Dear Progressive Mormon Man,
We share this space.
This space where we engage in the wrestle; where the struggle is real. This space of curious learning coupled with hopeful healing. This space that offered a soft landing for those affected by the great and spacious abyss. We are thrown here violently for some, our veils freshly shed, seeking solace.
We share this space.
Imagine the surprise, when we realize this space of progressivism is full of pain. This space of enlightenment is shrouded with darkness. This space of hope still carries hate.
You claim to champion the cause of the oppressed, but use your privilege to persuade. You will support our plight, but only when it increases your appearance. You say you are allied with victims, but then discredit their pain. You condemn power and control, but are quick to employ them when it suits your needs.
Progressive Mormon Man, do you see how you have just repackaged rape culture?
Progressive Mormon Man, do you see how you have just reorganized aggressivism?
Progressive Mormon Man, do you see how you have just made ignorance shiny and new?
Where are the laurels you claim to embrace in your image? The values you tout in your temperament? You’ve traded one community of privilege and patriarchy only to rebuild another with you at the center.
In this space you find comfort, while we find confusion. You find accustomed acceptance, while we find internalized oppression. You are afforded unaccounted credit, while we are in the red before it even begins. Our tithes meaningless. Our insight less than. Our input not worth your time. Our thoughts discounted. Our pain deleted.
Its whitewashing at its best. Again.
This space of progressivism prides itself on safety and security, but you only bring shaming and self-preservation. Your lack of probity is paralyzing. Although you may fear a fall from atop, please realize we have never been there to begin with.
In this space, you fetishize female vulnerability. You joke at our expense. You mock us to our face, but then say “just kidding” to make it ok. And you use eternal gender roles and black-and-white binarism to justify it all.
But the biggest tragedy is that you fail to even realize it.
You downplay our pain, our stories, our experiences. Then you upvote the ones that confirm your bias. You breed enablement with your words and permissiveness with your actions. You sustain submissiveness and empower inequality. Your legacy is doublespeak, pioneered with disregard.
Author, Louise O-Neill states, “They are all innocent until proven guilty. But not me. I am a liar until I am proven honest.”
We are not proven. And still not believed. We are also cast off. Even here in this space. You instantly have an Army of Helamen at your side, whose ears perk up when a female questions your authority. Your disposition doctrinaire and your aim to affront. You would rather be an idol than an ally. You choose your Rameumptom instead of choose the right. This space of cultural hall call-outs can include anyone but you.
You perpetuate hegemonic patriarchy with your careless discrediting. You enable toxic masculinity with your easy dismissing. You willingly and readily pass your privilege, without even a pause to consider how it damages others. You claimed to have unpacked your baggage of overt sexism, when in reality you’ve smuggled covert misogyny into your carry-on. You cannot see androcentrism because your blind spots remain unexamined. Your archaeology is incomplete resulting in a male gaze that marginalizes.
You don’t just get to leave this conversation because you lose interest in it. Again, we are not here for your pleasure.
Could the reason be, that there are skeletons in your closet? The kind that don’t die, but gain new life with bad behavior.
Gavin de Becker, states “Most men fear getting laughed at or humiliated while most women fear rape and death.” The parallel evident: You worry about satire, while we worry about safety. You fear ignomity, while we fear abuse. We seek refuge while you provide rigidity. We seek sanctuary while you provide chauvinism.
Progressive Mormon Man, I am not a muse for your column.
I am not a meme for your page.
I am not entertainment for your fodder.
I am not a zinger waiting for your laugh.
Progressive Mormon Man, you’ve figured out that our salvation is still dependent on you.
And you are taking full advantage.