Women in pants

Clippings from news sources involving fashion freedom and other gender equality issues.

Women in pants

Postby Jim » Sun Oct 07, 2018 11:32 am

I posted this on a Mennonite site but thought it might relate to us here also. You will find some of it sounds very familiar.

An interesting article by a woman who grew up conservative Mennonite about women in pants.
Women in Pants
Sharon Graber Carpenter·
Saturday, October 6, 2018

https://www.facebook.com/notes/sharon-graber-carpenter/women-in-pants/2097354756942654/
Growing up, I heard three reasons given for why it was not ok for women to wear pants. The reasons I was given is that it is “men’s clothing”, they are “immodest”, and it is “worldly” for women to wear them. ...
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Re: Women in pants

Postby crfriend » Sun Oct 07, 2018 12:00 pm

Thanks for that one, Jim. 'Twas a good read, and the author made her point eloquently.
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Re: Women in pants

Postby moonshadow » Sun Oct 07, 2018 1:15 pm

Yes, It was a good article, I also enjoyed it, and for perhaps a few reasons that you'd not expect from me.

I will say it was somewhat bitter-sweet to read however. Not so much the article itself, I've seen articles for men in skirts just as well written, but the comments....

The comments are just so accepting, so "you go girl!", so many quoting the bible, and offering up opinions on how women should be allowed to wear what they wanted.

And they should.

I just wish just as many people (especially among the conservative-religious demographic) felt the same way when the shoe was on the other foot, er, uh, the skirt was on the other gender... :|

It's so tempting to comment the plight of M.I.S. in the thread, but alas, I won't go there for I believe it would be rude on my part, the discussion isn't about M.I.S. after all.

Still, there were some comments that I loved:

Jonathan Hochstetler wrote:It’s so amazing how awesome life is when you’re not backing up away from Hell Fire...trying your best to buy fire insurance, and instead you’re getting the opportunity to be a warrior for the Creator of the Universe. You get to be a child of God. You finally get to go forward instead of backing away from everything.


But onto the article itself she touched on something I've been giving some thought to lately with regards to my own choice of dress. She hit a note with me when she discussed worldliness. I myself have hit somewhat of a spiritual dilemma regarding this very thing. Not wanting to hijack Jim's thread on this (especially being only the second comment), I will start another one. Look for it in "Personal Stories" shortly....
"We all have the tendency to make simple things difficult, but the spirit that abides within us achieves its own ends by making all difficult things simple."
-Manly Palmer Hall
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In defence of "worldliness"

Postby crfriend » Sun Oct 07, 2018 1:59 pm

moonshadow wrote:[The author of the linked article] touched on something I've been giving some thought to lately with regards to my own choice of dress. She hit a note with me when she discussed worldliness. I myself have hit somewhat of a spiritual dilemma regarding this very thing.

I'll start this off with the caveat that I wander between agnosticism and atheism just so the reader knows my viewpoint.

What do the deeply religious conservatives think "worldliness" is, and why do they damn it so? To me, "worldliness" is the ability to take the broad view of things, to understand other peoples and other cultures, and to derive experience and ultimately wisdom from that. To occasionally take the path less travelled, to every so often just take in what's going on around one, to contemplate the nature of the universe even. Of note is that it's entirely possible to be "worldly" as a person and still be humble, modest, and congenial. Yet it is thoroughly damned in some circles. Inanimate objects, such as clothing, cannot be "worldly"; only intelligent, thinking, and, hopefully, feeling creatures can be. And yet it's still damned.

Why is this true? My personal suspicion is that it's a power ploy. Keep people ignorant of the world and you have complete control over them. Keep them stupid and they'll never be able to ask the difficult questions that can bring down those in power. We see those tactics in play every day around the world.

Assuming that we have a "creator", would one not do better by that creator by becoming the best one can possibly become? Should we not attempt, by doing our best, to make that creator happy and proud -- not by offering sacrifice, but in attempting to help pull all humanity forward and out of ignorance and darkness? The best way to achieve this is to learn the ways of all humanity -- to be "worldly" -- and do one's level best not only to become the best he can be, but to also help everyone be the best we can be. Except that that conflicts with the interests of those in power.

I didn't read the comments, but the one that Moon selected is rather poignant in that the commenter is actually taking quite a worldly viewpoint. Here's hoping he doesn't get stoned for it.
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Re: Women in pants

Postby moonshadow » Sun Oct 07, 2018 3:00 pm

Those are good points Carl, but I will say (and I'll be the first to admit, I may be wrong), I think what you're calling "worldliness" and the "conservative-religious" type are calling it are different.

My 1974 Webster's New World Dictionary defines "worldly" as: "of or limited to this world; temporal or secular 2. devoted to or concerned with the affairs , pleasures, etc. of this world 3. worldly-wise; sophisticated

I suppose with that definition, you're both correct, I just depends on context I suppose. The religious type are probably referring to definition 1 and 2, you seem to be aiming at 3.

On that note, I can't really further dissect the rest of your comment, because of the different meanings of the word (worldly) being applied. It would be like comparing apples to oranges.

But, suffice it to say, I believe in this matter, "worldly" would be an opposite of humility, and/or preoccupied with things and matters that have no real value on the metrics of the soul and spirit, nor on the afterlife (if there is such a thing).

e.g. The notion of "keeping up with the Joneses" would be a "worldly" endeavor. Devoting your life to Christ, for example would not. In this case, the wearing of clothing that distracts others away from the message of Christ, and towards a more secular view of the world would be considered worldly. Also, considering that Christ preached a message of simplistic living, charity, avoiding possessions in general, love and humility, we understand what is meant when religious people like the author of the article Jim linked to.

She is correct on one matter though, people in general don't find it jarring, or a distraction from Christ when a woman wears pants any longer. Perhaps at one time this wasn't so, but again, not anymore. So, there really is no logical reason for women of Christ to not wear pants. Further, not all pants are "skinny jeans". For women who require modest, there are trousers that are suitable for those taste.
"We all have the tendency to make simple things difficult, but the spirit that abides within us achieves its own ends by making all difficult things simple."
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Re: Women in pants

Postby crfriend » Sun Oct 07, 2018 3:39 pm

moonshadow wrote:Those are good points Carl, but I will say (and I'll be the first to admit, I may be wrong), I think what you're calling "worldliness" and the "conservative-religious" type are calling it are different.

My 1974 Webster's New World Dictionary defines "worldly" as: "of or limited to this world; temporal or secular 2. devoted to or concerned with the affairs , pleasures, etc. of this world 3. worldly-wise; sophisticated

I suppose with that definition, you're both correct, I just depends on context I suppose. The religious type are probably referring to definition 1 and 2, you seem to be aiming at 3.

I'm definitely aiming at "3" above, with caveats. That being said, you've made me reach for my go-to book when it comes to matters of words (Webster's Seventh New Collegiate Dictionary, 1971, a Christmas present from my parents when I was ten) and it shows the thing as "world-ly n 1: of, relating to, or devoted to this world and its pursuits rather than to religion or spiritual affairs 2: worldly-wise". "Worldly-wise" is defined as "adj : wise as to things and ways of this world".

Given that this is the only world we have at the moment -- and likely ever will -- I'd call being worldly a compliment. But I'm not a religious "conservative", much less a fundamentalist, and I'm also a free-thinker.

I don't like the '74 dictionary's call-out of "worldly-wise" being a synonym of "sophisticated" as "sophisticated" has some pretty nasty connotations to it. Wisdom in the ways of the world better speaks to the language I know (viz the "evolution of the language" and sometimes the "usurpation of the language").
On that note, I can't really further dissect the rest of your comment, because of the different meanings of the word (worldly) being applied. It would be like comparing apples to oranges.

I hope to have settled that.
But, suffice it to say, I believe in this matter, "worldly" would be an opposite of humility, and/or preoccupied with things and matters that have no real value on the metrics of the soul and spirit, nor on the afterlife (if there is such a thing).

Not necessarily, and I do not believe that the two are fundamentally opposed. They can -- and should -- coexist.
e.g. The notion of "keeping up with the Joneses" would be a "worldly" endeavor.

I'd be tempted to call that "asinine". What possible good can come from that endeavour? Honestly, I cannot rebut the second thesis without being unnecessarily offensive. However, I do assert that there should be no conflict with becoming wise in the ways of the world and one's belief-system.

To the article at hand, I wholeheartedly agree with the author's assertion that there is no fundamental incompatibility between her belief-system and women wearing trousers. To extend that, I also see no fundamental conflict with guys going without an inseam. Putting it simply down to prevailing conditions, sometimes one mode is better than another.
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Re: Women in pants

Postby moonshadow » Sun Oct 07, 2018 3:54 pm

crfriend wrote:Not necessarily, and I do not believe that the two are fundamentally opposed. They can -- and should -- coexist.

moonshadow wrote:e.g. The notion of "keeping up with the Joneses" would be a "worldly" endeavor.


I'd be tempted to call that "asinine". What possible good can come from that endeavour? Honestly, I cannot rebut the second thesis without being unnecessarily offensive. However, I do assert that there should be no conflict with becoming wise in the ways of the world and one's belief-system.


I agree with what you're saying, and feel the same way for the most part (I do encounter minor spiritual conflicts along the way, but that's for another thread).

But one thing that you're overlooking, is that you seem to have a different view on philosophy, life, etc than do most conservative-religious types, particularly the type who's women strictly wear skirts and men strictly wear pants, as well as those who are more obsessed with material gains and possessions. I'm not saying you're wrong, but I am saying that to understand the "whys" of how people think, you have to look at the world through their eyes. You don't share the same fear of God as the religious skirt wearing woman would, nor do you seem to worship material possessions in the way the typical American consumer might.

Honestly, I cannot rebut the second thesis without being unnecessarily offensive.


Ahh, let it rip. After the dressing down I gave humanity in general on Dave's sermon thread, I'm pretty sure I'm the winner of the "ass-hole of the day" prize... :wink:
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Re: In defence of "worldliness"

Postby beachlion » Sun Oct 07, 2018 4:26 pm

crfriend wrote:....... Why is this true? My personal suspicion is that it's a power ploy. Keep people ignorant of the world and you have complete control over them. Keep them stupid and they'll never be able to ask the difficult questions that can bring down those in power. We see those tactics in play every day around the world. ....


In the Netherlands there is an old joke about this. Over a glass of wine the local company owner said to the priest of the local church:"If you keep them ignorant, I will keep them poor."
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Re: Women in pants

Postby Jim » Sun Oct 07, 2018 8:18 pm

As a Christian, I am pleasingly surprised at how well Moonshadow understands Christian teachings.

Most of the responses on the Mennonite site agreed with Sharon. Here is the best opposing response I got on this, with my response following:
Jim wrote:
Dan wrote:I think the author missed the main point entirely: "Non-Conformity."

Non-conformity is not about judging which particular clothing items are "worldly" and which aren't. That is a rather shallow way of thinking about it - and a straw-man that is easily debunked.

Rather, non-conformity is about bearing visible witness to a way of life that is (outwardly as well as inwardly) apart from the patterns of this world. People of all types show their values all the time by how they dress. Plain dress is a bold statement that speaks of modesty, simplicity, purity, selflessness, humility, community, family and faith - with a voice that is 'heard" by all who have eyes. At its best, non-conformity is a deliberate decision made by a fellowship of believers that their faith will speak in a unified way to all areas of life.

From my perspective, the author of the article is "in the weeds" when it comes to the reason for certain attire choices...and unfortunately she is probably reflecting the shallow arguments for plain attire she has heard all her life. I think she (and perhaps those who raised her) is "missing the forest for the trees."



I agree Sharon is speaking to the reasons for not wearing pants that she had been taught. I think she speaks to those reasons well.

It's funny how "Non-Conformity" has come to mean a very high degree of conformity to the point it identifies which small group one is part of, a distinctive dress, a uniform. Uniforms do make a statement that one belongs to a group to those who understand the symbolism, or as you say "'heard" by all who have eyes". "Plain" means "distinctive", not ordinary or plain. Pants can be quite plain in the sense that most people understand the word. If we use words that mean the opposite that which others use the words, we should be clear in our teaching that we are using a technical meaning of the words peculiar to our sub-culture.

From my reading of Anabaptist history, the early Anabaptists did wear a distinctive outfit; it would have been dangerous.
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Re: Women in pants

Postby moonshadow » Sun Oct 07, 2018 9:33 pm

Jim wrote:As a Christian, I am pleasingly surprised at how well Moonshadow understands Christian teachings.


Thanks! I do take that as a compliment
"We all have the tendency to make simple things difficult, but the spirit that abides within us achieves its own ends by making all difficult things simple."
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Re: Women in pants

Postby greenboots » Thu Oct 11, 2018 3:32 pm

I think you’ll be hard pressed to find any reading of the New Testament that uses “worldly” in the sense of “wise in the ways of the world”.

Jesus said we should be “wise as serpents and innocent as doves”, which I’ve always understood to mean we should understand the devious practices of (some of) those around us whilst maintaining high standards of behaviour.

Paul writes, “do not be conformed to the pattern of this world”. In the 21st Century that would probably include rampant consumerism, neglect of the planet, violence, sexual abuse, xenophobia, selfishness, cruelty etc.

Both of these statements suggest an understanding of the way the world (society, business, government, whatever) works, and a conscious choice for good over evil, in the words of the Golden Rule, to behave towards others as you want them to behave towards you.

(Sorry is this reply seems badly constructed. SC doesn’t scale to a phone screen, so composing long messages is difficult!)
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Re: Women in pants

Postby FranTastic444 » Sat Oct 13, 2018 3:16 pm

Like Carl, I'll start my post with a caveat - I'm a (self described) arch atheist [1],[2]. I'm expressing personal opinions here and in no way wish to upset anyone of faith.

“Thou shalt not wear a garment of divers sorts, as of woollen and linen together.” We have no problem saying that verse does not apply to today. Who checks the tag to make sure there was only cotton, or only wool, or only silk, or whatever used?
You cannot logically pick and choose verses that you wish to apply from this chapter.


My initial feeling upon reading the text was one of sorrow - that people could be beating themselves up for doing something that the good book states "thou shalt not" or, maybe worse, not doing something in the first place because their religion looks dimly upon it (particularly when it comes to something as innocuous as wearing a particular style of clothing).

Given time to ponder over the text, I was drawn to her statement "You cannot logically pick and choose verses that you wish to apply from this chapter." But if we are being logical about things, aren't there huge swathes of the bible that even practicing Christians choose to ignore? Working on weekends, eating particular types of food, killing people of other religions, inflicting physical violence upon their naughty children. Or things that people should do but don't such as loving thy neighbour or Leviticus 19:33-19:34 “the foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born”?

[1]. This is the first time I've written footnotes on this site. As a former coding monkey, I always started my loops at 1 rather than 0, so I shall do the same with my footnote list here
[2]. I've been an atheist since the age of about 5. I remember challenging and questioning my RE teachers throughout school and from a very early age I decided that I was happier with the text of science than content produced by (any) religion. At the age of about 30 I read The God Delusion, which led me to other like minded writers such as Bertrand Russell and Christopher Hitchens. Up until I read such text my atheism was very closeted. Having read these books, I made a conscious decision to be more open about my views on religion and I use the prefix 'arch' to (jokingly) differentiate between my closeted atheism period and my later open atheism period. In this brave new world I offer up my views when appropriate during conversations or on forums such as this one, but always in the name of respectful debate.
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Re: Women in pants

Postby crfriend » Sat Oct 13, 2018 11:33 pm

FranTastic444 wrote:As a former coding monkey, I always started my loops at 1 rather than 0 [...]

I'm not sure what you wrote in, but suspect it wasn't either ALGOL or assembler. In the former, you started off at whatever bound you specified your array to begin with -- and it could be negative -- and if you do so in assembler you automatically waste a memory location (at least for iterating across an array or hacking at memory).
[...] so I shall do the same with my footnote list here

English majors start at 1 (so do most other folks). Starting at 0 is likely considered an affectation and not understood outside the CS field.
My initial feeling upon reading the text was one of sorrow - that people could be beating themselves up for doing something that the good book states "thou shalt not" or, maybe worse, not doing something in the first place because their religion looks dimly upon it (particularly when it comes to something as innocuous as wearing a particular style of clothing).

It's though this sort of thought that progress is made -- and the fact that the observation came from the source it did should be cause for celebration. It means that the road to enlightenment is not entirely blocked or, at least, heavily weeded over. There exists hope.

Now, the original article wasn't written in the context of guys wearing skirts, but does follow a parallel thread of logic. Why do the "overly-religious" types rail on guys who dare to stray from the path of trousers only (in spite of their supposed saviour perhaps never having seen a pair of trousers) but gut the gals a lot of slack? I suspect why, and that's because the US has effectively become a matriarchy in which the mere act of being born male brings automatic disadvantage in common society (I suspect, but have no proof, it's different at the very top echelons). So, a male opting of his own free will to adopt a different style of clothing becomes a threat, perhaps in the same light that slaves who revolted were regarded.
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Re: Women in pants

Postby moonshadow » Sun Oct 14, 2018 6:24 am

After some consideration over the years, I don't think the religious issue is as big a problem as I initially thought. Most people I've met who were of strong Christian conviction have usually been kind. It's the "trailer trash" that usually causes me problems, and I somehow doubt they get to see the inside of a church very often.
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Re: Women in pants

Postby Disaffected.citizen » Sun Oct 14, 2018 10:56 am

crfriend wrote:Why do the "overly-religious" types rail on guys who dare to stray from the path of trousers only (in spite of their supposed saviour perhaps never having seen a pair of trousers) but gut the gals a lot of slack? I suspect why, and that's because the US has effectively become a matriarchy in which the mere act of being born male brings automatic disadvantage in common society (I suspect, but have no proof, it's different at the very top echelons). So, a male opting of his own free will to adopt a different style of clothing becomes a threat, perhaps in the same light that slaves who revolted were regarded.

Not just in the US; we suffer similarly in the UK.

Contemplate the diversity and anti-discrimination laws in place to protect "minorities"; then consider their application. There is only one "minority" to whom they are dismissed and denied - the white heterosexual male - if they don't tick a box, they're not covered. It's a hidden bias because nobody considers them to be "a minority" or that they can suffer from discrimination or bias.
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