Christians Say the Darnedest Things: Three Reasons I Only Wear Skirts by Grace Raab

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As a little girl and as a lady, I have worn skirts and dresses full-time my entire life. I started doing it because my parents taught me to do so, and because it was expected of me by my pastors and church families. I was always told the reasonings for it, but I never truly grasped the importance of this principle until recent years.

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There are many different reasons why I believe (based on the Bible) that God would have me wear skirts instead of pants.

1. God Wants There To Be A Distinction Between The Sexes.

Deuteronomy 22:5  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.

This verse describes a very specific principle of how God thinks about the way men and women should dress. Notice that it doesn’t just say that men shouldn’t dress like women, or that women shouldn’t dress like men; it puts the two in direct contrast with each other.

In 1 Corinthians 11:14-15, it says: Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him? But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering.

This shows that God has a different idea for how men should wear their hair, and how women should wear their hair. We’ve just seen two different passages, one from the Old Testament, one from the New Testament, that portray an attitude of God, how He wants men and women to have a different outward appearance. God does not want men to look like women, and He doesn’t want women to look like men. Have you ever looked at someone from behind and not been totally sure whether you were seeing a male or female? Often, the people you’re viewing are even more confused about their gender than you are (or at least, they appear to be). I’m not saying that every girl who wears pants is necessarily trying to be a cross dresser, but she is definitely coming a lot closer to it than if she were wearing a skirt.

2. Wearing Skirts Easily Adorns A Woman In Modesty.

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Ladies, I’m going to be very blunt here: Have you ever seen what you look like from behind in a pair of pants? I have. I see it everyday, and there are very few of you who can get away with it without outlining every curve of your backside. I’m not just talking about loose women of the world, I’m talking about Christian women who want to please God. Maybe it doesn’t look quite as bad when you’re standing still, but as soon as you move or bend at all, that pair of pants becomes extremely revealing of your shape and form. I truly have no desire to be insulting in any way, but it seems like you really just don’t know what you look like, so I am simply trying to be informative while being as honest and straightforward as possible. However, I’m not the one you should be most concerned with; guys are seeing it too.

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Yes, men are responsible for the things they allow their own minds to dwell upon, but do you really want to be the image that prompts them into such fantasies? Some men will have corrupt thoughts no matter how you dress, but they don’t need you to clothe yourself in a way that leaves very little to the imagination. In addition to those types of men, there are also many Christian men out there who are trying to live a life pleasing to God with purity of thoughts and actions, but the way females dress around them –whether it be in tight jeans, a low-cut blouse, or even a short skirt– make it extremely difficult for them to do so. God created men with visually stimulated minds, and we, as Christian women, need to be aware of this. We are responsible for our part in preventing lust of the heart just as much as men are.

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3. A Lady Wearing A Skirt Is Easily Identified As A Christian.

Not only does a woman in a modest skirt or dress look feminine, lady-like, and beautiful, but she often makes it quite obvious that she’s a Christian. Yes, I have gotten some pretty funny looks from people who’ve seen me going about my life in a skirt (especially when in a group of multiple ladies wearing skirts), but to be quite honest, I love that. I love that I have a way of so boldly proclaiming that I’m a follower of Christ, without even saying a word. Of course, this is only one area in which a woman can outwardly display her faith in God, but I’ve found it to be one of the most recognizable, simply because so few women do it anymore. There was a time not too long ago in our country when it was against dress regulations for a girl to wear pants in a public school. We’ve come a long way since then! But this means that Christian women have more opportunity than ever to display their separation to Christ.

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— Grace Raab, Independent Baptist, Three Reasons Why I Wear Skirts, February 16, 2017

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16 Comments

  1. Karen the rock whisperer

    Methinks women who argue these things think too much of themselves.

    We all have backhinds. Most guys have seen their own in a mirror. Those that are getting turned on by random women’s rears have other issues.

    Skirts/dresses can be revealing or concealing, as can pants. If a person’s pants look like they will split when they bend over, or their skirt reveals the color of their underwear under the same conditions, we have a wardrobe malfunction. (It might be intended or not.) Personally, I feel sorry for people who feel that they have to get attention by purposeful wardrobe malfunctions.

    There are things, everyday things, that can’t be done gracefully in skirts. Years ago I had a woman colleague who liked to wear skirts, but would bother men co-workers to take care of basic tasks (like shifting boxes of printer paper) for her because it was awkward to do it in a skirt. They would do it, but she was blissfully unaware of their mockery of her later. It was not a company culture that suffered fools gladly. For me, the same request but phrased differently–“hey, this box is bitchin’ heavy, and there’s no available dolly, could we move it together?” was graciously received, because I wasn’t looking for a man do to a favor for me, rather looking for a co-worker’s help. That left the assistant free to approach me a few days later with a “I have a really weird software bug, could you take a look at it” because we were co-workers, not just men and women per se.

    The thing is, the author of this screed doesn’t NEED nuance, because God is on her side! She doesn’t DO things that are awkward in dresses/skirts. She is a Woman, as defined by Evangelical culture, and does Woman things only. And she’s rich enough or content enough with poverty to live that way.

    Finally I would point out that nobody outside her tribe associates skirts with Christianity. We don’t know you’re a Christian by your dress. I suspect no one will know it by your love, either, but that’s just me extrapolating.

    Reply
  2. Appalachian Agnostic

    I aways felt bad for the Pentocostal girls at school who had to wear skirts all the time. They often paired a long denim skirt with athletic shoes, which gave them a distinct but awkard look.

    I did not like wearing dresses myself because they made me feel vulnerable and unprotected. One time while leaving church, a gust of wind lifted my dress up over my face, exposing my undergarments for everyone to see. It was humiliating. Someone once told me he believed dresses were designed to allow easy access to the woman’s body for sex. He had a point. As Dexy’s Midnight Runners said, “You in that dress, my thoughts I confess, well, they’re dirty”

    Reply
  3. Troy

    Why are pants and short hair hallmarks of the male sex? Pants are a necessity of horse riding and the role of the mounted warrior in the military has made pants a male garment. Similarly short hair was a necessity in an army since it reduced parasites (and possibly as an equalizer for lower ranks).
    This has nothing to do with God distinguishing the sexes with clothing. If so shouldn’t it be as universal as a smile and a scowl? In non-equestrian cultures there are a lot of tunics, kilts, robes and so forth. Long hair on men has come and gone in fashion and cultures as well. Even the Bible mentions long hair as giving Samson his power. (Jesus, even if not a pure myth, is usually depicted as having long hair.)

    These “Mommy blogs” are notorious for giving ill informed and poor advice. If I can identify your religion because of your attire is being imposed a religion, you’re in a cult plain and simple.

    Reply
    1. Matilda

      Agree, these folk have no idea of the history of fashion. Portraits of 18-19thC children show small boys wearing dresses and with long hair so you can’t tell which gender they are. And is long hair more jesus-y for men? Forget which wacky fundy-blogger weighed in against beards recently, but a commenter said ‘So after god created adam, he next created a shaving kit and scissors did he?’ Oh, and I wouldn’t recommend telling a scotsman that his kilt makes him look female.

      Reply
  4. Harry Hamid

    When it comes to “Eternal Truth,” there are things that I uysed to be able to be convinced of. Things that kinda-sorta made sense in that light. 10 commandments or 7 Deadly Sins variety.

    But when someone uses the Bible to try and convince me that something that is clearly and obviously culturally determined is in fact Eternal Truth, it undermines the entire argument about Eternal truth.

    That is like “God intended us to drive on the right side of the road, not the left” type reasoning there.

    Reply
  5. ObstacleChick

    I went to fundamentalist evangelical Christian school for 8 years, and we had gender-specific dress code rules – girls were required to “be as God made them – feminine” with a rule about the length of our skirt and the length of our sleeves. Boys had to wear a belt with shirt tucked into pants, and they had specific rules about hair length. I could count on my hand the number of times I wore a dress or skirt for 2 years after I graduated from high school. Even now, I rarely wear skirts – I find them to be a hindrance in real life function.

    Here are some things I would like to say to Grace:

    1) Grace, you say that women must wear skirts. The Bible 1 Corinthians 11:6 say that women must cover their heads during worship. I’m sure you must wear a head covering when you pray or go to church as is proscribed in the Bible? I mean, it’s what God wants you to do….

    Do you ever wear a cotton button-down shirt with a collar? Does your husband? Aren’t you wearing the same article of clothing? Do you wear socks? Does your husband? Aren’t socks an article of clothing pertaining to a man, or pertaining to a woman? Or are you only concerned about the outermost article of clothing covering your sex organs?

    2) Grace, have you been looking at my backside? Did you like it? I do squats and lunges and am a runner, so you must have found it pleasing. You like me in my yoga pants, don’t you? Just admit it.

    Some of the most attractive women I have seen can make a pencil skirt look like the sexiest garment around.

    (Frankly, once I realized that everyone looks at everyone else with appreciation because it’s a biological function that helps to promote propogation of the species and is not a “sin”, I became a lot more comfortable with appreciating other people regardless of how they look and dress. In fact, my husband and I point out people that we think the other will find attractive. There’s no shame involved. We’re both in a committed relationship with each other and neither of us cheats or wants to cheat – we just appreciate looking at an attractive person regardless of gender.)

    3) Grace, here’s where you show your ignorance of the world outside your little fundie bubble. I urge you to take a trip to New York City, or to Miami, or to Los Angeles, or to any other city where there’s a robust Orthodox and/or Hasidic Jewish community. All the girls and women wear skirts. Do you think they are wearing skirts to show their love of Jesus? I don’t think so. And Grace, they have one-upped you because these women cover their heads at all times with either a scarf or wig as “God” demands, and they have rules about their sleeve length. Do you wear short sleeves? You hussy, these Orthodox and Hasidic women are more modest than you as they wear at least 3/4 length sleeves. Do you ever go without stockings with your skirts? You hussy, the Orthodox and Hasidic women wear tights so no bare skin is showing. Maybe you should call them and get some pointers on modesty. Or better yet, contact some Muslim ladies who will school you on what REAL modesty looks like with a burqa, you Hussy.

    Grace, I applaud every woman’s right to choose to wear what she wants to wear. We live in a free country where women can choose their garments as they see fit. I applaud that you are wearing what you want to wear and what makes you feel good about yourself. But DO NOT judge me for my clothing choices. DO NOT judge me for not adhering to your interpretation of what you think your “God” wants you to wear. (See above examples of ladies who are more modest than you are and would consider you to be the indecent one). Christian-school educated, I never found ONE verse in the Bible that said women need to wear skirts of a certain length and sleeves of a certain length. But then, I like how my posterior looks in my yoga pants.

    Reply
  6. James

    “In 1 Corinthians 11:14-15, it says: Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him? But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering.”

    So, she uses that passage to justify her position. Therefore, she also needs to include verse 10:

    “It is for this reason that a woman ought to have authority over her own head, because of the angels.”

    If she argues for women not wearing pants, she should also argue for women wearing head coverings.

    Reply
  7. Tammy

    I’m going to have to burst your bubble here, Grace. First, I don’t give a shit if you like what I’m wearing or not. And if creepy men are thinking dirty thoughts about me because of my clothing, that’s their problem, not mine. Second, whenever I see someone like you in public wearing her long denim skirt accompanied by her haughty proud look, the first thing I think isn’t “oh look, a sweet Christian,” but rather “oh look, a self righteous asshole.” And third, my daughter-in-law often wears long modest style skirts, and she is atheist. So, yeah, go float yourself.

    *Sorry for the blunt language to everyone else.*

    Reply
  8. Rachel

    Right, so men are ravenous sex-beasts who can’t possibly control their sex drive and shouldn’t be expected to, while women (who have little or no sex-drive of their own) have the moral obligation of somehow curbing the sex-drive of all those dreadful (but also, superior) men?

    The problem here is fear of the sex-drive, it stands out a mile. Fact: most people have a sex-drive, this is a biological reality as well as a cultural one. It’s not right or wrong in any moral sense; it simply is. But it can be expressed responsibily or not.

    If a man sexually assaults or rapes a woman, he is responsible. Nothing to do with whether she is wearing pants or a skirt, or whether the woman has been drinking alcohol, or whether she showed her shoulders. Women in highly traditional Muslim societies, women who are almost completely covered, get raped too.

    I echo Tammy here. When I encounter a woman who “virtuously” displays her long skirt and her Christian credentials, I just think “Here’s another self-righteous and fearful person who blames women for sexual assault while letting men off the hook.” Grace Raab’s views demean both women AND men.

    Reply
  9. Nickolaus Pacione

    Coming from working with Matthew S. Carroll I am going to give some advice to this lady, I am going to tell her she’s just asking to be treated like Ms. Scribe with something like this. Someone get her The Ethereal Gazette: Issue Five and read David Wright’s piece .

    Reply
  10. HarryS

    James – “If [Grace] argues for women not wearing pants, she should also argue for women wearing head coverings.”
    Absolutely.
    She should also argue for her husband’s right to take additional wives, to buy concubines and slaves.
    As a Christian, he should go past the Law (of Moses) and be sure to treat all of his wives as equally as humanly possible, not merely to not diminish his first, or earlier, wives’ due of food, clothing and sexual intercourse.
    So, no dozens of wives (including concubines and “handmaids” – sex slaves). Solomon could not possibly have given each of his 1,000 wives her due attention.

    Reply
  11. HarryS

    Karen – “We all have backhinds. Most guys have seen their own in a mirror. Those that are getting turned on by random women’s rears have other issues.”
    What issues? If a fellow doesn’t get at least a little rise from seeing a nicely formed lady’s backhind, perhaps he has an issue!

    Reply
  12. HarryS

    ObstacleChick – I’ll bet those girls were wearing pants under their skirts! G-d can see through skirts, so they need not think they can hide their sin! Yes, from other people, but not from G-d!
    G-d-fearing women didn’t wear (under)pants until the 1700s. Sure, filthy heathen pagan women wore pants in antiquity, but G-dly women like Sarah, wife of Abraham, and Mary, mother of Jesus, sure didn’t!
    That first sinner, Eve, was stricken with shame when she became conscious that she was naked, and made an “apron” out of fig leaves (probably a loincloth-like garment). G-d expressed H-s displeasure by giving Eve a “coat” (probably a tunic) instead of a pussy cover.
    So to be truly in accord with the Law (of Moses) Grace should get rid of all of her evil pant(ie)s! G-d never authorized women to wear pants of any kind! Including under pants!

    Reply
  13. HarryS

    Appalachian Agnostic – “I did not like wearing dresses myself because they made me feel vulnerable and unprotected. One time while leaving church, a gust of wind lifted my dress up over my face, exposing my undergarments for everyone to see.”
    Pants don’t protect. Rapists prefer pants on the women they rape. Pants pulled down to a womanwoman’s knees immobilize her legs, preventing her kicking or running. Even panties pulled down to her knees may do the same.
    A reasonable skirt, not too tight, about knee length, leaves her legs free for running or kicking. Of course those ridiculous ankle length skirts impede a woman running but even with long skirts she can kick.

    Reply
  14. Pastor Chris Fowler

    God bless you Grace and thank you for your comments, please don’t be offended by these folks.
    I very much appreciate your perspective and agree wholeheartedly.
    That is my conviction and my preference!

    I have peace with my Lord and pray that these other folks will too, let’s be kind as we express our convictions and opinions.

    Any fool can curse and be rude, be kind y’all !

    Reply
    1. Zoe

      Yes, calling people fools is so kind.

      Reply

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