This Pants Thing Keeps Butting In….

I keep running into this “women shouldn’t wear pants, they’re too sexy that way” thing. Today it was in Jimmy Akin’s comboxes, of all things! (Not by Jimmy, needless to say.)

What torques me off:

A) Global nature of declaration. Women in skirts = intrinsically modest. Women in pants = intrinsically Jezebel. From gradeschooler to Granny, from professional woman to “professional woman”, there is simply no other way for the pants-ban-man to look at the world of women.

B) Obstinate and perhaps deliberate misreading of intent. I’m pretty sure that, in general, most women tend to put on skirts if they want to attract men, and wear pants to be more or less neutral. This of course differs by the individual piece of clothing, and certainly it’s not the only reason to wear skirts. (I wear skirts when I’m feeling fat, or when I feel the urge to swish when I walk. No woman wears tight jeans for reasons of comfort, though women may wear them for reasons of not having anything else that’s not in the laundry basket.) But this kind of cultural misunderstanding is difficult to comprehend coming from any member of American culture. Therefore, I am tempted to interpret it as deliberate misreading.

C) Apparently, the pants-ban-man doesn’t really find women in skirts terribly attractive. He doesn’t say to himself, “Ah, I see that I receive a mild aesthetic charge from this style of clothing, and therefore I will have to work on my custody of the eyes when I sit behind certain ladies.” No, he says, “EVIL WOMEN IN PANTS MAKE ME HAVE BAD DESIRES! MUST BAN PANTS!”
D) Dude, it’s not all about you. Women wear clothes for utility, for their own sense of style, and for other women to admire said sense of style, as well as for the delectation of the opposite sex. A great deal of the time, we aren’t thinking about you at all. It’s quite likely that we aren’t shaking our hineys at you in any way, and that if you think we are, you’re being delusional. I know that’s sad for the pants-ban-man.

E) If I wanted to be a burqa’d Muslim, I’d be okay with making myself a victim of men who blame their every urge on me. But as I am Catholic, I think I’ll pass on all that.



Filed under Church

5 responses to “This Pants Thing Keeps Butting In….

  1. Brilliant!

    As incredibly distracting as wiggling girls in tight jeans can be, it’s much more about my eyes, my glands and my state of mind than anything else.

  2. Dear Banshee,

    I don’t know if your assumption B is correct for all, but it sure works for me! Even a modest length skirt leaves ample skin at arms, shoulders, neck, back, and particularly legs exposed. And it accentuates the positive by giving what nature already made perfect the flourish of flowing fabric.



  3. TSO

    I confess I’ve never quite “gotten” how pants are so bad. There are pants that make men pant, there are skirts that do the same, and there are modest pants and there are modest skirts. Go figure!

  4. Patricia Gonzalez

    Hey Maureen, as an organist it would be more “immodest” of me not to wear pants. Pants are more practical with all that pedalling to do! Also, we’re at the back in the loft, and most of the choir members have their backs to the organ, so I don’t think I’m distracting anyone unduly. Since I’m aging gracefully (LOL), anything tight would not look good. As well, sections (D) and (E) also coincide with my thoughts. Good post! (PS: Hope your summer is going well… it’s sure going fast around here! Take care.)

  5. Hi! I’ve got a post over at my new blog Catholic Wisdom that applies to the pants controversy.

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