I thought if we could do something active and constructive, we might initiate positive change in the church structure and create a dialogue between members.
Salt Lake City, UT (PRWEB) December 12, 2012
Women choosing to wear pants to church may not sound like a radical act in 2012, but Mormon feminists across the United States are engaging in their own form of civil disobedience by Wearing Pants To Church this Sunday, December 16 2012.
Wear Pants To Church Day, created by Stephanie Lauritzen, invites faithful Latter-day Saints and their allies to wear pants to church as a way to advocate for greater gender equality within the church. LDS women who are concerned about gender inequality are invited to wear pants to church on Sunday, December 16, 2012 thus targeting the small but instantly recognizable LDS cultural norm of women attending church services in skirts or dresses. Women wearing pants to church is a symbol of the female equality to which these women aspire.
Lauritzen created the Wear Pants To Church Facebook Event because she was tired of seeing her sisters “die a slow spiritual death” due to the inequality they felt within the patriarchal structure. Her hope is that the event will “Inspire LDS men and women to engage in acts of peaceful resistance to gender inequality in the larger institution. We draw our inspiration from suffragettes and civil right leaders, as we seek to build Zion, a place where women and men truly are ‘all alike unto God.’”
In spite of merely dipping its toe into the waters of feminist activism, Wear Pants To Church Day has encountered strong online opposition. The event invitation has gone viral on Facebook, attracting thousands of angry LDS commenters who resent the event’s explicit challenge to a longtime cultural norm that serves as an obvious gender marker. “...This is just one of those things to stir the hearts of the children of God. To cause conflict and upset among the saints..”, said one commenter. “Let me know when the prophet OKs this”, “This is outrageous. God will not be mocked like this.”, said others. Still another said, “I love wearing a beautiful dress to church to show God how grateful I am for my womanhood, for my uniqueness, for my place in life.”
Despite the public online attacks, many are supporting the cause, with more than 1200 people having committed to participate in the event within just four days.
“I thought maybe if we could do something active and constructive, we might initiate positive change in the church structure and create a dialogue between members,” Lauritzen said. And the dialogue is occurring as both orthodox and heterodox Mormons hash out the nature of patriarchal authority and gender roles within the LDS church.