On Pants and Purple

I don't know how far reaching "Wear Pants to Church Day" was outside of the LDS [Mormon] world. I probably wouldn't have known about it if a friend hadn't sent me a link to a post on Feminist Mormon Housewives. The summons was for women to wear pants to church on Sunday, December 16th as a way of making a stand against gender inequality in the church. (It's important to note that Mormon women traditionally wear dresses or skirts to worship services on Sunday.) I am a casual reader of this blog. I am interested in many of the issues discussed there as well as other circles of Mormon feminists. I've worn pants to a few church functions. There is something very practical about them. Especially when it's cold and/or windy, or when I haven't shaved my legs, or when I'm all over the place with my small children, and for many other reasons.

BUT! Something about this whole "Wear Pants to Church Day" really rubbed me the wrong way. Maybe it's because I don't really have a problem with myself or others wearing pants (or dresses or skirts). Or because no one ever said I couldn't wear pants, so I don't know why I needed a day to tell me I could. And I understand that it's not really about "pants." But I know many a woman who doesn't have to wear something on the outside to express what she is quietly working towards in her heart and mind. Her words and hands end up doing the work more than her clothes. These quiet feminists, some are no longer in the church, are heroes to me. I love seeing the little things they do to chip away at the traditions that get in the way of becoming a complete disciple of Christ. These examples empower me.

Another problem I had was feeling like I would have been going along with the crowd, even if I really wanted to wear pants. And I probably will on poor weather condition days as winter progresses, but now I'll have to wonder what people will think. Am I doing it because a group said so? In a way it took away the freedom of doing something just because. Not as a statement. And in some ways, I feel like it's a very Mormon thing that most of the followers of FMH sound their voices against, or at least I thought they did, and that's waiting for an outside voice of permission to do something, say something feel something, act in a certain way. We have General Conference twice a year where leaders of the church address all of the members over the course of a weekend, and we have many more mesasges throughout the year via firesides, local conferences, church magazines, etc. I enjoy listening to/reading the messages that are shared, but I'm always amazed at how even some of the most basic tenants of Christ's gospel become revolutionary when coming from a voice of authority. Things like how we should be loving and kind and charitable to ALL [wo]men despite the issues at hand. I don't want my clothes to mean something now because someone else said they should mean something. My pants are not a statement.

With that being said, I went to FMH this afternoon to see what experiences men and women had with Wear Pants to Church Day. There were many photos of women in their pants before/during/after church. I didn't read about anyone having a negative reaction from another member for their pants-wearing.  But something I read a lot of was about the color purple. Men wore purple shirts and ties, women wore purple tops. "Purple," I thought, "Did I miss something?" Apparently there had been a charge in some other forum, maybe in the closed FB group called All Enlisted (the group that said women should wear pants on Sunday) that said women (and men) should wear purple to show support. Why purple? Perhaps because it was the color that represented dignity in the women's suffrage movement. Anyway, guess who wore her most decadent purple shawl to church yesterday? That's right. Me. Total coincidence. I guess I'm just so connected to the cause (gender equality) that it was bound to happen, even if I wasn't onboard with this particular pants-wearin' movement.

1 comment:

  1. I'm totally with you on the whole 'lets have a day to wear pants to church' thing. I feel like if someone really wants to wear pants- just do it, and not because everyone else is or because its sensational all of a sudden.



Powered by Blogger.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Back to Top