WHY I AM TEMPTED TO WEAR PANTS TO CHURCH THIS SUNDAY:
- First and foremost, I wish women had a greater presence in the Church. There’s a whole host of ways women could increase in visibility with absolutely no doctrinal changes whatsoever - see some good suggestions here. (It’s interesting to note that one of the proposed changes on that list came to pass last General Conference when the mission age for women was reduced from 21 to 19.) Again, these are policy and cultural changes only.
- There is nothing doctrinal even remotely suggesting that women can only adequately worship in a skirt or dress. It’s purely the result of culture.
- A Mormon chapel is the only place on earth where a denim jumper is considered more appropriate than a pantsuit. Personally, I own at least three pairs of pants that are dressier than half of my skirts.
- There’s a woman in my ward who wears nice slacks each week. I honestly don’t know the reason, but I suspect it’s related to her health. Social taboo means that week after week, she will be the ONLY one dressed differently. I bet she’d appreciate it if one week she showed up and she wasn’t the only one dressed in slacks.
- I sit in front of 16-year-old teens during the second hour and I constantly fidget with my skirt, wondering if I’m flashing a little bit of white.
- It’s freaking COLD in the chapel.
- What year is this, again?
WHY I PROBABLY WON’T WEAR PANTS TO CHURCH THIS SUNDAY:
- People might see it as a personal offense, or worse, an attack against the Church, and I can’t explain my above reasons to every single person in the ward. (Then again, can’t they “choose” not to be offended by it, just like all the times I’ve chosen not to be offended by political statements snuck into testimonies, racist and homophobic comments made in Relief Society, and parents who do not clean up their kids’ nasty Cheerio messes?)
- I don’t want people to read anything more into my intentions than what I’ve outlined above.
- I can’t think of a single way to frame the inevitable discussion with my Sunday School students in a manner that wouldn’t result in phone calls from parents.
- I see the significance in pants, specifically, as a feminist symbol, but I really don’t think that wearing pants to church is an effective way to change attitudes, especially now that the issue has become so divisive. (You should read some of the vitriol from the opposition. All hell has broken loose over this.)
All that being said, wearing purple, a color associated with the feminist movement, has been suggested as an alternative to the controversial pants-wearing. I’ll probably do that instead, as a subtler and less schismatic display of solidarity.