#hearLDSwomen: My Bishop Told Me to Hide My Intelligence So a Man Would Want Me
On the church hallway bulletin board, encouragement for all of us single ladies: “When the odds are one in a million, be that one.” (I don’t fault the person who created this, rather I fault the culture that created this.)
– Swiss Miss
I’m single and childless. I have been informed in countless ways for literally decades now about how basically my entire existence is “less than”.
I was single for a long time and got married a year ago. Right before I got married and moved, I was asked to give a talk about marriage. I told them no; why would I want to talk on that with no experience? They asked me to speak on something else asinine, and I had to explain no, that was hurtful too. Finally, I agreed to talk on the Family Proclamation, and while I didn’t really want to, I just chose to focus on the better parts and left out the gender roles crap. I’m sure I surprised my bishopric member by saying no, but why would a long time single lady want to talk about marriage?
I was called in for a random interview after a new bishop was called for my Young Single Adult ward. At the time, I was working on a double master’s degree. As I excitedly started to talk about my academic focus, he cut me off and asked what I was doing to find an “eternal companion and fulfill my divine role as a wife and mother.” He then went on to explain how I shouldn’t talk about my academic and professional achievements so much or “boast” about it because it would limit my dating pool. No guy wants to be with a woman who’s smarter than him. I think I did manage to say something along the lines of “I wouldn’t want to be with someone that couldn’t love all of me” and that I was okay waiting for the right man.
– Kelly Boren
At 30, when I was still single, I was counseled by my bishop (who was normally fairly great) that I needed to hide my intelligence from the guys because you don’t want to scare the rabbit before you get it in the trap.
Pro Tip: Women are whole people whether they’re in a relationship or not. Always encourage women to be their whole selves.
“If any man have ears to hear, let him hear.” (Mark 4:23)