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I am glad a male piped in.

I did not really think that the contour of a females behind was all that immodest. And if it was on a woman, then any shirt that showed the countour of their chest would also be immodest (which would be impossible for many women without wearing a burqa).

The catholic church canonized St Gianna Molla who also wore pants sometimes.

elena maria vidal

What a fascinating topic! Perhaps someone already mentioned the site CatholicModesty.com which has some links to interesting articles on modesty, including those in the Catechism of the Catholic Church. There is a sermon from Fr Hathaway, FSSP, quoting Cardinal Siri in 1960. Cardinal Siri pointed out that the issue of women wearing pants was not so much connected with modesty as with how women see themselves, especially in relation to their families. Interesting, since it was really with the rise of the feminist movement that pants became ordinary attire for women, on all occasions. Many things have changed since 1960, including women's fashions, and there are many lovely, modest and feminine outfits which include slacks. Again, women wearing pants was never a question of modesty, but rather of equality and liberation, I suppose. But even that has changed. Many of the most devout stay-at-home mothers I see at daily Mass wear baggy jeans and shapeless tee-shirts and/or sweat shirts, so that I am almost at the point of regarding such attire as a badge of piety. I even have a slight concern that my daughter will get the idea that virtue, modesty and motherhood must necessarily go hand-in-hand with such rugged austerity, especially since all the ladies going off to jobs have bright, pretty outfits on.


I appreciate how the gentleman who made one comment states he is not influenced sexually by women who wear pants. I wish to say that is not my experience, and not that of many men I have known in my personal life, and those I've counseled as a professional psychotherapist. Of course, we do not have to go to the point of the "Taliban". But I so appreciate women who understand something of their beauty, and how that can easily influence the minds of many good men. In my opinion, the issue is not the fact of women "wearing pants", so much as it is how "tight they are". "Yes", men "are" influenced! God bless you ladies, everyone of you who are thoughtful of how easily you can lead a man to think thoughts that bring him down, even in simply passing through the course of a day.


I think we're back to square one: which stated that it's not pants or skirts/dresses per se, but the modesty therein. Both can be modest, and both have the capacity to degrade the wearer and all who see her. I appreciate very much the opinions of the men-folk. Saint Maria Goretti, pray for us!

Donna Marie Lewis

Men's sensibilities aren't the only ones under assault, although they are generally targeted more.
Example: I walk on a local track.
There are sometimes guys who run shirtless, and it can be...a bit distracting.
In poor weather I shift my walking to a local mall, where the "no shoes, no shirt, no service" policy is enforced. However it doesn't apply to the advertising. Hence I was somewhat stunned by a display in a clothing store entrance that I passed . It consisted of a photo blowup of a reclining, naked young man -the photograph ended about 2 inches away from becoming openly pornographic.
This same clothing store has featured similar pictures on billboards on the highway.
As a single woman who is trying to be chaste, I really don't need this sort of thing....
And what the heck is a naked guy doing in ads for a clothing store ?


What's modest and immodest is a matter of degree. Jeans can be baggy, slightly fitted, or skin tight, they can be high waisted or low waisted which is more modest?

My SIL who's 35 and should know better by now, showed up at our home last year in skin tight jeans. Not just tight, so tight from ankle to top that it is hard to figure out how she actually accomplished putting them on. They left nothing to the imagination everyone had a very good idea what her figure was like....that plus a low cut top to show off her new "purchases."

Main problem? 15 year old son.

'Nuff said. Jeans can be exceedingly immodest (ie., sexy) or downright ugly and baggy.

I think we've finally passed the boundary of "male attire" "female attire" it's too late now to go back....when 99% of women wear pants.

But it's about finding somewhat difficult middle ground.

Julie Maria

I think Cardinal Siri point was so deep.... he went to the root of the problem and I ask my self now... ever study what he wrote... if it´s not true this point he make:

"When we see a woman in trousers, we should think not so much of her as of all mankind, of what it will be when women will have masculinized themselves for good. Nobody stands to gain by helping to bring about a future age of vagueness, ambiguity, imperfection and, in a word, monstrosities".

At leas in Brazil we can see all over the place!


Julie Maria


I have learned to avoid looking at women below the waist because most wear pants. This is to avoid the near occassion of sin, not the certainty of it, because one can become accomplished at banishing inappropriate thoughts with practice. There was a time when one could appreciate the beautiful floral patterns on the skirt. There was also a time when most women would cover their cleavage but it appears to be fashionable now to show off, so men have to avoid looking there also. It seems that seeing women in general has become a problem, because of the styles. The pants are more revealing of detail than a skirt, for the same length and tightness. When women first rode bicycles, pants were worn and objections of immodesty were heard. Early Catholic opinions were against women in competitive sports that required revealing costumes. Now, we can commonly see women wearing almost nothing. This does not create an environment where it is easy to socialize without sin.

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    • From Benedict XVI
      “People have realized that the complete removal of the feminine element from the Christian message is a shortcoming from an anthropological viewpoint. It is theologically and anthropologically important for woman to be at the center of Christianity."
    • Anger and Patrimony (from Donna)
      This is just another of the unintended consequences of the cultural acceptance of contraception and abortion! Men's sexuality has been robbed of its creative essence. It is now viewed as something that imposes a burden on women (when conception happens to occur), something used to control women or something that is purely recreational. Why would men bother?? In taking away their responsibility, we've also robbed them of their significance! In the big picture of humanity, men have been made into nothing more than a nuisance women have to figure out how to control in order to bring about the next generation. Men don't see it as their task to protect the vulnerable because they see themselves as the vulnerable ones. A few well preserved vials of sperm would make men entirely obsolete in the world's ethos today!!
    • Excellent, Dom! (from Teresa)
      That is astounding Robin, and good for you for standing up. At the heart of that matter, I think, is even worse than a gender mixing message. There is an increased sharper and sharper focus on the "self." Solid Catholic teaching returns our focus away from ourselves to Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The original sin, Eve denied her womanhood when she desired to be like "gods." Since the only god she knew was the Father. Where was Adam? He stood impotent... in other words, they were divorced. There's a young girl at Robin's son's high school who was just told that she is the center of the universe and it's a tragic disservice to her.
    • Find the logic (from "me")
      Ditto what Mary said! A lot of high schools have very poor math and science depts, for boys and girls. I also am educated as a chemical engineer, but chose to teach the two years before we had children because its hours were more suited to spending time with children. (I was looking ahead). When it came time and I was pregnant with our first, I realized that I did not want to leave him with someone else, and was able to stay home full time. I am not sure it would have been that easy if we were used to another engineering income and not just a private school teacher income. Also some of my first job offers were out on oil rigs - I had no interest in that at all even though I enjoyed my engineering classes and did well in them. No one discouraged me from an engineering job, on the contrary I got a lot of flack for my decision not to pursue an engineering career.
    • Find the logic (from Mary)
      I've been lurking, but this is one that irritates me. Beats the heck out of me what these "barriers" are. I was educated as a chemical engineer, where 1/3 of our class was women. However, in electrical engineering, only 1 or 2 out of 30 were women. Is it possible that women are Just Not Interested in some areas? Nah, it must be The Man keeping us down so we must legislate (and, I agree -- when they say "legistlate", I hear "quota"). And actually, I have a friend that was also a chemical engineer. When she lost her job, she decided not to go back into engineering and started working from home so she could spend more time with her 3 kids. Also, if nothing else, there are all kinds of incentives for women to enter science and engineering -- scholarships not available to men, guaranteed housing on campuses that do not guarantee housing to the general population, etc. I think you hit the nail on the head when you said that schools in general are not preparing students for the hard sciences. It is truly a sad state of affairs, the lack of science education these days.

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