Like okay I know that in my normal day to day life there are many exotic varieties of people I “hate”. You know, the barista that doesn’t doublefoam your latte. The teacher that doesn’t accept homework if it’s in purple pen. But then there’s THOSE people. Why am I here today? I’m here to talk about judgement in this minuscule bubble of religious people in Laie.
So I posted some pictures of dresses for my friend on a college buy/sell page and this is what happened
“Modest is hottest mate”
So apparently I’m 1) wanting a boys attention 2) It’s not working because I’m wearing a skirt that’s too short. Okayy… that makes no sense. You’re telling a rape victim who has no sexual desires towards men that she’s wearing that cute dress to get their attention? Woww…
Shots fired. And I have to say there is little else that will tick me off MORE than someone telling me what to do. So the people who commented I sent them all this exact same message.
“Your comment is not relevant to the product in the sense that it is not pertaining to the interest to purchase or an offer which is why I deleted it. This is not the place for you to share your views about what is too long or too short, you lack information about where I got the dress, if it is even mine originally, or if I even share the same religious beliefs as you. Your comment was unfair, biased, inappropriate to this page, and highly judgmental.
This is a buy/sell page and this ad is posted to several public buy/sell pages as well- for your information which is part of why these “immodest” dresses are posted. And it is not like there’s nothing to wear under it for those who do not share my beliefs and want to purchase a cute dress.
I’m sorry if I’m too sexy for you and that my way of dress offends you, my only purpose was to wear this dress and sell it for my friend who is a nonmember friend who needs the money. I had no intention of being crucified online for a hemline that isn’t even mine. That’s on you.
Have a nice day and next time you comment please keep it relevant and respectful.”
And here’s a few other memes which if you think about it they are not kind or respectful of others in the slightest.
“tighter it fits the fatter you look”???! And my public post was
“Keep it classy please. If you want the dress, message me or comment to ask. If that’s not what you’re going to comment, then don’t do it. This is buy/sell page and we are adults who should know better than to use a buy/sell page as a place to plaster opinions about my character on the wall. Thank you and have a nice day.”
I’ll add in the pictures of the dresses tonight but for now my issue with these people. My issue is 1) This is buy/sell page. Not appropriate. 2) That’s really not all that kind to get up on someone’s page and be like “modest is hottest”. I mean is that really your place? Are you my mother? I don’t think so 3) That they think that I’m going to do what they say and fall in line
Part of what is so hard with people who hold up the cross of religion as a reason why they can judge you, is because they honestly think that you’re going to lose your soul and go up in flames if you wear the wrong thing. See, they think they’re SAVING you. My own family thinks that because I don’t go to church I’m going to lose my job/education, become a prostitute/whore, get addicted to drugs, and be totally miserable and depressed for the rest of my life. I know it’s a major generalization that I just laid down but looking at it hey, this is real.
And my first response as part of my new Zero Tolerance for B*** policy is
And my next response is I hate myself so much because I used to BE one of those people. I used to sit there and think “oh, she’s dressed like a whore” and let me tell you it was a motherf-ing WASTE of my life, my time, and my breath.
I can’t even imagine doing that now!
And the other thing as to why modest is such a hot topic for this sistah is because I was ALWAYS blamed for being raped. It was MY fault I was a girl. He HAD to do this because I was wearing a dress and I looked pretty. It was MY fault he raped me. I MADE him do it. I was dressed a certain way, he had to rape me. I was in a certain place at a certain time, he had to rape me. He owned me by RELIGION. He was an LDS priesthood holder and SOMEHOW that made EVERYTHING HE DID TO ME OKAY. AND not only that but it was MY FAULT.
Let me explain something very clearly to you people out there who don’t know this.
Rape has nothing to do with consent.
If that rapist had chosen to keep their clothes on and act like a regular person who hears the word NO and stops, then rape would not happen.
Seriously. If the clothes stay on and the hands stay off, rape will not happen.
It is so f-ing simple and yet I go to church and I hear about how girls need to dress modestly so they don’t distract the boys.
Okay so when I go to school it’s my job to be responsible for what’s going on in his head? Oh? He “lit up” when he saw me?
I could be wearing a birkah, and I would still be a drop-dead gorgeous woman. Men would still lust for me. And that is the truth. It does not matter if you wear a birkah and take every single precaution to not ever arouse a man it will not work. I’m not even going to go into unusual fantasies and fetishes.
The lowdown here is that I CANNOT BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE FOR SOMEONE ELSE’S THOUGHTS OR ACTIONS. IT IS PHYSICALLY IMPOSSIBLE FOR ME TO CONTROL SOMEONE ELSE.
Many members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints believe that everything is a choice.
So it was my choice that he held me down and raped me until I blacked out and there was blood everywhere? It was my choice that I was a little girl in the wrong place at the wrong time?
I don’t remember taking his penis, forcing it to go erect, and shoving it inside me.
I don’t remember wearing one of my cute little dresses because I wanted to seduce him- and I don’t remember reaching into his head and forcing him to be turned on by a little 7 year old girl.
So now you tell me, is everything a choice?
Are you really going to tell me that I’m accountable for his choice to rape, hit, abuse me, and threaten to kill my sister?
Would you sit down across from one of the many little girls he raped and tell her
“Honey, it was your fault. You were just too cute.”
I am the “dirty lolly”.
I’m used and now I’m not “pure” and even if I go to the temple I can’t get rid of all the scars? I’ll never be worth as much as a virgin? I’ll be the fence with holes in it?
Maybe for most of these members, who refuse to even utter the word rape in a Young Women’s Class or look past our indoctrination to really understand WHY we believe what we do, these questions never occur to them. But my life hit a very distinct point a few months ago. Technically I can’t talk about what happened but let’s just say I wrote a letter about the last 2 years of my life with PTSD and all my memories of the rape and abuse and as I was writing I realized that the whole time, I had been going to church. I had been saving myself for marriage. I had been dressed modestly, and mocked for it. I had done everything “right”.
But I wasn’t happy.
Whatever I do, I do with passion. And at that moment I knew if I was going to be a member of that church, I wanted to be all in. Unfortunately my illness broke my ability to feel much of God’s love or His presence. I don’t think any of it is true anymore and I can feel nothing. I feel only brokenness when I think about the church and what it was like all those years to sit in that classroom in my modest skirt and heels, vowing that I would save myself for marriage, I would become the perfect wife and mother, I would dot my i’s and cross my t’s and get married to the right man, at the right time, and the right place. That I was a “dirty lolly” if I had sex and I was worth less and less everytime I even thought about sex outside marriage. That I was dirty. Worthless.
And then I woke up.
And I realized that the things I was doing weren’t leading to happiness. Being in that environment actually worsened my illness. I felt like killing myself every time I went to church. I would come home and cry for 2-3 hours because I felt like I wasn’t enough. I felt horrible for not fitting in. I felt horrible about listening to them talk about chastity and “saving it” for that perfect man and learning to be a good mother because rape broke things so deep inside me. My pain is fathomless. The suffering is like a hole that has no beginning and no end and I tumble over and over like Alice down the rabbit hole and I don’t know what to do. I can’t see. The dark waves of depression and loneliness are constantly crashing over me.
And church made it worse. Members of the church can be very good people, don’t get me wrong. But they can also be the worst people. Just look at the man who raped me. He was a member. He was sealed in the temple. He was a priesthood holder. He was respected by all in his Utah community. When I went to my grandma’s funeral almost the entire funeral was an ode to his love to my grandmother.
My grandmother who had suffered for over a year at his hands of neglect and mistreatment. He did not take good care of her and he continually took her out of the hospital. He had visions that she would get better and then finally he knew she would die. So he had a chat with her best friend and he had a revelation that she would be his 3rd wife. And a week later my grandma died. And he announced the name of his bride-to-be at the funeral.
He raped my grandmother’s granddaughter. Me. How can you call that love?
I used to believe almost everything they told me at church and then when I wrote that letter I realized that my life did not fit with those beliefs anymore. That a lot of the reasons why I obeyed the commandments was not because I wanted to, but because I was made to be ashamed and humiliated everytime I got close to breaking one.
I was still innocent. Despite everything that happened to me. For years I didn’t have a name for those crimes incurred in the darkness between a man and a small child. I just felt different than everyone else and the other girls bullied me and I knew I didn’t fit in.
If it was true that in order to go into the temple you needed a recommend and in order to get that recommend you needed to be interviewed by a bishop- and the bishop is according to our beliefs, he has the same rights and privileges as a judge in Israel. He is supposed to, according to our belief, know when someone is lying.
The rapist sat across from his bishop and had that interview and not only did he get a recommend, he was called to work in God’s temple. In LDS belief, the temple is the House of the Lord and is the most holy, sacred place on earth. There is a certain level of purity that is expected of those who work there, certain laws to keep.
And when I was in treatment I met a senior missionary for the LDS church who was an ob/gyn and he told me that in Salt Lake City alone, thousands of young women came to him with stories just like mine.
Do you know how many talks there are about rape and sexual abuse? In 187 years, 2 talks and maybe a few articles in the magazine.
If there truly are thousands of women like me, who sit there in church, being stabbed inside by every word, why aren’t we talking about it? Silence enables rape and abuse to continue. It empowers individuals who rape and molest children. Truth is what the church is supposed to stand for and maybe it’s just my own opinion, but I think we need to tell the truth about this.
This is taboo in the LDS church but sometimes I do lie awake at night, trying so hard not to remember, and wondering if God even loves me to let this happen to me. If he even really hears the cry of His daughters and if so, why the leaders of His church don’t speak more often against this awful tide of evil. And I also wonder why I’m even trying to reach out to Him because I feel nothing. I feel no comfort. I feel no sense of belonging or truth. I. Feel. Nothing.
And I am going to refer you straight to Elizabeth Smart for some of this and I will continue to talk about her because she is one of the only examples I ever heard of talking about rape. I am going to write another post for that.
I am the woman that that other woman reprimanded for wearing a dress with a certain hemline.
The hemline is not nearly as important as the heart size.
It is my goal every day to become a better person. To be kind, to serve others, to go to school and to learn of this amazing world, to travel and see beautiful things, to try to find that something that we all look for.
In that sentence it is as if all that I truly am is reduced to a girl who is wearing the wrong dress.
How can I be defined so easily? Judged so quickly? By someone who practices the religion of Christ. maybe I’m just a young, naive college student who has no idea what life is about. But if you ask me the religion of Christ is to love others as they are and as they could be, and in accordance with that belief that they deserve love, to treat them with kindness and respect.
Christ was kind to the woman who was almost stoned for being a whore. He visited the sick and the afflicted. He visited the people who society saw as the lowest, most abased, most vile, and he loved and blessed them. But before Herod he would not speak.
Did you know Herod raped his own daughter?
If I believe in Christ at all, that is the Christ I want to believe in. The one who loves me and someday maybe when this problem in my head gets better, I’ll be able to know who that is again. And that’s my choice. My relationship with God is private to me and it’s none of anyone else’s business.
I will not change myself based on how I am told to behave unless I receive confirmation for myself that it is right.