TeenPact and Women

To my knowledge, there have only been two female governors in Maine, and none (to my knowledge) in GA. Maine is seen by the staff as the more liberal/wildcard state where things happen there that don’t (or aren’t allowed?) happen in other states. Maine and Hawaii I suppose, because there’s surfing there and every staffer wants to staff those two states.

I know both of the female governors closely. Women taking on a high leadership position that isn’t somehow under a male is almost unheard of. I was shocked when I won “president” at Back To DC in 2007, but I think that was because the dude who was running before was an obnoxious 13 year old who wasn’t even going to stay the whole time and I had previously attended the class and the one other alumni there was on my campaign. I may have won favor with the staff when I shared that I was struggling with running for the position (because *gasp* I can’t LEAD), instead of running the campaign (because that was completely different).

At National Convention, Women are allowed (I wouldn’t necessarily say encouraged) to run for Representative and Senator, and even Vice President. In my time there, I only ever saw Boy/Girl Pres/VP teams, because women running for president, while not directly prohibited was just known to be taboo. I ran for representative but never made it past primaries – although some women definitely are elected, the majority of the faux positions are still filled by males. I know this parallels real life, but here it’s encouraged. Women in leadership positions is allowed, but sketchily, always under men.

In fact, we are told, many times, in no uncertain terms that we (women) are supposed to just go along with whatever the men say – even if we disagree with it, and to not speak up if we do. They’re supposed to lead, after all, and we’re supposed to submit.

In “girl talks” a session where the guys go out (to talk about opening doors) and the women stay inside we learn that modesty is on us. completely. It is our job to cause our “brothers” to not stumble while we’re at class. We’re told exactly how to wear and to not wear items of clothing. In State Classes we must wear skirts, and they must be over the knee when you sit, never too tight when you move or bend over. All clothing must be able to hang or give at least an inch from your body, but simultaneously, should also be cute/professional and not frumpy. Just to be safe, I wore several layers – in the middle of summer, in the hot GA sun – just in case I got wet, or the sun caught something and my one-size-up tshirt were suddenly opaque

We must be vigilant, and tell our “sisters” if they’re wearing something we think is too tight or revealing. Lady-Staff will confront girls to change their outfit if they feel it’s inappropriate. Because, again, it is our responsibility to show ourselves as non-human-shapeless-forms so our “brothers” don’t accidentally see our bodies and think something bad.

Boys aren’t told how many fingers width a neckline is allowed to be before it’s “too much”. They don’t have to reach up, and bend down to check and see if any skin shows.
But we, we seductresses in our pubescent awkwardness, we must never show any more skin than necessary to avoid heat exhaustion – and even then, pants must be loose!

I hate using the phrase “rape culture” but the more I think about it, the more this perpetuates it – because regardless, it is ALWAYS the women who are at fault. We are essentially told as much, and this is coupled with “don’t tell a man no” is just a setup for abusive environments and relationships to thrive.


8 responses to “TeenPact and Women”

  1. DoaHF Avatar

    It is totally dehumanizing to be a woman in TeenPact. I was never chosen to lead the committees (although I could be the secretary), I was never supposed to speak up first, and I wasnt supposed to be a leader.
    The fact that I kept trying made me the black sheep, even though I was 100% in-line with all their religious and political views.

    1. Kierstyn King Avatar

      I was never anything but secretary either, and I wanted to be chair, come to think of it. <3

  2. […] Crossposted from Kiery at Bridging The Gap […]

  3. Shaney Irene Avatar
    1. Kierstyn King Avatar

      I wish there was a like button ^

  4. Fia Avatar

    The finger rule! *shudders* I was never in Teenpact, but that brings back memories. And when holiness can be used as an excuse for being petty and gossipy about a peers wardrobe, it really makes a culture of pitting teen girls against each other.
    Also, may I ask why you dislike the term “rape culture?” You’re very articulate and I would be interested in hearing your reasons. Great article!

    1. Kierstyn King Avatar

      Thanks! I don’t really have a good answer – it just doesn’t feel quite right, I feel like it misses something, but I don’t know what. On some level though, it is really accurate and poignant. Maybe I just don’t want to use it until I have a clear idea of what I mean when I say it, which is why it was fitting in this case, but not a term I use frequently or lightly.

  5. Jessica Avatar

    I know this is super old but I wish there was a wider awareness of TeenPact, the program’s problematic teachings, and the damage it is doing. Most of my religious trauma and psychological issues stem from my TeenPact days.

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