An Insider's Look at Mormon Culture

Do Mormon women like being treated as little girls? I attended the Relief Society birthday dinner in my ward last week. Three women wore their hair in the double pony tails usually worn by preschoolers with uneven hair lengths. Several women had bows in their hair—and no, it wasn’t a costume party. The sister in charge of the program announced the skit by telling the bishop, who was in attendance, that they hadn’t cleared it with him, but they thought it would be all right since it came from a church manual.

Her statement, implying that grown women need male guidance in choosing appropriate entertainment for a RS program, reminded me of a General RS Conference several years ago where both President Hinckley’s wife and daughter spoke. The daughter began by noting that since her father presided, he could shut the meeting down if the women in his family got too far out with their comments. I suppose her remark was meant to be humorous, but it is curiously Mormon. I couldn’t imagine that kind of message being delivered by a daughter of George W. Bush (who was President at the time) in a public meeting.

Even in trivial manners, Mormon women seem to feel a need for male guidance. At the General Women’s Conference about a year and a half ago, Julie Beck, the General RS President, sent a ripple of amusement through the Conference Center as she announced that after much prayerful consideration and in consultation with the First Presidency, the name of RS Enrichment Meetings would be changed to, I believe, RS Extra Meetings.

Come on! Do Mormon women really want to portray the image that we are brainless little dolls who can’t possibly think and make the slightest decision on our own?

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Comments on: "Daddy, May I Please Have a Lollipop?" (2)

  1. I don’t think it is just some Mormon woman who portray brainless little dolls. I also think the comment was meant to be humor and if not I took it that way and can certainly imagine a daughter of GWB saying something similar if she was trying to be funny. I think (just me mind you) sometimes some of us are overly sensitive to what is said and done or else I am just too casual. And of course that is all too probably.

    • Kathy,

      I do think the idea that the men are offically in charge is pretty Mormon–and yes, the Hinckley daughter was trying for humor. But I can’t imagine a Bush daughter trying for that kind of humor because I didn’t see evidence of the subordination of women to men in their culture.

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