Friday, February 17, 2012

my "love note" post went viral.... what the? my thoughts.

SO. this week I learned the power of social media. Its pretty freaking insane. Here are my thoughts, starting with the story from my point of view.

I had a meeting for ALPFA (a club) at 6pm on Valentines day night, so I decided to stay in the Tanner building and study until then. I went to the cubicals because one of my friends was studying there. I went sat down by him, got up for a phone call and then when I sat back down... five minutes later, a random boy came up to me, tapped me on the should and gave me what I thought was a love note. Come to find out... it definietly wasn't a love not.

Here is the note:



Didnt expect that. At first I was embarrassed. Because I was with my friend, and he wanted to read the note... and it was embarrassing! I was also sad I had offended someone with my choice in dress, because that was not my intention. Also, it was Valentine's day night. I'm sorry, but it was not nice. How do you think his note made me feel? If I was struggling with my testimony or modesty in any way... I don't think this boy's note would have made me change my dress or how I feel towards the church. If anything I would have just been hurt, offended, and upset by it.

But after thinking about it, I took it as a joke. I texted a few of my close friends showing them the note the boy had written me. They all responded, oh my gosh! What are you wearing!? So I went in the bathroom... and I snapped a picture to show my friends... haha. Who would have thought that the picture would spread like wildfire all over the US. and even the world. If I would have known that picture would be examined by thousands, I would have taken a cuter picture! hahahah. To be honest, that picture is kind of embarrassing. My friends thought it was funny, so I posted it on my Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. For those of you who know me, I love Social Media.... haha. Im always uploading random things I think are funny. Somtimes I'm lucky and get 30 "likes." or 3 "retweets." But I never in a million years thought that my post would be shared over five hundred times and retweeted over 100 times. And... thats just what happened.

Here's what I was wearing:



I had a great rest of Valentines night. I told people about the story, we laughed about it and that was that. Just a funny, sad story. I went to bed that night. Went to my accounting classes the next morning. I got out of class at 11, and my post had 100+ shares. WHAT THE. how did THAT happen. I looked at the comments... They were pretty funny. My friends took it as a joke. For those that know me, they know that I'm not a rebel. Haha, I'm not a "Molly Mormon" but I am definitely always trying my best to keep the standards of the church, because I love my religion. The idea of the Honor Code at BYU for us to be MODEST. not measure inches of covered knees between the end of our loose fitting dress and the top of our boots. I had people going through my pictures on Facebook with a measuring stick to see if they could find immodest clothing... Really? Is that what the Honor Code is for? So we can find fault with each other?

After it started getting more and more shares, I got nervous. I was literally shaking. I didn't want to get in trouble with BYU and I didn't want my friends, and random people to think that I was mocking the honor code. I personally respect the honor code and I dont have a problem with it. I called my dad and he said that my post was fine, and that I didn't need to take it down. It's good to have conversations about our difference of opinions and what the rules mean or why they are there.  So I left it up because it had already gone VIRAL. and boom. thats the story.

With all of the shares, people wanted to hear what I had to say. Fox News, ABC, CBS, and NBC all jumped on the story. They came out to Provo and interviewed me. Here are the clips.

Fox Interview
KSL interview
ABC interview
KUTV (CBS) Interview

Here's one of the three radio interviews I had
Mix 1079

The Student Review
Daily Universe
Salt Lake Tribune
CBS Las Vegas

Here's the article they posted in the UK
Article
My friend Trevor's blog
imgur

The political cartoon says, "ugh! naked savage!" and he's holding a scroll that says "women's rights"



They even made a Meme... it says "what you are actually wearing" "what society thinks you're wearing" "what the creep in the study hall thinks you're wearing"


It made the front page of MSN and Yahoo....




I have had 500 new followers on Twitter, Over 200 Facebook friend requests, a lot of Facebook messages, countless text messages, phone calls, I got a very nice email from my religion and accounting professors, my parents have received calls, and endless support.

Walking around campus, and the tanner building, random people are yelling. You're THAT girl. from the Love Note story! and Nice outfit! and Thanks for dressing modestly today! Haha I was at the RB at my friends intermural basketball game and there was a boy who completely stopped and did a double take "Youre THAT girl" hahahah.

The weirdest thing is walking by people around the Tanner Building and the library who are either looking at my picture as I walk by, or talking about the story. That was a bizarre experience.

I could honestly go on and on....

Completely, absolutely.  Viral. So.... was there nothing happening this week or what? Was it really that big of a story for it to get that big? I dont think so. But there could be some valuable lessons learned.

When I was being interviewed I really didn't know what to say but to be very careful in my wording because I truly love BYU, and I think the Honor Code is here to protect us and help us be better people. but like I said earlier, the honor code is to help us be modest. not be self-righteous and judgmental.  I LOVE the LDS faith. (I served a mini mission and during high school I invited all of my friends over for discussions.) So I didnt want the news people to cut me in a way that was unfavorable towards the church or BYU. But, after thinking about it. I really wish I would have shared more of my thoughts (to the people of the LDS faith, not for the whole world...) about how men like this really aren't approaching the situation in the right way. 

I have gotten multiple girls that have either tweeted at me or messaged me on Facebook about their personal experiences that were similar to mine. One girl told me that during her D&C class, a boy called her out, in front of the WHOLE class saying her shirt was inappropriate. She said she was so embarrassed and pretty upset by it. For a boy to call a girl out in front of everyone is so sad. especially in a religion class! Thats just one of the many I received. I really feel that for the most part, the girls at BYU are truly fantastic, a light to the world. I'm sure you know, but we live in a crazy world. And to even BE at BYU says something about the type of people we are. remarkable. And when students (girls and boys) are trying so hard to be good and do the right thing... one comment from a self righteous boy would really be upsetting. 


I could post the rude messages from random people saying that it is MY fault that the church is being talked badly about it. But I wont. To them and others, I apologize. I learned my lesson about the power of social media, and I feel bad if you are offended or annoyed by this story... I really had no intention of it becoming this big. People are going to talk. With Joseph Smith and in the times of Christ bad things were said. That is the cool thing about BYU and about the Mormon faith. It still grows, even when there is "bad publicity." 


Almost everyone has been very supportive. I have gotten hundreds of tweets and messages from people saying that they thought I was dressed appropriately and they support me. SO many more nice people in this world. 


To the people of the LDS faith. Please think before you say something. Growing up, people in my ward thought it was their job to call me out and tell me what I was doing wrong. As someone who loves my religion, it didn't help. It just made me upset. Some people get very upset by comments, so be careful. I am not perfect and I know that, but I want boys (and girls) at BYU, and within our faith, to know that sometimes, you just need to ignore the situation and walk away. I do respect others who have the courage to stand up for what they believe, but please, be very careful.... espcially at BYU, where, like I said earlier, we are all trying to be the best we can. We have a honor code, and that is amazing. It is one of the things I love about BYU. The students here, for the most part, really are trying to be good Christians and be a "light to the world" 


My dad has always told me, the gospel is perfect, the people are not. So true. 


If that boy is out there, I'm sure he feels really bad, and I'm sorry, I really didn't mean for this to happen. Hopefully he (and others like him) learned something though. At first, he probably walked away feeling proud of himself. For sticking up for "what was right" but really? Valentine's day night? And was my outfit really that bad to write a note like that? If I upset that boy that much in the three seconds I walked by before sitting in my cubical then it truly wasn't my fault, but it was his. 

In the end, I want to say two things.

First, To those who don't know much about the LDS/Mormon Faith/BYU, we aren't all crazy. Haha. We definitely are different than others, but not crazy. There are the few out there who are pretty bizarre, but for the most part... we are normal, nice, people.

Second, I just want to say thank you to everyone who has reached out to me and been sooo kind. There has been an overwhelming response and I know that (thankfully) in a few days this will all be over.

Thanks,

B

49 comments:

  1. this is seriously so crazy

    i think the most important thing is that you are so strong. if you were a girl who was struggling with modesty or your faith this seriously could of killed you, which is something i don't think that this boy considered. hope all is well girl.

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  2. I totally agree that what you experienced has people talking about modesty, how we great each other, and of course BYU and the standards of the Church.
    Overall, it's a great thing for people to talk. It's sad, though, that some of the comments have been mean-hearted or dismissive if the standards you are trying to live.
    But, your mini mission shared your beliefs. And you shared those online for millions to see. That's awesome.

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  3. We have a common friend on Facebook, I met him when he was a missionary in France. That's how I heard about that story. I totally agree with you, if that boy was upset by the way you dressed, it was his fault, not yours.

    I am sure that next year, on February the 14th, you will get a true love note! :D

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  4. I think you look very modest and pretty! I'm LDS and grew up with strict standards of modesty and honestly, I can't see why anybody could be offended by what you're wearing! Some people are so ridiculous! I actually heard about you on the radio today and I was just floored that someone would be offended! People really, really need to grow up! :) That dress is super cute, by the way!

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  5. You poor thing!! You looked so stinking cute! Don't listen to what anyone negative says! My husband read this with me and said he wants to punch that boy in the face hahaha he wouldn't but that's just not right. You deserve way better! You said all the right things and you are darling!

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  6. As the father of an almost teen girl (whimper), and also LDS, I find nothing in your outfit that I wouldn't let my daughter wear. I feel bad that some people are so bound by "the letter of the law" that they can't use real judgement or guidance before they judge.

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  7. When I read the part about another girl with a similar experience who called called out by the moron in front of the whole class, all I could think was how AWESOME it would have been if she'd slapped him, hard, in front of the whole class. Then gone and sat back down like everything was normal.

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  8. Love you pretty girl :) Stay strong!!

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  9. I do love this story. It's like a daily universe letter to the editor come to life. While at BYU I had longer hair but not long enough that it was against the honor code, just that it was on the line, having a male afro. At one point I decided to cut it but the barber cut it a bit too much so I was planning on growing it out again but it would just take a little longer, after cutting my hair I got the comment from someone saying, "I'm glad you finally decided to live the honor code." It definitely hurt because even though I knew I was walking the line I was doing it because having a bit longer of hair gave me confidence. I know this wasn't your intent with your dress but the honor code was never about stopping someone from feeling attractive. Sexual attraction is and can be a very good thing, and there is no talk, no scripture which talks about how feeling attracted to someone in wholesome manner is wrong. There are just people within the culture like this boy who may be having his own issues and instead of dealing with them himself he's lashing out on others in the only way he knows how.

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    1. "I could post the rude messages from random people saying that it is MY fault that the church is being talked badly about it. But I wont. To them and others, I apologize."

      You shouldn't be apologizing. While your experience was extreme, milder forms of this sort of sexual harassment are unfortunately common at BYU, and it will never change until people start talking about it.

      Delete
  10. you rock! yeah it's kind of true, Utah's so lame that it makes something funny like this HUGE deal! but the power of social media is insane. i love it and i hate it.

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  11. I graduated from BYU in 1982. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that outfit. Thank you for sharing your story; what that boy did was positively creepy and needed to be exposed. You've handled the whole thing very well and with nothing but class. God bless you!

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  12. I loved reading this blog post and about how strong your faith is. I hope this boy and his problems do not become your problems. I heard about your story on the LDS Families Board on babycenter.com. So much controversy over a cruel note written to a girl on Valentine's Day! Who knew how quickly such things could get out of hand ;) It is certainly not your fault.

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  13. It's great to hear your thoughts on the story going viral. I'm sorry you've gotten so much unwanted attention. It is nice however that this incident has highlighted the problem that has been growing at BYU with students judging others and nitpicking about the honor code and Church standards. I feel we've started falling away from what the gospel is really about and what these codes and standards actually mean. In the end it's all about Christ, and what else really matters?

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  14. There will always be people in the world who will tell you that you aren't enough - strong enough, good enough, righteous enough, modest enough. But in the end, there is only one whose opinion matters. And He's perfect and won't pass you inappropriate notes. I'm proud of you for not doing any of the things I would have done in that situation. ;)

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  15. I noticed in your interviews that you mentioned that the guy didn't handle it the right way. I am just curious as to how you (and others) think he should have handled it?

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  16. @alisha.smith234 The guy should have de-saddled his mighty BYU judgment horse and done what everyone else was doing there - study!

    Brittany, I'm glad people are giving you such good feedback! What you've done is expose a serious ongoing problem that many folks in this neck of the woods have with judgment. I've lived in Utah and many places out of Utah, gone to a state university, and also graduated from BYU. While there are wonderful people everywhere you go, including here, I've never experienced such a vast population of people who think that their higher standards also make them beter than others. They might not voice it directly (or even admit it to themselves), but things like this note are proof of such mentality.

    One of my mission companions (who grew up in Florida but now lives out here) just posted this on Facebook: "I think the Mormon motto out here is 'We're better than everyone else because we don't drink and we don't smoke. But it's okay to treat people like assholes.'"

    I'm proud to see a good BYU student like you stick to your standards with an air of class and goodwill toward others. Way to go!

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  17. Hey Brittany,
    Thanks for sharing this. It is good to get the story in its entirety. I'm glad you've taken it so well and I hope we all learn from your experience - especially not to judge. Rock on!

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  18. Very funny...

    But finally, your article is more clever than the buzz of the valentine note. It was a opportunity to speak about the gospel ^^. Keep your dress, it is nice.

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  19. I think you handled the situation very well! And you looked fabulous!
    xoxo
    Chels

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  20. I had a similar experience, but from a girl in one of my classes. She said my sleeves weren't long enough (I was wearing a t-shirt that fully covered the sleeves of my garments), and if I were at BYU Hawaii I would have been kicked out of class. I don't think students have a right to try to enforce the Honor Code this way. It is for the Honor Code office or perhaps professors. Your legs are covered, your chest isn't hanging out- it is his problem if your outfit make him feel inappropriate. Don't be afraid to be yourself.

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  21. Sadly, I've heard a few times in church it being suggested that men should do something like this. Frankly, it is sexual harassment. There's nothing wrong, if there is a real problem, for a guy to go to a girlfriend of a girl and suggest saying something leaving him anonymous and putting it in a positive way (as in not making the girl feel bad/evil, whatever). We also have a problem that we need to educate the guys that even if something breaks the Honor Code, it isn't necessarily sexual, or intended to be.

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    1. (I'd like to clarify that I've never heard somebody holding priesthood keys suggest doing something extreme, and if they had, I'm sure the Spirit corrected the matter for those who were in tune).

      Delete
  22. I transferred from a college that continually exposed me to pornography during class lectures, to a college that finds your outfit morally demeaning. I'm left to wonder if the whole world has gone mad, and also as to where you purchased your boots because they are adorbs.

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  23. @bjorn, NO it is not sexual harassment. This is sexual harassment: Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature.

    I guess the lesson you girls want guys to learn is to just go straight to the honor code office with any issues of improper dress. Read the honor code. Students have the obligation to report any misconduct. This man was actually doing a favor to this girl by PRIVATELY passing a note. In all honesty, If I saw what she was wearing I wouldn't have considered it breaking the honor code. but come one ladies! really?? blasting a private letter all over the internet? Girls complain and complain about us guys treating them like sexual objects but the second we urge them the other way they call it sexual harassment.

    There are sooooooo many people who are trying to get into BYU and denied who would gladly keep the honor code. For those that say they will to get admitted and once in decide they no longer have to its pretty unfair. Her case that some girl was called out in a religion class (as if religion classes are suppose to be more tolerant of immodesty) inappropriately detracts from the real issue that the girl signed a legally binding agreement to not dress that way but chose to do so anyway. What did she really expect? Is she not in the wrong there? People are totally ignoring the real issues of responsibility to live up to your word and the accountability one has if they dont. I feel sorry for this man. He may have a different opinion on what was appropriate dress than this girl but he certainly does not deserve to be vilified to the whole world when in reality he was being considerate toward her by not just getting her name and turning her in to the honor code. And who knows, he may have been a student employee of the library.

    This whole incident is more of how NOT to be when someone offends you unintentionally. A little forgiveness could have avoided sooooo much harm to this man, the reputation of the church and BYU, and the rest of us "Mormon men" who now have to try and explain to the world why we are perverts who cant control our hormones so force girls to wear blankets when in reality we are trying to show you that you are much more than just sex to us.

    Bottom line is we ALL have the responsibility to help each other stay clean and pure and avoid temptation but more than that to be understanding, compassionate, a tiny bit forgiving and give others the benefit of the doubt.

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    1. I mean does that even make sense for men now a days to encourage women to NOT dress like sexual objects for their pleasure? Does that not show just a little of our desires to respect and cherish women for who they really are?

      Delete
    2. If the guy had been understanding, compassionate, a tiny bit forgiving and had given her the benefit of the doubt before he decided to react so majorly(yes, giving a stranger a chastising note, even though it was private, is a major reaction. If it had not of been then the world would not have reacted the way it did to this story), then this whole thing would have never happened.
      Though I'm glad you feel the point of this boys strange reaction to her outfit is a weird way of showing that men are trying to express their desire to love women for more than just their bodies.
      From that point of the view, the note really does appear to be a "love letter". Awwww. (Not being sarcastic, think about it ladies..)

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    3. @Enzo. I completely agree with your point. Whether she is considered modest or not, the honor code says that we have the responsibility to help others keep it.

      I feel so bad for the poor guy. He did not choose for this to become viral. It was private until she chose to make it public. He didn't publicly say it, and didn't report her to the honor code. Maybe this guy is not a stranger. (Not sure how she didn't) but she said she never even saw him. If you’re studying in the tanner, most likely you are a business student, accounting student, or an information systems student. He could be in her classes and has felt that she does not dress modestly in general.

      And everyone that's been saying that he should not judge her, that is beyond me. We are supposed to make judgments on the people we choose to hang out with, and the people we date. If he is watching a tv show or a movie, he has the ability to not watch certain scenes. But if he is around immodest girls in class and where he studies, he can't choose what he sees. Elder Oaks said we make intermediate judgments and not final judgments. With our obligation to help others keep the honor code, he was justified in his actions. Again, I'm not saying he was right about whether she was modest but it is how he felt. I've definitely seen a lot worse on campus.

      I just don't think it's fair to criticize him so much. His note was not cruel. I think it was a kind way to say what he was trying to say.

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    4. "Girls complain and complain about us guys treating them like sexual objects but the second we urge them the other way they call it sexual harassment."

      I disagree. If men don't want to objectify women, they can be responsible for their own thoughts, and allow women to make their own choices regarding what constitutes modesty. This guy's note indicates nothing, if not his own HUGE issue with objectification. If he interprets clothing as innocuous as this as some kind of sexual invitation, what does that say about his thought process? It reveals a great deal about his inability to see a woman as a whole person- he responds to her on the basis of her clothing, and by extension her body, without knowing anything else about her. What is that, if not objectification?
      There are way too many men in the church who feel that it is a woman's job to insure the purity of their thoughts. Guess what guys. It's your job, and yours alone. Modesty is a great community virtue. It does make it easier to live together as people. And it's great to have a community of consent like BYU where it is valued, but respecting the agency of others where it may differ from our own is also a great community virtue. I agree that we are to make righteous judgments RELATIVE TO THE CHOICES THAT AFFECT OUR OWN LIVES, but the patent way in which this kind of response passes judgement without context or empathy is definitely a stretch if we are trying to emulate Christ.

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    5. Preach it Brian! 100%. The objectification of women is not limited to the covers of mens magazines, it's embedded in the rhetoric surrounding modesty for women too. Both sides spread the message that the most important thing for a woman is having a body that men approve of. When women and men internalize this message, we get well-meaning but misguided people like the modesty militiaman who wrote this note, and a bunch of people that try do defend his behavior.

      We could turn this on its head. I'd like to hand out a note at church to a man that says this:
      "You may want to consider that what you’re wearing has a negative effect on the women sitting by you. Your tie is basically an arrow pointing at your, you-know. It makes it difficult for the women to concentrate and chase away impure thoughts. Many people come to this church because they feel safe, morally as well as physically, here. They expect others to abide by the baptismal covenants that we all agreed upon. Please consider your commitment to the covenants (which you agreed to) when dressing each day. Thank you."
      That sounds ridiculous because the rhetoric on modesty is totally gendered. It is assumed that women can control themselves in the presence of a good-looking man regardless of what he's wearing, but men can't do the same in the presence of a woman. Not fair, and certainly not true.

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    6. Enzo, I felt highly objectified by the way my parents "taught" me modesty as a kid. The message they sent to me when they chastised me for my clothing choices on the basis that I would cause a male to have sexual thoughts, was that my body *was* nothing but a sexual object and that I needed to hide my shoulders and knees if I was to have any hope of being thought of as anything more than that. They were also communicating to me that my own comfort and preference was not as important as the comfort and preference of the males around me. I believe that modesty should be taught as consideration for the comfort of both genders, not just the comfort of men. I agree with Brian's comment also.

      ~Annie B.

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  24. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  25. I don't know you but my husband went to BYU, I went to Utah State. It's a great school if you want to switch.. HAHA. My point is that I have been following your story and just wanted to say that me and my husband are on your side!!! You were totally modest. I wear stuff like this all the time! I'm sorry you are going through this but know that you have supporters all the way in Texas!

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  26. This is precisely why I don't want my kids to go to BYU - The judgemental/self-righteous type. But at the same time, time comment rings true: "I transferred from a college that continually exposed me to pornography during class lectures, to a college that finds your outfit morally demeaning. I'm left to wonder if the whole world has gone mad" I am one of those LDS people that love the gospel, but don't feel I fit in (I'm active, some people just don't know what to do with me), and with my non-member group, I feel I don't fit in there either. It's hard. Especially when you're just going about your business and doing the right thing and some douch-canoe thinks he's had personal revelation pertaining to the honor code and how to approach people.

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  27. Stranger here!

    The BYU honor code requires students to police each other? JEeeeez. I went to USU, a truly enlightened school, so that's a shocking piece of info to me.

    I admire your courage and class and how you've handled this whole viral thing. So props.

    The fact that you actually WERE dressed modestly isn't the thing that makes me angry at that guy, but that seems to be the thing everyone's focusing on... Would people be ok with his behavior had you actually been wearing daisy dukes and a tube top? I still think that body policing is NEVER okay. When society polices women on what they're wearing and pressures women to dress themselves for the male gaze, it's objectifying women and teaching them to objectify themselves. Whether women are pressured to dress immodestly to attract men or to dress modestly to protect men from their "urges", it's two sides of the same coin. To put the responsibility on women for the thoughts of the men around them is truly bizarre and vastly underestimates the ability of men to, you know, think for themselves. But I guess that's actually embedded in the Honor Code somehow, which I find baffling.

    So... EScape! Transfer to USU! (Just kidding, I can tell you love BYU.)

    For more info about body policing, the male gaze, and reclaiming the concept of beauty from the current, hyper-sexualized one today, go over to the Utah based http://beautyredefined.net.

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  28. Well stated. And thank you for not being bitter/mean back to the boy. Yeah, it probably wasn't the smartest move. No, reacting like he's the biggest douche ever and deserves to be beat or something isn't a healthy response and the people that engage in it (in understandable defense of you) are really doing the same thing he did. I'm really glad at the way you've handled it (especially post viral). Best of luck...

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    1. Oh I totally agree. Poor kid. People are acting like he stood on a table and called her a whore.

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  29. Tapped you on the should, huh? But IMO........I don't see leggings as an excuse to wwear shorter dresses/skirts/etc. The fact that they're usually skin tight doesn't make them any better than baring your legs. That's my two cents and I hope this story can die now, it's not one I enjoy popping up everywhere now.

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    1. Maverick: Whether you agree with leggings or not, it doesn't mean the actions of the guy that gave her the note is right. The Honor Code is not there to come down on others and "look" for offenders (in their opinion) and call them on it. Unless it's something completely "out there", it's for the staff, administration, etc to handle.

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  30. Awesome post... you explained your thoughts very well. I hope all 3 of my teen sons meet many young women like you- at the Y or wherever they are. And I hope they can influence the guys they meet to NEVER treat a daughter of God the way you & the other women you referenced were treated. So here's more support from a former Y co-ed, mom to 3 teen sons (1 of whom will be starting @ the Y in 2 months), former RS president, fellow sister and Saint!

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  31. I think it may be a bit dangerous to judge people as "bad" if they are wearing something a bit more revealing since that encourages us to assume if someone is dressed conservatively they are more likely to be "good." One might consider that "modesty" in the Book of Mormon was usually associated with not showing off costly apparel in order to flaunt wealth.

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  32. As a random BYU student who's been inundated with posts on Facebook about this situation, it was SO refreshing to read your side of the story. It's so easy to look at two pictures and make a LOT of judgments, but this post at least helped me know that you're not stuck-up or hating on the Honor Code or anything like that. I really appreciate the way you've written about these things. You know what? If we ever met, I feel like we could be friends.

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  33. Hey Brittany, I really loved this post. I enjoyed reading your experience and take on the matter, since you are "THAT girl!" Haha.

    Thanks for your comment on my blog. I agree that the Honor Code is an individual code meant to help people be their best, not a code designed to create modesty police. People just need to mind their own business and worry about themselves.

    I am glad this went viral because I think it'll help overzealous members think twice before doing things like this in the future.

    You're beautiful and you obviously have a strong testimony! Keep rockin', girlfriend.

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  34. Can I add my little bit to what is probably a gigantic load of reactions? I was appalled by what the guy wrote. I saw nothing wrong with your outfit. (Didn't people wear long shirts with leggings back in the 80's? So what's wrong with it now? Seriously.)
    Thanks for your bravery, especially with all the publicity. I couldn't believe it when you said people got offended by all of this and continued to call you out. Wow.
    I read Mom, the Intern (Jenna)'s blog post about it and I loved her point of view and non-judgemental take on it. Made me think!
    You're awesome, Brittany. Have a blast at the Y.

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  35. That meme and cartoon are HILARIOUS!!!

    Proudly a Mormon ;)

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  36. Brittany-
    I love your dress in the picture! I did a sketch of your outfit along with a post about the whole story. Crazy stuff, hope you enjoy my picture atleast, let me know if you have any problems with the story.

    --heather anderson
    @ latterdaystyle.blogspot.com

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  37. Thanks for posting your thoughts about your experience and being positive in general about the whole thing. I first saw this story from a share on facebook and felt for you. My LDS parents presented modesty in much the same way that your note-writer did and it was not fun growing up that way. I truly tried to be obedient and modest growing up, but they had pretty strict standards. When my parents chastised me for my clothing choices (my dad once threatened to burn any shorts I owned that didn't fall below my knees) with the explanation that boys would look at me the wrong way, they were communicating to me that my comfort and preference were not as important as a boys comfort and preference. I now have a healthier understanding of modesty, thank heavens, and realize that my own comfort and preference is as much a part of the modesty equation as the comfort of anyone around me. If a person is going out of their way to shame you for your choice of clothing, they are missing the point of modesty entirely. It seems your note writer also simply had a different standard of modesty than you do, which is fine, but the note writing wasn't fine. A lot of people don't realize that modesty is cultural. Men used to have a sexual response to seeing bare ankles, but not anymore. Guess why? Women got fed up with having covered ankles all the time and started wearing more comfortable ankle bearing clothing. Now that bare ankles are commonplace guys don't have a sexual response to them anymore. In tribal cultures where women breastfeed in the open for convenience and comfort, men don't have a sexual response to seeing bare breasts. Guess why? Because it is commonplace, and sexual response is partially conditioned by experience. If we continue in the mindset that simply requiring women to cover up solves the problem of unwanted sexual thoughts then women will end up in burqas and men will still have troubling thoughts. Balancing out consideration for both men and women is the best way to approach modesty.

    Harmful mindsets like those of your note-writer are more prevalent than a lot of people think and there is absolutely nothing wrong with speaking up about that. Don't ever feel like it's your fault if anyone spins the LDS church in a bad light. The LDS church can take care of itself so long as it is promoting good principles. If anything you are helping to shed light on harmful individual misinterpretations. Thank you so much for doing that. I feel like this story gives me a teensy bit of a voice for all those years I was shamed into self-doubt and silence.

    ~Annie B.

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  38. Our family has had many conversations about what the Mormon Modesty Culture means. First, because men are encouraged to feel comfortable displacing the responsibility for their thoughts onto women, the Modesty Culture means that women are less safe in Mormon areas. This is why Utah has a higher than average rape rate. Second, because Mormon kids are not trained to accept feelings of sexual attraction as their own (the men blame the women and the women are just taught to feel worthless if we feel attraction) we have problems in our marriages; I have many friends in our 40s and so many are dealing with inability to enjoy intimacy and that has caused divorces. Last, there are honor codes like this that legitimize both of the above mistakes. Hopefully, we will get past Modesty/Rape culture soon and become a more secure and self-aware people.

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