Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Wearing Pants to Church

Have you seen this? "Wear Pants to Church Day".

I have seen this in several places lately, as feminists I know encourage each other to join.

And I find it completely ludicrous.

First of all, there is no prohibition against wearing pants to church for women. So how is this a protest against the church? Might be a protest against some areas' cultural traditions, for sure, but it does not say what the women involved think they are saying.

Secondly, it announces that women feel like they can't have power and influence unless they "wear the pants," which says to me they don't value what women are and think women should be more like men. Stupid stupid stupid. Women can be incredibly powerful sources of good in the world without trying to be men. And we all--men and women--are happier if we embrace our divine nature as well as our individual talents and gifts, instead of always seeking to be someone else. Men and women are different, and there should be no shame in that. As far as I know, only the feminists are ashamed of that. Ironic, no?

Finally, it's a rather blunt statement that the women involved don't believe that Jesus is running this church and, further, don't believe that the prophet or apostles talk to God. It really lowers the church from being the true church of God, run by revelation, to being just another of those religious organizations that atheists believe exist purely to extort and control people, run by people for their own purposes and their own glory, even if with good intentions. Might as well wear a T-shirt that says, "Forget God. Put me in charge because I'm smarter than He is."

There are certainly problems that crop up in the church. I don't believe it's infallible. It's is administered by people, after all, and sometimes those leaders (especially on the local level) can get mired in all manner of sins and mistakes, even when they have good intentions. I don't deny that happens. (I do think it's silly to say only male leaders make mistakes and offend people, though. I've had as much trouble and sorrow from the actions of women in the church as men--we're all just people, male and female! It's really ridiculous to claim the church would have fewer mistakes made and fewer offended people if women were in charge).

But there are better ways to effect change than wearing pants to church--like going right to God and telling Him your issues, and then working within the system, following the Spirit, to make things better.

Even if you really DO believe that God has said women should have the priesthood and the prophets and apostles are digging in their heels and refusing to change for their own benefit, I don't think having a social protest is going to get any positive results at all. And it certainly isn't going to get you, personally, into the kind of influential position you would need to have in order to change that. Sometimes working within a broken system is more effective than working against it. (And I don't think this system is broken, but if you did, this would be a poor course of action to choose--especially since the church as a whole is going to ignore it, and it will just prejudice the local leaders against using you in any callings).

Personally, I have worn pants to church before. I was in a church building in pants the week before last, in fact, just as the meetings got out. And last week several women came to church in pants in my ward. It wasn't a political statement, and nobody cared what they were wearing.

But I would be embarrassed to wear them this Sunday! It feels too much like a statement to the ward, not that I think women should have the priesthood, but that I have no faith in God or the prophets and I don't understand what the scriptures teach about the priesthood. I'd be embarrassed to say that to everyone, even if it were true!


B said...

WELL-SAID, Becca. Thank you.

medieval.woman said...

Well said.

medieval.woman said...

Well said.