My wife, Virtuous Blonde, is greatly anticipating the birth of our next child (February cannot come soon enough!), and since the ultrasound gave her an 85% chance for it to be a girl she’s got a problem. She wears pants around the house and a skirt/dress to church normally, but she wants to dress a daughter in skirts and dresses all the time. So, how can she expect her daughter to do it if she’s not doing it! 🙂
Should women wear skirts? Should they wear them exclusively? One side of the argument states that since our body types are roughly the same and since there’s more utility in a pair of pants, why not let the women wear them?
BJ discusses the origins of women wearing pants and has a lot of interesting insight:
The first attempt by the feminists to put their ideals into the practice was through the bloomer. This outfit, introduced by Elizabeth Smith Miller, included a skirt reaching half way between the knee and the ankle. Beneath the skirt, Turkish trousers coming down to the ankle were gathered with an elastic band. Although introduced by Elizabeth Smith Miller, this outfit was popularized by Amelia Bloomer from whom its named was derived. However, the bloomer’s existence was short lived. These “unsexed” women as they were referred to provoked a great controversy. It was so great that the feminists finally abandoned the bloomer. Also, the War Between the States focused all attention on the plight of the nation. As a result, the move for dress reform and women’s emancipation soon faded away.
Nevertheless, during the last quarter of the century, these issues reappeared, but the arguments were still the same. “Traditional dress, they said, was that of the female slave who served and pampered her male master. Only with rational dress could pure womanhood free herself from thralldom, attain health and vigor, and compete equally with men in all activities.”5 And gradually, this is what they did. Initially, the wearing of men’s clothes was restricted to the homes. But, it was not long before women wearing men’s clothes appeared on the streets.
He goes on to ask the question about whether God is pleased with women in pants, and he does not believe that God is. Why not? Because it’s a violation of the order– women intended to use pants to signify that they were equal with men. Regardless of your position on whether or not women should speak in church, whether women should wear a head covering, or how long a women’s hair should be, you have to believe that Paul (and therefore the Holy Spirit) went to great lengths to show that there was to be a difference between men and women.
If the wearing of pants truly is a key battleground in the war against God-honoring family roles I might have to get Virtuous Blonde some more dresses/skirts sooner than February!