#hearLDSwomen: My Priesthood Leader Commented on My Postpartum Body

When a high councilman commented on my body, once while pregnant and once postpartum, I was so shocked I just stood there. I guess I was silenced by the unexpectedness of it, and by the fact that he was in a position of authority over me. Now, I’d never let that fly. I wish I had said something like, “Excuse me, are you really commenting on my body? That makes me feel extremely uncomfortable.
– Kristen


About a year ago I was talking with my bishop in the hall and his counselor (a 60 year old married man) interrupted us to tell bishop that bishop’s sister was good looking and that bishop was homely. And the two of them totally objectified the sister while I was standing in the middle of the two of them. I was so taken off guard that I basically stood there with my mouth open while I waited for bishop to answer my question. I still wish I had said something to them. I was so glad to move right after that.
– Sarah


When I was single, I found that non-Mo guys took “no” for an answer a lot better than most of the RMs I dated.
– Anonymous


Pro Tip: Respect women’s autonomy. Don’t objectify women or comment on their bodies.

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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7 Responses

  1. KLN says:

    I could have done with a great deal fewer well-meaning comments from YSA bishops and stake presidents on my looks. They were all fatherly and positive – “you’re an attractive girl, shouldn’t have trouble dating” etc. but they were never central to the discussion (I was never in their offices with concerns about getting married at all, much less explicitly stating that I worried about being attractive enough for marriage) and they always seemed unnecessary or weird at best and fully inappropriate at worst. Do these men forget that they’re middle-aged married dudes talking to a single 24yo that they’re not remotely related to in a closed-door meeting, or…?

    • Rita says:

      I had a similar experience with a YSA bishop, but mine wasn’t exactly positive. I had gone to see him because I was going through some horrible depression and I didn’t know what to do about it, and he told me that I needed a wardrobe update and a makeover so that I would be attractive to the guys. That was the last thing I needed to hear in my situation

    • Andrew R. says:

      I think the answer to this question is, yes, sometimes they so. I am 53, I have 7 children (only one is a son) the youngest two are 18 & 16. I often call the younger ones after the name of an older one. We end all our conversations with “I love you”.

      On occasion I find myself about to end a telephone conversation with someone with “I love you” – I have actually done it once.

      I almost called a 20 year old girl in our customer care team “sweetheart” last week, because that is how I speak to my children.

      I have an 18 year old works for me and I have great difficulty not speaking to him, when he does something silly, or asks a silly question, how I might answer my own child.

      These problems can be compounded when the young adults you now have to deal with as peers in the adult world used to spend nights at your house for sleep overs and you treated as the children they were.

      Sometimes people make mistakes, and sometimes they don’t realise they have done it. They shouldn’t make them, and they should notice, but we are human.

      I am not saying that all such incidents are mistakes, and when they are obviously not mistakes they should be pointed out, and maybe some people would learn quicker.

  2. Risa says:

    My husband and I went through the temple about 6 years after we were married. The Stake President kept commenting on how blue my eyes were every time we met with him. We even ran into him at General Conference and he commented on my eyes. I mean, I like compliments as much as anyone but after a while it started to make me feel uncomfortable.

  3. Elizabeth says:

    I am 23 and a recent BYU graduate. When I had just turned 18 and was about to start my first semester at BYU, my home ward bishop told me it would be a good idea to set up an interview with him in preparation from my graduation from YW, etc. I was confused about this interview and wasn’t looking forward to it, mostly because I always disliked talking about my “worthiness” with a man behind closed doors. Basically, the interview consisted of us talking about what my plans were for college. He talked about what he had studied and shared some advice with me. Then, he took the opportunity to tell me that because I was an attractive young woman, some young men would inevitably try to take advantage of me. He gave me advice as to how I could prevent this… he talked about what I could expect from them, and how they would treat me… and why they were wired to treat me this way. Hmm. I remember thinking to myself, sarcastically, “Hmm! What an enlightening interview….” Well-intentioned, sure. Wrong? Definitely.

  4. Rachel says:

    yep, in my experience, non-LDS guys are more likely to hold themselves and each other accountable for treating women poorly

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