Mormon Honor Code

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In a recent article published by The New York Times, it was reported that rape victims at the Mormon-run Brigham Young University claim that the school uses the Honor Code they are forced to sign before beginning school there to punish them for the circumstances surrounding their assaults. The Honor Code “requires modest dress on campus and prohibits drinking, drug use, same-sex intimacy, indecency and sexual misconduct” (Healy). Since many sexual assaults on college campuses very often involve alcohol or other drugs, the victims state that “they had faced Honor Code investigations into whether they drank alcohol, took drugs or had consensual sex in the time surrounding their assaults” (Healy). One woman was actually suspended from Brigham …show more content…
They would not make their students sign such a code if this was not the case. However, their actions point to questions of whether or not they view virginity as more important in females than in males. These victims of sexual assault are made to feel guilty about what happened to them, and are more likely to think it is their fault, when this is not the case. In Mitzi Smith’s article “Fashioning Our Own Souls: A Womanist Reading of the Virgin-Whore Binary in Matthew and Revelation”, she states, “Yet women who are viewed as whores (sometimes called tramps, prostitutes, sluts, hoes, etc.) are constructed over against a supposed biological and social understanding of women as virgins. Virgins are primarily females and virginity is general expected of females” (Smith, 158). Investigating the victims themselves in violations of this Honor Code and then suspending them for perceived violations are perpetuating Smith’s words. While the offenders do get punished as well, the fact the victims receive punishment for something that never should have happened to them reinforces the idea that these women are whores because they are no longer sexually pure, even though it was not their …show more content…
In Fortune’s article she states, “One goal of feminist/womanist Christianity is…to change institutions that reinforce the norm of violence against women” (Fortune, 141). This practice Brigham Young undertakes is exactly the kind of institution Fortune is talking about. As feminist, womanist, and mujerista Christians, we must protest with the victims against Brigham Young University. It portrays God as unforgiving and judgmental, and reinforces the idea that if a woman is not a virgin, she somehow does not have a place in religion. We must ask that Brigham Young stop these investigations because of these

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