People Are Praising This Gay Mormon's Twitter Thread Which Perfectly Sums Up Rape Culture

Josh Weed explains why 'modesty culture' is damaging to everyone, regardless of gender.

Man and woman smiling in front of left background of pumpkins and right background of path. Two twitter screen grabs are in the left and right foreground from thread on rape culture.

John Weed, an openly gay Mormon who gained popularity for his straight marriage, has been commended for a Twitter thread he posted about the hypersexualisation of women in society, using his own experiences as a gay man to shine a light on rape culture and emphasise the importance of bodily autonomy.

While Weed is openly gay, he became known due to his marriage to a woman – both argued that their spiritual connection ran deeper than any sexual attraction. Years later, Weed is divorced and accepts the blame for giving false hope to young gay Mormons, admitting he had no real experience of what a true relationship should feel like.

Today, he now acts as a voice for his small community and uses this platform to address important issues surrounding gender and sexuality.

In the thread, Weed tackles ‘modesty culture’: the assumption that women must avoid dressing ‘provocatively’, or in any way which arouses sexual desire in men.

He points out how this idea is structured around the shift in blame from the person who is feeling a sexual response to the person of desire. A woman’s value is thereby placed in the hands of men who then supposedly ‘have the right’ to reprimand her for her choices rather than re-evaluate their own tendencies. 

He highlights this gendered double standard with respect to his own life and experiences, showing how one’s sexual response should not necessarily elicit feelings of blame; it is a personal experience and in no way presupposes that the individual in question is seeking out sexual attention or ‘asking for it’. In assuming this, one is avoiding necessary introspection and creating unfounded culpability which is inherently dangerous. 

This structure of blame does not only hurt and devalue women, but it also damages men. It alienates them from their emotions and fuels a sense of loss of control and disempowerment, leading to aggressive outbursts and in some cases, assault.

Rape culture is implicit in this patriarchal ideology; it is not external to us, rather, it is ingrained in cultural assumptions of how we should feel and act. In understanding its anatomy, we can shatter these expectations which are harmful to everyone.

© 2019 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.

Support GCN

For 30 years GCN has been a vital, free-of-charge information service for Ireland’s LGBT+ community. We want to go on providing this community hub in print and online, helping countless individuals across the country, but the revenue from advertising across the media is falling.

GCN needs your support. If you value having an independent LGBT+ media in Ireland, you can help from only €1.99 per month. Support Ireland’s free, independent LGBT+ media.

0 comments. Please sign in to comment.