Pixabay | chelseighmillar

'Tips' For Girls Going To First Church-Run Dance Receive Out-Pour Of Criticism

Amy Pilkington 3 Oct 2019

Your first co-ed dance as a preteen can be terrifying. Between raging hormones, expectations created by decades of school comedies on TV and the big screen, and navigating the weird cultural assumptions of your local community, it's no wonder kids are nervous.

It also makes sense for grown-ups to want to help the kids know what to expect. I mean, I definitely appreciate being told explicitly what the dress code is so that I don't end up over- or under-dressed for the event.

Expectations and ground rules make sense.

But a "First Dance Kit" pamphlet that's gone viral is proving just how bad some of those grown-ups are at doing this.

Giphy | 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment

Reasonable ground rules for a preteen dance could include limiting where the dancers are allowed to wander or making sure hands are kept on hips, not butts.

Like, hormones are gonna hormone and a few basic expectations for all the kids to meet can't hurt.

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However, this "First Dance Kit" isn't reasonable and it definitely doesn't apply to all the teens equally.


If you immediately assumed that the "tips" are all unrealistic expectations directed only at the female dancers, then you're absolutely right. Have a cookie.

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But even if you guessed that much, you probably didn't imagine it to be as bad as it is. Because this is some next-level stuff.

Reddit | yeetin_and_beatin

Now, the person who shared this highlighted two particularly egregious entries, but Number 1 is starting strong. It just drips with condescension.

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Back to the idea of "reasonable" ground rules: Reminding all dancers to be mindful of the dress code is fine.

Reddit | stop_stalking_me

Openly shaming young women and implying that boys will feel "uncomfortable" is very much not.

There's something weirdly accusatory about that "questionable outfit that you somehow justified" part.

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Number 3 is a good example of weakening female friendships in favor of patriarchal goals.

Reddit | MonkeyTheDonkey

I can recall going to prom with a group of friends and having a blast, but apparently, it's not the acceptable kind of fun for whoever wrote this stuff.

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Number 4 is a doozy.

Reddit | yeetin_and_beatin

It's bad enough that they're taking the girl's right to consent away, but then they add that insane parenthetical note.

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I want to ask them what else women should just say yes to that may only last a few minutes and isn't "THAT bad".

Reddit | jojo9591

Yeah, that's probably not the lesson we should be passing on here.

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Some commenters on Reddit noted that they're pretty sure this was directed at young Mormon/LDS teens.


Another explained that the "dance card" the women have been told not to forget isn't a schedule like you would see in Victorian times.

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It's actually the woman's pass to gain entrance into the dance itself. To get one, she has to prove to her bishop that she is "worthy".

Reddit | onceuponagreen

Presumably by "knowing her standards," whatever that means.

Awesome. Absolutely nothing creepy about that AT ALL.

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The underlined part of the final bit must be read in the voice of James Earl Jones. It'll allow you to laugh through your wrath at the rest of it.


So yeah, this thing is The Worst and the next time someone tells you that gender equality has been "solved", just point them to this.

This exists and is unironically given to young women in 2019.

So, you know, let's keep working on that equality thing, 'kay?

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