Mormons teach girls that the worst sin they can commit is to show bare shoulders. We’ve come a long way since my seminary days, when the instructor shamed me for showing my upper arms as I came in late. But millions of Mormon girls still say they are being treated like objects and shamed because of the thoughts “they put” in boys’ heads. Why are we as women responsible for the thoughts boys decide to have? The church teaches that our bodies are temples, after all. Why are women told that their bodies are evil and shameful?
The Exmormon Reddit is a support group where Ex-Mormons, liberal LDS members, and feminists like myself cope with toxic church teachings. It is a safe space where one by one we can stand high up and talk about how much better we are than the traditional Mormons. Women and girls who suffer under the Mormon patriarchy are encouraged to liberate themselves and upload photographs with little clothing on. A supportive group of elderly Exmormon guys give these young girls encouragement as they examine these photos of the young girls and share them with friends.
This is a great way for young women to respect themselves and to teach body positivity to the elders. Hundreds of young women and girls are taking part in this healthy expression of self-respect that the elderly Exmormon men provide for us feminists. It helps us overcome the abuse that is so common in Mormon institutions like BYU. Come, be part of the “shoulder porn addiction!” It is good fun!
For some weird reason, the Exmormon Reddit sent out a warning about predators who were trying to get personal information from these young women and girls on the Exmormon Reddit.
“Recently we have become aware of some incidents in which exmo’s have been contacted by individuals seeking to hook up. While there is nothing wrong with hooking up, there were several signs that these people might be predatory. These advances were unsolicited and unwelcome. One pm-er copied and pasted the same message to multiple recipients. Some seemed to be targeting BYU students. And all used several of the strategies listed in this post….
The decision to form a relationship (of any kind) with someone you meet here is a personal one. We aren’t suggesting that you shouldn’t ever make friends or even date other exmo’s. But please, please be aware that exmo’s have vulnerabilities. Don’t exploit others’ weaknesses, and be aware of your own. Protect yourself! And if someone contacts you in a way that makes you uncomfortable, please report it, either to the mods here or directly to the admins, who will be able to see the pm’s. People who harass others usually harass more than one person.”
Is it really appropriate for the Reddit mods to shame elderly Exmormon men for expressing their liberated desires? I think anybody would find it hard to believe that predators would be part of such a healthy, liberating, feminist effort as these bikini pictures. These “shoulder porn” pictures as just as healthy for elderly men as it is for young women who are encouraged to upload them. We all know that it is the traditional Mormon patriarchs that are predatory because they suppress the urge to look at porn and engage in healthy relationships. The feminists and Exmormons are anything but creeps.