I’ll get back to weapons of mass destruction.  But I thought I’d address something that sometimes seems even more toxic — the Young Women’s program.

There seem to be three approaches.  The first is “tailor a program to the needs of the young women in your ward.” The problem with that is … well, obvious when you look at the second approach.

The second approach is to look at the support materials and the culture and to provide a program that looks like a modern translation of a Victorian Era finishing program for young women of refinement.

The third is to state that you believe in the same program that existed in the primitive (e.g. pre-correllation) church — basically reading into the past whatever you would like to see in the future, but also including fund raising, using boy scout materials from the 1930s and similar things.

That said, when you ask “what about” in the context of the Young Women’s program you are really asking?

  • What about money?  How much money should be spent (as much as the Young Men’s program?) and where should it come from (should they have their own fund raisers like the boy scouts do)?
  • What about access to resources?  Should they be able to use the cultural hall or is that automatically reserved for basketball regardless of what the building schedule shows?  You know the drill.
  • What about focus?  Is the program there for the girls or are the girls just there to serve the guys?  (E.g. should it basically consist of service projects which are “your program makes dinner for our program, but we don’t do anything for you in return” or something else?)
  • What about range?  Is the program just homemaking and modesty or does it have a broader range (cooking, sewing and deportment lessons every week, or maybe some auto repair, basic self defense [including verbal violence defense], health, etc.)?
  • What about self determination?  How much of the program’s direction in any one year should come from the girls and how much from adults who know “what is good for them” — and if so, which adults make that decision?

Those are the five questions implicit in thinking about the Young Women’s Program.  They are hard to answer, so I’m asking for your thoughts.  I’ll get back to the easy question, how to solve biological and nuclear weapon proliferation, next week.

But what would an ideal program look like?  How would it answer each of the five questions?

For comparison, other thoughts around the bloggernacle: