It was with interest and a hint of a head shake that I listened to the news that women would be allowed to wear pants or pantsuits to work at the Church Office Building and other Church-owned places of business. Having never worked for the LDS Church myself, but knowing several women who did, this was an issue I had heard about for years but was not personally invested in. It felt like an important moment for those other women—and the men who can now remove their suit jackets on hot days—and I celebrate this for them.
I can’t, however, help but notice that it is 2017. It has been almost 25 years since women in the United States were given permission to wear pants on the Senate floor. It’s been 50 years since Lucille Ball and Mary Tyler Moore rocked capris on television. And it was less than five short years ago that Mormon women united to wear pants to church in symbolic solidarity with each other. And here we are, well into the 21st century, and our culture is now moving toward the idea that women can be respectful and professional without a strictly prescribed gendered dress code.
So, I celebrate that, in our community, women will be allowed to make clothing decisions. (I’m also pretty stoked about the paid family leave. But I digress.) I recognize the shift in thinking and open-mindedness that had to come before this decision could be made. And I hope that this is a small step toward more trust for women in all areas.