Ashley Billasano was an 18 year old girl in Texas who claimed to be a victim of sexual abuse by her stepfather and another family member. She poured out her story on twitter and then committed suicide. It’s a tragic and horrible story, but of course there’s always someone around to make it worse, and that someone will use religious morality as a prod.
I don’t care what did or did not happen to her. First and foremost, I don’t believe rape exists. When there are incidents that are classified as “rape,” or names that are similar, what usually ends up happening is that the “victim” tends to “forget” to mention immodesty, flirty actions, or other conduct on their part that contributed to the matter. A woman who dresses immodestly must accept accountability for her choice of attire.
If, in fact, this girl was being molested or forced into prostitution as the media outlets say her tweets claimed, then it was her fault that it happened, and continued to happen.
The guilt of the stepfather has not been established, but it must be some consolation to him that his actions were irrelevant, no matter what: if he raped his stepdaughter, it was all her fault.
This sounds like the institutionalized misogyny of the Taliban, doesn’t it? You won’t be surprised to learn that the source of this heinous doctrine was the Mormon church.
The prophet Spencer W. Kimball wrote in his book “The Miracle of Forgiveness”:
“In a forced contact such as rape or incest, the injured one is greatly outraged. If she has not cooperated and contributed to the foul deed, she is of course in a more favorable position. There is no condemnation where this is no voluntary participation. It is better to die in defending one’s virtue than to live having lost it without a struggle.”
The bold emphasis is mine. Even though a woman may cry rape or may claim that sex was not consensual, if she doesn’t successfully defend her virtues, and allows the so-called “attack” to take place, then she loses the right to call herself a victim. It is better to die defending one’s virtues!
There may be no “condemnation,” as he says, but notice that that only puts the woman in a “more favorable position,” and that’s assuming that she didn’t “cooperate,” by not defending her virtue or in cases such as this story allowing the “abuse” to go on for years without taking steps to stop it.
I would say that, condemnation or not, she is not completely absolved of accountability unless she successfully defended her virtues or died in the process, or at the very least take steps to stop it. She appears to have not done any of these things, save for the last one, and that was done far too late, which I would say calls her motives into question.
The Mormon leadership claims to be literal prophets — this is the church of latter day saints, after all — and therefore speaks the literal voice of god. Which just means that wretched awful excuses for humanity like Spencer Kimball get to stand up and declare their bigoted opinions to be divine and inarguable. It’s a sweet gig. And the followers get an unlimited excuse for tolerating the intolerable.
Here’s Michael Crook’s Mormon morality.
There are those who would say that her followers should have helped her. Not so! They had no legal obligation to do so. I wouldn’t help someone, whether they cried out on Twitter, or whether I personally witnessed so-called “abuse.” Welcome to real life. The onus is on the so-called “victim” to man up, per at least two General Authorities of the LDS Church.
He’s admitted that if he saw a woman being raped, he’d shrug it off and let her defend herself. It’s all her fault, and church dogma tells him that that’s OK. In fact, there are a lot of things he considers OK that normal people would find repugnant.