#hearLDSwomen: Women Are Culturally Conditioned to Be Silent
One time I was in a meeting of all the Young Women presidencies in the stake, and we met in the high council room where there were a bunch of tables and chairs. I looked around and realized all the women had chosen to sit in the seats around the outskirts of the room and not at the tables. It wasn’t done deliberately, but it showed the mentality of women in the church. We don’t matter.
I hate that our culture has conditioned women to silence themselves. As secretary in a stake Primary presidency, I would become furious when we were discussing ideas and the president constantly said she’d have to discuss it with the stake president and see if it was ok. And it was never anything unusual and often unimportant details. What the hell?? But he’s the priesthood leader, and heaven forbid we don’t have his stamp of approval on every tiny thing.
I was a counselor in a Relief Society presidency. I attended a Ward Council meeting when the president couldn’t go. I commented several times on items. That’s what I was there for, right? Word got passed to my husband that I was too opinionated. I ended up resigning from the position. This was at least twenty years ago.
Pro tip: Women are culturally conditioned to defer to men. Help push against that conditioning by taking the initiative to invite women to speak in meetings and then listening. Encourage women to take up physical space in meetings and to make decisions for their auxiliary independently.
“If any man have ears to hear, let him hear.” (Mark 4:23)