Protective pants: slacks now allowed for female Mormon missionaries

Protective pants: slacks now allowed for female Mormon missionaries December 21, 2018

Until today, it never occurred to me that Mormon ‘sisters’, taking Jesus to bug-plagued areas of the world, were at far greater risk of getting attacked by mosquitoes, ticks and fleas than their male counterparts because they were never allowed to wear jeans or pants except for activities such exercising.

But the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has just announced that it has lifted the ban because it’s apparently keen on “keeping up with the times.”

Photo courtesy of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Apostle Dieter F Uchtdorf, head of the church’s Missionary Executive Council, said that missionary dress and grooming guidelines have changed throughout Latter-day Saint history to adapt to changing circumstances.

As we adapt these standards, we always carefully consider the dignity of the missionary calling to represent Jesus Christ, the safety, security, and health of our beloved missionaries, and the cultural sensitivities of the places where they serve.

The new dress rules minimise the risk that women will contract vector-borne diseases from mosquitoes, ticks and fleas, according to Bonnie H Cordon, Young Women General President and a member of the Missionary Executive Council.  She said in a press release:

Sister missionaries are amazing people. We want to make sure that they’re protected where they serve.

Apostle Dieter F Uchtdorf/via YouTube

The new dress code will allow “sister” missionaries in all 407 of its missions around the world to discard their dresses and wear pants — at “their own discretion” — when they proselytise.

Kayla Bach, who returned last year from a mission in Santiago, Chile, was jubilant:

I say HALLELUJAH and ABOUT TIME. Pants are the WAY TO GO for female missionaries.

The changes also will make it easier for missionaries to ride bicycles and fend off the cold.

Jane Haugsoen said:

I was a missionary in Norway, and it could have been very useful to wear pants. Certainly much easier than five pairs of stockings to stay warm.

But the relaxation of the rule still has some way top go. While female missionaries can now wear dress slacks year-round at their own discretion they must still must don dresses and skirts when attending Latter-day Saint temples and Sunday services, along with mission leadership and zone conferences and baptismal services.

Neylan McBaine, founder of the Mormon Women Project, said the changes are significant because they reflect an increased sensitivity to the lived experiences of women within the church rather than:

Exclusively from the vantage point of the male experience. It puts the woman’s comfort and practicality ahead of this perceived traditional look, which I think is a very positive development. I also think it has larger implications for the church to show that we can be accommodating to various cultures’ sense of modesty and propriety.

Marie Cornwall, a former Brigham Young University sociologist and an expert on women’s studies, said the change now signifies the church is:

Keeping up with the times. It’s important to the brand. Given the conservative teachings about family and all of that, I think there’s an important message the church has to send about the freedom that women have to make their own choices in as many areas as possible of what they wear. Whether it’s pants or skirts is one of those that seems most obvious.

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  • anxionnat

    “…dignity of the missionaries”? No, the two Mormon young women who came to my door about 4 months ago couldn’t stop giggling. (They looked like high school kids.) I’ve gotten boys before, who look like they’re not old enough to shave yet. The boys definitely had more…gravitas, if you will, than these young women.

  • clanhamilton

    They want to keep up with the times? Pants are a good start. Them not being “allowed” to choose the same attire for Temple is patriarchal baloney. Just another way to keep women conforming to the wishes of men.

    You have a LONG way to go to “keep up.”

  • larry parker

    Slacks aren’t mentioned in the bible! Checkmate!!…er…Someone!!!

  • jhardy355

    “The new dress rules minimize the risk that women will contract vector-borne diseases from mosquitoes, ticks and fleas”

    Actually women wearing pants has been policy for a while now for missions in countries where such diseases are a risk. The “new” policy is that women can wear pants in any mission in the world if they want.

  • Michael Neville

    Neither are flush toilets. A whole bunch of people better start digging outhouses.

  • larry parker

    Didn’t a clogged toilet cause the flood?

  • Jim Jones

    The irony here is that a dress or skirt is a sexual signal. I tend to find them jarring on girls before puberty. They should be able to run and play like the boys.

  • Raging Bee

    No, but the Plague of the First-Born was caused by a dirty telephone.

  • persephone

    They’re usually 18-20 years old. They have finished high school and saved up some money for their mission trip. I feel for them, having been dragged out to preach as a JW; at least they only do it for a couple of years and usually not around their homes.

  • ephemerol

    If there were no context, I would think this dude was some Scientology mucky-muck. It seems to me like the oddness of Scientology and the oddness of Mormonism are strangely similar…maybe that’s just what happens when you polish a turd long enough?

  • TheBookOfDavid

    It strains credulity to think they never employed a professional telephone sanitizer, considering that we are all Ark B descendants.

  • TrickyDicky

    But aren’t they protected by their magic underwear?

  • John Thunderer

    It seems to me more likely that the Mormons have caved-in to Islamic pressure.
    Is it not the case that “devout” Muslim women never wear dresses?
    How long before the Mormons end up with a no-dresses dress code for women?

  • Cozmo the Magician

    Awww, but those poor men will have a more difficult time when they want some loving. They will have to unbutton/unzip the girl’s pants and then slide them down. So much easier when you can just lift her skirt. I’m sure their dear leader never had to worry about this problem with his girl brides.