A “First Dance Kit” has gone viral that tells girls to “never say ‘No’ to a guy who had the courage to walk over and ask you to dance”
A Facebook post advertising a so-called “First Dance Kit” that teaches girls damaging patriarchal “facts” like the importance of following the dress code so you don’t make boys “uncomfortable” and reads like something out of The Handmaid’s Tale, has gone viral. The handout is basically a primer in protecting the male ego and Ashlee Allen Feegan of Utah told Scary Mommy that her friend’s 14-year-old daughter received a copy of the “First Dance Kit” at her Mormon church’s youth group, which the mom then shared online in a Facebook group for former members of the Mormon Church.
When Feegan shared the handout online, she highlighted two sections, the first of which concerns the dance dress code and how important it is that girls police their own bodies so that no boy is “uncomfortable.”
“Don’t forget what the approved dress standards are when choosing your outfit,” it reads. “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.”
How many school dress code policies must go viral before everyone gets on the same page about this? We are running out of ways to say “stop policing girls’ bodies and start teaching boys to respect girls’ bodies!” Why is this still hard for school and church leaders to understand?
The next section is listed in BOLD and will absolutely set you over the edge. The church tells girls to “never say ‘No’ to a guy who had the courage to walk over and ask you to dance in the first place.”
What the literal hell? There’s also another section about cautioning young girls from talking to their friends because this might deter a young boy from asking her to dance. Yes, it does take courage to ask a girl to dance, but this church needs to be less concerned with boys not getting any action at a dance and more concerned with teaching kids (especially boys) how to deal with rejection.
There’s also a reminder to young girls to “paint your nails” and “wear a little lip gloss.” Oh, and to brush their teeth? WTF.
Feegan tells us that she was motivated to share the post on her Facebook page as a way to call out the “purity culture that resides within the LDS [Latter-day Saints] church.” As for the LDS church, there is nothing “pure” about a young woman who bends her will to accommodate the sexual whims of men. As one very wise commenter — who said she received a similar letter from the church when she was a girl — put it, “[this] is a form of grooming young women to never say no to men.”
Fegan said the “dance kit” was created by a local blogger who apparently removed the handout from her blog after the backlash, though it’s unclear if the church still practices this damaging hetero-patriarchal ethos. For the sake of the young girls in their congregation, we sincerely hope not.