Jump directly to the Content
Object lesson

The Pastor with the Legs

One minister's awkward encounter with objectification.
The Pastor with the Legs

The recent killings in Isla Vista, California were a tragic reminder of our society's skewed view of sexuality and women. Using the hastag #YesAllWomen, social media conversation prompted by the violence has focused on sexism and the pervasive objectification of women, often experienced as harassment and abuse. Here's a provocative story of how that objectification recently intersected one female pastor's ministry, bringing with it confusion, insecurity, and frustration. - Paul

Today I officiated at a wedding at the church where I am the lead pastor. During the reception, an older man stood behind me, squeezed my shoulder and whispered in my ear, "I've never seen a pastor with such nice legs." I laughed (a rather unladylike guffaw, I might add) and by the time I was done, he was gone.

Why did I laugh? What else should I have done?

Should I have been flattered? Felt empowered? Was he saying "A woman can lead and still be attractive"? Should I have ...

Support Our Work

Subscribe to CT for less than $4.25/month

Homepage Subscription Panel

Read These Next

Ur 2.0: Get Farther Out of Ur
Ur 2.0: Get Farther Out of Ur
Introducing the expanded Ur Newsletter with more exclusive content.
From the Magazine
Theology Is Not a Waste
Theology Is Not a Waste
Far from being impractical, careful theological study is crucial to ordinary Christian life.
Editor's Pick
The Last Gift My Father Gave Me
The Last Gift My Father Gave Me
A surprising encounter with my dad, Jesus, and Jerry Seinfeld opened a door to long-awaited healing.