I was at a crazy bonfire in Philly for Lag Baomer and out of nowhere an old friend of a friend noticed me and we got to chatting- I made note of her descent off the derech since the last time I saw her. I based my whole opinion of her based on the fact she was wearing pants and that the last time I saw her she was wearing skirts. I then gave her a speech of mussar no less frightening then the particulars of cleanliness chapter from the mesilas yeshurim- of note because I received the same speech upon being caught on my way back from an NCSY convention in high school. I reprimanded her for her foolishness because now her shidduch chances were shot and she would have to date within the caste system designed for girls who dare to wear pants- while still being just as frum or even more frum then their fellow skirt wearers, who may only be wearing skirts to stick with their perpetual state of “social orthodoxy”
Is it just me or has the skirt become a symbol of social orthodoxy? What I mean by this, is that I think that women wearing pants has been blown way out of proportion and find that it’s largely one of those antiquated gray areas of halacha that never actually caught up with modern society. Being a gray area that everyone likes to talk about- since the whole begged- Ish argument strikes me as a farse- and I think the people who make the argument realize this.
I understand the feelings toward pants, most pants are untznius, they reveal the butt in all its glory- but skirts are the same way in many instances, yet wearing a tight skirt is way better then wearing loose pants, at least for your social status within orthodoxy. In many circles a women can be perfectly frum, yet her pants wearing state causes people to call her modern- which no matter which way you swing it- means “lax in torah lifestyle”.
My friend from Philly is having a terrible time in the shidduch field, for not only does she wear pants, but she is one of the most frum girls I know. She davens every day, keeps 100% shomer negia and has for many years, learns every day and says tehilim and the whole nine yards, including things like after brachos and benching in pizza stores which is usually copped out by busting out the whole “snack” heter. Apparently shomer negia and pants don’t mix and this is an issue.
I have friends who will only date girls who wear skirts, yet these same kids may eat non-kosher and sleep with random girls. I know plenty of dudes like this- it’s a social thing. If your wife wears pants- people talk- they say “what happened your son was so religious after his year of brainwashing in Israel?”
All is not lost however, ideally a tznius skirt is the way to go- I just think that judging women purely based on the fact they wear pants is a little much. If they are wearing tight jeans, a tank top and fail to cover their hair its one thing- but for those women who wear pants and keep halacha- including the numerous who cover their hair (cant get around this one ladies- it’s a biblical commandment) it’s all about social orthodoxy in my mind.
Now I know the comments could get violent- lets try to keep it civil.