Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The Worst Thing Is Pants

A general word-vomit post, not well-edited. Again, Mormony. I retain the rights to re-examine all I've declared here. So let it be written, so let it be posted, so let me laugh at myself in seven years time.

Last night I got a text from my sister Lucy,

"Are you wearing pants to church on Sunday?"

It's my first week of declaring myself a feminist and suddenly Mormon feminists are asking all those who believe to wear pants to church in a show of solidarity? Pants? Look, it was enough to open myself up to some vulnerable, deep, dark core issues for the world to read and now I am being asked to make peace with my mortal enemy (PANTS!) for one day?

This is getting exhaustive. Already.

PAAAAAAAAANTS!

Seriously though. Of course, I did read about the Wear Pants to Church Day starting on my twitter feed with Peggy Fletcher Stack's article in the Salt Lake Tribune. Then I read about All Enlisted group on facebook. And I picked up a few tweets by readers which inspired me to do more research and reading until landing inevitably at Feminist Mormon Housewives for more information, which linked me to one of my favorite blogs to read (for years now), Mormon Child Bride.

From what I gather, it's not a day to obliterate the differences between male and female, meaning pants aren't representing the desire for females to be more like males, it's a day to show strength in number. I have argued against labels before, but more and more I see how joyful it is when those labels help you find like-minded individuals. I mean, we certainly do that as Mormons. We do it as bloggers for sure (lifestyle bloggers, political bloggers, mommy bloggers, design bloggers...)

(The other day I had attended a business lunch with some musicians, and as I sat down they immediately said to me, "We are feminists too" and with that, we were free to discuss matters of our hearts and the interests of our minds. There was no uncomfortable disagreements with our core belief system. It was really nice.)

Lucy and I then had a quick exchange about equality and it was a great opportunity for me to clarify what I mean by equality. I mean respect. I hope for and pray for and strive for equal respect between human beings. I do not mean, in anyway, to disrespect the natural differences between man and woman, although I think there are less differences than I have ever believed. We are far more similar than I could've imagined.

Here are some examples of equality meaning respect:

Growing up the men in my extended and immediate family went on a male-only deer hunt. My sister Page and I joined a few female cousins on occasion to call for female opportunity. We were told that as soon as we could "pee up a tree" or "grow hair on our chest" (give me a few years and I could've done it on my chin, to be honest) or until we stopped "throwing like a girl" or "crying like a girl" we could go. Is this respectful? No.

If my family wanted to keep the deer hunt a male-centric bonding time because they felt it was important for the morale for the men in the family, I think we could've understood that proposition. Instead, we were told our bodies were the very problem with our being able to attend. Our bodies weren't good enough, strong enough, solid enough. Outside of that being ENTIRELY untrue, it is also disastrously disrespectful.

(How could I tell my children a woman's body is too weak to climb a mountain and sleep in a snow-covered tent for a weekend, when their own mother is an unapologetic pro-body birth advocate and unassisted home birther?)

(Or how in the world do we explain our Mormon pioneer mothers who did more than climb a mountain, eat candy and shoot guns for a couple days? They trekked across the country for months, had babies and buried husbands? In dresses. WHERE IS THAT LEGACY?)

This seemingly small family tradition was far more harmful to me and my aunts and cousins and my sisters than I think we could've ever supposed. This tradition continues today, and I think a family vote would sway the way of keeping it males-only. Personally I'd like to see gender-segregated activities kept at a very rare minimum, but in the light of equality and respect, I should join with my sisters of the family and offer a female equivalent, asking the men to carry on our responsibilities and babies while we take the girls camping. My vote would be the desert of Southern Utah. Stay tuned.

Another example:

Sister missionaries are called to serve 18 months. The brother missionaries serve for 24. Honestly, I was more than ready to come home after 18 months. I was obliterated. I couldn't even walk--I literally couldn't walk. I had a ingrown toenail that had to be dug out by a Mormon podiatrist in a dark hallway classroom at church. No kidding, he gave me a Popsicle stick to bite on as it felt like a bear was ferociously gnawing at my toe for a straight fifteen minutes. You know. Mission stories.

But the elders were no better off. We were all weary. We were all tired. Some of us carried our missions more emotionally--an intensity that manifested itself physically. I know Chup  as a missionary was so stressed and concerned about obedience, his mission photographs show a tall, skeletal human form our own children don't recognize.

When we try to fill in the gap of service time by saying, "Well, sisters can't last as long as elders" or "Sisters are more righteous and more effective, so they don't have to serve as long as the elders" I think, where is the respect in any of those ideas? We are both children of God! I don't know why we don't serve the same amount of time, but I do know it's not because we can't. There were sisters on my mission who could've gone for five years. And I suppose I would've hobbled on for six more months, if that was required. Respect and equality says: we both can serve 24 months if asked. Certainly, we could.

An example here at home:

When I have a meeting downtown (let's say) Chup gives me the same respect I would give him if he had a meeting downtown. He arranges his schedule to be here with the children. My meeting is as important as his meetings. No one's agenda is more important.

On the other hand, when there are needs of our children, I am trying not to assume ultimate control. I respect that he is my equal companion in parenting, which means his voice and opinion are not trumped by mine just because I am the mother. Sometimes I am too narrow-minded to make a good choice about our children, sometimes Chup can see more clearly. And sometimes, might I add, I am spot on. Ding ding!

We are trying (WE ARE FAR FROM PERFECT) in respecting each other, our responsibilities and ideas. As I write this it seems so simplistic, and yet I don't know how well it's practiced or modeled. And it's horrible hard work, actually. My hope is that it's worth it. Who knows?

I guess I am at a point where teaching my children love and kindness is more important than teaching them gender differences. I am growing a baby that Dad's body helped create (fun!) because our bodies are different that way. That's about all I have right now, everything else is still working itself out. To be honest.

(I don't want to teach my children that men have the priesthood and women don't because they have motherhood. First because, this idea DESTROYED me when I was experiencing infertility. Second because fatherhood and motherhood are equal pairs and third, because I actually don't think it's doctrinally true that women do not have responsibilities and rights of the priesthood...)

When I read comments from readers who have never experienced gender inequalities in their lives I have so much hope for the future. I think, it really is possible! I can raise my children to believe in equal respect. And yet, I also hope those readers can appreciate the pain and hurt some of us have felt because of inequality and disrespect. Please, give us your patience, it hasn't been pretty--perhaps you've seen in my Life Story?

I do think my prayers are being answered, I do think the Lord wants to hear me, Courtney Jane Kendrick express my concerns along with my gratitude. I think He does hear me. I disagree with this statement I heard this summer from a family member, "The last thing the Lord wants to hear is a bunch of women tell him how unequal everything is"--it's my belief there is no end to what the Lord wants to hear, about anything, from anyone. It's not the subject matter that matters, it's our willingness to communicate with our loving Heavenly Parents. Our entire religion was born because one boy with a torn, confused, frustrated heart decided to ask a question. And God respected his heart, like He would equally respect mine.

And I simply don't believe we are done learning about any of this. I don't think we have all the revelations, all the changes, all the pieces. That's why I will continue to pray for more information--offering gratitude for answers when they come, both to our general church and in my heart. And as I said before, I am committing to waiting upon the Lord in His own time, in His own way.

So will I wear pants on Sunday, expressing my hopefulness and faith, overcoming my deep hatred of such a garment and my long-lasting disavow of their constricting ways?

I am thinking about it...





Speaking of respect...over the weekend I was asked to judge Velour's Winter Battle of the Bands and I was blown away by the The Blue Aces an incredibly talented and musically-mature group of teenage rock stars.
Must see:



199 comments:

Veronica said...

Can I just say I am loving these posts? That's all. Carry on with your bad self!

Lauren said...
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Patti said...

The reference to communicating with our "Heavenly Parents" in there seems a little intentionally inflammatory. Maybe it's just simply misleading ...

Morgan & Geoff said...
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K. said...

It seems to me it would be like asking men to wear a dress to church to show their support.

Morgan & Geoff said...

Absolutely love this post.

"I actually don't think it's doctrinally true that women do not have responsibilities and rights of the priesthood" - I've felt it for years and reading it here brought me to tears and led me to the conclusion that we are kindred spirits.

Maddy said...

I mean, I think God has a lot to do, I don't think he cares if women want to wear trousers to worship him :)

Amanda said...

Not gonna lie - I was pretty turned off of your blog with the "feminism has never done anything for me" post years ago. But. But. Times change. Your courage in publicly stating that you were wrong? Wow. I just don't think that I can love you anymore than I do. You keep hitting these grand slams!
I think I am always impressed by your ability to be so civil and allow others the space to think and feel and react so differently than you. Especially on really hot-button topics. I'm consistently impressed by your class in not getting all reactive to the people who comment on your blog to rail against a really thoughtful and sincere post. Classy. I keep hoping that if I continue to read your blog some of that confidence will rub off on me.

Brittany said...

I love what you said about teaching your children--love and kindness and respect are the things. I'm starting to think that yes, I'm a feminist, but maybe I'm more of a humanist. I hate when men are reduced to feral creatures--they are rounded and complicated too. All humans are round and complicated, and I just wish we could all love that about ourselves and about each other. It's okay to have a heart that's torn and confused. Maybe God doesn't care so much about the clothes we put on to get to church, but he sure does care about our hearts.

Keep writing these things.

Alexa said...

So beautifully written. You have a talent for expressing how many women feel in an honest and funny way.

The Dominos said...

This makes me so happy. I have been loving your recent posts, and I am so glad to see you too will be wearing pants on Sunday. Your hunting story is one I can relate to. All growing up I had similar questions; why are we making a huge deal out my brother and male cousins eagle award, and ignoring my sisters and females work in personal progress, why are all the people saying prayers in conference male, why is achievement days a few times a month and scouts weekly, why, why, why. My spirit is tired of these questions but strengthened to find I am not the only one who has them. My hope is that this leads to much greater progress, so that the savior and gospel I love can be united with the church I am a member of. By small and simple things...

Emily said...

Wow. I not usually one to get worked up over stuff like this, but this one really hit me the wrong way. I get it that men and women should be equal. That we should all be treated with the same respect. I really do. BUT this whole pants to church business is ridiculous. What is that going to prove? And when is it going to stop? Next it's going to be women cutting their hair in a "missionary style" hair cut, or trying to grow facial hair, or demanding that females get the priesthood. In the Proclamation it clearly states that we each have our own divine roles (obviously that's not an exact quote, but you know what I'm talking about). We are DIFFERENT! That's how God created us. Yes, we can be equal, but men and women are NOT the same, and then never will be. I feel VERY blessed to be a woman in this church. I was lucky enough to grow up never feeling degraded. I've always been proud of who I am, and I've always been taught that I am special and have a beautiul divine nature given to me by a loving Heavenly Father. I LOVE being female. I would never change that for the world. And you know what? Yes, I can give birth. But I would never want to go climb a snow covered mountain and hunt for animals. Props to those women who do want to. They should be allowed to. But that's not my thing. I'll take pedicures and a chick flick in my warm home instead. Anyway - back to what I was saying. I love being a woman. I love that we can wear dresses and heels and makeup and look beautiful and elegant. I do so proudly!! Especially to church, where we are supposed to dress our best and come for worship. Church should NOT be a place where we have to try and make a statement that we are just as good as men. It's a holy place where we go to feel the spirit, learn, and grow. I'm agraid this whole pants movement will greatly detract from that. Quite honestly, I'm offended, and I don't take offense easily. I'm actually shaking right now this makes me so mad. Look, I love your blog. I love how open and honest you are. I love who you are and what you desire. I really do!! But this is taking it too dang far!! Why not just embrace who we are as women? Embrace that feminity that Heavenly Father gave you! Wear those dresses, and do so proudly!! We are women! We can do many things that ment can't do! So when I got church this Sunday, I'm going to wear my prettiest dress, my highest heels, and I'm going to be thankful for that divine inhertance that I have that no man does!

La Carter said...

Apparently, I am irreverant even when I don't intentionally intend to be so. I wore pants to Church every Sunday while investigating the Church, not because I am a feminist, but because I always wear pants. The missionaries did not make dress wearing a condition of attendance. As a matter of fact, being the strong willed female that I am, I had many questions for the missionaries regarding gender specific bias in the Church, and still, they never said to me I should be wearing a dress to Church. Do you know who finally pulled me aside and said something? The Relief Society President. And guess what. I still wear pants.

Jenn said...

Wonderful post, C. Jane.

In response to "K"'s comment, "it seems to me it would be like asking men to wear a dress to church to show their support", I don't see a parallel there.
The difference is that most women wear pants every day (as opposed to the fact that essentially zero men wear dresses ever). Men wear shirts/ties to work every day, and then wear the exact same thing on Sundays. Many women wear nice pants to work during the week, but then on Sundays...they're culturally expected to wear something different? (Men can wear what they wear to work, but women have to 'step it up' a notch? Why is that?)

Melissa said...

Just my quick thought about the whole pants thing: I wear a dress/skirt to church because I want to wear my best clothing to show my respect and love for my God and in my world, my dresses are my best clothing. To me this particular issue has more to do with respect and love for God than with gender inequality. My love and respect for God is more important to me than proving a point.

Patience said...

so glad you are back blogging

Amanda said...

so, not living in Utah, I hadn't heard of this wear-pants-Sunday. It sounds like a ridiculous and immature way to say we're just as good as men. Especially doing so at church. In the eyes of God we are equal (as you pointed out so well in your post). We go to church to worship God, to keep the Sabbath day holy, to remember our covenants, to lift, inspire, and edify others with the gospel...not to make a social statement. If you're wanting to make a social statement of equality at church, maybe the effort would be more effective to quote the brethren from the recent Leadership Training Meetings in which they emphasized that women are to be respected, etc. At the time, I understood the comment to be directed at other cultures but I think our American culture could take the hint as well.

Other than the pants, I agree with you're post 100%.

Kristi said...

I NEVER felt "less than" growing up because I was a girl! I grew up hunting, hiking, fishing along with the boys. Plus baking, playing piano and getting dressed cute when I wanted to! I always felt as though I had the best of both worlds. I could do everything my brothers did plus more:)
I heard a quote when I was young that I love "being a woman is great - we get to cry, wear cute clothes, and we are the first to be rescued off of sinking ships". That never made me feel like that was ALL I could do, I felt I could build the ship, sew the clothes and swim to shore if I needed to.
I love my role, I am grateful for it and I will keep wearing my cute dresses/skirts to church:) That said - I love the women in my ward who always have worn pants - it is their "Sunday Best". I have never seen it written doctrinally anywhere that we need to wear dresses.

arisa said...

all these feminism posts have lacked something to me...have you acknowledged the fact that it was your own family that made you feel bad when you did? this 'guy-only' hunt...was that church mandated? no. there is nothing in any church handbook that says 'make your girls feel really bad because boys are better'. if mormon men have made you feel that way it's too bad, but that's the men, not the gospel of Jesus Christ. those guys have treated you badly and maybe they learned that from their fathers, but not from Heavenly Father. it's the guys in your own family that have the problem, not our church.

Bandanamom said...

You're pretty much the bees knees these days. Carry on!

Kipin Alexander said...

I just don't understand what the big deal is about wearing pants in the first place. Anyone who would look DOWN on someone wearing pants to church is clearly judgemental. You wouldn't say anything to an investigator who wears jeans to church would you? No. And why? Because it doesnt matter. The penitent heart, the reverence, that matters.

The church has never said a woman has to wear a dress on Sunday, period. Perhaps my point of view is different because I am a Florida Mormon and not a citizen of Happy Valley, but I don't know.

I do know that if I wore pants to church, I would feel slightly judged and like an outsider, but only because I used to a culturally different normality. It isn't disrespectful and at the end of the day it isn't even a big deal!

Lyndsay said...

When I was investigating the Church in my twenties I wore nice pants to church all the time. No one ever said anything. Even when I joined and continued to wear dressy pants, no one ever said a word about it. I finally realized that if I was wearing a dress to the Temple, then I should probably wear one to take the sacrament. Men wear a suit because that's their respectful church attire. And for women dresses are usually seen as the equivalent. Key word: equivalent. I celebrate my womanhood and my differences. I understand the feminist movement. I just think the pants angle is odd. It seems like there are other ways this could be done, than by making a statement during the holy ordinance that is partaking of the sacrament.

amanda said...

"Our entire religion was born because one boy with a torn, confused, frustrated heart decided to ask a question. And God respected his heart, like He would equally respect mine."

Thank you for everything you write Cjane. My sister said to me the other day, "Cjane's like your SENSAI or something" and I said, "Yes. Yes, she is something like that." Thanks thanks thanks thanks. Shalom.

Madison Bowman said...
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Elizabeth said...

I really loved this post! Especially the part about women serving 18 mo. vs. serving for 24 mos. I am leaving for a mission in February and for a little while this did bother me. It bothered me mostly because Mormon culture in Utah has these set ideas about why it is this way, and these cultural ideas have nothing to do with actual LDS doctrine (like what you mentioned about sister missionaries being more efficient, or elders being able to last longer). So anyway, the conclusion I came to after much pondering and studying is that Elders have the priesthood responsibility (based on a promise they made in the Pre-existence, which is actual doctrine) to serve missions. The prophets have revealed that for our time Elders must serve 24 mos. (previously they used to serve for way longer!) However, as a woman I don’t have this same responsibility. The Lord gave me the option of serving Him as a missionary, and because it is optional, he only requires 18 mos of my life. It’s already a sacrifice for me because I am choosing to walk away from my life for 18 mos and it was a personal choice to obey the prompting from the Spirit to serve as a missionary. That’s not to take away from young men who go on missions either. They still have agency, but the difference is that they have clear instruction of what the Lord expects from them, and the answer will always (unless there are moral issues standing in the way, or medical) be for young men to serve a mission. And like you mentioned in your last post about Elder Holland, the Lord may be expecting the women of this generation and those to come to serve for a 24 mos period, not because they are women and they are better than elders or because the church is “finally” treating women equally, but because the Lord is hastening his work and needs as many servants out on the field right now.

So anyway, this is my conclusion on the matter and maybe it will make sense to you too ☺

Jill said...

Wearing a dress to church is an act of reverence and respect for the Lord and the Lord alone. Women start wearing pants, then what stops men from wearing cut off jeans and polo shirts? The reverence would soon disappear in everyone's outward appearance and most definitely their actions.

Not all men wear suits to work every day. Some do but a lot don't. The point is that Sunday is a different day and so we dress differently to show our respect for the Lord. Will you wear pants to the temple? Will you be sporting white pants and a white tie instead of a dress?

CJane, this is exhausting. Your issues are your own. It makes me nervous that your blog might be the only experience our non-LDS friends have with a church member or the church. I wish you would clarify more that culture and your own family (which by the way, I'm wondering how awful you have made your mother feel with all of these family issues now being made quite public) have led you to believe how you do.

Amanda's comment is scary. I wonder if people, unknowingly, are looking to you as a god. You've already compared yourself with Joseph Smith and you have quite a following. Where does it stop? There is a line and I personally don't want to cross it so I'm bowing out of your readership.

Meg said...

I agree with everyone who thinks the pants wearing is rediculous. I guarantee it will get you no respect. If women who are all for equality are telling you this, then that should tell you something. I think it falls under a battle that is being fought for prides sake alone. In my experience, those generally backfire. You will come away more frustrated because you will most likely get the opposite of what you have hoped for and you'll look like a fool in the process.
I cannot agree more with you CJane that if you have questions, issues, etc of things in the church then plead, ask, and wrestle with Heavenly Father about them. If you truly believe the doctrines of the church and in the revelatory process then you should know 1) that all of this is God's will up to this point and 2) that He will always listen to you and will answer your prayers. I agree that NO subject is off limits to our heavenly Father.
I hope in no way that my comments have ever made you feel badly for your experiences growing up. They deeply sadden me. No woman should ever feel less of a person based on something she had no control over. Carry on friend. I hope you keep asking and learning and pushing. We need more women and men like that in the church. Look to God. Look to the prophet. You are promised to not go wrong if you do.

Adam and Elissa said...

Once again you keep blaming it on the church (this time by wearing pants to church). It is not the Church's culture you fight against but Utah and your families culture. You need to stop lumping them together.

Where we go to church, scouting is not part of the church. Our primary kids, boys and girls all go to Faith in God activities (together). No-one goes hunting for fun (I find it interesting that this weeks lesson I taught in primary was about respecting animals - not hunting them for entertainment).

I also am not a feminist. I believe the feminist movement got it all wrong. They say they want to be equal with men , so they drop their morals to be equal with men, they drink as much as men, swear as much as men, leave their families for the workplace etc. But instead they should have made men raise their standards and morals and take a more interest in the family. The men I am talking about are obviously not members - where I live that is the majority of the men. But when I see the men at church I see men that already have the high values and morals and who already spend a lot of time with their families. these men have a high respect for women and women a high respect for them.

Wearing pants to church as a protest goes against why we go to church. We go to church to be humble and focus on our Saviour and partake of the sacrament. He doesn't care what you wear. I see women who always wear pants to church and it doesn't phase me. men have restrictions as well - I have begged my husband to grow a beard (I love them) but he won't as a church leader has asked him not to. Isn't that a sign of sexism - no church leader has ever told a female how to wear her hair (facial or otherwise).

Stop confusing the culture you grew up in (from where you live) with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. they are different.

Cannon's said...

It's more important to dress our thoughts, words and actions in equality rather than our bodies.

Not interested in the pants wearing approach.
It only buys into the idea that the reason for inequality lies with WOMEN not meeting the same standard as men. That some how WOMEN are lacking and need to change to raise themselves up to be at the same level as men.

(But I support the sentiment. It's a visual statement to display for each other and the world at large. I get it.)

It just seems juvenile and to seriously demean the entire cause that we'd be trying to support.

Some of the strongest women that fight for womens rights wore petticoats, burkas or business suits. I don't need to wear pants to be a feminist or a dress to be feminine.

Again, it's more important to dress our conversation in equality while wearing whatever we dang well please. Because that's the point. :)

Sarah Jane said...

Amen, sister!

Adam and Elissa said...

Another point showing what you wear is not important - my husband was allowed in the temple in jeans on Saturday. We don't live close and had problems with our travel. They didn't care what he wore but that he had made the effort to go.

If you feel more comfortable in pants wear them. but don't make political statements at church.

Jennifer said...

I loved most of this post and just wanted to give my two cents about the whole pants to church issue. I feel that instead of making men examine their treatment of women and whether or not they respect them as equals, this "protest" will just reinforce the idea that a lot of men have that feminists are just women who are suffering from penis envy

Townhouse Towny said...

That statement really needles me. Who is ANYONE to decided what God does and does not want to hear? But it angers me more because there is nothing wrong with a man complaining, loudmouthing, calling for change, etc. But when a woman does it...it is called nagging, harping, whining, and confirming stereotypes. Bite me.

I relish gender-specific outings, I absolutely love it. And to me (just me here) it is simple, make the camping trip (and the girls day out or habitat for humanity adventure) gender specific, and tell the sweet face of the opposite gender asking to come along that OF COURSE they are just as good and strong as the others, and there is nothing wrong or inappropriate with them wanting to join in. This trip is important for boys/girls to experience this way, but we will do it again with you included.

The pants thing...ugh. I don't know it just seems immature. Good luck with that one, sort of a no-win situation but at least the stakes are pretty low...its just an outfit.

Townhouse Towny said...

Yeesh, some concerned folks out there...rest assured the non-LDS community sees Courtney Kendrick not as a God, prophet or spokesperson for the Mormon faith. We (well, myself and the few folks I've talked with, her readership is broad but not THAT broad so let's take a step back) just see her as a writer who happens to have personal attributes which include faith and personal opinions on gender equality. Nothing earth shattering.

Jenn said...

Women have always been "allowed" to wear pants to church. (See the official church statement on the issue: "Attending Church is about worship and learning to be followers of Jesus Christ. 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 totally don't get the fuss. And beyond that, I think there are SO. MANY. MORE. important things we as women could be out crusading for.

Karen Sutton said...

I just can't get over some of the comments here about this issue. This is why I have so many issues with the church. For those of you who think it's not big deal: of course wearing pants is NO BIG DEAL. THAT"S THE POINT! for those of you who belittle the wearing of pants as a way to create change. OF COURSE THE ACTUAL PANT-WEARING IS NOT THE POINT. This is to call attention to something that I feel very strongly about: That YOU, and you along, get to decide how to best worship YOUR God. There is nothing in the scriptures about pants and dresses. If some of you think that dresses are most appropriate for church well, then that's YOUR OPINION. Of course there is no church position on dresses/pants - this is to call attention to things in the church culture! And I'm so sick of hearing people say there is no church culture that defines women's roles in a relatively narrow/specific way. Of course there is! That has been my experience and the experience of many. Many others have different views of it - but the church culture is REAL.

Rachel Chick said...

Many have already said it so well, but this "statement" you're trying to make is ridiculous. We go to church to worship our Father in Heaven and make sacred covenants with Him. That's what we are trying to focus on while we're there and what other people are trying to focus on as well.

Sacred meetings of worship are neither the time nor the place for making political and social statements.

It's not about whether the Lord cares about what you are wearing. It's about WHY YOU are wearing it. If it's not done in an attitude of respect and worship for our Heavenly Father, then you and those who stand with you are seriously off-base.

It's so disrespectful to God and to the members of your congregations who come there to repent and serve and draw nearer to God to use our meetings as your political stage.

Alisha said...

A few thoughts I have...

1) When my mom was a new member of the church (we were baptized in 1994), she was wearing pants to church and no one said anything until one day, someone pulled her aside and told her how offensive it was. She was mortified. Thankfully, the bishop stepped in and told that woman off! Who cares if you're wearing pants? Who cares what you wear? That has absolutely nothing to do with worshipping the Lord.

2) When I started at BYU in 2001, we wore everyday clothes to devotionals. Some years later, people were asked to start dressing in Sunday clothes in order to "feel the Spirit" and be more in tune with the spiritual aspect of the devotional. To that I say, psh. IF YOU NEED TO DRESS UP TO FEEL THE SPIRIT, YOU'RE DOING LIFE WRONG.

3) Back to your original point... I LOVE your thoughts. I'm so over people in the church acting like men are better, more spiritual, more entitled, stronger, etc., for whatever reason. Women are absolutely equal in every way, and we deserve respect and acknowledgment!

Andrea said...

Rachel Chick...I agree with you 100%! The purpose of Sacrament meeting is for the Sacrament, a very sacred ordinance where all our thoughts should be turned to the Savior.

Carrot Jello said...

Bless your heart. You should just "Be Still and Know" and quit fussing all the time.

lernverzey said...

I don't know what to say except huzzah for C. Jane! I appreciate and connect with your perspective.

-P said...

"It makes me nervous that your blog might be the only experience our non-LDS friends have with a church member or the church..."

Frankly, as a non-LDS 'friend,' C. Jane's blog is doing more to improve my opinions of Mormons than any other LDS blogger I've read! Pants on, sister. The backlash you're getting just means you're doing it right.

(While you're doing such articulate and powerful writing about feminism and being a woman in a patriarchal society, I wonder if you might also spare a moment to think about white privilege and cultural appropriation vis-a-vis "Gangsta Signs.")

Andrea Harper said...

If there are some women who want to wear pants to church, then do so. I think Heavenly Father is just happy you're there. My grandma used to wear pant suits to church all the time. However, going to church should be about worship and the gospel, not making statements or proving points with what you are wearing. I'm pretty sure Heavenly Father cares more about what's in your heart, than what's on your body. Go ahead and make all the statements and join all the movements you want, i think that's fantastic. But at church? This is why I find it disrespectful. Not because it's women in pants, but because I'm not sure what ANYBODY is wearing to church should be the focus. Wear what you want, but be there for the right reasons.

Shauna said...

These posts are getting a little ridiculous. If you want to wear pants to church- do it. If you don't want to - which it sounds like you really don't since you don't like wearing pants- DONT! If you do wear pants we all know you'll be doing it for shock value attention, since you normally DON'T wear pants! Be an individual instead of hopping on the band wagon- a sacrament meeting is not an appropriate place for a "STANCE"- for heavens sakes. Guess you'll have all the men supporting you anyways- hahaha.

Andrea said...

I watch the women of the general RS, YW, or Primary boards as an example. Until they show up to conference wearing a pant suit, I'm going to keep on wearing dresses. My husband likes me in high heels anyways.

Sorry, call me old fashioned, but I'm rather tired of all these feminist movements. When it comes to the church, I've never felt that as a woman I was lesser to any man. The whole 18 months vs. 24months has never bothered me, the difference in age requirements has never bothered me. I have faith in our Prophet, and the Apostles. I know they get their directions straight from the Lord. And whatever He commands or reveals at this time is good enough for me.

Karen Sutton said...

I second -P about 'gangsta signs'

Pol said...

I'm finding it really interesting reading this series of posts (and as always finding the comments rather scary.) I'm a Methodist from the UK - a church where women have been preachers since the days of John Wesley in the 18th century, and have had full equality in ordained ministry since the 1970's. I grew up accepting this equality s a matter of fact. In fact came as quite a surprise when I discovered that there were churches where this wasn't the case (just as the recent vote by the Church of England by against women bishops has surprised my 14 year old daughter- who had just assumed that women already could be bishops.) Regarding clothes for church - as a teenager in the 1980's I went through a stropy phase and wore my oldest jeans every Sunday. Of course no one minded, or commented - though I'm sure my mum would have prefered me to be smarter, she had enough sense not to nag me about it. When I was at University I had an about face, and decided that perhaps dressing up for a Sunday was appropriate - and I still do today. That might mean smart trousers, or a skirt or a dress (though dresses are a pain with radio mics - I'm a Worship Leader these days and a skirt is much more practical for clip on battery packs.)But really - men/women, dresses/ trousers/ripped jeans and a tee shirt. Whatever.

Kimberly said...

You don't have to teach your children gender differences. They exist. They will notice them on their own. I have 3 boys and then 1 baby girl (18 mo.) When she was barely 12 mo. old I was signing my 4-year-old up for preschool and in the preschool room there were a bunch of toys. I put her on the ground in front of the lego table (a favorite at our house) and she toddled over to a baby doll, picked her up, and started loving on her. We didn't even own a baby doll at the time. I didn't say "go grab that doll b/c you're a girl and that's what girls do." She did it on her own.

Good luck with your pants endeavor. I hope you find the happiness you are seeking. I wish you the best, but find if you keep looking for happiness in the wrong places you will keep getting what you are getting.

Miri said...

Thank your for your support.

Cluff Family said...

” an outward expression of an inward commitment”

Tara : Damon : Ellis : Hudson said...

I honestly don't really care if women wear pants to church (as long as they meet the requisite 'Sunday Best' standard, who is anyone to say whether it's a nice dress suit or a nice dress?), my issue is that it has to be such a big important EVENT! it's like, if you wanna be equal and wear pants (man, I wish I could wear pants and the same white shirt every Sunday, it would be so much easier, comfier, and make a really stress-free morning!), then just do it! You don't have to make a big fuss. If you have to shout and shout and shout, it kinda feels like it is going past just equality to me. I don't know if that makes sense...

Lucy said...

Yawn.

Unimpressed.

Uninspired.

That was your post today.

All this talk about feminism - I felt nothing of the Savior.

Sorry, C.Jane. You're a better writer than this.

Susan said...

It's not about pants, people.

Trelawny1111 said...

Good grief, lovely people, relax! Don't be offended, appalled, or shocked at the idea of women wearing pants to church. Worship how you will and let others do the same.

I know this isn't "about the pants" but if so many of you get so inflamed over something so simple and in many ways insignificant (and - need I remind you, church approved), I think you might be missing the point behind what Ms. Kendrick is trying to say. Perhaps it should be about the pants and helping those women who would like to feel the flexibility to wear pants be able to do so. There is no difference, in respect or formality, between a woman wearing a nice skirt or a woman wearing a nice pair of pants. I'd actually argue that a woman in a nice pair of slacks is dressier and more "respectful" than a woman in a jean skirt, but again, I don't think it matters and I think it is the wrong thing to focus on.

You wear your skirts and be happy. :) I will too, but I'll have nothing but respect and love for those who choose to explore the flexibility of what they'd like to wear to church.

Vesuvius At Home said...

IF THE WORLD ENDS IT IS BECAUSE OF THE PANTS, CJANE, NOT THE MAYANS. DO YOU WANT THE MAYANS TO WIN, CJANE??? DO YOU???

Katie said...

I was born and raised a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I have never once felt like men were more important than women. This issue where women feel this way is not because of something that was taught in church. This is because of the way they were taught in their homes. Wearing pants to church might make you think that you're getting your point across, but the truth of it is that no one really cares what you wear to church.

Men and women are different. Does that mean that one is more important than the other? Absolutely not. We are different in our own unique ways. I for one like to embrace our differences. So this Sunday when all the feminists are wearing pants, I will be wearing a skirt, or a dress, or something to show off my femininity because that is my right. Maybe all the men out there should wear dresses or skirts. If this is about equality, then why should we be the ones to change? Let's just all go naked. Then we'll really be equal.

phylly3 said...

I am not a Mormon and my take on the issue of the movement of women wearing pants to church is just another example of the herd mentality that you are trying to change. I believe that God is the purpose of the worship service and anything external to edifying God should be avoided.

Vanessa said...

Amen, Sister. Amen.

Delirious said...

Honestly, I think before I could call myself a feminist, I would need to overcome some of the extreme feminist ideals. I think there is a difference between being feminist, and being a mormon feminist. Do you know what I mean? Or maybe I am just too affected by having lived in a really liberal area in California. Some of the "women's studies" classes, and overall feminist attitudes are just too whacked out for me.

mandbrid said...

Love. These thoughts have been stirring in my mind for a few months now...I'm hopeful for changes. Thank you so much for sharing!

Bethany Epps said...

Why is it so hard to simply do what's been asked of us, which is to show respect and reverence to the Lord in His house by dressing our best, a few measly hours out of the week? Wear pants to work, to the mall, to the gym, to the park, and in your house. The Sabbath is supposed to be a special day where we show special reverence. Why buck against this? In our own homes, there are things we expect of our children in order to maintain a peaceful, loving environment. Would we be pleased with our children if they started a petition to oppose us in our efforts just because they felt oppressed by our rules? Such a simple thing that is asked of us. We don't go to church to prove a point or to put attention on us - We go to put our attention on the Savior.

Seth and Natalie said...

Reading your posts about feminism makes me feel really sad for you, which I'm sure you're not intending. I'm one of those who has never felt gender inequality, most especially coming from my church. Well, I can't say never, because when I go to the tire/parts store I always feel like the guys behind the counter think I'm an idiot they can take advantage of. I think the reason why I've never felt less than men is because I haven't ever let myself feel that way. I know what I am and know that God loves me for that. Just like he loves all of us, whether we wear pants or not. I have a lot of women friends that wear pants to church, mainly because they are uncomfortable in dresses. It couldn't matter less to me.

Derek and Sharice said...

For the first time reading about Mormon feminists I finally felt ok a little about what I was reading. Honestly, I should be a mormon feminist, but i'm not. I grew up with my dad making me mow the lawn and then telling me to go do the dishes because my brothers lives were more busy (important) because they were boys than mine as a girl. My place was the kitchen, yet I was still suppose to be able to do man things like move heavy boxes, fix my car. But my place was in the kitchen. Instead of growing up and letting this hurt take over my life, which at the time it did hurt, I learned I don't need to make a fuss about my childhood to the world. I need to make a fuss in my own home with my own husband and children and teach them from my own home to have equality in the home. If you wear pants to church to "make a point" I feel that is so sad. It is totally ok for women to wear pants to church. Go ahead. If someone says something then they probably aren't being Christlike. I was raised to show respect in the house of the Lord and if pants are the best clothing you have go ahead and wear it. But this post wasn't about pants. It was about feminism. Like you said, "I simply don't believe we are done learning about any of this. I don't think we have all the revelations, all the changes, all the pieces." I am content with waiting for the pieces and the changes. I don't need them right now so I am not going to make a fuss. I did really enjoy reading your thoughts.

Melessa said...

I couldn't agree more. But I'm still wearing my beautiful green, holiday dress to church on Sunday. Not because I don't stand in solidarity with my feminist sisters in Zion but because I only have two Sundays left to wear it and it's my favorite.

Everyone in my small branch is more than aware of how I feel about equality and a whole host of other potentially divisive topics and, because we are small branch in smalltown, OK and must work together, they have found a way to meet my differences of opinion with love and respect. Wearing pants wouldn't make my point, I've already made it. And I really love that dress. :)

Jen said...

Rachel Chick said it perfectly. Sacrament meeting isn't the place. I feel embarassed for all of you already.

jen said...

I have been a faithful follower of your blog for over four years and have only commented once before. These feminist posts have drawn me out of of my shadow.

I've thoughtfully read all of the comments so far, and I have to agree with a few women.

I'm with Andrea. I grew up a faithful member of the Church (coincidentally in the same congregation as your darling husband), smack in the middle of hunting culture. As Andrea mentioned in her comment, never once did I feel belittled or less than because I was a girl. My dad never invited me on a hunt with my brother (coincidentally the same age as the aforementioned Chup), and I never felt slighted. I knew that I could be whatever I wanted in my life, and even though I never made it to law school as I'd always planned, I know that the path I chose was the right one for me, the one the Lord and I and my husband see as best.

I also agree with the commenter who said that sacrament meeting is not the forum for political statements. It is a reverent place to renew sacred covenants, and those covenants are personal and private and individual. If you are wearing pants to a meeting just to make a point, your mind isn't focused on renewal. It's not about pants. It really isn't. It's about bringing attention to yourself and your point of view and away from the focus of the meeting--the Savior. Some women may wear pants to Church as an alternative to a dress, but your wearing pants would be an outward manifestation of what you are thinking--a small way of rebelling against cultural preference and a small act of defiance of authority. Any time I see someone walking that fine line between questioning and defiance, I get nervous, because oftentimes it's hard to stay on that tightrope. As Kimberly said, I think you're trying to find happiness in all the wrong places.

Jill's comments about how this is affecting your family really hit me. This was immediately what I thought. It doesn't seem like you grew up in a prejudiced home. It doesn't appear that your interests or intellect were repressed by fundamentalist parents. It does appear, however, that the insecurities and ideas you carried in your own mind as a young woman clouded your vision of yourself and your abilities and destiny.

The bottom line is this--men and women are different. We are physically and emotionally different with different balances of the same chemicals running through our bodies that make us who we are. We have different instincts and approaches to what is important. I have seven children, and my favorite answer to their frequent complaint, "It's not fair!" is this: "In order to treat you fairly, I have to treat you differently. That means cello lessons for the cellist, extra homework supervision for the distracted scholar, more money spent on rugby cleats this month, or whatever. Does that mean I love them less or more than their siblings? No. It just means that they are different.

Getting hung up on details like missionary service and male/female roles doesn't solve anything. I agree with Elder Holland--"One miracle at a time." Miracles don't mean exactly the same. Miracles mean trusting leaders who lead from the watchtower and see much more of the greater picture than I do.

Christine said...

Nicely done. And I must say, I agree that God wants to hear about what is in our hearts. He knows our hearts and he loves us. He wants to hear what we have to say. As my little girl would point out, of course Jesus wants to see her bouncy ball. He cares about it simply because it's important to her and He loves her.

PRP said...

I too am prone to think with a feminist mind and realize that this post isn't really about pants at all. And while I sympathize with what is trying to be done, and even with my own feminist tendencies, I too don't think that sacrament meeting is the place for pants for any reason other than I believe that the Lord deserves our best. I love walking into the chapel and seeing everyone elevate themselves a bit by making an extra effort with their appearance and if that meant pants as it was all you had, I'd smile even bigger. But wearing pants for the sake of making a point seems a bit silly to me. To me, it's about respect and love for the Lord as well as setting an example for the youth and has nothing to do with equality. We are taught to treat Sunday's differently; this is just another way in which we accomplish that.

As always, thanks for giving us something to think about.

Katrina said...

Awomen, Courtney. Once again. :-)

Andrea said...

Wow- Utah sure is different than the rest of the world.

Let's all lose the labels.. and just be who we are. And be the best we can be. whatever we believe or feel.

I think it's important for females to have female only time and males to have male only time. It's healthy and good and refreshing.

Marianne said...

Agree with people that these are cultural issues. I grew up in a LDS family in Virginia as the youngest of 4 girls. I was taught I was equal by both parents. They told me over and over to get my degree before I get married - I did. My older sisters did the same. My dad took me on all sorts of adventures - there was nothing I couldn't do because I was a girl. When I went to college in Utah and was shocked by the cultual aspect. There is always room for improvement- such as bigger budgets for YW activities. But I don't have the same anxiety over these issues because I never grew up thinking I was less equal or had less opportunities. My non-Utah culture enforced these beliefs too. As far as pants, I have worn dress pants to church and I don't think it's a big deal. In fact I think they look better than denim skirts and flip flops I see some women wear. However, I will be wearing a skirt on Sunday- because I want to.

Domestic Diva said...

It is amazing how much this really divides your readers, CJane! As for my opinion, I agree that I think wearing a dress to church, while culturally accepted and perhaps even expected, is done for me to show respect and love to God, to honour the Sabbath day and to separate that day from all others. I also believe that God created me and all women with femininity and a divine female quality and that he loves and respects the feminine and desires for me to love it, too. I can show that respect and love by wearing a dress to church and being humble and submissive. That does not mean less than a man, but obedient to my God and his commandments.
I do agree with the equal treatment of all people, in and out of the church. Our young girls deserve the same recognition and accomplishment as the young men do, and they deserve to know they are just as important. There is a long way to go, "one miracle at a time" as Elder Holland said, but I do believe that the majority of it is human failings and not gospel based. Thanks for the food for thought, though, you continue to provide ....

artemisandollie said...

you are knocking it out of the park, cjane. love it.

Fresh Hell, Texas said...

I'm confused by the idea that wearing pants is a protest. Or that's it political. Or, even worse, something that women should be embarrassed to do. And it's not an issue of women saying they "should" be equal with me, it's an issue of saying women ARE equal with men.

It's an act of solidarity. It's an act of love. It's an act of sisterhood. I love it.

Ru said...

Delurking to say ... You've been knocking it out of the park lately :) I am also torn on the pants thing, but not the motivations behind the idea. Thanks for sharing!

Fresh Hell, Texas said...

"It makes me nervous that your blog might be the only experience our non-LDS friends have with a church member or the church."

As the mother of an adult son who is gay, I believe you can imagine what my experiences with your church have been like. Until I started reading CJane, not one of those experiences had been a positive one.

Believe it or not, CJane may be opening a lot of hearts and minds.

Shari Goodman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Miss Pete said...

I grew up in Happy Valley and have never have felt inequality. If anything, I felt more special being female. I guess I owe my parents a thank you for making me feel important and that I can achieve whatever I put my mind to. What I find most interesting in my experience of life is that I feel more comfortable and accepted by men than women. Men don't seem to keep track and check off a list of my accomplishments before they accept me as a friend. They typically don't care what everyone else is up to. And they certainly don't care what I wear, even to church. But women are constantly keeping mental checklists and summing each other up and then getting together to see if they all got the same readings on others. I agree with other comments that it begins at home. The gospel has nothing to do with this inequality you might be feeling. But it certainly can help you find some peace. And if wearing pants is the vehicle to help you find peace, I sure hope your girls are wearing pants too. You wouldn't want them to grow up and write a blog post about you someday.

Cheryl said...

If we're really working on the equal respect front, why don't the men tweet each other about wearing dresses? Where is the outrage at the white shirt/tie "uniform"? No one talks about how restrictive that is. My husband would gladly shed his tie, although wearing a lava lava or a kilt is not really his thing.

mere said...

DR: You say the Lord has put it that way. What do you mean by that?

Gordon B. Hinckley: I mean that’s a part of His programme. Of course it is, yes.

DR: Is it possible that the rules could change in the future as the rules are on Blacks?

Gordon B. Hinckley: He could change them yes. If He were to change them that’s the only way it would happen.

DR: So you’d have to get a revelation?

Gordon B. Hinckley: Yes. But there’s no agitation for that.

SO we are just agitating for a revisit of the issue. Just like Hinkley suggested we do.

happyfamily said...

I know how judgy people can be toward each other, so I hate the pants idea. What if I choose not to wear pants, but am still a feminist. Do people look down on me because of how I'm dressing?
I'm wearing a dress. I wear pants every other day.

tallia said...

here here!

Thelma said...

You should have hope for the future. I was raised in a Mormon family with traditional gender roles. I never ever felt like God loved boys more than girls. Never! I was never taught to get married young (on the contrary, my mom encouraged me to wait until I graduated from college before marrying). The church I grew up in seems different than the one you grew up in although I was only a state away in Nevada. I am happy to be a woman, happy to be different than men and I will happily wear a dress to church on Sunday. The example of my mother and other strong women has always been much more powerful than a pair of pants.

Thelma said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
S said...

Im late to the party, but BRAVO for this post. BRAVO! I know my Heavenly Parents love all of their children.
Wearing a pants suit to church is not disrespectful or casual. Dresses are skirts are tradition, not doctrine. Women are not expected to wear skirts in the boardroom, they shouldn't be expected to wear skirts at church. Enforcing that is just another attempt at controlling our bodies. Lets stop being judge-y and remember that Jesus Christ hung out with people who some of you would've turned your noses up had they walked into your ward's sacrament meeting.

Unknown said...

I'm the only girl in my family (raised and living the Mormon life) and I never felt unequal to men in anyway shape or form unless it was something I felt I was lacking. Not what other people told me.
I grew up with women in my ward who regularly wore pants to church, it wasn't ever a big deal, I even asked my mom about it once nad she just shrugged it off, saying, its what they felt comfortable in.
If you aren't comfortable in pants, don't wear them, and don't worry that you've let the feminist movement down. After all isn't having the choice what equality is all about?
If a feminist looks down on you for wearing a skirt I would say she(or he maybe?) was the hypocrite.
I love your thoughts on all of these topics by the way, it helps me to define how I feel, sometimes we agree and sometimes we don't. Ain't it grand? :)

Lindsey said...

No hurt feelings or offense taken here! Also no personal attacks on your character, C. Jane. Here are my thoughts...

I understand the worries and concerns about equality. I have spent a lot of time considering the topic myself. I personally do NOT like labels because I enjoy the freedom of considering many viewpoints and lining up with the one I feel good about. I don't subscribe to everything in the Mormon feminist camp and I certainly do not subscribe to everything in the traditional camp. But there are things about both "sides" of the spectrum that I like.

Back to the pants issue-- I don't feel wearing pants will accomplish much, if anything. It seems passive-aggressive political statement.

However, this is not to say that I think wearing pants to church is a "bad" thing and I will not look down on women who choose to do so. I will say that the motive behind this recent movement feels very irreverent to ME. (I wish more people became so fiery and passionate about other issues that are, in my opinion,of greater importance.) I guess participation in this movement all depends on your personal motives. It's between you and God, after all. Work it out with Him and feel good about your decision.

Still really enjoy your posts! Love reading about different opinions and perspectives!

Jenna said...

CJane! CJane! CJane!

You're my hero.

B said...

I just taught Relief Society last Sunday--wearing a skirt no less--and the lesson was on forgiveness. We are told to forgive everyone and the Lord will forgive whom he will forgive. If you have been offended by your own family or the church for having done, what you believe, is to unrighteously judge you or belittle you as a woman, then let the Lord handle it. Don't try to "Get back at them" by doing something as insignificant as wearing pants. I learned once again that our job is not to teach others a lesson, these matters are up to the Lord.

Personally, I am confident enough in my womanhood and my relationship with God to not have to worry that he sees me as unequal to any man. And if other men see me as unequal, that is unfortunate for them. They will answer for that I believe in the next life when the Lord, not me, will judge them for it.

I also have a firm testimony in our divine roles as both men and women. Men cannot grow, bare, and feed babies. We cannot hold the priesthood. That's just the way it goes because of nature - not the church or society. Thank goodness for relationships of love that allow us to experience the blessings of each (birth and the priesthood) through one another.

I will be wearing a skirt this Sunday and every Sunday from here after. And I will be proud of it.


Annalea said...

Wow. Well . . . very well-said.

It's funny, the timing of this Sunday's solidarity event. Just a few days ago, I was talking with some friends about the historical reasons behind women wearing skirts: it mostly comes down to the fact that it was scandalously shocking to mention legs--to draw attention to the fact that women even had legs-- a couple centuries ago in England. If a woman said "breeches", it was almost as bad. Skirts were one way for men to transfer the burden of controlling their baser urges onto women.

That said, I personally think skirts are beautiful, and often comfortable. But. On Sundays? I have six children to wrangle/keep up with. In the winter, I have mud and snow and ice and freeeeezing cold to deal with. And a skirt just doesn't do it for me. It's hard to manage the logistics of keeping my skirt in place when my toddler climbs all over me in Sacrament Meeting, and managing two sets of footwear on wintry Sundays only ads one more thing to my already overflowing hands. Let alone avoiding frostbite and numb toes while the men around me walk around with warm slacks, and wool socks in their thick-soled leather shoes.

I firmly believe that insisting women wear skirts to church is a tradition of our fathers . . . not a part of the gospel at all. My husband and I have been studying the Book of Mormon pretty intensely lately, and Mormon himself spoke pretty darn clearly about how "every one" of our churches are polluted in the last days, and the part in that played by those same pesky traditions.

It makes me so, so, so sad to see ANYONE (brother or sister) saying that wearing pants to church is akin to sin, disrespectful to our Father in Heaven, and similar things.

To those who say it's like asking men to wear dresses to church, I say it's a completely different issue. Men wearing skirts (unless they're kilts) usually has more to do with issues of masculinity than not. Women aren't trying to be masculine here. We're trying to be comfortable. The trend of equality doesn't have men wearing skirts simply because they're NOT PRACTICAL for the stuff people often have to do. I know there are women who LOVE skirts, and wear them all. the. time. But they've fallen further and further out of use because pants (well, really, jeans) offer more freedom of movement.

I hope that this whole issue can be treated with maturity, and respect for one another. I'd love to see women wear slacks to church. :o)

Lindsey said...

Perhaps some on the fence about wearing pants could join me in not wearing high heels. :) Since the purpose of heels is to accentuate a womens legs, behind and bust (its a posture thing) it always confuses me why I am the only one on board for ousting them for the sake of respect. Not to mention I've seen hobbled horses handle chasing things better than a women in heels after her child (who is making a break for the door after sneaking under a pew). Just a thought.

Shantel said...

How about worship of Heavenly Father isn't about you? Just like the Atonement of Jesus Christ wasn't about him. It was about us.

Becca said...

I am not lds but my husband is an ex Mormon and I've always had a fascination with the church. Posts like this give us outsiders a much, much, much more positive view of the church and what is possible for its future. Or at least they do that for me. Don't let the naysayers get you down. This is a great piece.

Annalea said...

And speaking of traditions of our fathers: I have a darn counter-cultural way of looking at the Priesthood. First, please let me say that I have no anti-male bias, no axe to grind. Women aren't greater than men--we're just different in some ways. God loves us all exactly. the. same., and helps us as we allow Him.

The concept that the Priesthood confers special status in the eyes of the Lord above those without it is a tradition from the hierarchically-slavish previous centuries. The Priesthood is like permission to use a step-ladder, allowing men to rise to greater righteousness than they might otherwise; but women can mount the step-ladder through their own righteousness alone. The fact that women officiate in some ordinances in the temple speaks to just that principle.

Just as I see the House of Israel as the nation that the Lord had to help along because they needed help the most (like the child with the most challenges gets the most attention in a classroom), I see the Priesthood as the extra that the men are given opportunity to do to facilitate their gaining salvation. Women are entitled to all of the same blessings that Priesthood holders are, if they follow the same standards of faithfulness. But women aren't required to shoulder all of that duty along with it. (I think that has something to do with the fact that we're really good at taking on duty all by ourselves, thankyouverymuch. ;o) Motherhood is just one of those duties; there are so many other ways women reach out and literally save others' souls.

I'll never forget what the sealer said at my BIL's wedding: "Sisters are perfect--they can come to the temple just the way they are. But men must have the mantle of the priesthood placed upon them before they are worthy to enter the House of the Lord."

The Priesthood is a wonderful thing. I respect and honor it, and teach my sons to value that responsibility and work hard under it. Men aren't valued less--they are simply different in subtle ways that makes the Priesthood a boon.

I respect my husband as the presiding member of our household, and I'm grateful that he is. I'm naturally the more dominant personality. It reminds me to take a chill pill and for him to stand up a little more. That's a hugely good thing in our home.

I grew up faced by sexism on many, many sides. Much of it because I intimidated boys near my own age, and annoyed those far older. (Intelligence often does. ;o) It has taken me a long, long time to jettison that baggage, and to begin to come to understand my Father in Heaven as I think He wants me to understand him. Of COURSE He wants to hear whatever we are concerned about, whatever we need to pray about. He's our Father--and he never gets to hold us close, to sit with us and chat, to literally be in our presence. He has to settle for phone calls and intermediary messengers (most of which we never even notice), at best. If I was in his position with my own children, I'd be desperate to hear just about anything; anything at all. He wants to see us grow, wants to hear what we're learning, and often can't help us unless we give Him permission.

Annalea said...

(Part 3 . . . )

The Lord truly does esteem all flesh as one. We all have equality of opportunity, and He's ready to help us, and pour out blessings upon us, when we try.

Thanks so much for writing about this. It's sorely needed, and you're doing a great job. And if you ever decide to come visit my neck of the woods (Inland Northwest), you'll need to let me know, so you can attend my husband's Gospel Doctrine class. We're of one mind on all of this. :o)

And a P.S. for those getting all worked up about how wearing pants to church is inappropriate, here's the official statement "Attending church is about worship and learning to be followers of Jesus Christ. 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." --LDS spokesman Scott Trotter. This is a cultural issue, not doctrinal, or policy-based.

Melissa Judd said...

I'm sorry but this whole thing is just sad and pathetic. If my value as a woman of God is dependent on what I wear to church every Sunday then I better do some soul searching. I don't have to dress like the men or perform priesthood duties to feel equal.
In this world there is so much true pain and oppression and this is not that. I'm embarrassed for all who take part and hope they see how small minded their "feminist" movement is.

Hannah Mudge said...

These are some interesting and spectacularly misinformed comments. There seems to be so much misunderstanding that gender equality is basically women trying to turn into men, or something. Would you just look at yourselves, seriously. This wearing pants to church thing as a gesture of solidarity seems to be incredibly shocking and upsetting for many of you. What I see is a great fear of rocking the boat and challenging the status quo. No-one wants to take away your enjoyment of wearing dresses or the fact you can have children. But please understand that gender equality is so much more than that. As usual some of you are angry at the way CJane's post might reflect on the church. Just because her experience isn't your experience doesn't mean it's not a valid one.

Depressed Mormon Mommy said...

Wow, I am absolutely appalled, shocked and so so sad at the amount of judgmental women who decided to condescendingly tell CJane how to think. And then they wonder how others could say the Church has such messed up cultural issues. Guess what? People create culture, and those are the people making the problems. People make up the Church, therefore the church has cultural issues. Cultural issues that are up for debate and critique. There is NO Doctrinal basis for women wearing skirts to church (hate to burst your self righteous bubbles). So even as someone who believes in the doctrine of the church, you can still criticize the culture, and it doesn't say anything about your worthiness or your relationship with God. Being unable to question difficult things, shows a weak testimony, based on blind obedience, rather than heartfelt, true searching.

Chatty Natty said...

I heard about this and so wanted to text you. I'm wearing pants only if the guys will wear skirts and pantyhose. Equal respect, right?

Vanessa Brown said...

Very glad you brought up the point explaining why you don't compare priesthood to motherhood. Never thought of it that way, and it makes complete sense.

Sometimes I just feel so frustrated. That I was raised in a...just not a healthy household. One where the priesthood, the presiding in the home title, etc. It was abused by the father figure in our home. It was thrown in our faces, it was sick. It was used to make us feel so low about ourselves. I just feel like I am so behind now. I am behind on how a marriage should work, I have bad habits, I even have to be reminded sometimes on how to parent the right way. I feel like as an adult I am having to make up for and learn to push away the wrong ways we thought, the hurt, and the damage that was caused during my childhood.

I would have done anything for a strong woman to be in my life that told me it was wrong. That told me I could think differently. Instead when I got married I found out that wasn't right or normal (very lucky I found a man that was raised so polar opposite) and had to re-learn everything.

It breaks my heart that it still happens now in families. I watched my husband's brother do this to his 2nd wife. Ruin her. It took years for her to be whole again.

I do know that though with experiences like these with gender inequality, abusing the priesthood, etc. that there are 1,000 beautiful experiences involving this important and sacred part of our church.

Your posts always bring up such emotion from my past, I am not terribly sure why! My comment doesn't even go along well with what you were talking about. But those are my rambling thoughts I have...

Haley Barton said...

I think it is important for women and men to wear nice clothes to church. Maybe for some women, it is their nice slacks. For men, a suit and tie. For a Scottish man, it might be a kilt...
But no matter what it is, you are wearing your best to show respect to God and the special meeting you are attending.
Not saying anything against you specifically, but I quite honestly do not think this "pants to church" campaign is really about pants at all.
God has given men and women divine roles. We are equal, but we are different. I don't know why God only bestows the Priesthood on males, but I know it is God's will and I will understand one day. That doesn't mean that women don't have access to those Priesthood blessings.
I think all this would create is a distraction, and sacred church meetings are not the place to make a social statement - maybe even a statement that you don't agree with the church's teachings.
If women are taking that attitude, they might as well not come to church, because they truly aren't understanding the beautiful doctrine of the gospel.

So wear your nice slacks if that's what you choose. But choose clothing that shows respect for God... that says "thy will be done."

Because God's church is perfect. The divine roles of men and women are inspired, and doesn't mean that they aren't equal to each other.

Quite honestly, in the end, I do not think statements like this are appropriate at church or any place else. Again, if a woman wears slacks because those are her nice clothes, then sure, who am I to speak against that?

But a one-time I'm-just-as-good-as-you statement like this is inappropriate and immature, in my opinion.

Beautifully written post though, I really love your style of writing.

kristen said...

I am not LDS. I do not believe that God cares one iota about our outward appearances. He cares about our hearts. I know many people who dress up on Sunday but harbor jealousy, bitterness, etc. in their hearts. Humbleness, reverence, and modesty are reflected in your actions not by what you do or do not wear. I also believe that the whole point of grace and only grace is that it is all about Jesus Christ and what He has done and is doing. It is not about me and what I do, what I wear, what I abstain from, etc. As soon as I start focusing on me and what I am or am not doing or on you and what you are or are not doing, I have lost focus of Him and lost the point entirely.

Nikki Nelson said...

Great post. Reading your comments I am shocked at the silliness of people. I don't attend church but did my whole life. Why is it that God would care about pants or a dress, or skirt? Does that really change your level of commitment to God by whether or not there is a seam between your legs? I find it so sad that one, people think God is that judging, and two, that people get so worked up over it, Are women somehow less capable of being pure in heart with pants on? And to all of you who say its about wearing your best, What if your bests are slacks? what then? Its just pure craziness. Good for you though, you stand up for being a woman. I wish people realized that being a Feminist as I am, doesn't meant we want to be just like a man.. or do the things they do, but that we simply want equal ground to stand on. ugh! :)

Tiffany said...

Hey there old friend, I haven't read in a while, but I saw you linked today so here I am. Interesting. The whole pants thing is not new in these parts. We have several prominent Mormon feminists here in the Baltimore area and they look lovely in their nice pantsuits and dressy trousers. We also have probably a dozen or so female members of our ward that wear pants weekly, but not to make a statement, because that is what they wear. I actually think the pants angle is odd because what are we saying about those 12-15 women who already wear them that aren't a part of the movement? Because they wear them, they already are a part just because they go against the norm? It does seem a juvenile way to go about it. I am with you though -- I completely prefer dresses and skirts (even on weekdays) so to think that I have to wear something I actually dislike seems very contrary to the point. Telling someone that they have to wear a dress to church instead of the pants they are comfortable in seems wrong to me just as telling someone to wear pants instead of the dress they are comfortable in does. Get it? It's weird. Wear what you are comfortable in. Maybe Exponent or WAVE or Fem.Mormon Housewives should offer a little pin that you can pin to the collar of your dress or coat. I think the movement needs a different symbol. The pants message is confusing...

Maryanne said...
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Maryanne said...

So, on my phone it looks like you can reply to a specific comment, but on my computer it appears my response was just stuck at the bottom. So it makes no sense. I loved your post Cjane. I have felt it very clearly spoken to my heart when I have questioned why things are run as they are in the church or why certain leaders run things as they do that that is not truly God's way. For the commenter who wrote that if you don't truly understand the doctrine, you may as well not attend church, I'd say that nothing could be more wrong. And also ask who are you to say that you have the doctrine all figured out and that someone else does not. The gospel of Christ is perfect but the church is not. Because it's madse up of imperfect people trying in our own imperfect ways to put the gospel into action.

hjoy128 said...

I didn't even know about this and I've worn pants to church functions twice this week! Gasp! And I'm the Bishop's wife! Double gasp!! I'm not making a social statement, it's just cold outside! I realize this whole event is not about the pants, it's about the message, which personally I'm not sure I support the method of promoting this cause via Sunday worship. So the big message aside, I have some thoughts to share on pants. My husband was a missionary to Vietnamese refugees. For Vietnamese women, their fanciest, most reverent outfit includes pants and a long shirt/gown on top. My husband would get so frustrated by the western-thinking members who would tell the Vietnamese women they couldn't wear their fanciest clothing to church because it was pants. It was ridiculous to claim that these Vietnamese women in their most traditional respectful dress could not worship because they were not wearing western dresses. Not wearing pants to church is cultural not spiritual. It's the same way with pantyhose. When I was called to be in the RS presidency in this ward I was told that the Stake RS president expected the presidencies to be an example and wear pantyhose every week. Ha! I was only 29 at the time. I think I only wore them once. Pantyhose are a cultural symbol of a generation that I do not belong to and has nothing to do with my commitment to the Gospel. Am I remembering correctly that sister missionaries no longer are required to wear them? Finally, I can guarantee you that my dress pants are a lot more reverent and respectful than the worn-out denim 3/4 length skirts with stretched out tshirts that many women wear to church. So, those are my random thoughts on pants at church, fully acknowledging that I am dodging the issue of what the FB movement is actually trying to accomplish. I think too often we as a people confuse church culture with church doctrine. I'm not sure if I'm a mormon feminist or not. I am all for challenging our culture and do so often, but I have an unshakeable testimony of the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ and I know that President Monson is a prophet.

Pamela said...

The negative comments left on this post is appalling and incredibly off putting. Is this what your church is about? Are your members really dense enough to think this is an issue of WARDROBE? And knowing all that we do, are you going to sit there and tell me that women are not treated unequally within this faith?

Blind sheep, blind sheep ...

Hillary said...

Sounds like your inequality issues came from your family--not church. So will you be wearing camoflauge to the next family dinner?

h.jo said...

i'm with veronica. yes, carry on with your bad self!

Giulia said...

I don't have time to read the comments (I see there are over 100 already so I am sure there are all sorts of discussions going on) but I want to take the time to thank you. This is a wonderful post. And I love you! I share your beliefs although I have never thought myself as a feminist. My whole life I fought against inequality (I am the only girl in a family with three brothers-Italian men if you know what I mean) but I have married a man that is much like yours and my heart BREAKS in pieces when I sense and see any form of abuse in relationships. I also served a mission and honestly I would have LOVED to stay 6 more months. OF COURSE we can as women! I am positive no one can argue that point... We are all growing together and I know God hears our hearts and our prayers reach Heaven. He sure loves you CJane!

Moon Bee said...

This was the reply I'd love to leave to that original article (but I think is relevant here also):
As a history/English major in college, I found it interesting that throughout the centuries women were inferior YET allowed to raise the children almost single-handedly. What, we are inferior beings yet given full control of how children (the next generation!) should turn out? So for myself, I don't see myself as inferior at all. I am totally entrusted to raise the kids, teach them, help them become the next generation. That is pretty empowering, at least to me.

Megh said...

Thanks for a beautifully written post! I agree with every word of it. I always have, these feelings are nothing new, which is why I have absolutely no reason to wear pants to church on Sunday.

Alicia J said...

I enjoyed this post C Jane even if I didn't agree with all of it. I'm one of those lucky women who have never felt I was treated any less because I am a girl. Maybe it's because I was raised in a family of all girls and both my parents always acted like having all girls was the best thing that could ever have happened to them. My dad was a big advocate in all our wards for Daddy/Daughter campouts. He wanted his daughters to have the same experiences as the boys. Even with all his daughters grown he still is an active voice in his ward for YM and YW having equal opportunities. When all the ward is contributing to friends of scouting, he contributes, and then makes an equally generous contribution to the YW's camp fund. When his ward used a substantial part of their ward budget to send their scouts to Catalina Island for scout camp he was very vocal in his opinion that the bishopric better have something really great in the works for the young women.

In my family, with three girls of our own, my husband started his own Daddy/Daughter campout with several friends that has now been adopted by multiple wards in our area. I feel confident we are raising our children (sons and daughters) with the self-confidence and assurance that they are loved by their Father in Heaven because they are his children - not because they are boys or girls. And I applaud you for doing the same.

At the same time, I recognize that not everyone grew up with the same wonderful example of gender equality as I did. And so I can do as you ask and give my patience and empathy and understanding for past hurts. I don't doubt that they are real.

I agree that we should all be treated (and treat each other) with respect. I'm on board 100% with that. I also wholeheartedly agree that God loves his children equally and wants to hear from us equally. I firmly believe that our Heavenly Father never tires of hearing our honest and sincere prayers.

With that being said, I still agree more with the quote from one of your previous posts "Equality has never done any good for me. When I try to look at the world with my equalizer glasses it leaves me empty and upset. Equality presents a scale and binds you. And when I dissect my marriage, nothing makes me more anxious then the expectation that things are equal. It makes a measuring stick out of our relationship. And I don't want to spend an entire marriage judging the allowance of equality."


I believe I am equal. I know God sees me as equal. The people I surround myself with treat me as equal. I don't need sisters to serve for 24 months to be equal. I don't need to hold the priesthood to be equal. And I don't need to wear pants to church to be equal (although like many others I have no problem whatsoever with those who chose to).
Thanks for the food for thought C Jane.

Cara said...

i grew up in a community that was literally 97% LDS and i never had these ideas pushed on me. i'm sorry that you did, but you've admitted that these ideas came from your family. i think it's great that you're working through these obviously very deep-seated emotions that you have concerning the differences between women and men, but i think Church is the last place to make a statement like this. as has been said by other commenters, Sacrament Meeting is a place to partake of the Sacrament and focus on the Savior. what would you hope to accomplish if you did it?

Betina said...

Amen and Amen. Heavenly Parents. A++. Why are you not my neighbor?

Betina said...

And I am SOOO glad you shed some light on the man deer hunt. I've read about it on Nie Nie and always cringed a bit.

Betina said...

Patti - How can communicating with Heavenly Parents be inflammatory? I think it's awesome! Empowering! Lovely and peaceful. Just plain good.

Cait said...

Just want to add my AMEN. I've always loved your blog, but your courage in coming out as a feminist, and now this. You are awesome. Keep doing what you are doing, sister! (from the redhead that used to work at the Provo Bakery three years ago... and then I think we once were at a picnic together, so we are practically friends!) I too sort of love skirts and dresses, but am excited at the prospect of doing something, ANYTHING tangible to relieve some of this frustration at attempting to reconcile my faith and my feminism.

Jami said...

I'm not really a pants fan either, so I'm still wearing a dress even though I agree with many (not all) of the points of the wear pants to church day group. Pretty sure my teen is wearing pants and I am totally OK with it. I'm glad she feels comfortable doing what she thinks is right.

I'm honestly astonished at the backlash on this. People so angry they are shaking? People who feel this is satanic? Truly it's just clothes. It's simply expressing an opinion that's different than the majority, quietly, peacefully. Just don't pay attention if the idea bothers you.

Lynnette said...

I guess I just don't get it... the church has never said "women should wear a dress". Their stance is to wear something respectful. The dress part comes in on a societal level. When I lived in Philadelphia a lot of women wore pants to church. It was no biggie. All were welcome and loved no matter what they wore. I just don't really think wearing pants is addressing anything.

Erin said...

It doesn't matter what we women wear to church as long as we're dressed our best. We go to renew our covenants and that's all that matters. I'm a little offended that so many women would use Sunday, the Sabbath, to make such a statement.

WONDER ME THIS LAND said...

a: best dressed: is this in any way equal to the evening gown at the back of the closet or my wedding dress in storage? am i somehow dismissing my reverence for my Father by wearing a cheap skirt i bought at target vs. the dress for my upcoming cruise?

b: pants in the way of Love of our Father: do pants actually disconnect your spirit from its ability to honor, love and respect our Father? really?

c: if there was ever a reason for me to actually go to church, again: it would be the simple fact that silly things like wearing pants were no longer relevant within the culture (aka feeling judged if i don't fit the mold demanded by cultural ideals) in the more crucial discussion, our testimony of our loving Father.

whether you wear a skirt or you wear a dress or you wear the jeweled evening gown you spent an arm and a leg for, please prioritize God First.

Terri-Ann said...

I'd love to hear your thoughts on the cultural aspect. I'm from Ontario, and we often joke about "Utah Mormons" vs the rest of the church. How have your experiences in the church in other parts of the world differed from your Utah experience?

Have you heard Sheri Dew's talk from the 2012 time out for women? She addresses a question from a journalist about what it is like to be part of a church that is patriarchal and doesn't allow women equal privileges. She was on fire with her answer!

Angela said...

I am not a Mormon. I think that the pants discussion is not the most effective discussion that could be happening. The pants are a token of the larger ideal. Why not go a little deeper and say to anyone willing to wear pants to Church, lets get together and talk about ideas on religion and womanhood. Let's see what comes from getting women in a room, who believe in their own agency, can accomplish.

Also, I third the Gangsta Signs consideration.

C said...

Personally, I'm just confused as to how wearing wants to Church is wrong!

I wear pants to church. I wear skirts to church. I wear dresses to church. Once I wore a sheep costume to church... granted I was 5 and in the nativity play.
I do believe that you should be more than casual for church... you should make an effort.
But I fail to see how pants are a problem!!!

Natalie Fairbourne said...

I completely agree that feminism is about respect (don't even get me started on the deer hunt, driving to end of south fork sparks rage in me!). Its not about equality, but respect. I feel like the pants thing will not garner respect, but make the plight trivial. Instead, let's speak a little louder in our ward councils (the church encouraged this in worldwide leadership training) let's bear testimony in bolder language, let's teach our young women that they have equal importance on this earth. As far as the women and the priesthood? It's not out of the realm. The Plan of Salvation isn't centered around the church, it's centered around the family. It makes sense that we rely on each other. I would like to make the discussion on feminism steered away from individualism and more about respect and importance of women.

The Farmer's Wife said...

I have read your blog for a long time, I am not sure I will continue. I grew up in an LDS home...6th generation. I have no need to prove anything to any one...not men...not anyone. And wearing pants to church proves nothing! The way you choose to dress while attending a religious service is very simply "an outward expression of an inward committment" to God. To put it ever more simply..."a sense of the sacred." It has nothing to do with anyone other than myself and God. Wearing pants proves nothing except a lack of understanding. That is it! The LDS church is filled with beautiful confident, strong women. This does not show strength...not at all! I believe in equality...this does not have anything to do with equality...it has everything to do with respect...respect for God. I too am a returned missionary. I can respect that everyone's experience is there own while serving a mission, but I would like to state that my experience was positive, never did I feel minimized or mistreated. It makes me feel very sad when generalizations are made regarding sister missionaries, and sometimes I feel that you contributed to that. You have great influence because of your writings...use it well.

Danielle said...

Never commented before, but just couldn't stay quiet. I've grown up in the church and not once, not ever, have I felt "less than" or "inequal." I am incredibly grateful for the men in the church and the responsibilities that they shoulder- just as I am for the women and the things that we do. Heavenly Father created us differently- yet perfectly. We are not the same- but we are equal and I have always felt that way. I don't want to be the same as my husband and I don't want him to be the same as me. It takes both of us, like puzzle pieces, to make a complete picture.

I just don't understand about the whole deer hunt thing. I love it when my boys go camping with their dad or go away on some adventure with their uncles and grandpas. It gives us girls a chance to hang out and do our own fun stuff. And if we chose to go camping or hunting- we sure could! I just can't help but to think that you're looking too far into it.

Really not meaning to be rude or derogatory- just a difference of opinion. Takes all kinds to make the world go round, right? :)

w & r said...

Your family is whack. That has been established (by you). I want to stand in solidarity with ppl who are intelligent, Truth-seekers, and not self-seeking. Just not sure that is you.

Janie said...

1. Loved this.
2. I'm shopping for a pants suit this Saturday

kels said...

C.Jane, I'm a newcomer to your blog, and I really appreciate your perspective! I find myself falling in your boat a bit. Not sure where I land on this pants event. I wrote up my thoughts over here: http://empoweringldswomen.blogspot.com/2012/12/dont-get-your-pants-in-twist_12.html if you're interested :). Basically, I'm worried that even if we don't decide we're on board with the methods, many people seem to be reacting negatively. I hope that even if we don't agree with the method, we can respond with kindness and compassion. xox from one feminist to another ;)

The Atomic Mom said...

I just want to know, what do you all hope to accomplish by this? Because wearing pants is not against the rules. Are you all hoping that someone will say something so then you all can turn around and blog about it, and how oppressed you all feel and how horrid the brothers in your ward are, and how petty the sisters are? Will this bring anyone closer to Christ? Or is it just a way to get attention? Is wearing pants a selfish or a selfless act? Does wearing pants show respect to Heavenly Father and the ordinance of the sacrament? Just a few things to consider.

Some perspective from "the mission field" is that it really does not matter what you wear to church, rather that you attend in your best, even if your best is pants. What matters is your attitude and your desire to learn and listen and particpate in building the kingdom of God. In our ward here in the Santa Fe area, women do come to church in pants for various reasons -- we have a sister who wears pressure socks and she is more comfortable in pants. Another sister walks to church and she wants to stay warm on her walk. We have another sister who has had double knee replacements and does not want people looking at her scarred knees. We also have many investigators who wear pants as well. To wear pants as a protest would be insulting to my sisters in my ward, and would show a total lack of Christlike love for them.

Again, ask yourself, what will this accomplish? Because from my view it's only function is to stir up contention and that is wrong.

kiki said...
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Hannah Mudge said...

This pants thing. It's a statement of solidarity with other women. It's not about 'breaking rules' or thinking you're being rebellious. Just as other movements wear badges or particular colours, it's just a way of signifying support and sisterhood rather than trying to 'prove' something. The fact that so few of you can see this is, quite, frankly, giving me a headache.

Bethany Bassett said...

I know that your post is going to rub a lot of people the wrong way, as powerful and deeply honest writing tends to do, so I just wanted to add my voice to the ones saying "Rock on, sister!" This is pure gold.

Jessica said...

I love your position it is very well stated and very well balanced. I think you are amazing.

Caitlin said...

As another non-Mormon, I'll chime in that CJane isn't hurting the image of your church. However, the women here bashing other women for wearing pants to church as a sign of solidarity, who somehow equate reverence with skirts and dresses, and who think wearing pretty clothes, makeup, and high heels somehow helps you glorify God? Judging the worthiness of others by what they wear?


Yeah. You are the ones damaging a religion by turning a cultural quirk into doctrine. THAT is the reason so many people can't stand religion, the hive mind mentality.

My God doesn't care if I am in jeans, or a dress, or my classically tailored J Crew wool dress pants. My God cares that I am there, that I showed up, and that I spend every waking moment, including my time at church, trying to live his will for my life. I wear what I want to church with no worries about any one looking at me strangely. I never realized until today how freeing that was.

Nicola said...

Here in the UK pants are underwear! Loved the post though x

TheOneTrueSue said...

I love your honest, searching heart. And your bravery.

At various times in my own faith journey I probably could've written any number of these shocked and apalled comments. Reading them is like traveling back in time.

It makes me really sad that Patti thinks a reference to Heavenly Parents is inflammatory. I hate the rhetoric that tries to paint our Heavenly Mother as a delicate, delicate flower who must be protected from mention by Her own children, who is too weak to make Herself known to her daughters. She is not. I hate the rhetoric that says that in order for Her to be the ultimate feminine role model She must necessarily be weak and in need of protection.

That's part of why I'm wearing pants on Sunday in spite of my dress-pants hatred. Because I want my daughter to know that fragility and ruffles and lace have nothing to do with being a strong Mormon woman, or with becoming like our Heavenly Parents. (Ruffles and dresses are AWESOME, but not NECESSARY.) Clothes have nothing to do with feminimity, or feminine power.

Pants on Sunday. Onward.

Becky said...

Having grown up in a family with five boys and three girls, yes, there were things that the boys got to do. But there were things that the girls got to do. My husband is an avid hunter. He LOVES to hunt and spend time with his male friends. I don't feel slighted because I am not invited to go. It is his time! I believe this makes him happier when he's out there and happier when he comes home. Has my husband had his feelings hurt when I go to women's conference for three days and enjoy some time with my friends? I don't think so. If my girls want to go hunting with their dad, he'll take them on a special trip. I can't judge you for your hurt feelings in your family. I wasn't a part of it so I don' know. But I do know that we as a church recognize gender differences as something good as the differences compliment each other. I know you are familiar with the family proclamation, but it seems like you're skipping over it entirely. As to wearing pants, I can just say that it would be disrespectful. That is my own opinion. Why make political statements at sacrament meeting, when it is one of the most sacred meetings we attend for church. Combined with complaining about the difference in the length of missionary service, I fear you are going down a slippery slope. I guess I have a hard enough time teaching the gospel to my kids and to be in the right spiritual mind at all times to be bothered by this stuff. Good luck to you and your growing family.

lindseyb said...

keep it up. you are open, you are aware, you are exploring.... that is what we are all here to do. as long as you are full of love on the journey, keep on keeping on. blessings to you and yours!

C. Jane said...

Ok but, can we ALL agree the Blue Aces rock?

Leslie Jam said...

I am not what I wear. I am a child of God and have always known that. I also know He loves me equally and in no way considers me lesser because I am a woman.

I wear dresses, skirts etc to formal events like Church, weddings, funerals and business meetings just like men wear suits and ties because it is appropriate attire and there is in my opinion a time and place for appropriate attire and behavior. Sadly society is becoming rampant with overall inappropriate casualness. I wear dresses to business meetings but usually pay the bill at lunch or dinner surrounded by men in suits because it is my meeting and I am the senior person there.

I am also all about agency and wonder if the act of wearing pants to Church somehow cheapens feminism by condensing it into an alleged act of disobedience. In my opinion it simply doesn't.

Lauren said...
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Patti said...

It was the reference to PRAYING to Heavenly Parents that seemed intentionally inflammatory, not the mention of Heavenly Parents.

Mindy Gledhill said...

Favorite post!

Jen said...

In the same vein as your thought that God wants to hear from anyone, anywhere, I feel strongly that God welcomes all those who enter His churches.

He wants us to know Him and love Him and He's not going to let a pair of pants get in the way.

I can't remember the last time I wore a dress or skirt to church. I'm most comfortable in pants (even jeans). And when I'm comfortable, I can focus on the message.

(And the message has never been about wardrobe.)

Christine said...

Yes, the Blue Aces do rock!!! My 13 year old daughter loved the video.

al said...

I think I missed the part in my Bible (not Mormon, so) where it has a dress code. Wear jeans. Wear a dress. Wear a freakin jumpsuit. The Lord doesn't care what you're wearing, He is after your HEART. I am thankful to have grown up in a religion that teaches me that.

kiki said...
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jkchapman84 said...

We have a long way to go in helping each other work through these concerns for sure & we can do better. However, the whole purpose of Sacrament Meeting is the personal meeting between Him & each of us individually. When we come with our own agenda it is no longer about Him. The only thing we should ever unitedly encourage each other to wear to such a meeting is a broken heart & a contrite spirit. Just sayin.

hailey said...

It makes me sad that women feel there is inequality in the church. I have no doubt that there is inequality and disrespect among people that belong to the church but it is not coming from the doctrine or leadership of the church.
I disagree that men and women are the same. We are equal because we are all children of God. BUT we were created to be different and there is nothing wrong with that. Why do women feel they need to be like men to be equal? Being a woman is a beautiful and sacred thing. It's saddening that women feel they have to deny their roles and their gifts they have been given as women to be more like men and therefore "equal".
I think it is good for women, and others, to make their voices heard. However, I don't feel like having a protest during the sacrament is the place to do it.

Beth said...

Here's just a couple things I would like to vocalize. Simply because I'm an opinionated college student/teenager who is going to wear a skirt or dress to church like always, because that's how I personally show my worship and respect for God while at church - not that I will condemn anyone from wearing something different. As much as I dislike skirts, I find dress pants even more uncomfortable, and I'm not going to wear jeans to church when I have something nicer to wear. - Anyways...One.

You mentioned the whole women serving only 18 months as opposed to men serving 24. Yes. If women were asked to serve 24 months, they could! Heck, when I go out on my mission, I would LOVE to be out there for 6 months longer. The thing is, the Lord hasn't asked that of us - the LORD. That's the thing. It's not because of inequality that we serve a shorter amount of time, it's because our duties are not the same. This is not inequality, this is our divine nature and role in life.

Also, the whole women give birth to children and men hold the priesthood thing. I will acknowledge that explaining the differences that way may be incorrect on my part...but here's why I don't have a problem with it. We need a man in order to have that child in the first place. And men need us in order to fully honor his priesthood - I believe that you are correct in saying that women do not have responsibilities and rights of priesthood. I wholeheartedly agree with this; the man is not whole without the women, the same the women is not whole without the man. And, while it's true that some women cannot have children in this life, it does not take away the fact that, this is her divine nature and role, and that she will, someday, be a mother.

Just the spoutings and musings of a 19 year old girl...

Josh said...

I will be wearing purple to support sisters who need some encouragement. I agree that there is inequality, and worry what that inequality will mean for my daughters. I will encourage them to wear pants this week as well.

Amy said...

I grew up mowing lawns, painting houses, watching my dad and brother cook and clean. Obviously I lived in some sort of utopia and didn't even know it! I fear that wearing pants to church as a form of protest will only accomplish two things: the men will fall all over themselves trying to act like it's no big deal. The other women will worry that this means you all judge us for being more traditional. "Oh, she must think less of me because I stay home, have six kids, wear dresses, etc. etc." My whole life I have known women who wear pants to church. And no one cared. I have lived in 4 states, including Utah and this has never been an issue that I have seen. That said, if you were raised in a home wear you felt less than equal, I am sorry. But it's time to forgive and move on. Because you can't undo the past. You can only learn from it and teach your own children differently. I just can't help but feel that this isn't feminism, but me-ism- Poor me, everyone make ME feel better, everyone validate ME.
The greatest place we can affect change is in our own homes. If you want real change than teach your own children differently. Raise them to love and respect others equally. Undo what was done to you, if that is the case, by raising the next generation to think differently. But trying to show solidarity by wearing pants to church only shows that you can wear pants to church. It doesn't teach your daughter that she should go to college. It doesn't teach your son that he should use his priesthood righteously. YOU do that in your home each and every day. And if this is the first time you are having the conversation with your children because they asked, "Mom, why did you wear pants to church?" "Because, I am equal to men". Then you have more work to do than just leaving your dress in the closet.

GoletaGlenns said...

I loved this post! My favorite thing about this event is it says "recent changes have been great, but there is still work to do and I look forward to it".

Men and women are different! But we are also the same in a lot of important ways and it is great to recognize that.

Andrea said...

This just sums up why I am a feminist and not a mormon feminist. Really--this is what we spend our time on when we could be changing the world? Sad.

GustoBones said...

Here is sn article I just read on the subject. It should be about what our hearts and minds are thinking about, not what adorns our bodies (even it it's pantshttp://www.ldsmag.com/article/1/11915

Heath Bar said...
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downj said...

Pants? Seriously? Is this 1920 or something? Wow.

melissa said...

interesting stuff cjane. when i read a couple of posts back that you AND your sister both grew up thinking boys were more important than girls i was literally shocked. how could that happen? i'm just realizing it's happening all the time to normal people all around me! i can't stand it! i really had no idea what the big deal was. as a graduate student that makes me feel stupid.

but i'm still wearing a dress to church on sunday. it just doesn't jive with me as the way to go about things.

April said...

"Our entire religion was born because one boy with a torn, confused, frustrated heart decided to ask a question. And God respected his heart, like He would equally respect mine."

I love this and I love this post. I was linked here from another article I was reading about the whole "pants thing". I have to admit, I was a bit skeptical because I stopped reading your blog after the whole "I am not a feminist" thing a while back. Apparently, your views have changed! Good for you! Although, I have to say, I am sometimes envious of the women who experience no inequality in the church. I would love that kind of peace.

bellsandwhistles said...

Wow. So many issues, such a little comment box. To all of you Christian (LDS or not) ladies (and maybe gentlemen) hating on CJane here--this is a blog, which is a personal opinion. If you don't like it--go start your own blog and see how many people don't like what you have to say.

Second, so many of you claim you have never felt gender inequality. I say you're either lying or not paying attention. Just because you're ok with being oppressed does not mean you are not being oppressed, in your church, family, or workplace. Hold it up to the light, ladies. See what shines through.

Kendra said...

To what Amy said above, awesome.
I don't normally read cjane, I'm more of a nienie sort of person myself, but I stumbled upon this via facebook, and it validated why I am not a reader, or a fan of said cjane.

I do live in Utah, and I'm glad none of these shenanigans have been going on in our neck of the woods. I'm sorry for you. Sorry that you feel inferior. Thanks for taking away from the spirit by having a protest at church. That's about as good and effective as the protesters that stand outside of the Conference center every six months. Congrats.

Brittany Sco said...

C.Jane makes being a Mormon seem like a magical, spiritual adventure full of love and good vibes. Then, all of you snarky Mormon ladies have to put in your two cents and I am thanking my lucky stars that I'm not Mormon and I don't have to deal with judgmental meanies like you. Your holier than thou, catty attitudes certainly aren't the best testimony.

Kraus Cousins said...

I'm also a non-LDS reader and to the person who commented about non-LDS readers seeing Cjane as God, I say HOGWASH!

I was introduced to this blog through a dear LDS friend who I grew up with. We are both from large, religious families, hers being Mormon and mine being Catholic. Although there are many differences, there are also many similarities.

Cjane's blog posts may contain many "Mormony" topics, but they are much bigger than that. Equality among men and women is something we all struggle with in all walks of life, especially in religion. Whether you call yourself a feminist or not, these discussions are important and they challenge us. Just look at all the comments, good and bad and try and tell me that this isn't great! A large group of women(and some men), many of whom don't know each other, talking about religion and equality. This is awesome!

Pants or no pants, I'm glad you're getting people talking Cjane. You go girl!

Holly Decker said...

one thing we can agree on? that song rocked. thanks for sharing it.

Amy said...

Thanks for this. And sorry for the flak you are getting for it. I tend to be in the dress wearing cohort but I thought I understood where the pants wearers were coming from (sorry for the labels). Your post helped me see a few more things we have in common.

Cami said...

<3 thank you for continuing to be honest and inspiring!

Sara interrupted said...

I'm beginning to think there is a reason there are more members outside of the US than in. Women have been wearing pants to Church in here in NZ for years simply because it is practical to do so. Personally I wear skirts cause I wear pants every other day of the week but whatever for anyone else. I also hold a calling that is senior to many Priesthood callings, I have Priesthood holders who are instructed by me, a woman. I work directly with our Stake President, as an equal. I have only ever been the third speaker in sacrament. If those are measures of equality then so be it.

Do you think maybe equality is all in our minds? I work in agriculture, mostly with men. In my calling, I instruct men. My hobbies are politics (it's fun, really) where I am equal and respected by men. But also by women. Legislating or changing 'rules' don't make you equal, you are because you choose to be.

Jennie Ferrara said...

To the ones vocalizing that they'll proubly be wearing their prettiest dresses, and highest heels to Sunday - good for you! Women are free to dress however they want, exercising that freedom is awesome!

Let's just remember though, that high heels have long been a way of immobilizing women, and also objectifying them by making their legs appear longer, therefore more attractive.

Amy Langford said...

Most selfish ridiculous thing I have ever heard. Raise a protest against something that's not forbidden, call it an outreach to lessen the blow, and cause a disruption to those who come to worship because your insecurities need attention. Seriously? You make women look bad. Leave your political issues at the door and come to worship. If you are insecure spend more time on your knees. I adore my husband and men. They have treated me with nothing but respect and admiration. Come to church to worship-please. How selfish that you need extra attention and think that an "outreach" of pants will solve your own inner turmoil. I'm disappointed. It's like money changers at the temple. There is no place for unnecessary politics in the sacredness of Sunday worship. Your poor wards and congregations. I hope you have a change of heart. My goodness.

Carolyn said...

You mentioned that the idea of men having the priesthood and women having babies destroyed you when you went through infertility. But I remember someone asked you once how you got pregnant and you wrote an entire post that to me (who was struggling with infertility at the time) implied that becoming closer to God got you pregnant. Maybe that's not the way you meant it, but to me it really felt this way because I was struggling with it too. Sometimes our perspective and insecurities can really warp things huh?

wonderwoman1975 said...

I say all the anti-feminist Mormon women should celebrate their femininity....wear formals and prom dresses!!!! Maybe even a wedding dress or two!!!

Don't let the feminist Mormons win, ladies: Show us your beautiful femininity and be proud! (Demurely and femininely and humbly proud, of course).

wonderwoman1975 said...

Faithful Mormons who are perplexed or angry about PANTS do not understand their religion. Mormonism has become extremely rule-centric and does indeed have prescribed standards for Mormon dress. Endowed Mormons wear garments every day!!! Primary children are taught appropriate clothing rules of dress. Mormon women are preached to by Apostles to not y dress like 'walking pornography.'

Those of you who are angry, or sad, or perplexed, you need to find more love and understanding for the 'least of these among you.'. You may not feel the same way, but the whole point is that there are those who DO feel marginalized in Mormonism for being born female (or gay, or feminist, or different).

You need to understand the beginnings of Christianity - Jesus Christ himself constantly made political and radical and social statements. He upended the status quo. The Sadducees and Pharisees reacted to Him the same way I'm noticing many Mormons are reacting. That is what is sad. Mormons also need to remember the beginnings of Mormonism - Joseph Smith was a progressive who was upending the status quo as well.

The point is that Mormonism should be a big tent to include ALL of our Heavenly Parent's children ... no matter how they dress, how they feel about equality, who they are married to, or how they live their lives. Otherwise, what is the point of the religion?

Paraclede said...

my thoughts:

http://paraclede.wordpress.com/2012/12/14/what-you-think-wearing-pants-to-church-means-and-what-it-actually-means/

Steph H said...

I love this. I think you articulated it perfectly-- it's about respect. I've been questioning my thoughts on feminism, since I read your last post about it and I feel the way you used to feel. I can't bring myself to define myself as a "feminist" because I'm not angry and protesty about it. I love womanhood and don't want to become a man. But I agree with you here, that I would love for women and men and blacks and whites and every other person in between to be treated with respect.

As always, your gift of writing continues to open my mind and bless my life. Thank you for doing it.

Natalie said...

I loved your thoughts on this, Lyndsay. The best thing I've read on the subject.

cate said...
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Just Another Girl said...

This has probably already been said, but let me add to the chorus- if you need a certain type of clothing to show your reverence, you are doing it wrong. Clothing can't be "reverent." It can not feel deep respect. Only your heart can. I was in a ward once where one young man wore jeans and a t-shirt every Sunday. They were neat and clean, but folks complained to the bishop none the less. His clothing was supposedly making it hard for them to feel the Spirit. The next week we were given a lesson on the Pharisees. It was a good reminder that just because you may have all the outward trappings of righteousness (a pretty dress, a sharp suit), if you are spending your time of worship judging others for what they are wearing, you are missing the point. If wearing a dress makes you feel your best, then by all means, wear a dress. But don't spend your Sunday judging a sweet sister who feels her best in pants. And think of the sisters in Primary! Crawling around on the floor, jumping and dancing and entertaining young children, all while trying their best to keep their knees covered. If dresses were the sole measure of the way Heavenly Father wished us to express our reverence or devotion on Sunday- he would've let us know by now. And if you really feel a dress is the way you can express your devotion- wear one everyday. Why limit your expression of devotion only to Sunday?

Just Another Girl said...
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cate said...
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the freshmaker *ting said...

One of the things I love about being a feminist now is that I can be who I want to be. I can wear red lipstick and wear heals and be a feminist. These days that stereotype of what a feminist should be is being broken down as well which I love. I hate being placed in a box saying well you meet this criteria so now you have to act this certain way and look this certain way... Nope, being a feminist I can be me and act for myself. I too, love the original idea behind this to support one another and silently say hey we are here. But I'm not a fan of pants either I like wearing my dresses and and skirts. I'm not against those who choose to wear pants but being a feminist and trying to uphold the equality of genders I will be wearing purple like our brothers have decided to do in support of us (as purple is known to be the color for supporting women...) and it will be in the form of a dress or skirt because that's how I feel confident and comfortable. It was meant to be a silent gesture anyways and I feel this has got so much news it is no longer silent; so those who know will know that my purple dress may represent my views...

Clare said...

http://lifeofaclarebear.wordpress.com/2012/12/13/skirts-are-so-opressive-said-no-one-ever/

those are my thoughts

Zoe said...

I'm not LDS, so I don't understand on a gut level why some of your readers have such a knee-jerk reaction to wearing pants on Sunday. It seems, however, that many people speaking against the pants demonstration don't get that the personal IS political. Standards of conduct and dress in church are political. Sugar-coated statements about the role of women (even when backed by the Bible and Mormon doctrine) that support "separate but equal" are absolutely political. If church is not the place to demonstrate a commitment to equality and justice, pray tell where can Mormon women speak? A minority in a community making itself visible through clothing -- by choice -- is such an optimistic expression of hope and empowerment, and I applaud those who do it (and those who sympathize with them).

Elizabeth said...

I highly recommend lds sisters read Denver snuffers 5-part series on the role of women! Start here:

Denversnuffer.blogspot.com/2012/08/role-of-women.html?m=1

KelliSue Kolz said...

I'm a feminist. I think that I should have the vote, that I should have a driver's license, that I should earn as much as any male colleague except the one that is wayy wayyy smarter than me. Him, I'll earn less than, forever.

That said, I see no reason why I should hold the priesthood, I have no urge to take anything from anyone else when I have sufficient for everything the Lord asks of me.

And I smirked as I read this, because I wear dresses to church, and shall continue to, and I too want every person to feel comfortable wearing their best to my little branch. And sometimes that is an ironed pair of jeans, washed and dried the night before in preparation for worshipping.

The snarky little group that has co-opted pants in church as some form of how they'll steady the ark of the covenant, has no right to co-opt feminism as their badge. Because I'm a feminist, and I'm secure in that I need not tell the Lord how to run His church. I presume there's a Heavenly Mother gently nudging Him when appropriate, and I will trust them to work things out amongst themselves.

http://www.npr.org/2012/12/16/167284923/mormon-women-dare-to-wear-pants-to-church

vintageblueballoon said...

Cjane, I love your blog I read it everytime you write. However, I don't believe in the pants wearing idea. I find it dis-respectful to god, like we are trying to say what he gave us here isn't good enough. Am I not living in the same church? If you have been offended by men in the church then it's their fault and yours for holding on to it. Your brothers were saying that it was a "male only bonding trip" but you and your sisters took it negativley instead of reading between the lines, boys often say rude things that aren't intune with our emotions.

What matters is what god thinks of us. I know you are very spiritual, but I honestly feel a lot of anger interlaced with your cute self in your writing, and where there is the spirit of contention that spirit is not of god.

I do feel like the focus is completely off of what we should be focusing on, the adversary is cunning, and this is a very cunning subject. I have never for a minute felt un-equal in our church, ever. I have a wonderful spouse who dotes on me, and I him, we are the ox driving the wagon, one is not less strong than the other.

You found a wonderful mate in chup. There are pretty crappy guys out there who do treat women in-equal and I hope they have enough courage as you do to find what they deserve in life.

I LOVE strong women! I am a strong women damnit! But I don't need to wear pants to feel that, it's something in me that will never go away.

Hallie said...

I wear a dress to church because I feel I'm showing respect to my Heavenly Father and to my Savior. Showing respect to them is much more important to me than trying to demand respect by wearing pants to church. I don't see how that is going to get anyone any respect anyway and it is absolutely absurd!! Being a daughter of God and a mother are such sacred callings and I'm grateful my Heavenly Father has trusted me with them. I do not need to wear pants to church or try to demand equality in any other way. I feel special and equal already. I think any woman that feels unequal in the church needs to dig a little deeper for a testimony....

Amy Coontz said...

Your posts are starting to make me sad. I agree with the previous post that you need to stop making the things that happened in your family appear to be church standard. I personally don't see anything wrong with men or women taking a trip or spending time together, without members of the other sex.
All last year in Primary I have been teaching the kids about agency. The biggest lesson I have taught them is sometimes as children we can't use are agency, they have to do what their parents tell them. But they can ALWAYS choose how they react. It seems to me from previous posts that a lot of your feelings stem from your poor self image. Maybe the things that you were told added to that, but you made the decision of how you let it affect you. I grew up in a house with 6 brothers and there were many times I was told I was ugly, or I couldn't do something, but I knew who I was, and what they said didn't change that.
If you want to see a point of view from a feminist that embraces the churches doctrine then go here - http://mormonscholarstestify.org/1718/valerie-hudson-cassler. This article will lift you up!

I feel the feminist movement has hurt a lot of things in this country. It has taken women away from their families. I talk to A LOT of younger moms that tell me that they wish someone would have told them that it was ok to want to just be a mom. But they were told that wasn't enough. So many of our countries problems could be solved by strengthening our families.

Amy said...

I think this is brilliant, brave and articulate. I don't think wearing pants is that important. Just doing what you are doing is what matters. Asking questions and talking to God.

tlwhelan8 said...
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Ms George {Life at the Coop} said...

Another non-LDS here. Totally agree with you. I'm hardly going to be brainwashed by one persons opinion. I have read broadly on the issue and just happen to like and respect C Jane's take best!

Lindsay Banner said...

**typing from my phone, I apologize in advance for all the typos etc

After reading back through your blog I see that you have been severely mistreated by men, severely. I can only imagine what that has done to your heart regarding this subject. I now realize how lucky I am to not have been treated this way. I have always felt increddibly equal to men. In fact I feel Heavenly Father and the leaders of the chrch many times treat us women as "superior beings" even, maybe that's just me, but I have always felt the utmost respect and support from men in the church and my family. This does not mean I haven't had an uncle or a "ignorant male friend" here and there that is obviously an uneducated chovanist pig, but the church, it clearly sees men and women as equals. With that said, although I feel beyond equal to my male counter parts, I don't know how we could each accomplish all the many things the Lord wants us to accomplish here on this Earth if we had all the responsibilities of male and female roles. I am happy that the lord wants me to put caring for my children, family, community, friends at the top of my list as well as any other activity I feel is important for me and my family. I am busy. BUSY. I don't know how I would have time to also have all the responsibilities as my husband. Just because my husband has to bear the responsibilities of the priesthood doesn't mean I am less important in the Lord's eyes, He just gave us different but equal tasks. My heart hurts for you and the ways that misinformed men have treated you throughout your life. They will be held accountable to Heavenly Father for their actions. I do not for one minute think Heavenly Father would ever support their ignorant behavior. It is sad that in 2012 some men still act that way. But I think they are becoming the minority, these misinformed men.

What I am afraid of, I'm am sad that a large amount of women seem to be jumping on this bandwagon for all the wrong reasons, blaming the church and it's leaders possibly for the ignorance of men in their life.

You have a large mouthpiece Jane, and you will be held accountable for both the good and the bad. Satan is very cunning in his ways. He is the master of dissension. He is the master of making us think we are doing good when really we are unknowingly creating more dissension.

It makes me sad that more dissension is being created now because of all this, when all the Lord wants is for men to be equal. That IS already the agenda of the church. Different responsibilities, but supremely equal.

I have had the opportunity to be a career woman, to be a stay at home mom only, and to do both at the same time. I have learned I cannot do it all AND do it all well at the same time. My husband and i have had to realize we can't both focus on our careers AND Be successfully at raising our kids and run our home. He offered to have me do my career and he would stay home. I realized I didn't want that. My bones and heart yearned to be the stay at home mom.

Everybody and every family is free to choose what works best for them. If this choice is made prayerfully and unselfishly, I whole heartedily believe Heavenly Father supports all of our choices, even if they are different.

Although I clearly see you and some women want to wear pants as a way to demand more respect, I also think you truly are mislead in believing we are not already equal in the Lords eyes and you are demanding changes be made at the highest level of the church when you are not the prophet. Not to mention the ways in which you are doing all of this comes at the cost of misleading others for all the wrong reasons.

Laurie said...

I completely agree with Emily!! This post is an awesome read:
http://agoddessinprogress.blogspot.com/2012/12/she-wants-her-cake-and-his-too.html

Kelli Anderson said...

you just spoke the feelings of my heart!

Jaylee Draney said...

New reader. Loved that your post forced a conversation. Wondering why no one has asked the obvious. If sisters wear pants to church on a regular basis, how with Down East Basics stay in business?

Debi said...

I am sorry that your experiences growing up left you with a bad taste in your mouth with "men in the church". I on the other hand had a very strong mother in my home who side by side led our family with our very strong dad. I also have a husband that sounds a lot like your. I am so grateful.
Hmmmm....I think these musings and conversations are interesting. They truly deal more with isolated culture of a wonderful church in your area. While I grew up there I have lived all over the states. I do not see these experiences reflected in the places I lived or currently live in right now.
I think those that are making "polite protests" need to look at the gospel and compare the culture that they are exposed to.
Make a difference but do it in a way that doesn't tear down or give the church a bad light.
I am sad that some of you sisters have had bad experiences. The pant idea is interesting. Here in Oregon we couldn't care less if our newer members come in pants, people zip over from work in scrubs but those of us who can dress in our best ( both men and women) do it out of respect and worship.
Build up your area sisters and shine your lights. Don't get hung up on the little things that are slightly skewed to make it look unfair.
The LORD never said men have Priesthood and women have Motherhood. I am sure that is extremely hurtful for those who are currently not mothers. The LORD have invited all to serve missions. He specifically has given a responsibility to the young men. It HAS been said it is their duty. Young women have always been encouraged to find their own inspiration if they are to develop and serve in that way. I think no less of my daughters who chose education instead. It is not their duty.
Really search what is church culture and what is from the Lord himself. The gospel is simple and kind and gentle and inclusive.
Be careful that you don't lead others away.
I have been very loved, engaged and busy serving the Lord in building the kingdom here. I don't feel left out in any sense of the word. I know he loves his daughters and appreciates all that we contribute.
I just want to throw out a few of my thoughts to first say I want to hug you if the men in your life were or are so ignorant that they made you feel less...less in life and less in the gospel. That is SO
wrong.
Second I want others to read my comments and know that I believe this is a culture and not a gospel issue. I have and you too can have a busy, fulfilling life. Heavenly Father loves us all!!!