Women Wearing Pants At Church BINGO

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Recently there’s been quite a hullabaloo over women wearing pants to church, sparked initially by a Mormon feminist movement pegging this upcoming Sunday as “Wear Your Pants to Church Day.” This has in turned prompted a (cough) counter-protest movement on Facebook, Mormons Against Women Wearing Pants to Church, a well-organized grassroots campaign mobilized to stop the madness. In the midst of this war of words and tumult of opinions we offer this informative yet entertaining game to play with your crazy pants-wearing feminist, as well as your down-to-earth, covenant-keeping friends.

I should note that nearly all of the squares were culled from actual conversations we’ve observed in response to these events.

Have fun!

Comments

  1. BLACKOUT!

  2. There’s a comment on the ABC 4 article (http://www.abc4.com/content/news/state/story/LDS-women-urged-to-wear-pants-to-protest-gender/O-AzbqdGh0exVwl9cVhJ4g.cspx) that says, “I have read all articles I could find about this ‘protest’ and all I can say is that it sounds like a group of people who are under the influence of Satan to cause an uprising and/or problems among members of the church.”

    That’s my favorite one so far.

  3. Kevin Barney says:

    Hilarious! (And I think I’ve got BINGO like three different ways already.)

  4. I love the “makes Baby Jesus cry” one! I had no idea there was such a debate going on. I think that is a good thing.

  5. The British Saints are most likely shocked, appalled, and/or ROFLTBO.

  6. I yearn for a return to the calmer, saner, more Christ-like discussions of Prop 8, husbands presiding over wives, and the politics of the recent election.

  7. This doesn’t have to do with what God wants, I am fairly sure that he doesn’t care what you wear to church. He just wants you to be there and active in your faith. This has to do with what the General Authorities in Salt Lake require of women – under their thumb. Personally I am going to wear a dress because it makes me feel feminine.

  8. How on earth did I miss the baby Jesus crying comment? I thought I’d caught them all.

  9. Jacob, here’s one you missed:

    “Why do you want to look like men? Women are better than men!! We are the crown of God’s creation! Men need the priesthood so they can learn to be like us!”

    Gag, retch, hurl.

  10. H.Bob,
    Women don’t wear pants, they wear knickers!

  11. it's a series of tubes says:

    Ronan, I had to close the door to my office I was laughing so hard. Only speakers of British english will truly appreciate your zinger.

  12. Ardis, LOL! Seriously, I am floored by the phenomenon of the reaction to this pants thing. It’s like something just came unglued all at once. I mean that quote above (“it sounds like a group of people who are under the influence of Satan”) I actually saw something very similar on a friend’s Facebook wall. Really, people? Playing the Satan card over pants?

  13. Reading the mission statement of team pants made me sad that there are people in the church who would take this position (not the wearing of pants – or trousers as they are properly called – which I have no issue with, but that there is such great inequality in the church doctrine. Culture – perhaps in some places. Doctrine – no: if you think there is then you do not understand it correctly. This is just not an issue in the church in Scotland, even for new members.

  14. Since my only exposure to this discussion topic has been 90% posts and comments from extreme feminists I was expecting a different gameboard. None of my facebook friends or brick&mortar friends have mentioned the “protest.”

  15. I truly wish there was a way to measure the tenor of the church membership on this question:
    “Would you feel more comfortable having a gay or lesbian couple sitting in the pew next to you or a woman in pants?”

  16. So does this mean I don’t have to wear a tie?

  17. re: 15 What’s the difference?

  18. 17: I, of course, would hope the answer would be along the lines of “it doesn’t matter to me either way” but in terms of looking at vitriolic reaction to both the new mormonsandgays.org site and the “Wear Pants to Church Day” (even after the Church came out and said “Generally church members are encouraged to wear their best clothing as a sign of respect for the Savior, but we don’t counsel people beyond that.”) I’m seeing a lot more aimed at the latter and I’m not sure what that indicates.

  19. I have a bigger problem with more than 1 set of earrings. Am I right, ladies?

  20. If only there were a way for guys to join the protest…maybe by wearing a Dhoti?

  21. It all starts with the pants. Then comes facial hair for men. Then an extra set of earings for women (and men for that matter.) Then we move to blue jeans and polo’s, then to flip flops, then to loud Hawaian shirts. Pretty soon we’ll look just like the people attending those “other” churches, won’t we? Can we get in some guitars, a drum set and keyboard while we’re at it?

  22. Wow, is there a downside to that slippery slope scenario?

  23. Wait, people do know this all just Aaron Brown and his fake facebook groups, right? And so soon after Banner of Heaven…

  24. How about a “don’t wear pants to church day” ?!

  25. Oh, the gnats, won’t someone please think of the gnats!

  26. Great. Now I have that “Pants On The Ground” song running through my head. Do you think exposed underwear/thongs/garments will be an issue?

  27. I wasn’t all that interested in the event, until I saw the incredible level of crazy it seems to have elicited from the anti-pants faction. FamProc quotations, discussions of who gets to hold the priesthood/preside, insinuations that pants are what separate the wheat from the tares. What church do I belong to, anyway? Good grief.

  28. Casey, apparently men can join the protest by wearing a purple ribbon, purple being the color of suffrage. I think it was the SLC Trib that said as much.

    This issue is so BORING and irrelevant. Did anyone see the Church’s official response? It’s a protest against nothing. Wear pants, don’t wear pants, who cares. It makes me angry when “radicals” use up their capital on stupid stuff while gay teenagers in Utah are committing suicide left and right. Wearing pants is not a sign of liberation just like wearing a skirt is not a sign of oppression. I lived in India where women have WAY fewer rights and opportunities than women in the US, yet they wear pants (in the form of a salwar kameez) to church all the time.

  29. #20, men have been invited to wear purple (ties, shirts, etc. suits? shoes? whatever you feel comfortable with). Alternatively, you’re welcome to wear a kilt.

  30. Just realized what British members must be thinking. Snickering in the library.

  31. RE#28 — I disagree. One of the things that can come of this is a realization/reminder that a lot of the things we do are more culturally influenced than doctrinally dictated. Being able to begin to separate that opens the minds and hearts for other issues.

  32. Hopefully this will help us get to the real issue which is High Priests in 30 year old suits. It’s time to raise the fashion bar gentlemen.

  33. Kevin Barney says:

    This is one of my favorite stories: “Three months later in November 1978, a coed who was refused entrance to the BYU testing center because she was “wearing pants of denim material” left the center, removed her pants, buttoned up her overcoat, and was admitted, pantless, without question. In a letter to the editor of the Universe, she added, “There is something strangely perverse and incongruous about a dress code which demands that a girl dressed in nice denim pants [be] rejected from a campus facility, while a girl in underpants and a coat is acceptable. Is it that vital that we expose the lower half of our legs?” (DU, 14 Nov. 1978). This event, which received national attention, may have contributed to BYU’s eventual capitulation on the jeans issue less than three years later. Addressing students in the fall of 1981, President Jeffrey Holland suggested that modesty and cleanliness should “govern women’s dress on the campus rather than endless debate as to whether a `designer jean’ is also a slack, or whether the fabric is cotton, polyester, or denim, or whether it is colored red, white, or blue.”

  34. Kevin Barney says:

    Here’s a personal story I’ve told before: “When I was on my mission we had an investigator who came to church wearing a very elegant pants suit. She gets not 10 steps inside the chapel when a guy takes it upon himself to inform her that she was dressed inappropriately for church. Without a word she turned on her heel, walked out, and we never saw her again.

    That was as close as I’ve ever come to punching a guy out right there in the chapel.”

  35. Carey (31), I could buy that except that this protest is being framed as a protest against gender inequity in the church, not against how Wasatch Front cultural values get passed off as doctrine. All Enlisted, the group that seems to be organizing the protest calls themselves “a direct action group for Mormon women to advocate for equality within our faith”. I understand the one miracle at a time concept (thank you, Elder Holland), and I understand that small miracles count, but women wearing pants to church is not actually prohibited, which makes this a non-issue on the gender equity front.

    I think an example of a real, albeit small, win is the recent change allowing female employees of the Church to ditch pantyhose at work. That was a real rule. This isn’t.

  36. We baptized a guy in Japan who was wearing a sheet wrapped around him like a skirt, held on with a belt of knotted handkerchiefs. He’d forgotten to bring any white trousers and he was too big to fit in any of the elders’.

    I think we should announce next Sunday, the 23rd, as “Go Commando” Sunday.

  37. Anna K. Interesting enough, female employees of the Church still aren’t allowed to wear pants. And from my understanding in talking to some of those employees, if given the choice, most would jump at it. So as you say, a small change was made, a but a real rule of not wearing pants still stands.

  38. #35 Doesn’t it bother you _more_ that there is no actual rule against women wearing pants and yet there is so much weapons-grade crazy blowback? I applaud this effort, and I will be joining in. If anyone wants to protest in another way that they feel more appropriate they are of course welcome to do so. I am wearing pants to show solidarity for sisters who have been turned away or disciplined (as Kevin Barney mentioned). Mourning with those that mourn, and comforting those that stand in need of comfort is the Gospel in action, imo.

  39. So I guess what I’m asking is if this was an attempt to get “a real” rule like no pants for women allowed at the COB to change, or say, for men to stop shaving at the COB or BYU to protest that rule, would people feel better about getting behind the movement?

  40. One of my favorites: “Why don’t you just go all the way and join a nudist colony.”

  41. EmJen, that is a rule that should *definitely* change in my opinion. Lame.

  42. I do have to say that women in the church can’t win when it comes to clothes. I was wearing boots with my skirt last Sunday–for warmth!–and a fellow ward member told me that he always wondered why women in the church wore “stripper boots” as he pointed to my black, non-shiny, boots bought at Costco. Seriously??!! I asked him how he knows what stripper boots look like. He looked as uncomfortable as he made me feel.

    I think the dress vs. pants thing for me is about warmth. I worked on campus during my stint at BYU and then Pres. Holland changed the policy of having to wear dresses and skirts to work to allow women to wear pants at our job from November through April due to the cold winter weather. We all sang his praises. I do notice this call to arms is taking place during the winter season. Has any mention been made about it being a warmth factor? FWIW, I’ll be wearing my boots on Sunday with a skirt or dress.

  43. Sorry, EmJen, didn’t see your follow up. In my opinion, yes, that would be more worthy of support. So would an effort to clarify and educate the populace on the actual rules since, as EOR points out, there has been an insane amount of ideological push back. (Maybe some would see it as the same, but my protest of the protest, if you will, has nothing to do with an ideological problem with women wearing pants to church. I have worn pants to church before, don’t do it on a regular basis, seriously don’t care if other women do or don’t.) I thought the Church’s official response was great, and it would be even better if it were read over the pulpit along with the following quote that All Enlisted cites on their FB 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)”

    Maybe if people understood what the actual rules were then horrifying stories like the one Kevin Barney (34) recounted wouldn’t happen. Don’t get me wrong – I think that reining in crazies like that is very important, but I’m just not sure that organizing a protest against something that’s not actually a rule is the best use of personal time and media focus when there are MANY more actual injustices that happen all the time. It’s not ideal to have to prioritize activism, but I believe it’s important. I’m sure some would disagree with that belief.

  44. Anna K, I could not agree more! I had an internship in the Church Office Building (one of my favorite experiences!) but I was completely befuddled by the dress code–they told us in orientation that women could be asked to leave the workplace if they were not in pantyhose. And men are prohibited from wearing “loud” ties–muted colors over white shirts only. Not even a tiny part of me believes that those particular points of the dress code contribute to an environment more conducive to the Spirit, nor to a more productive work day. In fact, I was often distracted by itchy, rolling, or torn pantyhose while working, and I froze walking to the bus stop to and from work. Pants suits would have been more professional and polished in appearance, and more comfortable, than some of the sanctioned skirts.

    Also, I’d rather see some grassroots efforts on supporting dads caring for infants at church–dads should have a small lounge for quiet rocking and/or feeding, and every restroom (not just women’s) should have a diaper changing table.

  45. It’s not about looking nice. It’s about looking/being different. It’s about the professional ambitions that wearing a pants-suit would signify. It’s about cultural coding as feminine and domestic. A man’s sunday best is supposed to mark him as a worker and a provider. A woman’s sunday best, as a womanly and motherly woman with no workplace ties.

  46. Anna (nice name!), I agree with all that you said. It’s a little weird that the Church is willing to be so hands off about dress at church (where theoretically it is even more important to have the Spirit) than in the COB. I don’t see members “abusing” the lack of more precise guidelines at church, so why would employees?

    And I guess I thought there *were* changing tables in the men’s restrooms…does it vary? Weird. I agree, that would be great.

  47. Kevin Barney says:

    Here’s what I don’t get about the “why don’t you just go all the way and join a nudist colony” type reaction. A dress or skirt is way closer to being nude than pants are. With a dress or skirt, you’ve got bare-nekkid legs for all to ogle and admire. So how is it that dresses and skirts are the more conservative apparel option? That has just never made any sense to me; it seems wholly counterintuitive.

  48. Kevin Barney says:

    (And yes, Brad in no. 45 answers my question, but I still think it’s bizarre.)

  49. I have no problem with women wearing pants to church. I wear non-white shirts sometimes, and I have worn dress pants and a polo shirt to ward and stake meetings. I am in favor of the concept represented by this and wish our culture didn’t create an issue like this.

    My problem with the “protest” is that it is making people all over the country and world think that the Church prohibits women from wearing pants to church. It is making those outside the Church believe this is a matter of policy, not culture.

    I see it as people distorting something to get attention – deceiving others to further their “cause”. I have a hard time believeing they really believe this is official policy, but that’s the way it’s being presented. Those same people scream invectives whenever they see the Church doing anything that see as distorting someting to further their cause – which makes this protest, imo, hypocritical in nature.

  50. Sorry, I’ll shut up in a minute, but first…

    Ray, I couldn’t agree more. Like how about the Jezebel article with the headline: Mormon Feminists Under Fire for Encouraging Women to Wear Pants to Church. It makes it look Church leadership has a problem with women in pants when, in fact, even the article itself admits (in much smaller type) that that’s not true. Now, obviously activists are not responsible for sloppy journalism, but I do think it brings confusing and unwanted attention, especially right on the heels of the relatively positive attention received for the mormonsandgays.org website. Seems unfortunate.

  51. In a show of solidarity with my strong LDS sisters, I will be wearing pants this week to my elders quorum meeting this week.

  52. This is only tangentially related to all the comments thus far, but I do need to point out that that this post wasn’t strictly written in support of the protest nor in antagonism against it. It’s meant to speak to the many issues swirling around it, and that certainly undergird many of the reasons given for the protest.

    Although it could be something to keep the kids entertained by way of documenting the passive aggressive insults hurled at mommy when she attends church on Sunday in a pantsuit. So there’s that too.

  53. Whether or not the church has a problem with it is far from clear. Church leaders have quite recently admonished women not just to wear dresses but pantyhose to church, and the church prohibits female employees from wearing pants to work. Honestly, I’m not bothered by the negative impression the protest gives to outsiders. We deserve to be embarrassed by this.

  54. I’m so with Anna K. (#28). This is slacktivism if ever I saw it.

    And Anna (#44), I took a temporary position as a lecturer at BYU-I when I was in grad school. They didn’t mention the dress/skirt thing until I showed up on campus. I originally hail from far warmer climes, and I thought wearing dresses every day in the snow was silly. So, I wore my dresses with long underwear underneath. Quite the fashion statement.

  55. You know we are talking about the same organization that makes it harder to get into (and stay at) BYU than the temple and puts more of an emphasis on the dress and grooming standards in the honor code at BYU than cheating….

    The focus–culturally and institutionally–on the external presentation rather than the internal commitment (irony abounds) makes me absolutely crazy. If someone makes the effort to attend meetings on Sunday, does it really matter if they do so in a dress or pants? If someone takes the time to do temple work, is that not more significant than if they are wearing a black shirt, white tie, and khakis rather than a blue suit with a white shirt and a red tie?

    If a fairly benign “protest” can bring some much-needed cultural and sartorial sanity to the LDS community, great. Even better if it helps to hasten even small changes at the church offices or BYU.

  56. #46 ” It’s a little weird that the Church is willing to be so hands off about dress at church (where theoretically it is even more important to have the Spirit) than in the COB”

    I actually don’t find it that weird. The COB is a place of business, albeit a little different than your standard business place. We have a dress code at our business because we want to project a certain image to those who patronize our business. Our employees don’t always agree, but then, they can choose to work somewhere else with a much more relaxed (or absent) dress code.

  57. And the men’s restroom in our church building does have a changing table. Has had for years.

  58. Sigh, why do I feel like we’ve gone from the Mormon Moment to playtime in the kiddie pool? I’d like to say I look forward to what the Church will look like in 20 years when the Greatest Generation are no longer in charge and the Baby Boomers are off serving missions and out of the way – but there are enough raving conservative reactionaries in the younger generation that I’m not convinced things will change that much.

    You really want to make a statement? Walk into sacrament meeting wearing sackcloth and ashes. Anything less and you’re not fully committed.

    How soon will we reach the point where the Lord smites the daughters of Zion for their haughty apparel – though maybe Isaiah had it all wrong and it’s the men who will be smitten. I mean honestly, I’m not even sure who is making these rules. Who declares the women in the COB must wear pantyhose? Who is maintaining the expectation that the women at Church should not wear pants? It’s not clear to me that it’s “The Brethren” because at least the church meeting standard seems to be driven by historical cultural expectations that are perpetuated at the local level. My mother-in-law was aghast that her daughter would bare her legs and shudder the thought that she would wear pants.

    But then I read, what is most likely the declarative statement on standards for what people wear to church at LDS chapels and come across this in the visitor’s FAQ on Mormon.org:

    Members attending Sunday services will most likely be wearing their “Sunday best,” which may include suits, sport coats, and ties for the men and modest dresses or skirts for the women. Children also typically dress up for Sunday.

    Seriously, who really cares what people wear to Church? Certainly not the Savior. He’s just happy that they show up. Gah!

  59. I’m more than a little perturbed by those terming this (the offensive) “slacktivism”. If this is not the way you would go about it, or the way you would tackle things; great, do it your own way. All Enlisted is a new group, and this is their first event. It is wise to test the waters with something a little more tame, that is not against Church policy in order to make a statement. This actually wound up being a brilliant first step because it shows just how far they need to go to find themselves at the point where they can start really agitating for “important” changes.

  60. Anna (44),

    The church buildings I have been in the past few years have all had diaper changing tables in the men’s bathroom. No men’s lounge though……

  61. ^like^

  62. ^directed at 59^

  63. Indeed. The response is incredibly telling. I hope the women in my family wear trousers on Sunday.

  64. “Church leaders have quite recently admonished women not just to wear dresses but pantyhose to church.”

    Honest, sincere request for a reference, Brad.

  65. President Beck. Mothers Who Know.

  66. I looked up the talk, and you are correct, Brad, that Pres. Beck mentions dressing daughters in dresses, but pantyhose are not mentioned once in it. When it comes to the mothers themselves, the wording is “Sunday best”. I also have found no references to wearing dresses and pantyhose in the context of church attendance from other church leaders recently, except one article in the Ensign from 2006 that referenced hose as part of what someone wore to church. It was used as an example of someone going from one extreme to the other, not actively as a standard that all are supposed to follow – even as I know the argument that such a statement sets an unspoken standard. To me, that is shown by the fact that I have seen more women over the last 20 years, in multiple units in multipel states, who don’t wear hose to church than those who do.

    I know that’s nitpicking a bit, and I am not trying to defend the reference to dresses for daughters or argue against wearing pants to church, but it’s another example of why I think precision is important in discussions like this. As I said, I wish our culture didn’t do this, but I just don’t see recent examples of “dresses and panythose” being something actively preached by global “church leaders” – and that distinction is important, imo.

    This is fighting culture, not pervasive instruction or doctrine.

  67. Brad, unless I missed something (I used my browser’s search function rather than reading through “Mothers Who Know” again), there is no reference whatsoever, direct or even hinted, about women wearing pantyhose to Church or anywhere else. The only reference to skirts or dresses speaks about how she has seen some mothers in poor areas dressing their daughters — and while she is clearly holding up these women as models, it’s a terribly long stretch to “admonishment ” of women to prescribe a woman’s Sunday wardrobe.

    I have visited sacrament meetings in some of the poorest places on the earth where mothers have dressed with great care in their Sunday best despite walking for miles on dusty streets and using worn-out public transportation. They bring daughters in clean and ironed dresses with hair brushed to perfection; their sons wear white shirts and ties and have missionary haircuts.

    If you can point to some part of the talk I missed, I apologize in advance for my overlooking it.

  68. It is fighting culture, Ray, but I would request that you visit the Facebook site for the event and you will see just how much culture has invaded doctrine. I have been called an apostate enough times over sociopolitical beliefs, but I was horn-swaggled to be referred to as one of Satan’s minions because I am going to wear pants.

  69. EOR, I have visited the site and seen the vitriol. As I said, I wish our culture isn’t where it is with this – that it simply wasn’t an issue in any way. It is, and I am not trying to minimize the fact that it is something I don’t like about our culture.

    I’m just saying I don’t like fighting absurd hyperbole on one end by using incorrect hypebole myself. Reality is enough.

  70. That’s my bad (well my bad memory). I was sure I remembered a dust-up over her mentioning nylons (honestly, I’m not sure where the mis-memory is coming from), but perhaps it was the conspicuous absence of a mention of it that caught people.

    I still think we deserve to be scorned on this front, if not for the COB dress code, then particularly for the disgusting, enraged backlash against the pants movement.

  71. I will be wearing a purple ribbon this Sunday and have already been going tie-less to church for several weeks now. I can’t imagine that our Heavenly Parents are as concerned about our “respect” for them as they are about whether we love each other.

    I hope my tiny act (or omission, I suppose) of wearing no tie will create a slightly larger sense of diversity in my ward and eventually help someone feel welcome who might otherwise not feel they fit in.

  72. DisgruntledActiveSingleMormon says:

    If this isn’t a first world problem/social issue, I don’t know what is. Women around the world have FAR greater problems/social issues to contend with.

  73. It seems to me that many people are misunderstanding the point of the protest. From the statements I’ve read, it’s not about women wearing trousers to church. That’s just a symbol — like wearing a black armband during the Vietnam War was not about fighting for the right to wear black armbands. The aims of the protest seem to be to increase the visibility of feminist Mormons to each other and to raise awareness of and protest against the (pernicious) gender inequalities within Mormonism. The choice of “wear pants to church” as a tactic seem to me to be inspired. As the official church statement indicates, there’s no rule or commandment against women wearing pants to church. But, at least within the U.S. Mormon context, it’s something that is generally Not Done. By visibly doing something that is perfectly within the rules but causes a commotion (a bit of gender panic, really), the women wearing pants to church are effectively creating the opportunity for reflection, critique, and change about gender in Mormonism.

    Some people aren’t comfortable about making church services the site of “protest” or “direct action,” and that’s a question that deserves thoughtful consideration. (For a start, consider what type of social norms and attitudes win if we rule out any sort of protest at church, no matter how respectful and modest it may be.) But please don’t mistake what this protest means; it’s not really about the dress code.

  74. #73 – I think everyone hear understands that.

  75. That’s not how I read Anna K.’s “Did anyone see the Church’s official response? It’s a protest against nothing.” Or parts of the discussion about women have to wear hose to work in the Church Office Building. But I apologize if I’ve misunderstood what people were saying.

  76. People, I’m just upset that that someone mentioned extreme feminism in the contents above. What does that mean? I assume feminists snowboarding and cliff diving while reading Judith Butler and Gloria Steinem.

  77. #44 @Anna – Most chapels I have been in have changing tables in both the men’s and women’s restrooms. I don’t know about other chapels, but ours even has diaper pails in addition to the normal trash cans.

    #56 @Mike – Agreed, most workplaces have a dress code. I don’t have mine here, but I believe it says something about appropriate clothing, hairstyles, and even says that men must wear a tie when appearing in front of top level officers. I don’t think it insists on dresses for women, though probably says that pant suits should be conservative. I pretty sure it says no mini-skirts, and no jeans or cutoffs for male and female.
    As for a dress code for church, I would find that ludicrous. The Lord does not care what you wear, and is just happy that you are coming to church. Yes, you should try and dress nice out of respect, and we have a culture of “Sunday Best”, but if you are poor, your “Sunday Best” may be your washed pair of unripped jeans. I find some of the mini-skirts and low cut tops more provocative and of bad taste than a female wearing a pant suite.

    #58 @Alain – I read that statement from mormon.org as a guideline, “Members will most likely…” to help visitors feel comfortable and know what to expect. Unfortunately, too many members seem to take guidelines as orders written in stone. How many of us have been looked down upon because we drink Coke? No…Caffeine is against the WoW. At what point do we need to step back and realize there is a reason The Lord has not had the leadership define a dress standard (or many other things). There are some things we still need to decide for ourselves. [q]D&C 58:26 For behold, it is not meet that I should command in all things; for he that is compelled in all things, the same is a slothful and not a wise servant; wherefore he receiveth no reward.[/q]

  78. Dave B 73 – exactly. This is about so much more than dresses, and about much more than first-world fashions. For a church that just loves symbols, I’m shocked that so many people are missing what this is even about.

  79. In reading on of the founder’s messages on the FMH page, she wasn’t even going to do this event because she thought that it would mainly be ignored by the people who didn’t like it…instead it caused a phenomenon. What’s so interesting to me is that this would never have received half the attention it’s getting if the people against it would have just ignored it instead of feeling the need to tell the feminists how corrupt and evil they were (either directly or passive-aggressively.) Suddenly a war broke out with comment-battles about prophets, revelation, doctrine, culture…you name it. I think this is actually brilliant in that it gets members of the Church talking in a more open way than they ever would in Sunday School and having to really face the diversity of opinions within the church. I’ve been fascinated to see how we as a people are at handling discussion. At least the language is a lot cleaner than most flame-wars.

  80. I agree, pieface. It’s a brilliant idea for a nifty, free little piece of viral marketing for a new group. Speaks to lots of our stupid little prejudices, and gives the in-crowd a visible identifier. I’m kind of bummed I’ll be traveling this Sunday so I won’t get to see how my (fairly liberal) ward responds.

  81. Protest with a dress says:

    I think men should wear dresses on the day women are planning to wear pants. If the women are going to so much effort to demonstrate they “can” wear pants, then men shouldn’t be discriminated against and forced to wear suit pants.

    And once the equality debate is settled as it relates to clothing, we can address the misnomer of sameness by having everyone wear birthday suits to church to illustrate that contrary to clothing or desires to diminish any unique qualities belonging to the different genders, the different genders are in fact… different.

  82. A wonderful blog post on why some of the commenters were so disrespectful and how we can deal with others—and ourselves—-in a Christlike way. Thumbs up for standing above the fray!

    http://www.feministmormonhousewives.org/2012/12/on-nastiness-why-nice-mormons-can-be-so-very-very-mean-about-pants/

  83. My favorite was “It’s Adam and Eve, not Adam and pants!”

  84. it's a series of tubes says:

    I assume feminists snowboarding and cliff diving while reading Judith Butler and Gloria Steinem.

    If Matsby doesn’t jump on this, pronto, I’m going to be deeply disappointed.

  85. The suggestion that men wear dresses in support really doesn’t work. Women wear pants all the time outside of church. That’s normal. Men who wear dresses are called transvestites. It doesn’t fit with the intended message. Nice try, though.

  86. merkin4@yahoo.com says:

    We’ve got a brand-new member in our ward – college graduate, excellent piano player, professional lady. She wears very nice slacks to church. In PEC, we were getting rather worried that some idiot (actual term used) would take it upon themselves to “correct” our new member.

    One of the greatest sisters in the ward got up to bear her testimony not 45 minutes later. She talked about how she struggles with depression, how she doesn’t feel good enough, and how some days she just struggles to get out of bed and get moving. On this particular Sunday, the only way she felt like she could face the day was to wear her bright blue tennis shoes to church. Said sister then kicked up her feet from behind the pulpit to show us all what shoes she was wearing. She then talked about how wonderful it was that she could attend like that, and how she didn’t have to care if anyone was worried about how she looked, and how the Savior has His tent, and it’s a big tent and there’s room for all kinds of people, including the sisters who wear bright blue tennis shoes to church and then have to go back into the public school district the next day and teach Sex Ed to all the middle school students who need to hear about the Lord but can’t because it’s public school.

    It was one of the greatest examples of revelation I’ve ever seen. If the message had come from the Bishop, it would have been totally wrong. But coming from this particular sister with a reputation for being blunt and honest and open about her feelings, it was perfect.

    Our new member wore a dress the next week. She’s since switched back to slacks and she is there every week and holds a calling. Now even if some high council speaker from another ward tells her she ought to wear a dress, we’re pretty sure that it’s not going to be a problem. I also let my daughter wear slacks to church – clean, no tears, no words on the butt are the only rules we have.

  87. Sharee Hughes says:

    I have no problem with women wearing dress pants to church. There is a man in our ward who sometimes brings his mentally disabled sister to church. She wears pants and hiking boots. And we are just glad she is there. The problem with this coming Sunday’s issue is that it is a protest. Sacrament meting is a time for us to renew our covenants with our Heavenly Father–not to make a protest.

  88. “Honestly, I’m not bothered by the negative impression the protest gives to outsiders. We deserve to be embarrassed by this.”

    Add this to the center space. It’s at least as silly as the “pants offending the baby Jesus” box.

  89. fyi – the dress guidelines for working at the COB and other downtown locations is skirts for women, but there is no mention of nylons/hose

  90. Sharee,
    It’s being made to sound like it’s some militant protest by those most eager to burn the witches, but I think the heart of it was to simply show some kind of sister-solidarity to those who feel marginalized by petty, cultural rules. But even if it is a “protest” as you say, and if the “protest” is about the freedom to wear pants to church (and what that perhaps symbolizes), where on earth else do you expect them to do it if not at church?! Wear Pants to Family Home Evening Day — to “protest” needless marginalization on Sundays — would be remarkably stupid, no?

  91. Frank that’s a very recent change. In response to long dissatisfaction with the hose policy. Which was then hosed.

  92. http://heidisommerfeldstevenson.blogspot.com/2012/12/wearing-pants-really.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Delicious%2Fmillennialstar+%28mstar-worth-reading%29

    “I find it highly disturbing that during a month when we should be focusing on the birth of the Savior and all the wonderful things He has done for us, there are those who think that it is more important to bring division and politics into our Sunday worship, taking the focus off of Him and putting it onto themselves.”

  93. A female employee at the COB found a law that said employers had to pay for any perishable or disposable clothing item they required their employees to wear. And that was the end of the pantyhose rule.

  94. #92, I find it disturbing that you choose to post that using an anonymous alias. We’re not going to run you out of town on a rail for using your real name. If you want violent examples of that, please go visit the Facebook wall of the Wearing Pants event page, where opposition to the event has posted the most frightening, misogynist, violent “religious” responses to anything I’ve ever seen.

  95. Moss, plenty of women working at the COB had long been dissatisfied with having to wear pantyhose, regardless.

  96. Wouldn’t it be cool if men rocked choir robes that week? http://patterni.net/choir-robe-patterns/

  97. >94

    “the most frightening, misogynist, violent ‘religious’ responses to anything I’ve ever seen”

    Worse than Torquemada, Muenster, Mountain Meadows, Al-Qaeda, and the Taliban is pretty bad.

  98. A female employee at the COB found a law that said employers had to pay for any perishable or disposable clothing item they required their employees to wear

    I’m labeling this one bunk. This is the sort of thing which, if true, would spread rapidly in at least a distorted way among Church employees. None of the long-time employees of the CHL whom I’ve just queried have heard even the remotest rumor of such a thing. Without some shred of substantiating evidence, toss this one in the garbage bin.

  99. Civil disobedience typically brings out the attack dogs and fire hoses. That is, it summons the ugliness and violence (even just social and psychological forms of it) to the surface and forces it to show itself in all its ferocious ugliness. It’s telling that the disgusting backlash isn’t coming from the church or church leaders, because they’re not where the oppressive force is located. It’s on the ground, inside of us, and that’s where it’s being exposed for what it really is: naked misogyny.

  100. “Naked mysogyny?” Is that a hatred of naked women?

  101. Brilliant observation.

  102. Uh, that would be Brad’s brilliant observation.

    In addition to the misogyny, I think this ugliness is also coming from a deep fear of change. Since we’ve never seen what the LDS church looks like without male privilege, it’s very scary for people to contemplate eliminating it. It’s the unknown, and uncertainty is scary.

  103. Reference on hosiery, just FYI
    “We spoke of immodest dress as dishonoring the body, God’s most sacred creation. I speak now of immodest, casual, or slovenly dress and grooming that in particular times and places mocks the sacredness of what is taking place or of the place itself.

    “Let me give you an example. A while back a young woman from another state came to live with some of her relatives in the Salt Lake City area for a few weeks. On her first Sunday she came to church dressed in a simple, nice blouse and knee-length skirt set off with a light, button-up sweater. She wore hose and dress shoes, and her hair was combed simply but with care. Her overall appearance created an impression of youthful grace.

    “Unfortunately, she immediately felt out of place. It seemed like all the other young women her age or near her age were dressed in casual skirts, some rather distant from the knee; tight T-shirt-like tops that barely met the top of their skirts at the waist (some bare instead of barely); no socks or stockings; and clunky sneakers or flip-flops.”

    CES Fireside 2004 – Christofferson

    I especially admire how it is hosiery that really defines modesty.

  104. #102 Emily U, I quite agree. I was talking last week with a quite conservative Mormon friend who said that after meditating on language from the temple ceremony, he had no theological objection to women receiving the priesthood and acting as leaders in the church.

    But the idea seemed very culturally strange to him, almost beyond comprehension. I think that fear of cultural change is almost a greater stumblingblock than the theological objection. (Which inspires hope, really, because the larger culture in much of the world is changing to the point where we can imagine women as leaders quite naturally, and it even seems anachronistic to have only male leaders.)

  105. I am astounded at this whole “women wear pants to church on Sunday” episode. I’ve worn pants to church for years, the only woman in my ward to do so. Of course I am a fringey anyway, having married a nomo after a nasty temple divorce and X still lives in my ward and he married in the temple… BUT….wearing pants does nothing to distract me from anything at church. It is my personal preference of attire. And it SHOULD NOT MATTER TO ANYONE what I wear. Which is why I am so astounded at this violent backlash! WHY in the world should it matter – other than some LDS members are fearful of any change or woman wearing what they want to. And the funniest thing to me about this whole issue is that pants are MORE MODEST then dresses!!! Are many Mormons so insecure in their cultural interpretation of Mormonism that a trivial event such as women wearing pants to church enough to unleash all sorts of “righteous indignation?” I’m looking forward to finding out if anyone else in my rural Colorado ward wears pants Sunday, hoping to find maybe a sister Mormon feminist or two that I didn’t know existed; a kindred spirit. Personally, I wouldn’t mind seeing men wear dresses, or kilts, or lava-lavas (sp?) to church…it simply DOES NOT MATTER!

  106. it's a series of tubes says:
  107. Meridian Magazine finally caught on to the movement. Their critique is entitled “Pants in Church: A Feminist Movement” Scroll down to the comments and you can find this gem:

    “Modesty is not only defined as the covering of skin, but also as simplicity, moderation, freedom from vanity and boastfulness. All members, whether male or female, should dress with modest intent.” Pants, short skirts, low-necklines, and platform shoes (also known as “hooker heels”) will never fit the above description. Let us as Saints more cautiously and reverently approach our worship of the Father and the renewing of all our covenants. It is such a sad day when our YM need to repent for what they SAW at CHURCH 10 minutes before Sacrament begins. Please stop assaulting our eyes when the whole purpose is to have our eye be single to God. Even when we quickly turn our eye and attention elsewhere, it is still an image that WE need to deal with and REPENT of. Please stop it.

    ………………………………………………..
    So Moms, be aware that if you wear pants to sacrament meeting you are making yourself into porn that will prevent your sons from righteously participating in the sacrament. No wonder the bishopric in our ward keep closing their eyes through sacrament meeting. They’re not asleep, but simply shunning the evil in front of them.

  108. #107 – That can’t be real. Someone just posted that to be provocative. No way does someone believe that wearing pants is porn. No way.

  109. Molly Bennion says:

    Counting women in pants should not be used to count the feminists. I, a feminist at Church and elsewhere longer than many of the protestors have been alive, will be in a skirt. Quite a few women in my ward, including some of my family, regularly wear pants by choice, some women wear pants because they have little else, some wear pants for warmth in the winter (our chapel is icy at 9am) and 2 have had disfiguring accidents to their legs.
    But platform shoes equal hooker heels?!!! There’s the comic reiief this already comic subject needed. Think I’ll wear mine Sunday.

  110. anonforthis says:

    Even if it’s not doctrine, the fact that too many LDS seem to have such a huge problem over women wearing trousers to church says a lot. (In 2012, and in the US!) The LDS church isn’t a cult, but we do come across as cult-like when too many members are extreme when it comes to believing that women should only wear dresses/skirts to church (even if it’s not in the doctrine, per se). Women in most other churches in the US have been able to wear formal dress pants/pantsuits to their churches and done so for years, if not, at least a few decades. It’s so embarrassing and disturbing that so many LDS have such a huge problem with a woman wearing trousers to church in 2012.

    Maybe some do not like that this has turned into a ‘protest’ of some sort. But, how else can you change attitudes and raise awareness? Yes, there have allegedly been polite criticisms, but all this vitriol means, that these ladies have hit a sore point. After all, if you didn’t have a problem have women wearing trousers to church, you could disagree civilly and politely about the protest.The fact that these other LDS are questioning these women’s faiths, and spewing vitriolic garbage, means that deep down, they are threatened, not just by the protest, but by other things as well. No wonder non-LDS look at us strangely…even if it’s not in doctrine, it’s a widely believed cultural thing…and it’s a cultural hangup that non-LDS Americans got rid of many years ago. Sane Mormons should be ashamed of such vitriol and such extreme hangups about what people wear to church. In the rest of the world, such vitriol and hatred over a woman wearing trousers to church is extremism. Sadly, it seems to be the norm in the LDS church.

  111. “But platform shoes equal hooker heels?!!! There’s the comic reiief this already comic subject needed. Think I’ll wear mine Sunday.”

    Me too, Molly. My platform over-the-knee hooker boots :)

  112. Kevin Barney says:

    If only instead of wearing pants the plan had been for everyone to wear their over-the-knee hooker boots…

  113. please post pics!

  114. At first I thought this was all so silly, but after hearing the negative reactions and the ridiculous justifications about why women wearing pants in church are dressing immodestly, I am firmly behind this movement because it seems to be certainly needed.

    I mean, Good grief! Our bishop’s mother wears pants to church regularly. The people who think that is wrong are beyond stupid.

  115. As near as I can tell from the group staging the protest, they are protesting “equality” of the sexes by wearing pants to church. I don’t think the pants at church are an issue. What may be an issue is this group seems to be suggesting the women of the church should have “equal callings”. Suggesting women should have priesthood callings in the church in equal numbers to the men. As opposed to the callings in the auxiliary organizations.

  116. Reblogged this on middlekingdom1of10boyz and commented:
    I guess that the Church here in China won’t have that problem since for the most part we don’t see each other anyway. I think this is sarcasm by most of the people here and too many people don’t get get sarcasm.

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