There is a new RSVP page on FaceBook, if you want to officially add your name to those who are planning to attend an LDS church service wearing pants. Despite the high emotions and attacks from Mormons who believe that wearing pants is an affront to God, their religion, and all that they hold holy, the event is going forward. The LDS has no official policy against women wearing pants to church, and hasn't since the 70s. So, if women have been allowed to wear pants for decades, why is this as issue? There is a great discussion here, but I think this quote, from Joanna Brook's Religious Dispatches article, is important"
"Time and time again, Mormon feminists have been presented with or forced into a false dichotomy—either you are excommunicated or leave the Church or you accept everything in Mormonism as divinely appointed and infallible. This “pants” action carves out a broader middle ground where people who love their Mormon faith can begin to engage more thoughtfully with limiting aspects of the tradition that are traditional rather than doctrinal."
A lot of the vitriol seems to come down to, "Don't you dare do something I (the commenter) don't want you to do, and that I disagree with." Those sentiments have come from men and women alike, and while I like FHMLisa's thoughts on most of those comments coming from a place of fear, I also do understand those who say they don't want to wear pants, if they don't understand what wearing pants really means. After all, this started out as a very small group of people, attempting to get maybe 100 people to commit to wear pants to church. Without the backlash, it probably wouldn't be very big, or gotten much attention, even from other feminists. The reaction has rallied those who consider themselves progressives and feminists, and while lots of women are committing to wear pants, men too are committing to wear purple ties or shirts, as a statement of solidarity.
With each person their experiences, and reasons for participating are different, but I think that when it comes down to it, there are some common themes that come up over and over from the organizers, the group of active supporters at the FB group, All Enlisted, which is the "working group" of people who want to be part of guiding the strategy and tactics of the group that they hope lasts beyond Sunday. I will try to share what I see as the reason to wear pants, (even though I will be at home and not at church, since I am still not cleared for non-medical outings) and why I will be wearing them on Sunday, even if it is only in my home. I have always seen wearing pants to church as okay, and have done it before, so for me, wearing them on this day has more meaning, but it is not an act of civil disobedience, since it is not against "the rules" of the LDS church to wear pants.
Wearing pants, on Sunday 12/16/2012, is a way to for me (Julia) to say,
"I am here, I worship and serve with you every week. I love you, mourn with you, and I am a feminist. I am a safe person to come to when you are hurting or afraid, or if you are scared. I will be your friend no matter how much you are wondering, struggling, wrestling with angels, and I will help bind up your wounds, while you heal from the fight. No matter how alone you feel as a feminist, single person, married person, daughter, mother, sister, wife or how friendless you feel; you are not alone.If you are wearing pants to church, are your reasons the same as mine? Have I missed something important? Please share your thoughts!
For me, wearing pants should tell everyone that I don't care who you love, what you do with them, how many sins you have committed, whether you are a victim of rape, incest, bullying, or any other kind of abuse; you are not alone.
My legs are ready to walk beside you, pull your spiritual ox out of the mire, hold on to you so that you do not slip down the slope of depression, or look around and see no one else ready to stand beside you when you feel all eyes on you. I have taken on myself the name of Christ, and covenanted to do all of these things, and because I know there are many who are not sure if I consider them worthy of being loved, served, accepted and celebrated because they too are feminists who worry that they are alone, I will let my pants speak for me, but only as the introduction aid, that lets me start talking, and walking, with you!"