Women should Wear Dresses and Skirts, Not Pants – Part 3

Catholic Candle note: The article below is part 3 of an article the first part of which is found here: https://catholiccandle.org/2024/02/19/women-should-wear-dresses-and-skirts-not-pants/

The second part of this article is found here: https://catholiccandle.org/2024/03/21/women-should-wear-dresses-and-skirts-not-pants-part-2/

This article is a companion article to our article about Mary-like Neckline Modesty, which can be found here: https://catholiccandle.org/2023/05/21/marylike-neckline-modesty/

Both of these articles apply to girls as well as women and assist them in fulfilling the role and great work for which God created women.  Read more about this role and great work here: https://catholiccandle.org/2019/12/02/the-role-and-work-that-god-gave-to-woman/

Part 3

Recap of parts 1 & 2

In part one of this article, we saw five reasons why men (as well as women) need to understand the Catholic standards of modesty for women (and men).

The article then lists four reasons why women should not wear pants:

1.    It is objectively a sin against the revealed Divine Law for a woman to wear pants;

2.    It is objectively a sin of lewdness[1] under the Natural Law for a woman to wear pants, even apart from the issue of pants being more revealing of a woman’s body;

3.    A woman who wears pants objectively commits a sin of feminist usurpation of man’s role and “nature” and denial of her own “nature” and role in God’s plan; and

4.    A woman wearing pants objectively sins because pants are immodest for her due to their revealing too much of her figure.

Then the article’s first two parts look at the first two of those reasons.  Below, is the third reason why women should wear dresses and skirts and not pants.

3. It is a Sin for a Woman to Wear Pants  because it is a Feminist Usurpation of Man’s Role and “Nature” and is also a Denial of Her Own “Nature” and Her Own Role in God’s Plan.

Above, we saw that women wearing pants is a sin against the revealed Divine Law and against the Natural Law.  But besides that, women wearing pants is a declaration promoting feminism.  This is because feminists wear men’s clothes to challenge the natural order that the man is the head of the family.

It is evident to society at large that there is a clear connection between feminism and women wearing pants.  For example, the New York Times published a lengthy article concerning how it first became “normal” in the 1970s for women to wear pants and the Times called its article Feminism’s Effect on Fashion.[2]

Along somewhat the same lines, here is how actress Elizabeth Taylor characterized her feminism:

I’m loud and I’m vulgar, and I wear the pants in the house because somebody’s got to, but I am not a monster.  I’m not.[3]

Look at her interesting word choice.  A monster is something strange, unnatural, and abnormal.  She is saying: “I am loud, unfeminine, and wear pants.  But I don’t want you to think that I am an abnormal woman.”  Elizabeth Taylor is trying to deny the obvious: viz., her being the way she is does make her an unwomanly woman – which is something strange, unnatural, and abnormal.

Here is how a History of Women Wearing Pants connects pants to feminism:     

Nothing says equality [viz., with men] more than a nice [sic] pair of pants.  In the language of clothes, pants equal power.  Pants on a woman disrupt the status quo.  They certainly aren’t “lady-like.”[4]

These words recognize that wearing pants opposes the “nature” that God gave to woman.

We commonly express authority in the home and family (and even in other situations) by saying that a person “wears the pants in the family”.  The expression “wearing the pants” refers to wearing men’s clothes and this is connected to and represents man’s role in the family.  So, for example, one dictionary defines “wear the pants” to mean “to be in charge in or control of a relationship”.[5]

So, when a woman wears pants, it is a declaration by her actions that she claims to be in charge and is “wearing the pants” in the family.  But this is contrary to what God intended a woman to be, i.e.:

  Quiet and meek;[6] and

  Subject to her husband.[7]

It is no wonder that wearing pants changes a woman’s outlook and her relationship with those around her!  She is “wearing the pants” indicating that she is “in charge or in control of a relationship”.  This not only indicates promotion of the evil of feminism, but this has real-life influence on her and those around her.  Here is how Cardinal Siri warned his flock about the evil effects caused by women wearing pants:

Notification about Women Wearing Male Clothing

The wearing of men’s dress by women affects firstly the woman herself, by changing the feminine psychology proper to women; secondly it affects the woman as wife of her husband, by tending to vitiate relationships between the sexes; thirdly it affects the woman as mother of her children by harming her dignity in her children’s eyes.  Each of these points is to be carefully considered in turn:

A.   Male Dress Changes the Psychology of Women.

In truth, the motive impelling women to wear men’s dress is always that of imitating, nay, of competing with, the man who is considered stronger, less tied down, more independent.  This motivation shows clearly that male dress is the visible aid to bringing about a mental attitude of being “like a man”.
Secondly, ever since men have been men, the clothing a person wears demands, imposes, and modifies that person’s gestures, attitudes, and behavior, such that from merely being worn outside, clothing comes to impose a particular frame of mind inside.

Then let us add that a woman wearing man’s clothes always more or less indicates her reacting to her femininity as though it is an issue of inferiority when in fact it is only diversity.  The perversion of her psychology is clear to be seen.

These reasons, summing up many more, are enough to warn us how wrongly women are made to think by the wearing of men’s dress.

B.   Male Dress Tends to Vitiate Relationships between Women and Men.

In truth, when relationships between the two sexes unfold with the coming of age, an instinct of mutual attraction is predominant.  The essential basis of this attraction is a diversity between the two sexes which is made possible only by their complementing or completing one another.  If then this “diversity” becomes less obvious because one of its major external signs is eliminated and because the normal psychological structure is weakened, what results is the alteration of a fundamental factor in the relationship.

The problem goes further still.  Mutual attraction between the sexes is preceded both naturally, and in order of time, by that sense of shame [shyness] which holds the rising instincts in check, imposes respect upon them, and tends to lift to a higher level of mutual esteem and healthy fear everything that those instincts would push onwards to uncontrolled acts.  To change that clothing which by its diversity reveals and upholds nature’s limits and defense-works, is to flatten out the distinctions and to help pull down the vital defense-works of the sense of shame.

It is at least to hinder that sense.  And when the sense of shame [shyness] is hindered from putting on the brakes, then relationships between men and women sink degradingly down to pure sensuality, devoid of all mutual respect or esteem.

Experience is there to tell us that when woman is de-feminized, then defenses are undermined and weakness increases.

C.   Male Dress Harms the Dignity of the Mother in Her Children’s Eyes.

All children have an instinct for the sense of dignity and decorum of their mother.  Analysis of the first inner crisis of children when they awaken to life around them even before they enter upon adolescence, shows how much the sense of their mother counts.  Children are as sensitive as can be on this point.  Adults have usually left all that behind them and think no more on it.  But we would do well to recall to mind the severe demands that children instinctively make of their own mother, and the deep and even terrible reactions roused in them by observation of their mother’s misbehavior.  Many lines of later life are here traced out – and not for good – in these early inner dramas of infancy and childhood.

The child may not know the definition of exposure, frivolity or infidelity, but he possesses an instinctive sixth sense to recognize them when they occur, to suffer from them, and be bitterly wounded by them in his soul.[8]

This is the third reason it is a sin for women to wear pants.

(To be continued)


[1]           Lewdness (noun): indecency or obscenity; vulgar sexual character or behavior.  https://www.dictionary.com/browse/lewdness

[4]           https://the-toast.net/2014/08/07/wearing-pants-brief-history/  Bracketed words added for clarity.

[6]           “Let wives be subject to their husbands:  that if any believe not the word, they

may be won without the word, by the conversation of the wives.  Considering your chaste conversation with fear.    Whose adorning let it not be the outward plaiting of the hair, or the wearing of gold, or the putting on of apparel.  But the hidden man of the heart in the incorruptibility of a quiet and a meek spirit….”  1 Peter, 3:1-4.

[7]           St. Paul teaches: “Therefore, as the church is subject to Christ, so also let the wives be to their husbands in all things.”  Ephesians, 5:24. 

[8]           Quoted from Notification by Cardinal Siri published on June 12, 1960 (bracketed words added for clarity).