Re: Women wearing pants

Lesley H. Witherspoon (
Thu, 30 Jan 1997 21:58:07 -0500

I admit I am not going to quote Torah, not being qualified to do so in this
case. I am simply, as an observant woman, going to make an observation:
when did pants ever come to be identified with liberty and equality for
women? What's the issue? I wear skirts. Long skirts. They are comfy,
they cover me, they look graceful. I can move and breathe in them, and
believe me, I am doing more than just sitting around doing embroidery.
Don't talk to me about confinement of movement. Anybody ever put on a pair
of jeans, even the types that are supposed to fit loosely, fresh out of the
dryer? You can't sit down! I used to wear pants, sensible ones. I'll take a
good skirt any day for freedom and "forget me" ease.

Poskim do allow (some) for leggings or pants to be worn for warmth or extra
modesty. As far as I know, wearing a pair of leggings designed for women
UNDER a skirt, where the split is not shown and there is no danger of
imitating a man, would probably be acceptable. (I know that the issue has
to do both with Tzinius and imitating a man; civilizations where Jewish
women wore pants typically wore long tunics over the pants; and I should
note those pants were very full styles). At any rate, what about all those
civilizations where they guys wore skirts and tunics? Were they
unliberated? Unequal? Seems like it was the kings and rulers who got to
wear more "skirt"!

Finally, remember: wearing pants got started by Hollywood stars who had no
hips - and even they wore very, very, very full styles by today's
standards. All they had to do was stand around and look good while someone
figured out their best camera angle. Since when is that a symbol of
liberation from sexual objectification?

Lesley Witherspoon