But Pants Aren’t in the Bible!

Repurposed from my comment under Dalrock’s post “Cross Dressing Snuck Up in Our Blind Spot”.

The fundamental issue of restricting men’s clothes from women is about whether or not it is acceptable for men (the heads of society) to exclude women. And the answer from everyone (but most egregiously from Christians) is: “No.”

These comments about women’s pants in Asia, or Roman men’s robes, are totally wrongheaded. Whether legs are wrapped versus draped, and which for whom, is a subjective decision of a society. However, subjective does not mean irrelevant, or unimportant. It means we should use our freedom to orient towards the good, the true, and the beautiful. That orientation is more important than whether or not we can suss out the Natural Law of Pants and Robes.[1] The search for the science of pants is a silly distraction used by the perverse and libertine to discredit and mock sound cultural standards and further the destruction of good order. They are like so-called environmentalists who uproot gardens so that weeds may flourish “naturally”.

The importance of holding subjective standards and symbols which (while themselves not objective truths) do point to objective truths and reality needs to be considered much more thoroughly than it is; even by men who think themselves as “seeing”, “woke” or “Red-Pilled”…including myself.

[1] Probably the natural law of human clothing is, “Be sinless and naked”.

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32 thoughts on “But Pants Aren’t in the Bible!

  1. From the Credit Where It’s Due Department: I heard a churchian preacher put it this way. “Clothing choices should be motivated by the following principles: masculinity, femininity, and modesty.”

    It’s easy to see that those impose boundaries while leaving room for one to make decisions. In my house I have a single, simple, but inflexible clothing rule. That rule began life as little more than an aesthetic preference; it would have taken foresight and experience that I did not possess to anticipate its benefits as a token standard. It is occasionally questioned, but it has stood, and I see now that its mere existence serves as notice that there is a boundary, which imposes a sense of modesty that prevails among those in the house who might otherwise be tempted to push the envelope. The missus is on board with it too, and that helps.

    There are those who will always push the envelope, and those are invariably women, who have been trained to react against anything they perceive as a restriction on their freedom. And anything that women might do out of consideration or courtesy toward men is mocked. They want to be noticed and admired and desired but don’t want overt attention from just anyone.

    There was a recent (2014) hullaballoo in my community over a homeschool prom garment that deliberately pushed the envelope, a story easily found online and still popping up. The degeneracy and rebellion and particularly the seething ingratitude from the personages in that story is still astonishing to me, as I have known some of them since they were children. Of course, the main character in that story was under the tutelage of an older feminist sister who apparently studied literary criticism at uni (favorite philosopher = “Derrida”). Disgusting.

    There was a time when “homeschooled” took for granted certain standards of behavior and appearance, but even (or perhaps especially?) preachers’ homeschooled children are more and more often off the deep end with weirder and weirder tattoos and piercings or avant garde hair and clothes.

  2. Speaking of subjective standards and symbols –

    I recently read this passage in family devotions and have been thinking about it:

    Leviticus 19:27 Ye shall not round the corners of your heads, neither shalt thou mar the corners of thy beard. 28 Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you: I am the LORD.

    Most Christians would classify these regulations as Old Covenant Jewish dress codes, and would not see them as enduring moral law that applies to Christians today. I tend to agree, but…

    Even today, these things convey a message. Tattoos, scarification and women shaving the side of the head are all common expressions today of self-determination, rebellion, or ritual. Attention-getting at best and outright pagan at worst.

    These practices should be avoided if we wish to glorify God and not ourselves.

  3. Pingback: Cane Caldo and the Natural Law of Pants | Dalrock

  4. “They are like so-called environmentalists who uproot gardens so that weeds may flourish “naturally”.”

    That’s an excellent metaphor.

  5. @ Gaspar

    I’ve – unfortunately – gotten used to mothers encouraging their daughters to dress provocatively, but it still blows my mind how some fathers allow – and even defend – their daughters to dress provocatively.

  6. So it’s a sin to wear pants? Sorry if I’m asking a stupid question. I’m just trying to determine where you stand on the specific issue of women literally wearing pants.

  7. @Micah

    It’s irrelevant where I stand because–as nothing but a man–I couldn’t possibly answer the question correctly. As a man, it’s a question that to even ask is offensive to women unless it is a lead-in for a discourse on how much more enlightened I am than my primitive and oppressive ancestors.

  8. Micah,

    My thoughts on your question…
    If it is a woman in question, then I think she should wear something that is clearly feminine in her particular culture.
    In my culture, pants are the proper attire for men, with a few exceptions. (Red or pink pants come to mind.)
    A dress and a skirt are clearly feminine clothing, and therefore would be a good choice for a woman. In Canada, it can get very cold, and wearing only a dress would be a good way to get sick, or injured. Some women here therefore will wear pants or leggings, and then a skirt or dress over top. Thus, the clothing that is seen is still the feminine clothing. (Yes, you can see the pants below the hem line, at her ankles, but still, it is clear she is choosing to present herself in a feminine manner.)

    Even if a woman does not care about whether God finds her detestable or an abomination (Deut 22:5), I suggest she should still care whether her husband finds her feminine, and thus desirable, or detestable, and thus not nearly as desirable as would otherwise be possible.

    Personally, I feel no attraction to rebellious women. Which should not be surprising, given the thoughts that would result from studying Deut 22:5, 1 Cor 2:14-16 (esp 16) and Col 3:15-17 (esp 16).

  9. The issue here is that feminist culture is culture too. We might find it a bad thing, but the World does not.

    But of course none of these matter to Modern Churchians because they refuse to even acknowledge it.

  10. Daniel wrote Leviticus 19:27

    I was surprised to read, when the internet was young, a Christian blogger who advocated that God liked his tattoo b/c it was a cross.

    A few years ago the church I attended hired a youth pastor who had some tattoos. I was not fond of that, and several other things w/ this fellow. I never let my kids go to his classes or retreats. Given the fruits that I saw from that group, I believe it was the right decision.

    My thought was this: We’re told the first and greatest commandment is to love God, and we learn from Leviticus that God doesn’t seem like tattoos. Even if it’s not an “official” sin anymore, isn’t it my delight to love God by honoring His preferences? Isn’t it that simple? If I can’t be trusted w/ such a small thing, why would He trust me w/ a large thing?

  11. Okay. I personally don’t see any big deal with a woman wearing nothing but pants, like blue jeans, but not a skirt over it as you described. I’m just trying to determine if I’m objectively in the wrong here according to the Bible.

  12. Furthermore, confronting our feminist culture is already enough of an uphill battle as it is. I just don’t want us to take on any unnecessary burdens that will make it even more difficult. I personally have a lot of spiritual struggles – and OCD to boot – so I don’t have a lot of mental energy to spare when it comes to searching myself and making sure I have the right beliefs and attitudes about things, and whether I am fully believing, accepting, and applying, God’s Truth to my life.

  13. > I personally have a lot of spiritual struggles – and OCD to boot – so I don’t have a lot of mental energy to spare when it comes to searching myself and making sure I have the right beliefs and attitudes about things, and whether I am fully believing, accepting, and applying, God’s Truth to my life.

    By all means, prioritize. But also know that the small things we give to God can transform us and build momentum to achieve greater things.

  14. I think I see what you mean. But it seems that no one here has offered a definitive answer on women wearing pants. Dale gave a good answer. But if attitudes towards women wearing pants should bend to the culture in which one finds oneself in, I don’t see how that can achieve what you just said. I would think that we could build momentum to achieve greater things only if God has an absolute, unmistakable, undeniable standard regarding the things we give to him.

    At the very least, pants in and of themselves can actually achieve what Dale said, anyway. Blue jeans in particular offer different styles to men and women that can be perceived as being either masculine or feminine. In Middle Eastern cultures men still wear robes, which are actually similar but different from what their women wear. I understand everyone here isn’t talking only about literal pants. But if we base our obedience to what Scripture says about clothing based on cultural perception, I think it is worth understanding that, for pants in particular, we are probably only questioning it to the extent that we are just because of differences in cultural perception across time. If similar but different styles of pants had been made right when they were first invented, perhaps even the people of that time would have been less perturbed by the idea of women starting to wear them.

    I certainly wouldn’t wear feminine clothing. I’m not trying to completely denounce this topic as being unnecessary, or legalistic, or whatever. Seeing as though we’re supposed to wear clothes, it’s reasonable to have rules about it – even if they’re only subjective rules created by man. But I do believe there is a potential for “straining out gnats” in all of this, which, at best, could hinder constructive discussion about it. At worst, it could possibly preoccupy us and detract from confronting more pressing problems.

  15. I won’t tell another man how to govern his family. I have my hands full governing my own. What I will say is that married fathers are supposed to govern families, so they should be the ones to decide whether or not their wives and daughters wear pants. That’s the point.

  16. @ Cane

    Are you asking me what it should be or what it currently is? What it should be is a boy’s outfit. What it currently is…. who knows?

  17. @Cane Caldo – “It is a simple question. Why can’t you answer it?”

    Because it’s a loaded question, just like mine is. If I change your question to this: “Blue jeans, t-shirt, pink bra, cap, sneakers, hair bow. Whose outfit is this?”, then the answer is immediately different.

    It is obvious that what constitutes women’s or men’s garb is subjective to a society. It is also subjective to both the situation and intention. The latter two are more important than the former because they are more specific.

    If both my wife and I wear jeans, t-shirt, baseball cap, and sneakers to a baseball game, there isn’t anyone who would ever mistake me for a woman or her for a man. It just isn’t happening. Why is that? Because she is still a woman, walks like a woman, talks like a woman, and looks like a woman. She isn’t trying to cover up the fact that she is a woman. Both the situation and her intention to be a woman make it unambiguously clear.

    It is different when a woman or man tries to (by intention) become or pass for the other gender (or simply to diminish their own gender). Clothes are just one tool to accomplishing this. Modifying one’s body (hair cuts/styles, tattoos, piercings, make-up, surgery, etc.) is another.

    Clothing can be feminine or masculine, but it can also be neutral. It isn’t so much the clothing that is at issue, but the intention of the person to try to become like the other gender.

  18. Pingback: Why Everyone is Married to a Peppermint Patty | Things that We have Heard and Known

  19. Pingback: There’s No Way Around No | Things that We have Heard and Known

  20. This seems really smart; if a pastor or clergyman of some authority, or anyone who ministers with especial focus on women—for example in a woman’s group—does not bring up the importance of clothing modesty on a regular basis, he is failing that group. No, at first the discussion may not mandate particulars, but perhaps members of the group will police one another in order to get satisfaction along the lines of those more minute details. The bringing up of it on a regular basis—and sticking to it despite any complaints—is what is required. Those who would get wrapped up in the details at this stage may well be disingenuous individuals trying to suck the life out of a worthy Christian project like this one.

    A.J.P.

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