Mormon feminists are spearheading a “Wear Pants to Church Day’’ this coming Sunday to defy a longstanding policy they say discourages women from wearing trousers to weekly services.
“We believe that much of the cultural, structural, and even doctrinal inequality that persists in the Latter Day Saints Church today stems from the church’s reliance on — and enforcement of — rigid gender roles,’’ says a statement from All Enlist, a group formed by the women. It adds that those gender roles “bear no relationship to reality.’’
According to the Salt Lake Tribune
, which first reported the story, while some Mormon women do wear dressy pants to church, “social convention dictates that most … don dresses or skirts to their weekly services.’’
All Enlist says the protest will occur Sunday at Mormon services around the world and that 500 women have already pledged to participate.
The group is also encouraging men to show their solidarity by wearing an item of purple clothing — such as a purple shirt, tie or socks.
“We do not seek to eradicate the differences between men and women, but we do want the LDS Church to acknowledge the similarities,” said All Enlist.
The movement has sparked hundreds of comments, both pro and con, on the group’s Facebook page titled “Wear Pants to Church Day.”
One commenter wrote: “It's not about what you wear, nor has it ever been. Church is about renewing your covenants and getting closer to the Lord.’’
But another says: “Honestly ladies ... Go buy yourself a cute new skirt and get over this.’’
Scott Trotter, a church spokesman, told the Tribune: "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."
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