Zelophehad’s Daughters

It wasn’t about pants…but then it became about pants. And that’s why I’m wearing pants.

Posted by Apame

PANTSPOCALYPSE!

No, seriously. There are, at this very moment, a lot of people who are convinced that the end of the world is coming because of trousers.  In church even!  On ladies!

The Mayans predicted this!

To bring you up to speed, a new group for equality within Mormonism decided, last week, to kick things off with a nice, respectful sign of solidarity by inviting those who, for whatever reason, feel like we could do a bit better in accepting each other as children of God rather than prescribed and simplistic stereotypes.

It was a simple idea:  if you would like to do something to show love for those who have felt marginalized for no reason other than outdated and purely cultural norms (mothers who work, fathers who stay at home, single members, that mia maid you know who kind of would rather be building fires than baking bread or that deacon in your ward who will probably never have someone teach him how to bake bread), then maybe consider wearing a nice pair of dress slacks this Sunday.

As a symbol for things with no doctrinal or theological background that have been reified as THOU SHALT.

You know, for things similar to but much more important than pants.

So, there you go.  Seemed like a nice idea.  Not “angry.”  Not “whiny.”  Not Pantspocalypse…y.

But then…

Well, here’s an example of what the event facebook page was bombarded with:

“Yall are busy bodies who think you’ve found something the prophet has missed, think you’re so smart and then either get yourselves kicked out of the church or stay in and are a pain in everyone else’s neck. Better check yourselves.  This is crap.”

Whoa.

Before I saw the massive and hateful backlash reserved for something like dress slacks, I thought this was a nice idea.  After seeing the panicky and judgmental calls to repentance–again, for something like dress slacks–I decided there was no way in the world that I could not participate.

I agree that an event called “Wear Pants to Church Day” sounds a little silly on the surface.  But, in a way, that’s sort of the point I’m making.  If so much anger and judgment is raining down on dress slacks, then we clearly have some very big problems as a church.  If something this small is giving people anxiety attacks, then maybe things are worse than I thought.  Maybe we really do need to pour another foundation and start rebuilding at the most basic point imaginable.  Because, guess what? People are actually feeling threatened — actually telling fellow members to “just leave the church” –over bifurcated skirts.

Clearly, it’s not really about pants.  Clearly, it actually is about something as insignificant as pants.

And that’s why I’m wearing them this weekend.

77 Responses to “It wasn’t about pants…but then it became about pants. And that’s why I’m wearing pants.”

  1. 1.

    Why turn sacrament meeting into a protest venue? Shouldn’t we be focused on our covenant relationships during this time? Isn’t there another place/way to make the same type of statement. If the protest at the local ward level is noticed, then people will not be thinking of the Savior as they should be.

  2. 2.

    “Shouldn’t we be focused on our covenant relationships during this time?”

    Definitely! Which is why it shouldn’t matter if one is in slacks or a skirt (I honestly thought it didn’t, but apparently it *does*! To quite a few people!).

    Which is why I’ll be wearing slacks. Which is the point of this post.

  3. 3.

    But if everyone is focused on their covenants and do not notice the pants wearing, then wearing of pants will not have the effect that the organizers of the event intended. The whole premise of the event is to make people notice what you are doing and to thereby distract them from thinking about their covenants.

  4. 4.

    “But if everyone is focused on their covenants and do not notice the pants wearing, then wearing of pants will not have the effect that the organizers of the event intended.”

    Wouldn’t that be nice?

  5. 5.

    If everyone were focusing on covenants, we also wouldn’t hear the need for the priesthood to wear white shirts and ties. The same argument applies here: these things are only.distracting BECAUSE people have an image in their head of what should be done. If that norm changes, then we really can get to the point where we are.focusing on important matters and not on the length of.sister so-and-so’s hemline or that priest’s

  6. 6.

    Hair, which apparently got a cut at the end of my comment.

  7. 7.

    Isn’t this cheapening the whole church experience?

  8. 8.

    Dave. Yes. Glad you agree.

  9. 9.

    I would say that the rampant judgement and people getting worked up over pants is probably what cheapens the experience, but that’s just my take on things. We as a church have a reputation as a bunch of self righteous zealots and I think the solution begins with us recognizing the problem. If we’re willing to turn on our own because of their differences, then how must we treat those NOT of our faith? Not seeming like much of a missionary message there, is it?
    In my last three wards I knew plenty of women who wore pants, and nobody said boo about it, so obviously I’m getting the better end of the deal in where I live. Many of our newest members wear jeans every Sunday, but nobody cares because, hey, they’re here and that’s the important part. If you’re willing to disrespect an individual’s choice to walk outside the cultural boundaries accepted as the norm, even if that person is adhering faithfully to the doctrine, then perhaps some self reflection is in order.
    Then again, I’ve shown up at church with pink hair before, so what do I know?

  10. 10.

    Fwiw, I didn’t read into this as a message of protest, but as a silent message of solidarity. It’s okay, I know you’re different but we love you and you’re welcome here. But I guess it’s all about perspective…

  11. 11.

    Dave, cheapening whose church experience? Most members know nothing about the protest, they just see woman wearing pants. Does their experience get cheapened?
    Whatabout if they knew about the protest, does it matter? Can someone wearing pants cheapen their experience?
    Or do you mean that those wearing pants are cheapening their own church experience? Maybe, if this takes their focus from Christ. But that is their loss and harms nobody else. It is not different from me cheapening my church experience by letting my mind wander in last nights TV-show or other worldly things.

  12. 12.

    Mo: I agree with your initial reading as not being one of protest.

  13. 13.

    Presuming it’s okay to wear pants to sacrament I presume the same sisters will forthwith wear white pants during their temple sessions.

  14. 14.

    …and brothers may wear short-sleeved shirts in temple?

  15. 15.

    A couple of years ago my son, then ten, was invited to a weekend win a friend that would involve attending the friend’s church on Sunday. As we were packing, I asked the friend what Gavin should wear to church. “Oh,” he shrugged, “it doesn’t matter what you wear. We’re Christians.” Simple as that. No suggestion that Jesus or his followers would look beyond the fact that people came to worship, or try to infer anything about a person’s intent by what he or she wore. We could learn a thing or two.

  16. 16.

    Nicklas #14 Sure. As a way of showing solidarity because, after all, that’s what this pants wearing thing is all about. And I thought the “Burn Your Bra” moment had long since passed!

  17. 17.

    Yes. And soon they’ll be singing hymns in temples! And taking sacrament! And having members give talks! And sustaining callings! And welcoming all members of every age and all non-members, too! In other words, temples are not wardhouses. Sacrament is not the endowment.

  18. 18.

    For the record, when I first heard about this I thought, “wait, women don’t wear pants in church?” I could absolutely care less what anyone wears. But I think the author is misreading the objectors (as dumb as their arguments are). The objections aren’t about pants either, they’re about rebellion or causing a ruckus or whatever you want to call it. It’s about the attitude of those wanting to wear pants, not about pants. This isn’t a symbol to only the pant-wearing women, it’s a symbol of a different shade to those who are sensitive to people who feel that church is a place to ‘make a statement.’ While you may disagree about whether church is a venue to make your statement, you have to recognize that it’s not about pants for them either.

  19. 19.

    Alea – So you didn’t explain why wearing pants would be acceptable in a dedicated meetinghouse where we partake of the sacred ordinance of the sacrament as opposed to the dedicated temple. It seems like women who are okay with wearing pants in a chapel would make the same argument for wearing them in the temple. Why is one place acceptable and not the other? Why is the chapel “not as important” but the temple merits a dress? Or is the rationale that you first win the battle of attire in sacrament, then set your sights on the temple next?

  20. 20.

    It’s acceptable because the temple is a site of formalized ritual where dress is fully incorporated and set apart as distinct. The fact that we allow all to.partake of the sacrament, but limit temple ordinances shows a different valuation. The question really is: how critical is the clothing to the ordinance. In the temple, clothing is central. In.Sunday worship it’s irrelevant. One.could argue for women wearing pants in the temple. I’m not. I’m.just saying the two.situations are hugely.different and to map the norms of temple onto Sunday worship is Nealy incoherent and certainly not helpful.

  21. 21.

    I think the pants wearing is a great idea, and I’ll be wearing my kaleidoscopic purple paisley shirt to do my part.

    But I do think this article is a little disingenuous: this is a protest, and we shouldn’t be surprised to find resistance. After all, that’s the point of a protest: to forcefully demonstrate an opposing viewpoint. There will always be crazies, and I’m not trying to defend them. I agree we have big issues as a church that need to be worked through. But this protest is not about pants, and the backlash is not about pants either. The issues run a lot deeper, and I think reductionism does not help solve them – it merely polarizes.

    Rather than backlash the backlash, I’d frame this event differently: the strong reaction we’re getting to this protest is evidence that our ideas have resonance. This protest never was about pants.

  22. 22.

    I would love a little clarification– so by choosing pants as a symbol, you are hoping to make a statement and draw attention to your cause, which is not about wearing pants, but is about unnecessary gender inequalities in the Church; yet at the same time, you are unhappy with people who will take notice of you wearing pants, because you think that what people wear should be beside the point; but what you are wearing is clearly not beside the point, because it is the symbol of your protest. Are you setting people up for a lose-lose? if they don’t notice, your protest loses some wind in the sails, and if they do, you can accuse them of being judgmental? I’m also not seeing clearly the defense against the idea that this is monopolizing what should be a Christ-centered, covenant-bound worship service for a protest.

    Thanks for any clarification.

  23. 23.

    I don’t have an opinion either way, but I don’t see how this is sending much of a message? I live in a ward like described in #9. Women wear pants all the time, including a woman who wore pants while she was RS president.

    So in that context, people aren’t going to think anything. The protest value is lost.

    And in that case, those of us who miss the point are not “resisting.” We just don’t see get the message.

  24. 24.

    .

    I suspect that, as a percentage, very few people are bothered by the pants. But that percentage has always been a bit loud and crazy.

  25. 25.

    This response is so interesting for a couple for reasons. There appear to be pockets of church members (see Naismith’s comment 23) where this is no big deal. But the complete and utter insanity of the online response demonstrates that we are still pretty dysfunctional when it comes to anything regarding gender.

    I like the idea because it is such a small thing. Nobody is proposing getting up and walking out of the meeting with raised fist as soon as the bishop steps to the pulpit. And because it is such a small thing, it isn’t asking too much for people to just calm down and relax.

  26. 26.

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think this was about protesting anything.

    If I understood the fb invite, the purpose was just as a way for people who blog together online to be able to recognize each other. Maybe they sit in church week after week and struggle and feel like they don’t belong because they are the only one who thinks the way they do. But if 4 other women show up in pants that day then maybe they can feel less alone and realize that others out there feel the same way.

  27. 27.

    @Kip – if it was just about group identification, there would be other ways of signaling that didn’t transgress cultural norms. It doesn’t matter what the cultural norm is, transgressing it is going to draw attention and a certain resistance. By definition.

    This applies to any human group. Even the most tolerant, liberal group has cultural norms, the violation of which brings alienation. We humans spend a lot of time and energy demarcating boundaries of who’s in the group and who’s out.

    I personally believe this cultural norm should be changed, so I support this action as a protest. But I think if it was just about recognition, we would have chosen a less culturally transgressive means of carrying it out, and we wouldn’t be seeing such a strong reaction from both sides of the issue.

  28. 28.

    To show solidarity with the pant wearing women, I’ll omit a tie from my Sunday attire.

    This seems like a better option than omitting my pants ;)

  29. 29.

    Let’s assume that this IS a protest of LDS culture of grooming expectations. If one objects to the culture that insists women wear certain clothes to Sacrament meeting, where would be a more appropriate place to discuss the issue, draw attention to it, and raise awareness if NOT the one place where Mormons gather to take the Sacrament … And where many insist that women wear skirts? Would it be less objectionable if we all wore skirts to church and changed into slacks after the Sacrament? Before RS?

    I’m not sure what action one could take that would be less “culturally transgressive.” Can you elaborate, RecessionCone? I’ve been discussing this with friends who object strongly to the pants-wearing, and I’m hearing a common theme that they think it’s too extreme, or going too far. But no one has proposed *less* extreme or objectionable options. I’m really I retested to know what others would propose as more appropriate and less objectionable than wearing pants.

  30. 30.

    “If one objects to the culture that insists women wear certain clothes to Sacrament meeting, where would be a more appropriate place to discuss the issue, draw attention to it, and raise awareness if NOT the one place where Mormons gather to take the Sacrament … ”
    How about printing up some t-shirts that say, “Why is this considered more acceptable for church than a nice pantsuit?” Most towns have a printer that will do custom t-shirts for about $20, so there is a cost involved, but pretty nominal

    And everyone participating wear it to church with a denim skirt and flip-flops.

    That would send a clear message.

  31. 31.

    Point Megdellin.

  32. 32.

    @Megdellin I think Sacrament Meeting is a great place for this. And I think it’s good for the people who are offended by pants in church to pause for a moment and introspect as to why they’re offended, and why they are disregarding current church leaders’ counsel, as well as all the ancient injunctions to refrain from taking offense and judging others, especially on their outward appearance.

    To the question of other actions we could take, how about: wearing hats, wearing purple, or simply having everyone linger longer after church to say hi. Actions like these wouldn’t rub people the wrong way, but they’d serve well for identification purposes. Of course, I think it’s *good* for people to be rubbed the wrong way in this case, so I support the pants. But with the acknowledgement that we’re making a gentle protest, not just getting to know each other.

  33. 33.

    I’ve seen the point made about denim skirts and flip flops in a number of places where International Hoot Woot for Pants Day is being discussed, and I find it tragically ironic. If we’re aiming to stand in solidarity with the poor, downtrodden, marginalized, and uncomfortable who, for whatever reason, don’t often look the part of a standard Sunday-dressed Mormon in church, maybe we could cool it with shifting judgment onto a different population whose clothes don’t meet our aesthetic standards?

    I don’t think God particularly cares if I wear pants to church, but guess what? I also don’t think he cares if my neighbor wears an out-of-fasion floral jumper to church, or a 70s bolo tie, or a jean skirt and flip-flops. I don’t think he cares if my shoes are ugly or my legs are shaved or my make-up is kind of a mess or if I got round to doing my hair. There’s no moral ground gained if you step outside a cultural norm in order to critique that norm, only to announce your own standards of “good taste” belittling those who don’t measure up.

  34. 34.

    Melyngoch. Speaks the truth like a boss.

  35. 35.

    RecessionCone – apologies! The first paragraph was directed generally and not at you. I fully agree that violating any cultural norm is going to cause disruption and conflict. It just the nature of the beast.

    Thanks! I see what you’re saying about less “culturally transgressive” options as being less obviously violating gender norm. They don’t seem any more practical or less intrusive than wearing pants, though. Hats would be extremely obvious and distracting in Sacrament Meeting, whereas pants are relatively unobtrusive when the entire congregation is seated. And lots of people wear hats to church in my rainy neck of the woods. A world-wide linger longer would be hard to coordinate. I can’t think of a single location in our church building that would be guaranteed to be empty after church – let alone one that would be empty in every single church building for every single congregation around the country. Lots of people wear purple every Sunday, so we might misidentify others. We could just say “Walk around the foyer asking everyone ‘Are you a Mo-Fem?’” – but that might be a little more disruptive than pants.

    I agree with you that whatever it is – it’s distruptive, and that makes it a protest. An unintentional protest for some, but still a protest.

  36. 36.

    And ditto Melyngoch. We’re missing the mark if we only succeed in asserting that pants are higher up the grooming hierarchy than flips flops and jeans skirts.

  37. 37.

    I still say “Wear a fake mustache to church day” would get more attention for the Whos down in Whoville.

  38. 38.

    I think that I could care less about pants. But, it think it is disengenous to claim that this was not conceived as an act of protest or subtle subversion. (Whether it should be so viewed or not, everyone seems to agree that some will view it that way.) And, I simply don’t think that the time and place that we perform sacred ordinances, which are available equally to men and women, is the right time to lodge a protest. What next, unrolling banners with pithy slogans in the celestial room of the temple?

  39. 39.

    As long as they’re pithy.

  40. 40.

    I really don’t care what you wear. I WOULD like to see some explanation of what is being done and why. So maybe put a sign on your butt if you want to wear pants.

    Otherwise, it comes across as very cliquish and in-the-know, with the rest of us having no idea what is happening. And for those who wear pants anyway, they get drawn into something of which they may or may not want to be a part. Like accidentally wearing a red shirt at Gay Day at Disney. (Which is widely advertised so that folks don’t do it by accident.)

  41. 41.

    It is indeed very cliquish and in-the-know, which is why the instigators have considerately advertised both the event and its purposes on the Internet. In this manner only those to whom the event pertains–that is, literate persons with appendages capable of being adorned by fabric–may access it.

  42. 42.

    I guess I am just remarkably stupid. It was my understanding that they advertised this on Facebook, not the internet per se. Facebook is a closed system. If your Friends don’t share the event or post about it, you don’t know about it. I hadn’t seen anything in my feed.

    I happened to stop by an LDS blog aggregator while I was waiting for car maintenance to finish, so now I happen to know.

  43. 43.

    Love this post, Apame, because that’s exactly what happened.

  44. 44.

    Naismith I’m honestly not sure where else they could have advertised it. It’s a public Facebook page. At this point, it’s also been discussed all over the Bloggernacle; I’ve seen posts at BCC, FMH, Exponent, Nine Moons, Mormon Mentality, and there are probably some I’m missing. It’s been on several news stations, written up in the Salt Lake Tribune, and made it to jezebel.com. You can accuse the organizers of many things, but hardly of keeping it secret.

    I do realize that there are a lot of people whom even all these sources together aren’t going to reach. But where else would you like to have seen it advertised?

  45. 45.

    For the record, I’m female and I have worn white pants in the temple. Pics in link with my name.

    Sadly, though, I can’t participate in this event because I’m hugely pregnant right now and have no pants- even jeans- that fit me. I was a regular pants-wearer up until I got pregnant. Boo…

  46. 46.

    I volunteer to put a sign on the butt of my pants. That should do it.

  47. 47.

    @Megdellin =)

    I agree with you: the other things I thought of aren’t as good as wearing pants, which strikes just the right blend of cheekiness and practicality.

    But I have to chuckle a little at the thought that women wearing hats in church is disruptive. In many Christian cultures, including Russia (where I served my mission), women must wear hats in church (and men must remove theirs) – following 1 Corinthians 11:4-5.

    At least we’ve put that cultural norm behind us!

  48. 48.

    Melyngoch (#33), thanks for making that point–it’s helped me articulate something that’s sometimes made me uneasy in the discussion of women wearing pants. In an effort to legitimize the wearing of pants, people often use adjectives like “stylish” or “fashionable.” Because what would be worse than a woman in pants? A woman in unfashionable pants. It’s worth keeping in mind the spectre of social class hanging over all of this.

  49. 49.

    What would happen if I wore pants under my skirt?

    I actually prefer wearing pants in winter and would happily wear dressy ones to church if I could without attracting unwanted attention. That’s what I hate the most; being the object too much/the wrong kind of attention. (That’s how many of us are “influenced” to toe the line, btw.) I realize this makes me a wimpy feminist, and I’ll own that.

    I want to show my no-judgement approval to the pants-wearing gals, (should there be any) but at the same time I don’t want to rile up the Skirt Club. I don’t want to be in anyone’s face; I prefer to be political in quiet ways, but I value the contributions of people who act out their politics differently than me, and I personally have no affinity for the Rules Police. And there is no question that we badly need some discourse about the problems we’re having in the church regarding the position of women. (See how carefully it must be worded?)

    I’ve missed church a lot lately with other burdens interfering, and I was looking forward to attend meetings this Sunday. I’m startled by the brouhaha and more than a little dismayed to see the negative reaction it has provoked. I honestly don’t need to take on another battle right now, but this one, it seems, is thrust upon me. And even my facetious solution – both! – is more trouble that I don’t need. Which pants and which skirt? I don’t have anything that meets the rest of the (unaddressed) criteria for proper style for church. I’d have to go shopping! For clothes. For myself. In the Xmas-clogged marketplace.

    God help us. Growing pains are so hard. Maybe I’d better take a step back from this.

  50. 50.

    “I do realize that there are a lot of people whom even all these sources together aren’t going to reach. But where else would you like to have seen it advertised?”

    Who is the audience? Is it trying to reach out to others with similar ideas? If so, then posting to feminist sites is perfectly adequate.

    But most LDS don’t read those sites. So it would be nice if there was some kind of way of explaining it to other people; that’s why protesters carry signs in a lot of situations, to be clear about what their issues are.

    But the reality is that especially in December, a lot of women are going to be wearing pants to church anyway. And it would be a shame if they were caught in the midst of this and assumed to be participating when in fact they are just walking three miles in cold weather.

    Without any signage, hard to tell the difference.

    I don’t have feelings one way or another, but then I don’t shave my legs and don’t wear dresses to church, anyway.

  51. 51.

    Lady Gaga Eating Gaga, please do ensure that your butt sign has a pithy saying worthy of future unfurling in celestial rooms…

  52. 52.

    Now commencing tattoo.

  53. 53.

    I heart Lady Gaga Eating Gaga.

    (My actual sentiment AND a suggestion for the tattoo)

  54. 54.

    Maybe we should be showing solidarity for those who have been marginalized in an individual, Christlike way. He left the ninety and nine to seek out the one…so why is there a movement to leave the one and seek out the ninety and nine and show them what’s what? The focus here seems to have morphed from an attitude of helping and supporting others and to an attitude of, “I’ll do what I darn (because damn is toooo precocious) well please…but I also care about others…well, not everyone, just the ones who deserve to be cared for.” Let’s show some solidarity for EVERYONE and respect and revere what helps people feel comfortable and spiritual during the sacrament. Sometimes that means ascribing to a social norm and not passing out judgment or withholding friendship if it isn’t. And of course, free agency for all!

  55. 55.

    I think a lot of folks are uncomfortable with an organized movement, small as it may be, because we’ve been conditioned to be uncomfortable with it, and to accept the status quo as if every cultural thing we do is handed to us directly from God himself. We’ve been conditioned to believe that every little thing down to the kind of bread we eat when we take the sacrament to the shoes the young women are wearing will send the Spirit packing due to offense. The reality is, the offense is what you make it. I’d daresay the Spirit is more offended by people telling Young Women to go home and change at youth activities or telling an investigator that pants aren’t allowed in the chapel. This cultural shaming has gotten out of hand, and if it takes a pants movement to shake it up, I say, so be it. Just don’t let yourself be offended by other people’s pants, and your access to the Spirit will be just fine.

  56. 56.

    http://www.the-exponent.com/wearing-pants-to-church-2/

    This write up at The Exponent is a particularly good summary of the passive-aggressive/aggressive-aggressive comments going on.

  57. 57.

    “What would happen if I wore pants under my skirt?”

    Probably nuclear war — I mean, if we’re just going to try and be purely logical and realistic about this.

  58. 58.

    Here’s a nice new one too!

    every single person who is a minority activist, should be shot.. in the face… point blank… GET OVER YOURSELVES….

    Now…I know that this event isn’t perfect. I know there there could actually be some legitimate critiques. But, when things devolve to actual threats of violence…then I don’t even care what the call is for, I want to do it to show that I can’t be threatened and that I will not stand for threats to others.

  59. 59.

    Wow, to all the people who are going nuts over the idea of wearing pants at church, you have successfully convinced me that I am correct in being inactive because I don’t belong.

  60. 60.

    There’s something very satisfying about persecution. I think there’s probably an evolutionarily explainable reason for our love of grudges: maybe because those who learned from being hurt were more likely to survive.

    But like I said a while ago: instead of tallying scores, adding backlash to backlash, I think it would be much more productive to focus on the positive and ignore the crazies.

    I don’t think crazy remarks from deranged internet commentators add to this discussion. Let’s find common ground rather than take solace in persecution.

  61. 61.

    [...] Lisa discusses mean responses FMH guest Sandra talks individuality and authenticity Zelophehad’s Daughters discuss how reactions show the importance of the event Kaimi at FMH a few years ago, discussing pants and individuality Exponent blog talks about the [...]

  62. 62.

    I get really worked up when people say that it is a “political statement.” Where were people when that political statement was about Prop 8? You cannot tell me that was a moral issue simply. That was legislation plain and simple…

  63. 63.

    RecessionCone, I don’t know that it’s necessarily a persecution complex. For me, at least, I don’t think it is. It’s more the fascination of watching a train wreck. Which isn’t necessarily any better. ;) But I do think the crazy comments are a relevant part of this discussion—Apame’s point in the OP was that it was seeing the backlash that inspired her to take part in the event.

    I’m actually still a little on the fence about this (you can take away my feminist card). But it reminds me of conversations about, say, women and the priesthood, or not talking about Heavenly Mother, in that the arguments against it are so ridiculous that they actually makes me more likely to question current practices. And the sheer vitriol that this has sparked is simply amazing. I do realize that it’s a very small (but vocal!) minority of people who are treating this like the apocalypse. But it does leave me wondering about what’s going on. I knew that gender norms were a controversial, difficult topic, but even after years of feminist blogging, I’ve never seen anything quite like this. And I think that’s worth discussing.

  64. 64.

    Lynnette, I agree – these issues are very much worth discussing, and I hope this is a good learning experience for all of us, on both sides. (I, too, am a wishful thinker… =)

  65. 65.

    [...] http://zelophehadsdaughters.com/2012/12/12/it-wasnt-about-pants-but-then-it-became-about-pants-and-t… [...]

  66. 66.

    Wow, ok, I just spent a huge amount of time reading all this and I wanted to speak up and say something. I’m not a member. But I have been attending and meeting with the missionaries, and deeply contemplating joining the church for some time. And I have to say, that all this contention, anger, and unkind words, is EXACTLY why I left the last church I was going to.
    I found out that people in my bible study group from church were judging and condemning me for my appearance. And it makes me sick to my stomach to think anyone would need to say anything at all over a pair of pants or not. In my opinion, if they aren’t sweat pants, or jeans, let people wear what they want. As long as it’s modest, and it’s Sunday appropriate. It’s like going to meet the queen, you wouldn’t go wearing a paper bag, but, she isn’t expecting you to look like a princess. (Everybody should read this children’s book by Max Lucado, I got it on my 18th birthday, and my brother in law gave it to me to remind me of how valued and loved I am in God’s eyes. As I have always struggled with very bad self-esteem and self-confidence.)
    My point in all this? Quite frankly, you’re all very rude with each other. Just like people are CONSTANTLY rude to me when they see me. I have a nose ring, 2 lip rings, my Monroe piercing, 3 earrings in each ear, and 10 tattoos. I don’t regret and feel inclined to change or hide these things about me. Not because I want to make a statement, but because I am comfortable with who I am and how I look. Why can’t women wear a pair of dress pants? I’ve worn leggings to church, is that too close to pants? Am I now under scrutiny? And another thing, why should investigators be treated with more respect and love than members? If I become a member, am I all of the sudden gonna get nasty messages on Facebook saying I need to take out my piercings, and change my wardrobe, and only wear dresses and skirts to church. I don’t want to receive what I consider hate messages about wearing pants or leggings to church.
    You all may think you are sending good messages, but, you aren’t. It’s HATEFUL. That’s all I hear in the tone of these messages when I read them. Not only that, but the cursing that I saw, that also broke my heart. If you really had the love of God in your heart, you would have compassion on others, and gently remind them or find gentle ways to teach them, that how we dress doesn’t have to be perfect, but that it requires the right heart-tone. If our hearts are in the right mindset for going to church, everything else follows. Wearing pants to prove a point isn’t respectful to fellow members, or to God. It’s making a mockery of what church should really be. A place of worship, and reverence. Not hate, rule challenging, and discord.
    I have to say, I am pretty disappointed in reading this, but thankfully, I have seen enough love and acceptance in church to know that the branch I have been attending wouldn’t be silly enough to be caught up in this ridiculous mess of a situation. I try to live by this: “Fighting for the things you give me, I want to share your love, feeling like a wounded soldier, strength is not enough, and I can’t win this battle on my own. The sword has long been buried, piled on with dirt, speak to me your promises, resurrect your word, I can’t win this battle on my own, I’ll rise up and be your voice, I made my choice, this is my story. Your songs are stored inside my heart, so break me apart; it’s for your glory…”
    Is creating this uproar really for God’s glory? Because, in the end, that’s what church is; a place to go and glorify God, with our hearts, minds, souls and deeds. I may not be a member, but, this truly does break my heart a little. No, make that, a lot.

    I am all for pants if that’s what someone is comfortable in. If you aren’t comfortable, you aren’t truly focused on being at church. So maybe it is best not to turn a day of rest into a day of ‘protest’ and ‘discord’. Find another way to do this, and maybe it could be beneficial. Just saying, this seems to be an irreverent thing to do in what should be a reverent time and place on a Sunday morning.

  67. 67.

    The idea that sacrament is the wrong place to make any kind of statement is interesting. I don’t feel that wearing pants necessary takes away from the spirit of the meeting. Neither does wearing a Boy Scout uniform on Scout Sunday (our ward has encouraged the young men and adult boy scout leaders to wear the scout shirt on Scout Sunday which is once a year). If I’m wrong, and wearing the scout uniform, or women wearing pants, or mothers wearing corsages on Mother’s Day really do take away from the purpose and spirit of sacrament meeting then I agree perhaps we be using sacrament to make personal statements (any of them) For right now though, I’m not convinced that wearing pants makes any kind of personal statement that would be offensive to the spirit or purpose of sacrament.

  68. 68.

    I think people should wear whatever the hell they want to church.

    I also think doing it in unison as a form of protest, solidarity- whatever is lame.

    Are we suppose to care that women are wearing pants or are we suppose to not care? Are the members suppose to think “she’s making a statement” or think nothing. And if they think nothing does that defeat the purpose?

    Don’t we have more important things to think about right now? Like who in the ward could use friendship, who in the community needs help this Christmas or can we pre-pay tithing for 2013 because we’ll most likely loose the ability to write off charitable deductions…serious questions people.

    I hope I’m wrong- and this Sunday’s little movement will help women, men and visitors feel more comfortable sitting in sacrament meeting regardless of their apparel- but I have a feeling it’s going to take more than one day of pants to have that kind of impact.

  69. 69.

    “I have a feeling it’s going to take more than one day of pants to have that kind of impact.”

    Challenge accepted.

  70. 70.

    [...] And the bloggernacle exploded. For some reason, this particular suggestion, at this time, in this manner, touched a nerve. Perhaps it’s that many people were not aware of mormon male priveldge. [...]

  71. 71.

    Doesn’t “We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may” apply to Mormons too?

  72. 72.

    Telling other adults what to wear is bad form.

  73. 73.

    Former temple worker here. In fact, there is not an OFFICIAL dress code for the temple either. In ordinance worker trainings we were told not to mention it if women showed up in pants or jeans or whatever. If they had a current recommend, let them in and DO NOT make a comment about it. The important thing is that they came. So apparently women in pants don’t defile the temple either.

  74. 74.

    Just curious, Bel. Are there any rules about women being required to wear dresses while performing ordinances in the temple?

  75. 75.

    What is the big deal. I love to wear dresses and skirts to the Temple.
    Leeann

  76. 76.

    Women wear pants to perform baptisms in our temple

  77. 77.

    @Bel #73

    Thanks for that info. My daughter was turned away for baptisms a couple of years ago for showing up in jeans; she had met the youth directly after school and there was no time for her to go home and change. It was so long ago, I don’t know if it was someone in the temple or one of her leaders.

Leave a Reply