I wore a green dress to church today. And I regretted it.
There were compelling reasons I was considering wearing pants. I discussed it thoroughly with my roommate Kara and my best friend Ashley, who are two women I greatly respect and admire. We read articles and talked it over and agreed and disagreed and changed our minds more than once. There were compelling reasons not to do it as well. I had a desire to support the cause, but in the end I decided that I didn't feel like church was the place to make a statement.
Last night before bed, Kara said she wasn't going to wear pants. I agreed. Shortly after we arrived at church in our typical Sunday Best, Ashley arrived in hers, which consisted of trousers and a blouse. She told me as she sat down next to me in Relief Society that one reason she almost didn't participate was fear, and she didn't want to let that define her choices. She is strong and wise and I generally strive to be more like her. In that moment, out of a desire for solidarity with her, I wished I had worn pants. And that made me realize that if I had done it, solidarity would have been the reason, not a political statement. And that would have felt good and pure.
I recognize that there is a large spectrum of emotions toward this topic, but what I feel most strongly about it is that this actually does matter. I simply cannot agree with the people who dismissively say "Who cares?" It's not about whether or not women are allowed to wear pants to church [they are, by the way. As Ashley said, "Women should wear pants because they do what they want to, not because someone tells them they can or they can't"]. This is about respecting and supporting and healing our sisters and our brothers. There are people who care, and since I believe everyone's feelings are valid, this is important to me.
I hope I have more opportunities to show support and solidarity with my sisters and brothers. And I hope I don't let fear define my choices anymore.