You know how it feels when you show up to a party and you realize you’re underdressed? Like, everybody else is wearing little black dresses and suits and you’ve got on skinny jeans and some comfortably pretty, off-the-shoulder shirt. You love your outfit, but they’re all giving you the same, “Uh, have fun at the rodeo” look, so you wish you hadn’t bothered to dress that way at all. It’s not that you look bad by any means; you just don’t look like everybody else, and that can lead to the people around you behaving judgmentally. That same feeling goes for women in the LDS Church regarding the wearing of pants, but a Mormon feminist group is challenging that old-fashioned standard.
Though women are technically allowed to wear pants, most choose not to. Because their culture views pants as a less dressy and thereby less respectable, as though you can’t love God without wearing a skirt, many women have felt societal pressure to continue wearing dresses, so they simply decide to do so. As a result, a group of Momon feminist women have been encouraging more women to wear pants. In fact, this Sunday is now “Wear Pants to Church Day,” an event that over 1,100 women on Facebook are RSVP’d as “Attending” that will hopefully bring about solidarity to women who have previously felt uncomfortable wearing, well, more comfortable clothing for themselves.
According to the Facebook page:
“The Church has not attempted to indicate just how long women’s or girls’ dresses should be nor whether they should wear pant suits or other types of clothing.”–LDS Church Presidency (1971)We are feminists. We do not seek to eradicate the differences between women and men, but we do want the LDS church to acknowledge the similarities. We believe that much of the cultural, structural, and even doctrinal inequality that persists in the LDS church today stems from the church’s reliance on – and enforcement of – rigid gender roles that bear no relationship to reality.
We subscribe to the Book of Mormon teaching that “all are alike unto God,” and hope that our choice to wear pants to our Sunday worship services (a choice sanctioned by our spiritual leaders over 40 years ago!) reminds our families, congregations, and leaders that we have not forgotten this gospel truth.