My family is Mormon, and has been all my life. The Mormon church is extremely sexist, from shaming girls into being more modest to only allowing men to have “the priesthood” (basically the spirit of god), which causes all Mormon boys to have this feeling of superiority. I’ve lost count the number of times this specific boy from my church has harassed me at church dances. He even found out my schedule at school (No way in hell did I tell him) and has followed me at school a bit. It got to the point where I slapped him across the face with my shoe at a dance and he STILL follows me around. Nobody does anything because “he probably likes you!!!” and Mormon boys are taught that women are essentially objects. A lot of our activities at youth group are cooking, sewing and learning “how to be a good wife and mother (i shit you not, that was an actual lesson). Little do they know i’m gay and an atheist lmao
The first time I was catcalled, I was just 12 years old; I was a tall child, but I was clearly not of age. I remember walking into church with my mom- I was waring a knee length, brown floral dress and my hair was in a single braid down my back. The church was buried in a neighborhood and there were men drinking on a front porch across the street from the entrance of the church. They began to call out to me in Spanish- inviting me into their home, their bedroom, their lap- anything that would make my head turn. I immediately felt ashamed, humiliated and embarrassed. My mom told them off and asked me to keep walking. I remember her shouting across the street, “She’s only 12 years old! She’s only 12 years old! Doce años! Doce años! Please leave her alone!” The men simply snickered and continued drinking. Unfortunately the harassment has only gotten worse as I have gotten older. Will there ever be a day when I can walk down the street in peace? When I wont question whether or not my clothing choice is an “invitation” for harassment?
My husband is in graduate school working on a PhD in software engineering. I have a masters degree in genetics. We are currently living near his school and plan to move after he finishes. When we talk to other people about our plans for after my husband graduates, too many times the person we are talking to (particularly men) asks my husband (not me) where HE wants to get a job and where HE thinks we will be moving once he finishes school. They act as if I don’t have a degree, I don’t have career options of my own, I have no say in where we move, and I am invisible. The worst part is wanting to say something but not knowing what to say or feeling uncomfortable doing so. It’s like being belittled twice, first by someone else, then by me.
My story isn’t as tragic and overwhelming as some of the others on here. I’m lucky to have been raised by a single, working, military woman who taught me to be strong and proud of being a human being. But since we have moved back to Tennessee and are checking out Christian churches I’ve notice a lot of small and subtle things. I work at Hobby Lobby and have had little stereotypical comments made by management, coworkers and customers. All our cashiers are women and only two of four of our staff of fifty are African American. At church just this Subday we were talking about the biblical view on divorce and they kept talking about the Samaratian woman with five husbands. It took 30 minutes and another girl to ask, “what about the men? The are sinning if they commit adultery and remarry right?” Even at my cousin’s wedding they kept talking about “wife submitting to husband”. What about him!? This guy is great but why isn’t it important to verify that it’s wrong if he isn’t commited either! Like I said not too noticeable but still present.