“Pants to Church Sunday” was a movement by women in the Mormon Church to call for greater gender equality within that denomination. Organized by a feminist group within the LDS called “All Enlisted,” women wore pants to church yesterday and men wore purple in solidarity. It has been called “the largest concerted Mormon feminist action in history.” Mormon women in the US, Europe and the South Pacific were seen if not heard yesterday calling for a major reformation in Mormon understanding of gender roles.
But by all accounts, Wear Pants to Church Sunday unfolded quietly and peacefully, even in congregations that had once threatened to summon participants for mandatory interviews with their clerical leaders. In some Mormon congregations, it’s being reported, members of the male lay clergy wore purple in solidarity.
Because really, it’s not pants or the right to wear pants that tops the list of Mormon feminist priorities. It’s the need for thoughtful conversation about how traditional gender inequalities—like the gender segregation of non-priesthood church administrative responsibilities, or the fact that in some congregations young mens’ programming receives more resources than young womens’ programming, or the unwritten rule against talk about Heavenly Mother—shape the spiritual lives of Mormon men and women.