the worst. It’s like they edited together all the most egregious clips into this horror movie mashup for ex- and prog- Mos.
Pawne: DID HE [Bednar] JUST CALL SEXUAL SAME-SEX RELATIONSHIPS “COUNTERFEIT” AND “IMPULSIVE”. DID THAT JUST HAPPEN.
Pawne: F*cking hell. Looks like he just reified the prohib on “so happy I could die” “seshes”–as well as wet dreams? WOW WOW WOW.
Pawne: I was sort of dreaming that the three talks on loving transgressive kids this conf. were a sign that they were sort-of acknowledging their complicity in LGBT homelessness, but no no.
Eris: I wish you would stop letting your gay agenda get in the way of the real issue – the fact that women can now pray at genconfs. Don’t you know how to be a good ally??
Pawne: I guess because I was gay you assumed I was selfish because God through his servant Bednar just told us that’s the case but actually I was just showcasing the viewpoints of lesbians. And bisexual females; and trans(gender/sexual) females (… Don’t even ask how I determine that.)
PRIESTHOOD SESH r(ant/e)-cap: Pawne: It started with Hales. We must “stand against philosophies which contradict the plan of happiness”, which isn’t going to change based on the “social & political leanings of our day”. I thought things could only go up from there and for a minute it seemed like they might when he commanded boyz 2 live teh law of consecration … by going on a mission. Tad R. Callister started by throwing bougie business graphs around to represent the marvelous “leadership growth” that occurs in “the mission field” + insisted that DQ presidents are called by revelation + advocated all sorts of disingenuous “reactivation” techniques. Beck (David B.) talked about how inspiring “the starting quarterback of the varsity football team” was 4 reaching out to the poor and the downtrodden girl, which somehow had to do with the priesthood keys; also he, too, has a Global South fetish, this time focused on India.
Continuing on: remember to help your father 2b “the spiritual leader in the home”. Eyring talked about how we need to bring people into the community; yay some mildly innocuous scrunch like inclusiveness, right? no whoops he meant church community–’cause we are just so happy here we want to share. Uc(k)htdor(f/k) talked about the titles “we men” use and exulted in hfaths repeatedly without once mentioning hmuths. Mons(o/a)n(to) was drivel, tho at least somewhat, um, apolitical drivel. A common thread in Dieter and David was making our quorum safe 4 EVERYONE (except the people who’s sexuality Bednar called “impulsive” and “selfish” earlier today”?) and celebrating diversity–because “God made everyone different” (but apparently made no one gay).
Mystery Male: The Gen Authorz get so much mileage out of the vague “secular philosophies” trope. Because we all know that the Gospel distills itself into official Church discourse wtihout any mediation through ‘secular’ knowledge/contingent historico-socio-political contexts.
SUNDAY MORNING: Eris: Um y he no start with self-deprecating aeroplane story
Pawne: I’m pretty sure “penetrated” is the last word you use to describe the spiritual awakening of someone who’s been a long-time victim of sexual abuse…
Eris: Not a good enough reason to use the word penetrate, one might venture to posit…
Eris: is it just me, or does all this west africa love seem to weirdly be in response to the book of mormon musical? Guyz!! We love africans!! We not racist!!
Pawne: Lolz that’s … actually supes plausible. They do love their totalizing west (a)f(r/et)i(ca/sh) narratives.
Eris: We know your country (africa is a country, rite?) is more than warlords and STDs! It also has NOBLE SAVAGES!
Pawne: Also did you notice how his talk was built around the light/dark binary? Hey u guyz can be white&delightsome someday too, like all the GAs ever!!
Eris: But … At least they’re listening, right? A reactionary message is better than no message! Because the drivel they’ve been spouting has differed SO much from the drivel they’ve been spout for evah.
Eris: Wait is this white dude Christopherson?
Pawne: No no this is Idaho farm boy Andersen.
Eris: Them mos evidently also have a fetish for old white men that all look alike
Eris: “missionary fun” roflcopter
Pawne: Omg he used the word “bulging” to describe the missionary force; not to be vulgar but they’re making it increasingly clear that the law of the (heavenly) father is founded upon phallo(go)centrism.
Pawne: !!! Let’s help africans “repent” of living together w/ out state sanction
Eris: So delightfully french feministy (but not as “delightful” as Africans [that r married in the temple, that is])
Pawne: What are Somalians ‘sposed to do, pray tell? Oh probs b celibate like teh gayz.
Eris: There is sunshine in her [Rosemary M. Wixom’s] sensible suit ensemble today.
Pawne: People form early in life–that’s why we start indoctrinating them with sugar(-coated doctrines) b4 they can even read
Eris: But I mean at least she’s holding an uninvolved father accountable … Indoctrinate that toddler, goddamnit.
Eris: Was her talk much shorter, or am I just being a feminazi?
Eris: We are not sexist we believe that a husband should not be dominating we are RADICAL feminist i hereby repent of all my valerie hudson bashing
Eris: Oh my it’s the guy that pronounces all his “s’s” like “sh’s” [L. Tom Perry]
Pawne: “for various reasons are not in a position to marry” … Bet I can guess a few … L, G, B, T, Q, I, A
Eris: Secularism lolz
Pawne: “erect” lulz srry but they’re all over teh proverbial place this morning
Eris: Heh. Heh. Heh. Phallogocentrism was rampant. Virtue ties were worn. Families were fractured.
Pawne: My God. (whoopz I don’t respect the ten commandmentz.) there is no end to heterosexism, (just like) there is no end to race
Eris: If he [Thomas S. Monson] devolves into senile babblings, I’ll know there is a god.
Pawne: What a wicked generation to ask for a sign. There’s no need to search in uncharted waters 4 god when the magnificence of Judeo-Christian culture + 50+ year old Church pamphlets testify so clearly and acceptably of him! & I can’t even differentiate between what I’m quoting and what I’m parodying.
Eris: The parody is the quote. That’s what this genconfz has taught me.
Pawne: Isaac was probably gay until the phallic sacrificial knife scared that out of him. Such a great opportunity to liken to our day …
Eris: !!!! And all those “visions” JSmithz had of an angel threatening to smite him with a flaming sword unless he wed yet another wife…?
SUNDAY AFTERNOON: Eris: Can we start a letter writing campaign to improve the motab wimmin’s uniforms? Evidently they think nothing of fashion.
Pawne: I wouldn’t know of their hideousness ‘cuz someone sat on the remote and changed the channel to a basketball game. It was much more spiritual ‘cuz >% black.
Eris: I can’t get over the horror of the two-tier pepto-bismol tent. Sry, jhollz, I’ve already tuned out of your oft-lauded fire and brimstone.
Pawne: His unearned emotionalism is so exhausting. As is his disingenuous claim that the Church is led by “men and women”.
Pawne: I am so ready for d-oaks to take down teh gayz with his sociology skills (like he did in October).
Eris: Since only depraved secularists are “politically correct”
Pawne: gayz=enemies (that we are to love). A man should cleave unto his wife!! … /wives?? 2nd direct polyg erasure of the 183rd.
Eris: Too bad “these people called mormons” don’t know how to be charitable towards those so-called gays and lesbians.
Pawne: No you see same-sex desire is a concept “our mortal minds can barely grasp”
Pawne: Don’t buy the secular “philosophy” that declarations of belief in homophobia are any less courageous than voiced skepticism of those beliefs.
Pawne: um, DID HE GIVE A SERMON LIKENING THE MORMON TRINITY TO THE MORMON ETERNAL FAMILY DOCTRINE WITHOUT ONCE MENTIONING HMUTHS. DID THAT JUST HAPPEN.
Pawne: You know I think that trinitarian thing made the true aud. of this conf. crystal clear: let’s clarify that we DO hate gayz, then clear up our theological differences. Yeah. I hope the evangelicals are happy, because they’ll be needed to replace everyone who leaves over this rain of reactionary hellfire.
Eris: But at least a woman prayed again this sesh. Stop complaining you ingrate.
Pawne: That’ve might’ve been mildly empowering, if she hadn’t prayed to hfaths.