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JULIE B. BECK
Julie B. Beck. Known for telling Mormon women to stop working - get back in the home - and have babies.
| Don't know how many of you saw Julie Beck's GC talk yesterday. Here's how it is described in today's Trib:
Perhaps the most controversial speaker on Sunday, though, was Julie Beck, the new president of the church's all-women Relief Society, who talked about the powerful influence of motherhood.
Sis. Beck is a real throwback to the 50's.
Faithful Mormon women want children and do not delay child-bearing, Beck said, quoting the late LDS President Ezra Taft Benson as saying, "children - not possessions, not position, not prestige - are our greatest jewels."
Mormon mothers honor their sacred covenants by bringing daughters to church "in clean and ironed dresses with hair brushed to perfection; their sons wear white shirts and ties and have missionary haircuts," Beck said.
They establish a good climate where children can be nourished physically and spiritually. "Another word for nurturing is homemaking," Beck said. It ''includes cooking, washing clothes and dishes, and keeping an orderly house.''
In partnership with their husbands, mothers "plan for missions, temple marriages and education," she said. These women "are selective about their own activities and involvement to conserve their limited strength in order to maximize their influence where it matters most."
The speech triggered a firestorm of criticism on the Mormon blog timesandseasons.org from listeners who objected to Beck's stereotyping of women's roles or guilt-inducing comments about the necessity of being the best mothers in the world.
Some other tidbit's from Julie Beck's talk (all bold mine for emphasis, and my comments are in CAPS):
1. Quotes ETB that "young couples should not postpone having children, and that in the eternal perspective, children -- not possessions, not position, not prestige -- are our greatest jewels." IOW, MAKE BABIES WITHOUT DISREGARD FOR ANYTHING ELSE.
2. Praises mothers who "honor sacred ordinances and covenants." As an example, Beck recounts, "I have visited sacrament meetings in some of the poorest places on earth, where mothers have dressed with great care in their Sunday best, despite walking for miles on dusty roads and using worn out public transportation. They bring daughters in clean and ironed dresses. Their sons wear white shirts and ties and have missionary haircuts." IOW, BE MORE WORRIED ABOUT OUTWARD APPEARANCE THAN INWARD FAITH.
3. "Another word for nurturing is homemaking. Homemaking includes cooking, washing clothes and dishes, and keeping an orderly home. Home is where women have the most power and influence. Therefore, Latter-day Saint women should be the best homemakers in the world." IWO, STAY AT HOME AND ONLY WORK THERE. OH, AND DON'T FORGET TO WEAR PEARLS AND HIGH HEELS WHILE MAKING DINNER.
4. "Nurturing mothers are knowledgeable, but all the education women attain will avail them nothing if they do not have the skill to make up homes that create a climate for spiritual growth." IOW, EDUCATION IS NOT THAT IMPORTANT FOR WOMEN.
5. "Growth happens best in a house of order, and women should pattern their homes after the Lord's house." IOW, YOUR HOUSE SHOULD BE AS CLEAN AND UNCLUTTERED AS THE STALE TEMPLE.
6. "These wise mothers who know are selective about their own activities and involvement to conserve their limited strength in order to maximize their influence where it matters most." IOW, DON'T DO ANYTHING IN THE COMMUNITY -- LIMIT YOUR ENERGIES TO CHURCH CALLINGS AND HOMEMAKING CLASS.
7. "Mothers who know do less. They persmit less of what will not bear good fruit eternally. They allow less media in their homes, less distraction, less activity that draws their children away from their home." IOW, REINFORCEMENT THAT LDS WOMEN SHOULD COCOON THEMSELVES AND THEIR KIDS IN THE HOME AND AWAY FROM THE EVIL WORLD OUTSIDE.
| My First Thought After Reading About Julie Beck's Talk Was |
Saturday, Oct 13, 2007, at 07:44 AM
Original Author(s): No Longer Nolongerin
Topic: JULIE B. BECK -Link To MC Article-
| ↑ |
| ...excuse me while I put on my burqa!
I sent the newspaper article relating the talk to nearly everyone I know, including my TBM husband, whom I dearly love, and who loves me.
I seriously wonder if the same talk will really be posted on LDS.org, or, will it be already whitewashed and edited as a result of all the backlash on LDS blogs?
Either way, this is what it did for me:
I am no longer posting under an assumed name, which was "Nolongerin". Let me introduce myself. I went to BYU as a nonmember, having been introduced to the church by some very NORMAL people who also happened to be Mormon. (I still love them, and they still love me.) I was baptized; I graduated from BYU. I co-authored a series of children's books (Articles of Faith Learning Book 1, Book 2, and Book 3) that were published by Deseret Book and reprinted several times. After living as a "dreaded single adult" (thank you, Deenie, for that term!) I finally married in the temple at age 30. I love my TBM husband, my TBM older daughters, and all of the children we have had together. When I stopped attending church, I did not have a WOW problem, I had not been offended, I was still paying tithing, and I hadn't had an affair. I was simply tired of being a hamster running in a meaningless wheel, day and night. Several years ago, I started researching the LDS church in an attempt to salvage and bolster whatever thread of faith might have been left. I ended up convinced of a great fraud.
There will be no suited Taliban for me, convincing me through some female puppet that "nurturing" means the same as "housekeeping." I refuse to wear the burqa.
My name is Jackie Owen. I am 49 years old, and the truth has set me free.
"Mothers who know desire to bear children, whereas in many cultures of the world children are becoming less valued. In the culture of the gospel, we still believe in having children." Julie Beck, Conference 2007
This is the place for arrogant stereotyping of "many cultures" (who are these cultures that she thinks she knows so much about and is in a postion to judge their worthiness) and creating the uniformed opinion in Mormons of being better, chosen, and "righter."
This is the place for confinement. Women are confined to a very narrow per-determined role. For women who can not have or who do not want children, these women are once again outside of their families and culture. These women are marginalized and minimized.
This is the place for "us versus them." Because I do not choose the Mormon way of life, because I do not endorce using less resources (ironic - because larger families use more) in justification of have children, I am "them" to my family. This is a destructive, anti-family teaching.
This is the place where people who don't know, know. Mormons know the church is true, that there is no thing as global warming - or if there is God will return before Utah (http://www.sltrib.com/ci_7133901 ) destroys Utah and contributes more than any other group to the destruction of the environment. Mormons are encouraged to not read anything not Mormon(lest they leave the gospel), are taught that anyone not Mormon is not quite as smart as say someone like GBH or even their Bishop - regardless of education or training or experience, to not listen to anyone who is not Mormon and then to proclaim - "I know." I know what good mothers should know - I know what people should not drink - coffee and wine! - I know that people should marry young and quickly and facts, figures, and evidence have no influence on me. I know!
This is the place where someone else has the right to tell you how to live, when to marry, what your true orientation is (if you have a penis - you prefer women for sexual partners - period!), what church position you will "volunteer" for, if you should have a career (do you have a vagina - you should not have a career!), how you should feel, what you should think, what you should know, and every minute, mundane detail of your life - someone else should tell you how, when, where, why you should live.
This is the place where the lines are clearly drawn over who is "righteous" and who isn't. The culture of the gospel is one where women are traditional, conventional, obedient to a man, and must do as they are told.
This is the place - and Julie Beck - in one sentence said it all.
We can not help but tell the truth, even when we are lying. Thank you Julie for reminding me what kind of place Utah really is!
| I’m feeling very discouraged just now. Sad, sad, sad. Disappointed. Tired. I wish I had the talk in front of me so I give context to those of you who did not hear it, but that will have to wait until it comes out online (on Thursday?)?
I keep trying to take some comfort from some of her (many) gists that really are important, motherhood is vital, practice less materialism, have fewer distractions, teach our children of substantial and important matters. I keep trying to just appreciate her very fine and strong delivery.
But it’s not working. I should wait until I can read it, probably, to express more precisely all the levels on which I found this talk flawed in focus and disappointing in content. No mention of fathers vital roles, the unacknowledged assumption that all women can be mothers/homemakers, the conflating of homemaking and housecleaning, the guilt, the patronizing “this is influence, this is power” (Motherhood does have power, I’m not saying it doesn’t, but that only half the story the other half being a great deal of real and frightening powerlessness), the total lack of deep gospel mojo.
It must be possible to strongly affirm the importance of families without this kind of mess. Ah yes, it’s happening right now. Thank you Elder Oaks. Fantastic talk. Sigh, I feel somewhat better now.
So, as Mormon women, how do we approach a talk like Beck’s? Is “in one ear and out the other” okay? Would it be inappropriate to respond directly, write her a letter listing in detail the things I find flawed and disappointing in her approach, or is that not sustaining my leaders? Almost worse than my annoyance and dismissal is the (unnecessary) guilt and shame I think my orthodox friends probably took right to heart.
The thing is, I want to sustain Beck, I don’t want to bash her, but there is no way that I can believe that “keeping our homes as tidy as the temple” or “being the best homemakers in the world” are the vital lessons that will bring myself and my family closer to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Shesh.
| As a closet apostate I sat through both Women Who Know and Stand Strong and Immovable. Beck said things that the brethren don't dare tell women anymore. I felt like she set us all back a few decades. As an apostate I could laugh about it but if I'd heard her a few months earlier as a TBM I would have been overwhelmed and demoralized by her chirpy laundry list of shoulds that included not delaying or limiting family size for "selfish" reasons. If a woman doesn't want to have a baby she isn't selfish and she shouldn't do it.
Beck is a tool and a traitor to her own gender by advancing the agenda of a patriarchy that is disturbingly interested in the use of my uterus.
| Tearing Apart The Hate Speech That Is, "Mothers Who Know" |
Friday, Jul 20, 2012, at 08:28 AM
Original Author(s): Tristan-Powerslave
Topic: JULIE B. BECK -Link To MC Article-
| ↑ |
| I attempted to do this earlier this Spring, but it left me feeling like I was going to have a nervous breakdown, it made me so angry. I think I can handle doing this now, so here it is. I greatly apologize in advance for any spelling or grammar typos. I did a grammar and spell check, and everything seems fine. I also apologize for the Steve Benson-eque length of this post. I hope you all enjoy it.
In the Book of Mormon we read about 2,000 exemplary young men who were exceedingly valiant, courageous, and strong. “Yea, they were men of truth and soberness, for they had been taught to keep the commandments of God and to walk uprightly before him” (Alma 53:21). These faithful young men paid tribute to their mothers. They said, “Our mothers knew it” (Alma 56:48). I would suspect that the mothers of Captain Moroni, Mosiah, Mormon, and other great leaders also knew.
Except, none of this ever happened. You might as well be talking about Harry Potter's or Ron Weasley's parents.
The responsibility mothers have today has never required more vigilance. More than at any time in the history of the world, we need mothers who know. Children are being born into a world where they “wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” (Ephesians 6:12).
Your fear mongering may scare many, but it doesn't scare me, Mrs. Beck. Yes, there is war and pestilence going on right this second, but overall, we are living in one of the most peaceful times that there has ever been. People are much kinder, trusting, and more gentle towards one another than ever in history. The majority of people are free, and not in bondage.
Your belief in the supernatural (as opposed to the spiritual) shows an incredible lack of intellect. You genuinely believe that supernatural demons and witches are out to get you and your family. This is the year 2012, and you need to join it with the rest of us, Mrs. Beck.
Mothers who know desire to bear children. Whereas in many cultures in the world children are “becoming less valued,” in the culture of the gospel we still believe in having children.
So, TBM Mormons are the only ones who desire to bear children? They are the only ones who value a child's worth? I dare you to say that to mothers all over the world who have had their children at great risk to their own lives. I dare you to tell a Catholic, Orthodox, Hindu, Muslim, Buddhist, or ((gasp)) Atheist mother that she doesn't value her children as much as some TBM Mormon.
What about women who can't have children because of their health? Are you telling them that they don't value children? What about women who are in some other sort of position that makes it impossible for them to bear children?
Oh, I see who you are truly criticizing, Mrs. Beck - women who don't want children, or put off having children, or only have 1 or 2 children. Well, how dare you judge us. We have our own reasons for not having children, or put off child rearing. One of the most important reasons is that many of us who have chosen to not have children know that we wouldn't be good parents. This is not a selfish choice, but one that was made in all seriousness and with deep consideration. We know that we can't afford them, or that we don't want to expose them to a dangerous situation. We aren't going to make an irresponsible decision simply because someone else thinks we should be parents. Now that would very much be a selfish decision. Most people who decide to not have children make this decision because they truly do value children as human beings.
These women who don't have children of their own, still have children in their lives - their nieces and nephews, their students, and their friends' children, for example. They help guide them, and help nurture them, all without being a mother.
President Ezra Taft Benson taught that young couples should not postpone having children and that “in the eternal perspective, children–not possessions, not position, not prestige–are our greatest jewels.”
At first he says that they aren't possessions, then he calls them 'jewels'. Well, which one is it? Are children possessions or not? (rolls eyes)
Some women are not given the responsibility of bearing children in mortality, but just as Hannah of the Old Testament prayed fervently for her child (see 1 Samuel 1:11), the value women place on motherhood in this life and the attributes of motherhood they attain here will rise with them in the Resurrection (see DandC 130:18).
Mrs. Beck, have you ever heard of adoption (or foster care)? I guess you haven't, despite the fact that I know many in the cult who have adopted many children. Whole families of adopted children in fact! But I also know that they are looked down upon in the cult. I know that many times the mothers of these children have worked ten times as hard to prove that they are good mothers, in spite of being told that they are hardly mothers at all.
Faithful daughters of God desire children.
So, those that don't desire children aren't faithful to God? (I mean, if he/she/it does exist.) Again, how dare you judge.
I have visited sacrament meetings in some of the poorest places on the earth where mothers have dressed with great care in their Sunday best despite walking for miles on dusty streets and using worn-out public transportation. They bring daughters in clean and ironed dresses with hair brushed to perfection; their sons wear white shirts and ties and have missionary haircuts.
So, if someone can't dress their children in decent looking clothes, they aren't a good mother? If their son has long hair (you know, like Jesus), they aren't a good mother? This type of judgmental behavior based on looks is deeply pharisaical in nature.
Mothers who know are nurturers. This is their special assignment and role under the plan of happiness.
So, fathers can't possibly be nurturers? Special assignments? What kind of gender role assignment is this? Plan of happiness? WTF? I'm sorry to say, Mrs. Beck, but there is no one 'plan of happiness' that will work for everyone.
Another word for nurturing is homemaking. Homemaking includes cooking, washing clothes and dishes, and keeping an orderly home. Home is where women have the most power and influence; therefore, Latter-day Saint women should be the best homemakers in the world.
I thought nurturing was helping to guide someone through life, in good, loving, and supportive ways? Thanks for letting me know that I'm wrong, Mrs. Beck. (roll eyes) Seriously though, 'the best homemakers in the world'? That challenge is purely a recipe for disaster. It's what makes seriously TBM Mormon women depressed, left feeling unworthy, and even suicidal. and what if the mother isn't a good homemaker? What if her husband is? Oh, then I guess in your estimation, she's a bad mother.
Mothers who know are leaders. In equal partnership with their husbands, they lead a great and eternal organization.
Separate, but equal, you mean. Because we all know that only men are the heads of families! (rolls eyes)
These wise mothers who know are selective about their own activities and involvement to conserve their limited strength in order to maximize their influence where it matters most.
That means that these mothers had better not have a life outside of the cult. Or else. Mothers who work, for any reason, are seen as threats. They are seen as bad examples, and the cult believes that their children will end up on drugs, in jail, pregnant, or worse. I was told once by a Sunday school teacher, that if our mothers worked, we were going to hell. and of course, mothers who work, when others say they don't have to, are seen as being the worst kinds of mothers by the cult. They are seen as being worldly, sinful, vainglorious, and as having avarice. This type of judgmental thinking is spread through out the cult, and has ruined many people's lives.
Mothers who know do less. They permit less of what will not bear good fruit eternally. They allow less media in their homes, less distraction, less activity that draws their children away from their home. Mothers who know are willing to live on less and consume less of the world’s goods in order to spend more time with their children–more time eating together, more time working together, more time reading together, more time talking, laughing, singing, and exemplifying. These mothers choose carefully and do not try to choose it all.
With this counsel, Mrs. Beck, you and the cult are turning mothers and their families into intellectually bankrupt individuals, who can't think for themselves. Of course, I'm mainly talking about the mothers and families who's loyalty to the cult is so fierce that they follow the letter of the law without question. Yet, regarding more reasonable, more 'normal' cult members, the cult is still able to keep them away from their families with constant meetings, callings, visiting teaching work, and temple sessions. Oh yes, it's because they need to be kept brainwashed, or else they will fall away and lose their testimonies. and then the cult will run out of members and money. and we all know that they cult needs as much money as it can to build shopping malls, farms, gaming preserves, hotels, and cult indoctrination centers, um I mean, universities. (roll eyes)
Who will prepare this righteous generation of sons and daughters? Latter-day Saint women will do this–women who know and love the Lord and bear testimony of Him, women who are strong and immovable and who do not give up during difficult and discouraging times.
The truth is that the cult drives a severe wedge between mothers and their children. It undermines their decisions, and their parenting skills. It tells teenage boys that they don't have to listen to their single mothers, because they have the priesthood and their mothers don't. It tells teenage girls that their mothers are sinful if they have to work to put food on the table. It tells younger children that if their mothers aren't with for them for every second of every day, that their mothers don't care about them and don't love them. When it comes down to it, the cult believes that they only way for a woman to be truly worthy in the eyes of God, is to just be a mother, wife, and homemaker, and nothing else.
Mothers who truly know, Mrs. Beck, live their own lives, make their own decisions, use their own brains, and make sure that their children stay as far away as possible from cults like the so-called 'church'.
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