#hearLDSwomen: I Was Ignored; I Was Asked to Make My Voice Smaller

I give answers in Sunday school, and the teacher says “Okay… Next comment?” And a man paraphrases my answer as his own and gets lauded for his thinking.
– Jennifer

 

When I was in the Marriage and Family relations Sunday School class a few years ago, the teacher was fond of doing Powerpoints with a bajillion quotes. He said that he only wanted men to read them aloud to the class because “their voices carry better.” This same teacher also blamed the rise in crime in the US since WWII on working moms and talked about his male students at BYU who couldn’t find a wife because the women were too focused on their careers to get married.
– Anonymous

 

When I was 18 years old I was a Family Home Evening group “Mom.” I was in an off campus ward at BYU with all returned missionaries. My partner (the Family Home Evening group “Dad”) took me on a walk after a game night to tell me that I needed to be quieter, less jovial, more calm.
My wonderful roommates heard and called the bishop. He showed up at my door, listened, counseled with me, then went right over and censured that dude. Dude apologized.

The problem is, I never got it out of my head that being ME was too much. Bishop handled the whole thing perfectly. I just wish it had never happened at all.
– Morgan Hagey

 

Pro tip: When women share their thoughts in class, listen. If you’re not valuing women, the problem isn’t their voices, it’s your attitude.


Click here to read all of the stories in our #hearLDSwomen series. Has anything like this happened to you? Please share in the comments or submit your experience(s) to participate in the series.

“If any man have ears to hear, let him hear.” (Mark 4:23)

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4 Responses

  1. SC says:

    Wow thank you for sharing these! It is SO validating to know that we strong-willed women aren’t alone in facing these challenges! I know another strong and amazing LDS woman from New York, whose powerful personality offends the Utah corridor Mormon crowd, because they are so used to demure, malleable women. They spent years criticizing, chastising, gossiping, and shunning her at church. Leaders took her in for reprimand interviews to try to “correct” her, as if her God-given strengths were somehow weaknesses (which they weren’t—in her missionary days, her boldnesss resulted in lots of baptisms and other successes). I watched them tear her down to nothing—today she is a royal mess, on meds and in therapy, trying desperately to be more demure and silent so that she will fit in and be at peace in church. Makes me want to scream.

  2. Ziff says:

    On the “men’s voices carry better” or whatever excuse, I think we Mormons are just petrified at the thought of a woman’s voice speaking with authority, so we squash the possibility at every turn. I’m sorry the teacher perpetuated this, though. It’s awful.

  3. Nonny says:

    “If you’re not valuing women, the problem isn’t their voices, it’s your attitude.“. I love this!

  4. Star says:

    I challenge anyone to find a male voice that ‘carry’s better’ than mine. You can ask my father… there may be no person alive who’s voice can project like mine. No microphone needed. Ever. 🙂

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