Ashlee Allen Fegan, a mom from Utah, recently shared a list of "rules" for a dance at a Church of the Latter-Day Saints that left her feeling genuinely shocked and horrified. In what seems to be a piece of paper leftover from Gilead in Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale, the dance coordinators laid out a set of appalling instructions aimed at young girls that focused on making the male attendees feel comfortable.
"Don't forget what the approved dress code standards are when choosing your outfit," said the flyer. "You don't want the embarrassment of being asked to go home and change. And you don't want the guy dancing with you to feel uncomfortable because of the questionable outfit that you somehow justified."
Growing up Catholic, I was always taught to dress modestly at church functions. While that's not a problem in and of itself, I'm utterly confused as to what a girl's outfit has to do with making a boy "uncomfortable." In case these people missed it, males are perfectly capable of managing their own emotions. But . . . oh wait, it gets so much worse.
"Never say 'NO' to a guy who had the courage to walk over and ask you to dance in the first place," it read. "A song lasts approximately 3 minutes it's not THAT bad." So using this logic, girls are expected to just suck up uncomfortable situations, but if boys feel an awkward twinge because of one of the girl's outfits, that's an issue? Yeah, I think not — and I'm not alone.
Ashlee shared the rules with the caption, "Nope NOPE NOOOOO! not happening with my daughter!!" she wrote. "This paper came home from church with the daughter of a friend." And hundreds of other people chimed in to agree that encouraging girls to be meek isn't the best rule of thumb.
"You don't have to talk to anyone you don't want to. And you don't have to dance with anyone you don't want to dance with," one woman wrote in the comments. "You can dance by yourself, in a group, with who you want, or not at all. This is 2019. Stop teaching this foolish[ness]." Another echoed a similar sentiment, writing: "Instead of teaching young girls how to protect a boy's ego, why don't we teach boys that it's OK for someone to tell you no. Your worth isn't dependent on whether or not someone likes you. We all need to learn to set boundaries and RESPECT other people's boundaries."
Yep, that's a mic drop. No one's self-worth — regardless of sex — should be based upon socially pleasing others, period.