Sunday, December 16, 2012

For the love of pants

This post was written for the same reason that I haven't had any posts lately - with a crying baby on my lap, and the Youtube sensation Psy playing in the background. Something about korean rap seems to really soothe her. (no, really!)

I have so much more that I want to say, and I feel like my ideas are so jumbled, but motherhood is calling, and it is much more important right now.

Many of you may have heard about the wearing pants to church day event on facebook. It's gotten world-wide attention, including articles written in the huffington post, washington post, jezebel, and countless others.
And if you're not mormon, you may have heard about it and wonder when we all hopped into the tardis and traveled back to the 1940s. (that's right, I just made a Dr. Who reference!)

Let me start from the beginning. I am a feminist. I think I always have been. I am also a mormon. I belong to this amazing community of women, called "feminist mormon housewives", and our hilarious tagline is "angry activists with diapers to change". They are amazing, Christ-like women who constantly challenge me to grow my testimony.

However, when a few women who were associated with the group started "wear pants to church day", I thought very little of it. I like wearing skirts, and I have no problem with it. I didn't feel like it was a battle I would understand, or one that I needed to take on.

 So replied that I would not be attending.

But I lingered on the event page to see other peoples' reasoning. There were heartfelt pleas and stories about women who had gone to church in pants and had been ridiculed away. It sparked a memory of my own, when I was first investigating the church and wore pants, one woman my age pulled me aside and told me how disrespectful I had been. I don't think I'll ever forget that.

So I changed my status as "maybe attending". To show support for those who did want to wear pants.

I re-visted the page a day later and was shocked at the responses from other non-feminist mormons. Some of them were appalling. 
Of course there will always be a few loud outspoken few ruining it for the others, but even then the general concensus was "either be quiet and follow the church, or leave."
I had several concerns about that mentality.
Firstly, The church has no stance on pants, They have said (back in 1971) that you could wear either pants or skirts, but to always wear your best.
Secondly, Why are we so against those who are struggling or who have left the church. Isn't their opinion still of value? Aren't we all human, all struggling? There is room for everyone in God's church, so shouldn't there be room for people with differing opinions in our faith?

So I changed my status to attending. 

I was the only woman who wore pants to church, but that was ok, because I happen to be in an amazing ward, full of amazing and accepting women. But it didn't always used to be that way. A ward we attending in Utah made me feel really uncomfortable. The Bishop would gossip about other members behind their back, and when I needed help the most, after Maddie was born and I was recovering from a complicated c-section, the relief society told me that they would not be delivering any meals to our family because I hadn't attended church lately. BECAUSE I WAS ON BED REST.

[Vent over.]

So I wore pants. Because I think that the culture can stand to change a little, to be more accepting. I wore pants because I wanted to show love and support to other people who have been judged, turned away, or ever felt uncomfortable. I wore pants because women my age have been leaving the church at an alarming rate recently, and I wanted them all to know that there is a place for them.

And you know what? about 2,000 other people wore pants today to send me the same message. And I truly felt the love.

ps - this woman expresses my feelings so much better than I ever could. click here. 

pps - Jeff also wore a purple tie in support. I am so lucky to be married to a feminist.


  1. Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful! It breaks my heart to hear experiences where someone was treated less than they should have been. I attribute these mistakes as such, misunderstandings. I hope this "wear pants to church day" has opened the eyes and hearts of those who have made mistakes and to strengthen and buoy up those who have suffered and left or have remained strong.

  2. I wore pants to church today and even though I got some interesting looks and a few raised eyebrows, no one even commented on them. I think I'll wear pants to church more often. Not every Sunday, but every once and a while.

  3. I wore pants to church on Sunday as well and I believe I went through almost the exact same journey as you did. From a "thanks but no thanks" to a "maybe" to finally, in reaction of the vile and hurtful comments in social media I decided to take a stand. My ward had no problem with it, as I expected but I felt connected with other feminists like you in our Mormon community. Thank you for this wonderfully written post!


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