A Voice in the
May 31, 2004
Women and Pants?
First of all, for general consumption here, a reminder of the things at the website on this subject...which I presume is what this person is referring to: Q/A "Proper dress/attire" and Q/A "How Women should dress"
And here's the verse in question: "A woman shall not wear anything that is fitting to a man, nor shall a man put on a woman’s garments, for all who do so are an abomination unto Jehovah your God." (De22:5)
If you check out these two links, I think it will be clear that Deu22:5 is talking about what is called today, "cross-dressing", or men dressing "in drag", etc. Men wearing women's clothing, putting on makeup, shaving the parts that women shave, etc, to look like women. Something that is seen a lot in the gay communities and places of entertainment.
Just to review a couple of points, "pants", in and of themselves, are not gender-oriented. It is not the male domain to have each leg individually covered by a 'tube' of material, but women enshrowd both legs with a single tube. Male pants are made to 'fit' men, and female pants are designed to 'fit' women. They are different. They are not -shaped- the same. As we also observed, if only women are to wear skirts, then where does the Scottish 'kilt' fit the picture?
But to repeat: Let men be men, and women be women. Let it be obvious to the observer from appearance and behavior that each can be distinguished. Some of this is going to be governed by culture, but most by the individual's heart.
In ancient Japan both men and women wore kimonos. But there was a difference in 'color' between the two. Just to give a personal example from my growing up in rural post-war Japan as a child: Somebody from America had sent me a T-shirt for either a birthday or Christmas present. So, this one day, when the weather had warmed up, I decided to wear this T-shirt (I was 9 or 10) and go outside to play. And, boy oh boy, the ever-present children (always peering through the cracks in the fence to see "what are the foreigners doing now??") just busted out laughing hysterically. What was the matter? The T-shirt had some "red" stripes in its coloration. Red is a "girl's" color. Boys JUST DON'T WEAR RED!!! (or at least, they didn't back then in the 50s. A lot of things have changed in Japan since then, so who knows now...) I had worn the (American) T-shirt in innocence, with 'red' in its colors, not knowing any better, as an "American". (I was fluent in Japanese, but did not understand a lot of the cultural implications, as a child, being raised "American")
But the thing of greater importance is the -heart-. When cross-dressers dress "in drag", typically a particular -behavior- accompanies their appearance. And perhaps this will also lead us to conclude that it is 'better' for a Godly woman to wear dresses/skirts...?
"Roll your works upon Jehovah, and your thoughts will be established." (Pr16:3)
Those of the Goth cult, and others who get their bodies pierced, spiked, tattooed, shaved-bald, wear leather and studs are often known for retorting against their detractors: "Don't judge the book by its cover" In other words, don't judge us for what we 'look' like. And today's worldly 'church' says the same thing, as they receive into fellowship adults and young people who get themselves up to appear like the dregs of society...claiming that it's what's in their 'heart' that matters.
Thing is (and we've said this before), the book's 'cover' -does- matter. A person who writes a book chooses a cover that -corresponds- to the book's 'contents'. If a person gets themself up to look "goth", it is because they like what goth stands for, and wish to emulate it. When someone is in "drag", they -like- the perversion which thay also act out.
Think about it...when people dress up in tuxes and gowns, do they not behave more elegantly, than when they are romping around in sports-like activities in their t-shirts and shorts? A person primps in fancy clothes, and their mind-set also shifts into gear for a certain associated behavior. Then, when they want to flop at home, they take off the tux/gown and put on sweats, or whatever they lounge around in at home.
Women who are possessed of an aggressive heart, wanting to compete in the (so-called) "man's world", wear pants and blazers. Sometimes they will also wear ties. Traditionally, -men's- accessories. In many of their minds they are competing, not for just their own careers, but to be -considered- as a "maaaan", and to gain the same recognition as a "maaaan". Many of them behave 'brusquely', gather their strength together for a 'gripping' (manly) handshake, etc. Essentially, some of the key values of 'feminism'. In their hearts they loathe man's God-given "headship" over woman. (1Co11:3) And they don't believe God means what He said through Paul, that the woman should not "usurp authority over a man" (1Ti2:12) The word "usurp" meaning: "To seize and hold (the power or rights of another, for example) by force and without legal authority. To take over or occupy without right. etc" That is feminism's militance. And the continual wearing of pants and the cropped haircut are a couple of feminism's symbols. (Some of them don't even own dresses)
On the other hand, the Godly woman is one whose heart is characterized by: "...the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a meek and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God." (1Pet3:4) Is this not the very antithesis of feminism!
And do not dresses/skirts and feminine hair styles (whatever the length) lend themselves to feminine behavior? There are some pharisees that exhort women to wear their hair at least shoulder-length, if not longer. I happen to know that some hair (by genetics) does not lend itself to -looking- 'nice' when it's that long; and for such, a shorter style is more appropriate; but still, it is made up in 'feminine' fashion, not masculine.
Yes, it begins with the "meek and quiet spirit". But it sure seems to me that a "rolling of the works upon Jehovah" by deciding to wear dresses and skirts will tend to be a physical 'reminder' to the Godly woman to behave in a manner appropriate to her dress/attire... (Even usually 'feminine' women behave differently when they are wearing a skirt, compared to pants); the -reminder- being associated with the "thoughts". And as this becomes habit; the "understanding" being "exercised" (Heb5:14); those thoughts become "established". (Pr16:3)
Just like a musician "practices" to train the hands and fingers to perform. When enough practice has been experienced, the 'feel' is never lost, even if it gets terribly 'rusty'. I have not practiced the piano in years, nor do I any longer perform anywhere; but I can still sit down to the piano and play things (to my own frustration, because the fingers are no longer as nimble as they once were); the basic 'feel' for playing is still resident. It is a 'characteristic' of my fingers, as a "pianist". That 'feel' was long-ago "established" into my fingers through years of practice. Like the saying, "You never forget how to ride a bicycle".
In the same way, the Godly woman, if she "practices" femininity, through the wearing of feminine attire, "establishes" into her being this little aspect of Godliness. (There is SO MUCH MORE to Godliness....but this Q/A question is about dresses vs pants...)
As was said in those other Q/As, a married woman would do according to her husband's authority; and I am not going to tell such a woman what to do, she is under -her- husband's authority.
But for a single woman-of-God, these are the thoughts that seem to make sense to me, when understanding Scriptural concepts. The Godly life, and its choices done "in faith"
All this, said in the context of those other Q/As... Is it not more prudent to wear pants for some activites like gardening, horseback riding, romping in the park, etc? This (about dresses/skirts) is said for those times and activities that would not suggest pants.
"Do you have faith? Have it to yourself before God. Blessed is he who does not condemn himself in what he approves. But he who doubts is condemned if he eats (or the other choices one makes in life, some of which may be controversial to others), because it is not out of faith; for whatever is not out of faith is sin." (Rom14:22-23)