For the Discouragement of Youth

In the “Entertainment and Media” section, the For the Strength of Youth booklet advises:

Do not attend, view, or participate in anything that is vulgar, immoral, violent, or pornographic in any way [p. 11; all page references are to the PDF version].

I saw this bit of FtSoY quoted recently in a discussion somewhere on the Bloggernacle (sorry–I don’t recall where), and it struck me as being overly absolute. In any way? For violence in particular, doesn’t this rule out all kinds of sports and virtually all movies? Isn’t this a little unrealistic?

Running into this statement got me to wondering about whether this type of absolute phrasing was common, or if this was just an isolated example. To find out, I read through the rest of the FtSoY booklet. I was actually pleasantly surprised at how few similar statements I found, but I did find several others that I think have the same problem. In this post, I’ll quote the statements from FtSoY that I think are a problem, and then explain what I think is wrong with them.

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Blind spot: The assumption that all women can use their sexuality to influence others.

I was recently listening to the awesome feminist mormon housewives podcast episode in which Lisa Butterworth talks to Brad Kramer about what it means to be a male feminist.  I particularly liked his discussion about modesty and sexuality and how he wants to frame those issues for his children.  There are many, many parts of this discussion that I wholeheartedly agree with.  For example, I really like his discussion about how the current modesty rhetoric in the church reinforces the idea that girls and young women are primarily sexual instead of sexuality being only a part of who they are as a person overall.

That being said, there were a couple of statements within this discussion that brought me up short.  Read More