Mormon Churches Need Women-Only Parking Spaces

Recently, my friend from upper east-side Manhattan came visiting for a BYU conference, and she remarked that Utah is unique in offering special parking privileges for pregnant women. “Even New York hasn’t made such an advance in equality,” she said.

“Well, the toxic old white men who rule this state hate it, I assure you,” I replied.

“Of course. But it is still very problematic, because people here treat it like a courtesy. Like they are giving women something they don’t deserve out of the niceness of their hearts.”

This is something I hadn’t considered before. The craven men of this state are only giving women this privilege of parking to solidify their position of power. So at the end of the day, pregnancy parking really just bolsters the patriarchy. It is another toxic abuse of old white men. In California, a place which is far advanced in social justice, they proposed special parking permits for pregnant women so they could park in disabled parking spaces. This bill failed in legislature because it insinuated that pregnancy is a disability, which I find unfortunate. Having a parasite growing inside your body is certainly a disability, is it not? The least men could do for women after having impregnated them, risking their lives, and dumping all responsibility on them, is recognize their right to park in disabled parking?! Good grief.

But the bill failed in legislature. But I see this as an opportunity. It means we can spread this right to all women. After all, all women are victimized and deserving of having their rights recognized, not just pregnant ones.

Where should we start? How about the church parking lot, where the Bishop and his counselors get prime parking spots, because they show up two hours early for their secret male-only leadership meetings, while women in their minivans full of kids have to park in the back of the lot and schlepp their thirteen kids all the way to the foyer and then all the way to the chapel pews? Why not start with that? Let’s start with these mothers who are pushed to the back of the bus. And then let’s talk about the women who are mistreated with horribly invasive and inappropriate questioning in the male-dominated Bishop interviews, beginning at a very young age. Women who are not allowed to be leaders. Women who are forced to sew buttons and play with Barbies while the boys get to go on hikes and exciting scouting adventures. Women who are stuck with uncomfortable rickety old rocking chairs in the mother’s lounge while men get lush comfy chairs. Women who are stuck with misogynist scripture and teaching material that perpetuate the toxic culture? How about them? Are they deserving of equal rights too? Aren’t they entitled to special parking spaces at the front of the building?

This is just one of many problematic areas that the church must address if they want to make their church buildings safe for women. Courageous female leaders are working to push through laws that will force churches to practice equality. But in the meantime, all women need to pressure old white men to update to the current century and stop pushing women to the back of the parking lot. We owe it to our daughters. We owe it to ourselves.

Once this cause is accomplished, then we can push on to further equal-rights issues, like making all men show up at least two hours early to clean and prepare the building, and making all men prepare rice crispy snacks.

I’m Better Than You Because I Drink Coffee

My favorite thing to do when I step into work in the morning is prepare a delicious pot of syrupy coffee. The smell from the coffee maker (company-bought) wafts through air and fills the office, as a reminder to the TBM Mormons of what they are missing out on. I make sure to slurp loudly as I go from cubicle to cubicle chatting with other ladies. How often do TBM Mormons think they are better because of their commitment of abstinence? How often do they tell their children that coffee-drinkers like us are sinners who are destined for sickness and a face full of wrinkles before the age of 35? Well, the laugh is on them as my bright cheery face yacks away while they are sitting there trying to work. That’s what they get for judging me!

But the fact is, I am superior to them because I drink coffee. The health benefits of coffee have been well documented by scientists. It is scientifically proven to protect against Parkinson’s disease, lower the risk of Alzheimer’s disease, help you relax, and treat depression. I find it is like a medication for depression all on its own. And sugar-filled lattes from chain-coffee houses are even better, because sugar makes it more stimulating and delicious, and lower the risk of Diabetes. Drinking coffee also gives me more time to socialize. Coffee is like the perfect elixir of goodness. So in the evening when the media corporation I work for hands me my paycheck, the first thing I do is walk into Starbucks and order a massive frappuccino with extra whip cream and syrupy red goo. Then I go home and attack the bottle of red wine. And then another trip to Starbucks before I go to bed.

A study shows a third of church members drink coffee pretty regularly, including a quarter of temple-attendees within the last 6 months. Well, I applaud these sinners for deciding for themselves what is best for their bodies and not leaving it up to some old white male. For many, coffee has become a symbol of the forbidden fruit that carries such a negative stigma in our judgemental culture yet provides so much knowledge and wisdom. It literally makes you smarter. I find that people who drink two or three cups of syrup-filled coffee a day like me know more stuff. We can chat away about the latest celebrity news and recent episodes of TV reality shows, and the TBM sits there silently in her office chair like she has no idea what we are talking about! Then she turns back to her computer, probably because she is ashamed of not being smart like us, and sometimes I like to rub it in her face by asking pointed questions about last night’s episode of the Bachelor, and she tells me, “I really need to get back to work.” I can’t believe how stupid coffee-skeptics are! They lack so much nuance!

Next time a TBM yells at you for drinking coffee, remind them that their hot cocoa has caffeine in it too. So what’s the difference? The only difference I see is coffee literally makes you a better person and cocoa just makes you pathetic. In fact, drinking coffee can help you be a more spiritual person, because drinking coffee means you are no longer judging people who do, and being non-judgemental makes you a better person. It’s a toss-up which makes you a more righteous person–coffee or marijuana–probably marijuana because it doesn’t stain your teeth. But I find that inhaling coffee at a frantic pace is also a reminder that I can be whoever I want to be. Once I cross the fence into the world of “spiritual crocodiles,” I can discover hidden treasure like coffee and chart my own course, walk my own woke path. It empowers me as a woman.

This is why I always use coffee to identity who I am as a person. This is why I spend over $200 per month on coffee, not including money for gas. It is like my daily communion. If tomorrow the world’s infrastructure collapsed and there were no delivery trucks carrying bags of coffee beans from impoverished slave-labor countries, I would probably collapse on the floor and slip into a coma. But right now we are living in a modern technological world where I don’t need to worry about things like self-sufficiency. For now, coffee is literally who I am, and I am a happier and smarter 26-year old because of it.

Until next time, I am Ann Eliza.

My Communications Degree Entitles Me To Church Leadership

Last Sunday, I realized something while the sacrament was being passed and blessed. The young male priest, just a kid, approached the microphone and read off lines of prayer, which are helpfully glued under the microphone for him to reference. So, he started reading in his squeaky, choppy voice, a few words at a time. But by the end, a glance from the Bishop told him he had missed a word somewhere and needed to start over from the beginning. So the entire congregation waited patiently with arms folded as he nervously reread the blessing. Then, the deacons, who are even younger boys, passed the bread around. Frantic glances and confused shuffles showed they hadn’t really planned out who would pass to which rows. Oh, come on already!

Me and a few other woke women exchanged eye rolls during all of this. It is just typical. This is how it is when you leave it up to the inferior ones rather than fully-grown and fully-capable women like us, we told each other silently. Traditional practice in the LDS branch of Mormonism is for boys to become deacons when they turn 12 and priests when they turn 16. Only boys. We are blessed with a set of sister missionaries in our ward (the Mormon term for congregation) rather than bumbling teenage males, but usually this problem exists with the missionaries as well. I don’t invite male missionaries for dinner, but people tell me they show up late or give boring spiritual thoughts. Also, I’ve kept careful track, and only 42% of speakers in sacrament meeting are female, and this lack of equality is evident in scenes like the one I have described.

Probably the thing that aggravates me the most is that I worked hard for years to get my advanced communications degree from a university. I studied at least three hours a day. If it were me up there delivering the sustaining votes and listing the speakers for the meeting, I know my training would enable me to reach out to disenfranchised members of the ward who feel like they aren’t part of sacrament meeting. How many of these old white men who like to go on and on about things like repentance and faith can relate directly to minority LGTBQIAA+ or racially diverse communities? Probably zero. My training as a communications expert empowers me to be inclusive of their unique cultural differences so that they have a reason to be part of the congregation, while focus on repentance and faith makes them feel judged and unwelcome.

How many of these old white men deliver the latest popular culture narrative as found in the Washington Post and Buzzfeed about what we should be outraged about in politics? Probably zero. My communications degree allows me to graft into my sermons subtle cultural and ideological directives about equality in a way that relates to current events and popular narratives being passed around elitist circles on Facebook. Do women in the church even see how limited they are by the existing old-fashioned structure of church? For example, it is insane that the church opposes a common sense effort to legalize marijuana, imposing itself into politics and violating the separation of church and state, yet there is this taboo about me ranting for 40 minutes about Trump in my sacrament meeting talk! How is this kind of thing still happening in 2018?

So, the same eye rolls are exchanged by we woke feminists as we watch these old men up there being just as cringe-worthy as the boys. Yikes! A lot of the time you can’t even hear them with their old man voices! I fantasize about striding up there with a big smile on my face like Leslie Knope from Parks and Rec, pushing the old male aside, and delivering a powerful pep-speech that ends with lengthy standing ovations from the adoring crowd. Endless cheers! You are my hero, Anne! You changed my life, Anne! I would give a sermon about asking your 6 year old before you make assumptions about which gendered clothing her or he (or zer or ze) wants to wear. Perhaps a sermon about how men are 100% responsible for all unwanted pregnancies, how men are literally risking women’s lives by doing this, and why males should get vasectomies as teenagers to prevent this kind of victimization. Perhaps a robust lesson about class consciousness and economic intersectionalism of feminism and racial theory. This is what our youth wants to hear! This is what youth demand to hear! But these exciting and important issues are too much to ask for in a structure dominated by toxic patriarchy.

So I sit quiet for now and secretly plant seeds of equality and Socialistic ideology in receptive members around me, confident that the day of empowerment will come.

Admit It, David Crotch’s Joke About Mormons Was Hilarious!

It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of comedian David Crotch. The man is hilarious, and he has a big heart. I fell absolutely in love with David when he stood up to Larry The Cable Guy’s anti-gay and racist jokes. Bigotry is not acceptable, absolutely never, and if you are going to make fun of someone, at least make it clever, dude. As David wisely put it: Larry, “your stuff isn’t necessarily anti-gay but rather stupid and easy.”

David Crotch illustrated this point in a magnificent way when he came up with a joke that nobody has ever thought of in the history of the world: make fun of “Mormon underwear.” Like, why has nobody thought of this?! When I saw David’s photoshopped image of a man wearing the sacred temple garments, I literally rolled on the floor screaming with laughter for hours–perhaps days. It is literally the most novel, intelligent, innovative humor I have ever seen. In that Monty Python sketch of British soldiers killing Nazis by shouting the “world’s funniest joke,” there is no doubt in my mind they were describing this photoshopped image created by David Crotch. No wonder he earns the big bucks!

Then he reportedly followed it up with hilarious jokes about beating to a bloody pulp people who have different political opinions than him. Hilarious, right!?

As a fellow champion against bigotry, it is great to see intelligent, brave guys like David Crotch fight for the LGTBQIAA+ and religious minorities by mocking sacred Mormon (oops, not supposed to say that!) apparel. This goes a long ways towards healing the inequalities and social divisions of our country. Of course, the haters were out in full force denouncing David Crotch’s brave stand. Fox News sensationalized it. Breitbart went off on it–though, at least Breitbart didn’t say a single word about the Anti-Mormon bigotry, you gotta give them credit for that! TBMs were whining about it on Facebook. Blah blah blah.

Another thing I like about David Crotch is his style. A long messy beard, hipster glasses, blank expression, and his glossy bald head. Everything a feminist like me dreams about. It all just screams “ally in the fight against patriarchy.” Now, here is a guy who will never, ever be intimidating in any way. If I saw him walking down the street, I would toss a quarter in his cup and be on my way. This is exactly the aesthetic that I wish every male would have.

The fact that David Cross is at the top of comedy in America just shows the peaks to which the entertainment industry have risen. Always pushing new ground. Fighting for tolerance and love. Intelligent and brave. Feminists like me rightfully idolize the billionaire owners of big corporations like HBO and 20th Century Fox, because they make the world a better place and they know what is best for me. It’s time that Mormons (oops, I did it again!) realize this as well. If for some weird reason you don’t get the atheist jokes (probably because you aren’t smart enough), just pretend it’s funny while batting your eyes and twirling your hair in your fingers like the rest of us feminists do.

Continue reading “Admit It, David Crotch’s Joke About Mormons Was Hilarious!”

Feminists Fight Mormon Taboo About Farting At Church

Mormon feminists are launching a campaign urging LDS leaders to vocally support mothers and women who fart at church. This media-firestorm-of-the-week started when a mother of three children was attacked by a bishop for farting. Salt Lake Feminists have taken a break from their other Marxist causes (such as Love-Loud) to focus on this corner of women’s rights.

“It is 2018, and there are still these barriers thrown on women and their families, and we have to start taking the health and free choice of women in the church seriously,” Betsy Friemar said in a Salt Lake women’s conference. “LDS leaders must provide vocal support or women will continue to be excluded, bullied, and attacked for behavior that is natural and also quite positive, not only for her own health but for the health of her family, even if her parenting choices don’t align with local priesthood authority inclinations.”

Farting is actually a natural and beautiful part of a woman’s digestive process, Ms. Friemar pointed out. It has been scientifically proven to be a vital step in receiving vitamins and it helps boost our ability to fight disease. So, when local male priesthood forces women to “hold it in”, they are literally weakening women’s health and destroying their immune system. Additionally, Friemar found in her research that women improve the health of her children by farting. It literally strengthens the cells of those who smell the farts.

The mother of three children told of her harrowing experience when she met with her bishop to get him to sign her temple recommend–a process similar to applying for a Costco membership card. The meeting went completely off the rails when the Bishop started interrogating her about loudly farting during Sacrament meeting. Then, when her husband backed her up he started getting interrogated as well.

The bishop quoted from the Mormon “For the Strength of Youth” pamphlet about clean and intelligent behavior towards those around us. He acted like she as a woman was responsible for the thoughts and reactions of men around her. She had to leave the room several times to calm down, and when she was gone the bishop even told her husband he should not accept this kind of behavior from his wife.

Farting is not mentioned in the “For the Strength of Youth” pamphlet, and the Church of Jesus Christ has no official policy regarding farting in Sacrament meeting. There are just controlling male leaders who don’t like it. Male church spokesman Eric Harrins declined to comment on the thousands of women asking for their rights to be recognized.

Female leadership in the church also hasn’t said anything about it.

It is time for women, Mormon and non-Mormon alike, to rise up and demand massive change in the church. What business is it of men what women do with their bodies? There needs to be no restrictions on farting, or at least provide a special room just for women where they can go to privately do whatever they want and still listen to the sermons over a speaker… oh wait the church already has that. But still, when a mother of three can’t even express natural behavior that is positive for her health and the health of her children, it says far more about the male leadership of that church than it does about her.

So, fart loud! Fart proud! Celebrate who you are!

Will the LDS Church Finally Remove Toxic Patriarchy From Our Hymns? #HymnbookEdits

Every week I sit silently as the hymns are played, gazing around at other women who like me roll their eyes and yawn. This is because Mormon women are subjected every week to no less than three harmful songs, not including the patriarchal indoctrination songs we have to listen to during the other two hours of church (which shouldn’t even exist, by the way). Well, those hundreds of songs by old white men filled with outdated messages may get replaced very soon, as the Mormon church is reportedly making significant changes to the hymnbook.

Hymns are a tool of the patriarchy, and this is why I never sing. Sometimes when I can’t stand it anymore, I take out my earphones and blast modern pop music (I do this a lot actually). Feminists have noted that the hymnbook needs to reflect the global nature of the church, and I couldn’t agree more. No more “My Country Tis Of Thee.” We need to bring in minority voices, and set a quota of class groups for authors and LGTBQIAA+-friendly themes. We also must make sure the majority of songs have female authors (like we already have for the primary songbook), preferably women with hyphenated last names. Did you know most hymns currently speak of God as a male, only a few as a neutral gender, and zero speak of God as female? This must change now.

We need these alterations to current hymns and Primary song titles:

  • Press Forward Saints To Equality
  • Praise to the Women
  • Onward Christian Social Justice Warriors
  • Count Your Many Pronouns
  • A Poor Wayfaring Woman Disenfranchised
  • I Am A Child of Karl Marx
  • Did You Think To Check Your Privilege?
  • Do As I’m Saying Not As I’m Doing
  • I Hope They Call Me By My Preferred Pronoun
  • and of course… As Feminists In Zion

Additionally, we need to add the following to make hymnbook and primary song book inclusive:

  • A Cup of Coffee – by Katy Perry
  • Imagine – by John Lennon
  • This Land Is My Land – Woody Guthrie
  • Believe – Imagine Dragons
  • One Love – Bob Marley
  • All You Need Is Love – The Beatles
  • Respect – Aretha Franklin
  • Born This Way – Lady Gaga
  • She’s So High Above Me – Tal Bachman

What is your suggestion for a hymn alteration? What can the church do to make it so our young women aren’t indoctrinated to think they are second-class members and inferior human beings? How can we drag these ornery men in the church into the 21st century as equality-minded progressives?

Post your ideas under #HymnbookEdits! Make a statement they can’t ignore!

Liberate Yourself, Upload Bikini Pics To Ex-Mormon Reddit

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! Continue reading “Liberate Yourself, Upload Bikini Pics To Ex-Mormon Reddit”

Women Are The True Victims Of The Racist Ban On Blacks In The Mormon Church

While Mormon leaders met with NAACP leaders this week to heal the racial rift that white female journalists in Utah all agree still exists in the church, journalists were understandably fooled by a fake website and tweeted out fake news instead of reporting on the meeting. Hey, it was a convincing-looking website, give us a break! We’re just journalists! But the great thing about it is the Salt Lake Tribune went viral with a story on this fake website and the meeting was totally forgotten. This is how progressive journalism makes the world a better place.

But let’s talk about the priesthood ban for a second.

Did you know that until 1978 the Mormon church excluded African-Americans from priesthood positions? This is a well-kept secret, but I think racism from almost 50 years ago is something we need to talk about more, every hour instead of merely every couple of days. It happened, and the question is how do we move past it?

Well, the Democrats fought fiercely to keep slavery in America, but now it is the Republicans who are racists. How did that happen? How did the Democrats wake up one day absolved of their original sin and Republicans who fought against slavery became the bad guys? Because Democrats took it far further than just freeing slaves. We need to obsessively make the cause about much more than just what it is really about. Today, the fight against slavery means college admissions for kids that don’t perform well but get it because of their skin color. Republicans who oppose this are racists.

The same applies to Mormons. Who still doesn’t have priesthood leadership positions? Women. That’s right, women. We can move past the racism debacle, comfort our Black brothers and sisters, and progress as a church if we signal our virtue and make it all about feminism. So while I admire the creator of this fake news website for distracting from real news, it was ultimately not helpful because it turned the narrative back to being all about race, when it really should be about feminists. Every morning, all Mormon women in the world wake up with tears in their eyes because they have different roles and responsibilities than men in the church and are not standing up at the pulpit receiving respect and adulation of the congregation.

We are the true victims of that policy and we need everybody to be constantly reminded of this.

5 Ways Young Woman Leaders Should Stifle Boys In The New LDS Youth Program

1. Always Put Girls First

Insults naturally bounce off men but little acts of contempt slowly wear out their self-esteem. This what I have found. So if women leaders hire only women at the workplace, give only girls a good grade in the classroom, and constantly demean male members of the scout pack, this will go a long way to not only empower girls but also crush the male spirit. You can do this in scouting by picking only girls to lead the troops, picking girls to decide activities, and only praising the achievements of girls. It’s time to clip the Eagle Scouts’ wings.

2. Demean Male Behavior

It is no secret that men tend to have behaviors that lead to wars, crime, and aggression. It is important to know that parents are to blame for not programming their children to be more like girls. You can fix the mistakes of parents by taking the leading role in shaping their children’s lives. The great thing is people can be programmed to behave however you want. This is why I always attack males for reckless behavior and violent sports, like baseball and hockey. Throughout the history of scouting, there has been appallingly violent behavior that we need to put a stop to. No more camp fires and hikings. In fact, did you know the general idea for scouting was established from the Beor War which introduced concentration camps to the world? I’m glad that we got rid of this toxic organization and have a new youth program to shape around the ideals of equality. So never miss an opportunity to shame anyone for masculine behavior. You might even have to remind the Bishop to check his privilege and allow us to create a safe space for our young sisters. Continue reading “5 Ways Young Woman Leaders Should Stifle Boys In The New LDS Youth Program”

We Need Common-Sense Prom Dress Control Laws, Now!

It was the photo that shocked the world!

A teenage white girl assumed  she could wear clothing that looked like clothing that non-white girls wear. She actually wore a Chinese dress! It’s 2018! Did she think nobody would notice her racism? Did she think it just wouldn’t affect anybody around her?

I’ll never forget where I was when I first saw the photo. Me and my friend from upper-east side Manhattan were sipping soy espressos at the Gateway Mall in Salt Lake, discussing the historical oppression of Chinese railway workers by white middle-class high school girls. Then the news broke. There she was, crouched with young men above her flashing violent gang signs. I literally spat out my drink.

For years, progressive women around the country have called for common sense laws to prevent this kind of racism.

Recently the Senate defeated a measure to require background checks on women who purchase dresses at fashion shows or on the internet. They defeated it even though 70-90% of Americans support measures which would eliminate existing loopholes and prevent racist Americans of white skin color from encroaching on marginalized cultures. Right now, you can literally walk into a fashion show and buy any dress you want, with no background check! Even if you are a felon or have a history of mental illness!

Did they not see the thousands of grass-roots Americans across the country who skipped class to protest these kinds of intolerable atrocities in our schools? Enough is enough! White girls cannot just wear anything they want.  It is time to stand up to the fashion lobby and stop racists from wearing clothing that offends people around them.

As feminist Mormons, we understand that it is hateful to focus on the dresses women wear instead of the women’s achievements. But that only applies to dresses that offend non-marginalized men. Modesty standards teach women not to choose clothing that would give men “unrighteous” thoughts, as if it is women’s fault what men decide to think. So when a woman spontaneously decides to wear a dress that just happens to show cleavage, that makes her responsible for the clothes she is wearing? We are only responsible for our appearance if it offends minorities–or at least if CNN tells us it should offend them.

Women everywhere are saying “we need to get past these patriarchal rules and encourage women to wear whatever they want! Except clothes that offend nonwhites, and female Islamic clothing.”

Luckily this time, a cyber-sleuth saw the photo and alerted everyone, so that a collective mob of angry social justice warriors could shame and harass this girl for wearing a dress that kinda has a Chinese motiff. But what we need is our leaders in Washington to act to preserve the rights of marginalized and oppressed communities. We need media platforms to more effectively harass people and to get high schoolers to protest against their own best interest.

Isn’t it about time?