Talk About Victim Blaming

Last week I read an article that I've been stewing over ever since, trying to think of what I wanted to say on the subject. The entire thing is disgusting through and through and I hardly even knew where to begin at first.

The article was written by an LDS Elder known as Tad R. Callister and this guy lives in an entirely different universe than the one I live in. In my world people are responsible for their own actions. In his, it's okay that he is perturbed by immoral thoughts when he sees a scantily clad woman because it's not his fault. He believes it is the fault of the woman for wearing such attire. Then again, he also believes that the afterlife is a set of bronze, silver, and gold medals that you win by sheltering yourself from the world, doing what you're told, and learning secret handshakes; but that's another discussion for another time.

Callister starts off his talk by reminding his audience how infallible his god's word is and pretty much implies that for them to disagree with them would be like they were disagreeing with their god.

"It is almost unbelievable to think that God has given to His children the power that is most prized and sacred to Him—the power to create life. Because God gave us this power, He, and He alone, has the right to prescribe how it should be used." - Tad R. Callister

How ironic that "God" seems to think sexuality and morality should be used exactly the way Mr. Callister thinks it should be used. I mention this particular opening quote because it sets the tone for the rest of the article. It's not Tad telling women they are responsible for the lustful actions of men, it's God. What a clever way to poison the well; if anyone tries to criticize any of the words that follow then they are criticizing their own god.

Folks make no mistake, this is fear mongering right out of the gate. Before he has even gotten to his actual point he has already tried to guilt you into believing he is right. This tactic is a crutch used to make you believe something for bad reasons. If he had good reasons then he need only cite them, instead of trying to bolster his own authority by telling his audience that God unquestioningly agrees with him, so they should too. Of course this is the main tactic used by pretty much any "holy" book ever written and I'm sure Tad sees it as him agreeing with God, not the other way around, but I digress.

His talk is long and he goes on to spew more ridiculous drivel about adultery, inappropriate touching, masturbation, same-sex relationships, etc and I'm sure you can probably guess most of the common tenets he touches on in each of those categories. The one that really pissed me off however, is when he starts to get into the topic of "immodest dress".

The dress of a woman has a powerful impact upon the minds and passions of men. If it is too low or too high or too tight, it may prompt improper thoughts, even in the mind of a young man who is striving to be pure.

The irony here is that topic is subjective and he cites no sources to support his assertion. What I mean is that the only thing he can draw from without something tangible to back up his argument, is his own experience and/or anecdotes from others' subjective personal experiences. He's talking about himself.

The dress of a woman has a powerful impact upon [my mind] and [my passions]. If it is too low or too high or too tight, it may prompt [me to have] improper thoughts, even [when I'm] striving to be pure.

Seems a little less righteous than it does self-righteous when you read it like that, yeah? I'm not sure why Tad feels the need to justify his lack of self control by projecting his insecurities onto everyone else, but there you have it. This paragraph made me livid. I read it several times just to make sure he was actually saying what everyone said he was saying; there really isn't any other message to take away from this talk, at least not one that I can glean.

Mormons love to talk about modesty and reverence. These two subjects couldn't be more vague or subjective, as we've seen many times before, including the sheltered boy who saw this girl...

...and wrote this cowardly sexist letter to her in order to justify his own insecurities, just like Tad.

This victim blaming mentality is a huge problem in the Mormon culture, especially when it comes to women. I don't know how such mysoginy is allowed to flourish in the year 2014 but it's an excellent example of what indoctrination does to people's minds.

If you're a woman and you're reading this, dress however you damn well please; I promise I have the willpower necessary to stop myself from savagely raping you like a wild sex-starved beast; this is despite the fact that I don't believe Tad's god even exists.

I'm sorry "brother" Callister, but your inability to squelch a boner is not the fault of the woman you're having "lustful thoughts" about. If you need your religion in order to be a good person, you're already a terrible person.