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I don’t wear pants anymore

Aliza on Pants

Jews are funny. Thats what people keep telling me. But I wasnt born Jewish. I was born Dominican. So if were going by genes here, Im probably really good at baseball and shimmying my hips. Not so funny.

Besides, Im an Orthodox Jew. Nobody thinks Orthodox Jews are funny. Orthodox Jews are serious, seriously old-fashioned and seriously hate women. Thats what people tell me keep telling me. They tell me we hate women so much we wont even let them wear pants. Think of all the evils women could do if you let them wear pants!



Secretary of State.

So this is what I tell people now: Im an Orthodox Jew now so I dont wear pants. Nobody has to know the truth.

That my mother wore tight pants. That my grandmother wore tight pants. That my great-grandmothers 97 and shes still wearing tight pants. Generations after generations of women in my family have been doing that dance and shimmy to get their pants over their hips and then lying back on the bed to squeeze them closed over their guts.

No one has to know it wasn’t just about modesty. It was about never squeezing my big Dominican butt into another pair of tight jeans.

The benefits of my new Torah lifestyle are endless.

Aliza Hausman is a Dominican born orthodox Jew and has asked to be a guest poster here and since I like her stuff you will be seeing more of it. If you cannot contain yourselves until the next guest post I would suggest you visit her blog – Jewmanicana.

{ 39 comments… add one }
  • Frum But Fun August 15, 2009, 11:10 PM

    I’m orthodox and I wear pants. I am not less more more religious than those who wear skirts only. I see pants and skirts as fashion statements; not a religious symbol. In all honesty, I think my attire is more modest than what most people wear in my community but that’s just my opinion. But for some reason people mistake me for being a slut. I was told that loose girls wear pants. To me I think pants and skirts are just like any article piece of clothing. As long as I don’t have to worry about being sentenced to 40 lashes over it, I will take advantage of my liberty to do so.

  • Schwartzie August 16, 2009, 12:06 AM


  • afloydchick August 16, 2009, 12:10 AM

    funny, i just bought pants so i can go hiking!

  • Batya from Shiloh August 16, 2009, 12:26 AM

    oops! First I thought that Heshy went drag; then I saw that it’s a guest post from a female.

  • This is TZNIUSSSS! August 16, 2009, 1:37 AM

    My rabbi (Rabbi Levene of Lower Merion PA) said that pants are more tzniusdik than miniskirts

  • abandoning eden August 16, 2009, 8:51 AM

    so you gave up wearing pants cause you were wearing them a size too small? 🙂 Not all pants have to be tight…some of us have big asses and manage to find well-fitting pants that are still flattering. 🙂

  • Parent in NY August 16, 2009, 9:04 AM

    welcome to judiasm aliza…but what the hell is this? Your an exerpt from “my journey into judiasm with no pants”?

    FS-u are getting lamer and lamer.

  • Naomi August 16, 2009, 11:02 AM

    I gotta say, I agree with Frum but Fun. There really is little correlation between wearing pants vs. skirts and frumkeit. Wearing skirts makes you “socially” religious, but isn’t necessarily more modest than wearing pants. Personally, I’m going to keep being that pants-wearing shomer negiah girl, and to hell with what everyone else thinks. At least I, and the people who matter to me, know that I’m a strong, spiritual, religious person. Aliza, if the reason you don’t wear pants is simply because you don’t like them, more power to ya. Don’t let social pressure from the oft-neurotic Orthodox community make you think that there’s an inherent religious problem with wearing pants.

  • lars sh August 16, 2009, 12:30 PM

    this made me laugh! brilliant

  • lars sh August 16, 2009, 12:34 PM

    oh god! i thought you meant underwear!! girls SHOULD wear pants

  • Miri August 16, 2009, 2:20 PM

    Squeezing yourself into a tight skirt can be just as un-tzniusdik as squeezing yourself into tight pants… nothing intrinsic to pants or skirts that make them modest or immodest.

    If it’s about fitting in, then fine, wear skirts. I do exclusively. But I don’t think that pants are untznius, either.

  • flipped out fish August 16, 2009, 4:02 PM

    but i heard that pants isnt necessarily a tsnius issue. isnt wearing pants begged ish?

  • Naomi August 16, 2009, 4:06 PM

    Men’s pants and women’s pants are cut differently. No way can a woman with hips get a pair of men’s pants on properly. So no, pants aren’t begged ish just like button-down shirts aren’t begged ish – unless you’re wearing a pair that comes from the men’s department.

  • flipped out fish August 16, 2009, 4:23 PM

    i heard – and i hope im not misinterpretting- that rav ovadia yosef shlit”a says that if girls will either be wearing skirts above the knees or pants, it is better to wear pants. but this wasnt given as permission to wear parts per se, but rather as a horaat shaah.
    i think whats at stake isnt only about modesty but rather as our attitudes towards our emunas chachamim. the question is whether you would want to think of yourself as a “kiruv case” if you are not on that level yet.

  • flipped out fish August 16, 2009, 4:26 PM

    i would also like to add that i have seen some hypocrites doning slinky skirts and that true modesty is really the way one carries herself, not necessarily by what she wears

  • i'd hit that August 16, 2009, 5:11 PM

    Anything tight on women makes my pants get tight…

  • Schwartzie August 16, 2009, 9:40 PM

    I don’t wear pants anymore, either.

  • shlomo August 16, 2009, 10:00 PM

    That’s funny, lars sh[alom] thouht that by “pants” she meant undergarments. A lot of people don’t know that that’s what “pants” means in British English. They crack up any time we say it.

  • FrumCurious August 16, 2009, 10:59 PM

    I wear pants underneath my skirts that come to my knees.

    But I also think that it’s a cute look for me, so sue me.

    Aliza’s blog is hilarious! Read her stories about controlling her hair (I can relate somewhat)!

  • Michal bas Avraham August 17, 2009, 4:35 AM

    They say they are begged ish but, the reality is that men prefer to see women in skirts so, Judaism has accomodated.

    On the above comments, I know Aliza, mostly online but, I have met her, I don’t think she is wearing the untznius skirts but, I see that so much. You know, I’m walking down the street and every girl I see is wearing a skirt 2 to 4 inches ABOVE her knees…. Shoot, if us gyoresses did that, they’d revoke our conversions.

  • FrumGer August 17, 2009, 12:02 PM

    I agree Pants have nothing to do with Halachah..
    My wife wears pants and i think she is very tznius, she wears dresses to shul which is proper, but pants can be way more tznius than some of those pencil skirts some so call frum women wear.
    ‘frum by technicality’ i say.

    women’s pants are not mens pants period… they don’t look like mans pants, and we all used to walk around in robes with no pants at all, so whats the diff/ did men back then dress like women?

    no the robes were different for men and women, same as today. pants are different.

    its so funny how that now- the 1800’s dress style is tznuis but in the 1800s all jews dressed modern, for that time. black hats white tights and knickers, those were modern at one time. and Yids wore those things,

    why now did progress seem to stop in the early 1900’s? it makes no sense. I wear a bekishe and black hat on shabbos, for traditional purposes, i like it … I think it brings honor to the shabbos, that is my shabbos wear. but i dress like i am in 2009 every other day. women should too if they want to. modest but modern.

  • shlomo August 17, 2009, 1:09 PM

    FrumGer: In all honesty man, based on Pesachim 3a, some see womans’ trousers as a problem of “prisat raglaim”, “separation of the legs”. The Gemara there mentions that women should not ride horses with their legs to either side, but rather off to one side, partially since the shape of her legs will become evident. (It also mentions that the word “riding” shouldn’t be used for womens’ horse-riding).

    Though it is true that tight skirts basically have that same problem, and, while skirts or dresses are more “feminine”, they are at the same time more “attractive”, which is bad.

    In my personal experience, there was once a girl in school I was attracted to who I once saw in pants, and it was a big turn-off for me (I was 14 at the time though).

  • Julie August 17, 2009, 5:20 PM

    I can’t wear skirts without feeling really exposed and uncomfortable that only gravity is holding the fabric down over my body. Tights underneath don’t help with that fear either. Pants all the way, baby.

  • flipped out fish August 17, 2009, 9:25 PM

    how about trying long skirts? always works for me 🙂

  • Anonymous August 18, 2009, 3:21 PM

    I second Julie. And flipped out fish, that doesn’t help. I’ve had skirts that come below my knee fly up in a breeze, and it is the most embarrassing thing ever. Besides, I think skirts are somewhat immodest because there’s that “easy access” thing going with them. No thanks, I’ll take pants.

  • Smelly August 18, 2009, 3:38 PM

    Don’t mean to rain on the rationalizing parade, but pants vs skirts is not just a fashion statement. Yes, miniskirts are probably less tznius than pants, b/c at least pants don’t show the skin above the knee, whereas miniskirts do, but neither pants nor miniskirts are OK.

    Sorry ladies, but you are doing something ossur by wearing pants, Just bc you can point to immodest skirts (which, granted, also have tznius issues) doesn’t mean that what you are doing is OK.

    I personally do not care if girls wear skirts or pants, just don’t lie to yourselves. What you are doing is ossur. Plain and simple. Accept it and move on. Stop rationalizing.

  • Julie August 18, 2009, 3:41 PM

    It’s for sure the “easy access” thing that squicks me out… just can’t do it!

  • flipped out fish August 18, 2009, 5:32 PM

    what i meant by long skirts are the ones that go down to the ankles like ive seen some israeli women wear. they’re actually quite fashionable overseas

  • Compulsive Hand Washer August 20, 2009, 12:28 AM

    I can relate to feeling practically naked in skirts and dresses. I’ve worn shorts underneath any time I’ve had to wear them from elementary school to the beginning of college. Now when I have to wear a skirt or dress I wear leggings underneath and roll them up to my knees if I don’t want them showing.

    • Julie June 7, 2010, 4:17 AM

      I’m in Minnesota, and it gets very hot and humid in the summer. My legs will sweat and stick together, but I really want to try my hand at skirts so I’ve decided to try leggings and tights a try.

  • s(b.) August 20, 2009, 3:24 PM

    nice. 🙂

  • shlomo August 21, 2009, 6:45 PM

    I think the “easy access” thing is what’s so sexy about skirts! Though it’s not so true about the ones that come down to your feet (which are thebest in my opinion)…

  • Lizzy August 25, 2009, 4:16 PM

    GOOD FOR YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I LOVE skirts but i cant live without pants.

  • Rabbi's wife August 30, 2009, 2:09 AM

    The halacha about women and skirts is actually a tznius issue, but not like you think. it has to do with peeing. yep, I said it. the halacha is that if you “have to” go you shouldn’t hold it (which is why you will occasionally see charaedi guys peeing in the streets, even in Mea Shaarim), but you should go in the most tznius manner possible. For a woman, you can’t go in a tznius way in pants. I’ll get a source if anyone cares, but that’s how it was explained to me.

  • josh September 25, 2009, 8:32 AM

    wemons pant are practicly the same as mens in most cases there are very little differenses in them. you are an insane idiet to say they are not the some you have to realy look to see the differenses if there is any at all. and in the bible in Due it says ” The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the LORD thy God.” and that word pertaineth means “in apiresn” “in ersimblesa” and “related to”. so no women can not follow after God and ware pants. because they are an abomination unto God if they do it. i know i can’t spell so if that is all you can see wrong with what i said then shut up.

  • Robert February 6, 2010, 10:32 AM

    I wouldn’t worry so much about women in pants. The market is about to be flooded by skirts for men. Not will there be skirts available but skorts and dresses if some designers have their way. I have seen some of the designs on the web that were designed by jewish men for men. In Milan, Italy over 70 designers are profering their wares and a lot of them are promoting their mens skirts, skorts and dresses. So guys look over your shoulders your next business suit may include a modest skirt in pinstripes.

  • floridagirl July 31, 2010, 12:08 AM

    My only problem with this Halakha and the whole “don’t wear pants thing” is that pants aren’t seen as a “man’s clothing” anymore. When this mitzvot was written, only men wore pants, but now that times have changed, pants have become just as much apart of a woman’s closet as they are a man’s. How many men do you know that wear skinny jeans or short shorts? Now, I’m not saying that these types of pants are tznius, but they are examples that pants aren’t just for men, that they are for woman too. I’ll keep to my skirts as much as possible, more because I like them rather then because I think that pants are masculine, but I am not yet willing to throw away my jeans.
    I have pants that are more modest then some of my skirts! There is not longer a plausible argument as to why Jewish girls can’t wear pants.

  • Shelby July 31, 2010, 9:15 PM

    I think that some cultures are scared of women wearing pants because it is a symbol of women being equal to men, which is really the case.

  • Robert August 2, 2010, 2:27 AM

    Its not that they are afraid of being equal to women wearing pants,
    women already do. There more worried about women forcing the guys into dresses and skirts.

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