Trigger warning for descriptions of sexual assault
If you haven’t already heard of Warren Jeffs and you can’t stomach pedophilia, I suggest you stop reading here. In searching for something news worthy to blog about, I came across the most recent story about Jeffs on CBSnews.com chronicaling the case against him. I’ll admit, the name didn’t ring a bell for me. But upon further reading the story, I began to remember the news at the time (2008.) The Texas compound being raided. The child brides. The Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. The women and girls in garb seemingly from the 1800s.
The headline reads, "...polygamist instructs young teens on sex." The details are just as chilling.
"A good wife is trained for her husband and follows the spirit of peace," Jeffs is heard saying. He also makes reference to "drawing close" or "being close," which is how church members refer to sex. Two female voices are heard saying "OK."
In writing about the session in his journal later, Jeffs said he told his wives they were "honorable vessels, property of your husband's kingdom and the Kingdom of God on Earth."
Jeffs is not unique in that his manipulation and rape of these girls rests on psychological control and is deeply rooted misogyny. These words dehumanize the girls and their roles as wives. He explicitly states their purpose is to be vessels and property. And much like dogs, they require "training." It's hard for me to even ponder this perspective, much less write about it. The fact that this viewpoint is present in our society, no matter by how small of a minority, is extremely troubling to me.
I don't even know what else to say.