#hearLDSwomen: Let’s Listen to Women at General Conference

The so-called “Primary Voice” used by women, particularly in General Conference, is often used as a reason for tuning out or actively ignoring the voices of women. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard both women and men state that they couldn’t bear to listen to this speaking style. I used to time conference breaks so that I would GET UP AND WALK OUT OF THE ROOM WHEN A WOMAN SPOKE. I can’t believe what an idiot I am. Here I wanted more from women, and when I had it, I’d deliberately prevent myself from hearing it. I don’t care how annoying a voice is — if that’s not a cultural silencing of women, I don’t know what is.
– Deborah

One of my zone leaders on my mission told me that his dad (a stake president) told him that when female speakers start speaking in General Conference, he goes and gets a snack because women don’t say anything he doesn’t already know. The zone leaders laughed together and agreed—right in front of us.
– Chloe M.

I look forward to every General Conference only to see less than a handful of women’s voices represented.
– Anonymous


Pro tip: Precisely because we have so few opportunities, we should be attentive to every woman that speaks at General Conference. Belittling the voices of female General Authorities (literally or symbolically) tells women we don’t value their experiences and knowledge.

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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1 Response

  1. anon male says:

    You are absolutely correct. I have been thinking about this and I find the primary voice physically painful to listen to and want to run away when I hear it. I think it’s because to me it’s a reminder of how we have culturally broken these women such that they cannot talk to adults in a normal way anymore— as adults would speak to each other. We have coerced them into something else and that something fills me with pain and dread and sorrow. But that’s precisely why it’s even more important to listen.

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