How Every Mormon Leader Should React to Pants Wearing Women
The word on the street is that some bishops have learned about Wear Pants to Church Day and are scrambling to deal with the situation. Some are coming up with plans like taking down the names of women who wear pants in order to call them in later for personal worthiness interviews.
Mormon leaders, if you are reading this, pay attention. Please do not do this. Do not call these women in and question their righteousness. Do not give them the stink eye. Do not treat their pants as a personal attack on your ward. Do not insist to them that the Church really does treat women as equals.
Instead, this is a golden opportunity to show these women that they are loved. When you see a woman wearing pants this Sunday, and particularly if you suspect the woman is wearing pants because of Pants Day, consider doing some of the following:
- Diffuse with humor and love: Go up to her and give her a hug or a handshake and a smile. Say, “Wow, you’re wearing pants! Is it because of Pants Day? I didn’t know our ward was this interesting!”
- Show sincere interest and sympathy: Tell her, “I understand that some women are wearing pants today because they are concerned with gender inequities at church. I don’t know if that’s why you are doing it, but if you are, I would love to talk to you sometime about this. I can’t promise I can do anything — my hands are tied in a lot of ways — but maybe there is something I could do. And anyway, I’d be grateful to learn more about these issues.”
- React with pure love: Tell her, “I am so glad you came today. I’m glad you came wearing pants. Come every week wearing pants. You are loved and you are wanted.”
- Be Practical And Affirmative: “I like your pants. I don’t know why more women don’t wear pants to church, particularly in the winter when it’s cold. And besides, it’s great for investigators to see women here wearing pants. Then they won’t feel out of place if they are wearing them.”
What are some other good ways leaders or just regular ward members might react? What should they definitely not do?