Sunday, December 16, 2012

Pants, part 2

I did it.  I wore pants to church.

Between Wednesday morning, when I made the decision to participate in Wear Pants to Church Day, and today, I've had a lot of time to think about this event, and what it truly means to me.

I did not expect the backlash that swelled around this event.  It seemed fairly innocuous to me, a great way to make a statement without really making a statement.  As people have said over and over, on both sides of the argument, it's not about what we wear to church, it's about what's in our hearts.  But for most Mormons, dressing up for church is a very important sign of respect for our Father in Heaven, and a way to separate Sunday, our Sabbath Day, from the rest of the week.  And I completely agree with this.

But I also agree with the many Mormon women who feel that the scales are out of balance when it comes to men and women in the Church.  I listed a few reasons for this in my original post on pants, but since I wrote that I found this excellent post, which lists more, many of which resonate with me.  Knowing there are women who feel like they do not have a voice or a place in this church that they so fully believe strengthened my resolve to participate in the event, to wear pants to church today, not to protest the "dress code", but to show solidarity and support for women everywhere in the Church.

I've had one prayer in my heart constantly over the past several days: that the Lord would help me to have my heart in the right place today as I went to church in my gray slacks, and that he would help me to be able to touch at least one person in the way that they needed.  I told Him that I didn't even need to know about it, but I asked Him to just let me be a light to someone today.

As far as I could tell, I was the only woman in pants in my ward today.  Chris wore his new purple tie (purple being the color historically associated with the suffragette movement and the suggested way for men to participate), and Vicki wore her black gaucho-style pants, which she unashamedly wears to church on a regular basis (despite admitting to me that she has gotten some strange looks and a few questions).  I know people noticed my pants as I walked in, but no one said anything, and I didn't feel any animosity.  I often sing with the choir on short notice, and I was asked to join them today, but I respectfully declined because I didn't want to draw attention to myself when I'd already made it clear that I wouldn't be "parading my pants down the aisle" (although the reason I gave the choir director was that I didn't know the song, which is also true).  It was a very pleasant meeting with two wonderful talks on keeping Christ in Christmas, and I felt comfortable (both spiritually and emotionally as well as physically) and content.

And after the meeting was over, as I was standing up ready to leave, a lady that I've always admired came up to me, gave me a hug, and said she agreed with everything I'd written on my blog and wanted to let me know that she'd have worn pants if she'd had any that were appropriate.

So today I'm thankful that I chose to wear my pants.  I'm thankful for an answer to a prayer, for the opportunity to be a light, and for the strength to stand up for what I believe is good and right.


  1. Good for you, Allison! I'm a sister over in Oregon City - saw your comment on fMh and had to leave a comment on your blog. I was too chicken to wear pants today, partly because I'm YW president and I had some issues to bring up at ward council this morning. I didn't want to have what I was wearing distract from the real issues - issues of gender equality for the YW in my ward - that our ward is gradually beginning to address. You inspire me! What do you think...shall I wear pants sometime soon? I'm undecided about that, but I'm definitely going to work on changing the culture of "all the YW must be in dresses for the Sunday evening firesides" changed. Pronto.

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Kathy! Sounds like you were doing your part in your own way by addressing the issues in your ward. I plan to wear pants again in the future, but I will still wear skirts and dresses, too. You should wear pants sometime, but I understand not wanting to distract from what's important. It's unfortunate that pants in church can be such a distraction.

      My own daughter (she with the gaucho pants) just turned 12, and has been following this event with intrigue. She is one of those rare people who is completely unconcerned with what others think of her, and has been a great example to me. Anyway, she read your comment over my shoulder, and when she got to the part about how "all the YW must be in dresses for the Sunday evening firesides" she said, "What?!?" So, yes, in the opinion of at least one YW, that should be changed. Pronto :) I'd love to hear how that goes for you.

  2. Forget about pants... Lets talk about those kick ass shoes!!!

  3. So glad that it went so well! This might sound dumb but I'm glad you got to know that you touched someone. Maybe it is just me but when you put something out there like that (be it symbolic or verbal) and you hear nothing you are only left to hope that someone got the message you were hoping to communicate. So I think you were doubly blessed. First to have been able to touch someone and second that you got to know about it. Congrats and props on it all!

    Also your shoes are fantastic!

  4. I spent so much time today reading through the comments on FMH. It was such a good feeling to see all the positive experiences that were had, the excitement, and supportive men. I'm glad you participated!

    I also wore pants on Sunday, and was the only one in my ward (that I saw). I arrived a few minutes late and had to leave after sacrament meeting so I don't know if anyone really saw me.

    As bad as it is to feel marginalized, it's a relief to know I'm not the only one. It was a good day. :)


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