Re: Women wearing pants

Scott, Tanya (
Wed, 27 Nov 96 10:48:00 PST

I asked:
>>So why can't a woman wear pants?

Nechama Cox writes:
>I think the answer to your question is that it is not enough for a woman to
>wear skirts. It has to be part of a generally modest demeanor. But remember
>that a woman who wears pants will definately be showing the split above her
>knees, which is forbiden.
>I think that your questions come from a general feeling that it is no big
>to show your body because it is generally covered and after all, people
>rise above it. But the reality is that we are failable humans, and it is not
>possible to do so.

I was misinterpreted - that's not my opinion at all. To ask why pants
aren't considered modest, which was my question, is not the same thing as
saying that "it's no big deal to show your body." The point is that wearing
certain tailored pants (I'm not talking about hip hugging jeans) is not
showing your body. Many frum women wear pants that don't show their form
at all.

The response seems to be one of taking my point to the extreme, i.e.
nakedness, and opposing that point, when my question is not directed at
nakedness or even sheer clothing, but pants that cover one's body in a
fashion that does not hug one's form. My concern is that one could take
Nechama's position and argue that women also be required to wear veils. At
some point, a woman just looks like a woman and she's obviously different
from a man.

I'm sure if the truth be told, more men would be aroused by a pretty face
and a neckline than a pair of pants. There are entire communities eg.
Pakistani in which the women are veiled but wear some form of pants.

Also, many Pakistani women wear "pants" that don't show much of a split
anyway because it's covered somewhat by a sari. Is the prohibition on
showing a split rabbinic ruling or custom?