Anti-feminist activist, Ayla Stewart is a Youtuber, blogger, and self-proclaimed “Alt-Right Mormon” who happens to be a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
I say “happens to be” because what she stands for in no way reflects what the Church of Latter-day Saints leaders preach. In one of her most recent YouTube videos entitled, “Welcome Refugees?? I Blame Feminism, This is Why,” she rants for half an hour, directly blaming the refugee crisis on feminism. Her explanation is convoluted and far-fetched. In a poorly-thought-out analogy, Stewart compares the feminist movement to a little girl asking her father for an ice cream cone. After the father gives her an ice cream cone, Stewart says, she’ll ask for a teddy bear. After she gets a teddy bear, she’ll ask for a day at the carnival. So I guess asking for an ice cream cone was women asking to no longer be classified as their husband’s property, the teddy bear was women fighting for the right to vote, and now the “day at the carnival” is asking to be paid the same as a man for the exact same job and desiring to become more involved in politics. I was holding out hope that she would tie together this analogy in a less-bigoted manner, but it only grew worse. She then explained that it’s a woman’s instinct to push men for more, but it is only useful when she’s asking to have more babies. At this point, I was so outraged that I had forgotten she was eventually going to relate this back to the refugee crisis. This is where the argument becomes even more absurd.
Stewart then went on to say that by “pushing” men for equal rights, women have emasculated them and turned them into “hipsters with man-buns who talk about their feelings.” Apparently having feelings is reserved exclusively for females. According to Stewart, since our men are now “emasculated” they have become pushovers and have therefore let refugees, who she claims will bring crime and violence, into the country.
I want to emphasize that Ayla Stewart’s beliefs are not representative of the church’s beliefs. As with any religion, the Church of Latter-day Saints has a few radicals. I cringe every time Glenn Beck veers dangerously to the right and then reminds us all he’s a Latter-day Saint. Just because they’re loud, doesn’t mean they’re right.
In fact, the church said in their official statement concerning the refugees, “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is concerned about the temporal and spiritual welfare of all of God’s children across the earth, with special concern for those who are fleeing physical violence, war and religious persecution.”
The Church of Latter-day Saints has even monetarily supported refugees, donating $3 million to the World Food Programme to aid refugees, and distributing over 3 million tons of food to refugees.
Most importantly, Mormons consider themselves Christians whose canon includes scriptures such as “Are we not all beggars?” and “I was a stranger and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me.” If one considers themselves to be Christian, should they not follow these teachings?
Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, I urge you to speak up in defense of women, refugees, and all minorities to show the world that Ayla Stewart is not the majority. To those not of the Latter-day Saint faith, I plead with you to not let people like Ayla Stewart define your perception of Latter-day Saints and other Christians. She does not represent what we stand for.
— Melody Cook is an aspiring journalist and Disney princess. Her talents include eating half a pizza in one sitting, pretending not to be out of breath after running for the Aggie Shuttle, and belting out songs from LaLaLand.