Should women wear pants ?

Coming from a fundamental Baptist Background we were always taught that women should not wear pants. According to our pastors the reason for such is that the Bible says in Deuteronomy 5: 22 that “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”

I am not going to give an in-depth theological discussion here, but I plan to do so in the near future. However I was just wondering if this verse applies to women wearing pants that are made exclusively for women. Some dogmatic preachers would answer in the affirmative, but are what they are saying Biblically correct?

What pertains to man or woman is confined to the culture and traditions of a certain society and age. We cannot establish a set of rules and judge which belongs to who. Doing so would be dabbling would legalism which is contrary to what the essence of Christianity really is.

For example, Scottish men wear “kilts” during special occasions. The Scottish kilts looks like a woman’s skirt.

There was a time in our history when men wear a corset for aesthetic purposes. In modern times some men do wear corsets for medical purposes.

Tunics, which look like a women’s blouse were worn during the Greek and Roman times and all throughout the medieval ages.

Until today in some parts of Asia, parts of Africa, and on many Pacific islands men still wear the traditional “Sarong” which is a large sheet of fabric, often wrapped around the waist and worn as a skirt.


Even people in Bible lands until today wear the same old robes and sash that people in ancient times wore.

If we were to judge men wearing the kilt, sarong, tunic and robes with our own Western Culture and tradition, it could be said that these people are in violation of Deuteronomy 22:5 because according to our culture, these kinds of clothing are associated with what our women wear.

There are pants that are made exclusively for women, before we use Deutornomy 22:5 to judge women who are wearing pants, we have to check out what it really means and consider the contextual and cultural background surrounding the verse. A lot could be said theologically about this subject and I wish to deal with this in future posts.

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10 Responses to Should women wear pants ?

  1. iggy says:

    Two words… “FREE WILL”


  2. Iris says:

    Jesus wore a dress and it was normal during that time. Women also wore similar clothing. In our current culture, if a man wears a dress, he’s considered a “cross-dresser”.

    Basically, the Bible was written centuries ago, which reflects a very, very old culture. Many rules and beliefs could not be applied to our modern society.

  3. Elizabeth Delahos says:

    Personally, I think that the scripture means that a man shouldnt purposefully try and look like a woman, nor should a woman purposely look like a man. There there should be a distinction but I dont feel it has to do with one article of clothing, like a skirt because if you really wanted to get technical about it, then no one should be wearing pants because in Jesus’ time everyone wore robes, no one wore pants..there wasnt even a distinction then. It goes much deeper into how we are perceived, just as women should not cut their hair because it is their glory and men should, because long hair on a man is an abomination.

  4. zigfred says:

    Elizabeth: I agree. Well some preachers are just so dogmatic, that they generalize that all pants is for men only. What about those pants made exclusively for women like square pants ? I just hate legalism.

  5. Roxanne Roz says:

    Elizabeth: “because long hair on a man is an abomination.” except maybe when you made a Nazarite vow. LOL. However, I do agree with your statement of “a man shouldnt purposefully try and look like a woman, nor should a woman purposely look like a man” bit

    Zigfred: “What pertains to man or woman is confined to the culture and traditions of a certain society and age. We cannot establish a set of rules and judge which belongs to who. Doing so would be dabbling would legalism which is contrary to what the essence of Christianity really is.”

    Hey, preach on, brother. Jesus especially targeted the Scribes & Pharisees, well-respected religious leaders in His day, who kept to the letter of the Mosaic law yet they missed God’s heart.

    Matthew 23:23 (New Living Translation)
    “What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you are careful to tithe even the tiniest income from your herb gardens,[a] but you ignore the more important aspects of the law—justice, mercy, and faith. You should tithe, yes, but do not neglect the more important things.”

    Preachers/churches who are too legalistic…there are more important issues to address than wearing pants/going to moviehouses/etc. It always boils down to issues of the heart…like pride. You may think of yourself as a self-righteous, pious man of God, go to church always, give your tithe but are haughty and prideful, and judgmental….you are as guilty as the Pharisees were!

    You may not go to movie theatres, but in the confines of your own home, watch borderline pornographic films, or maybe even surfing adult sites, or perhaps even just looking at a woman with lust in your eyes….then you are missing the bigger picture!

  6. zigfred says:

    Roxanne: I definitely agree !

  7. pastor walter jackson says:

    yes all women should wear short dress and tight blue jeans …god dont look at what we wear but what in the heart .. my email if you have trouble knowing god word.

  8. Roxanne Roz says:

    zigfred: can you forward this to the email of last commenter?

    @ pastor walter:

    I am not suggesting that women wear tight skinny jeans, and short dresses. I am merely attacking the issue of legalism. Christianity is always about pleasing God, not men. Men have added additional sets of rules, adding to the letter of the law.

    The two most important commands out of all the Jewish laws that Jesus said were to 1. love God with all your heart/soul/body/mind; 2. love your neighbor as yourself.

    As to the issues of dress especially with women, the #2 command here would mean as a woman, knowing that men are more visual, and therefore, can easily sin with lust from what they see, then the loving thing to do would be to dress with modesty. The question to ask here is, as a women: ‘am i dressing to be attractive or to attract attention?’. There is a big difference there.

    Dressing attractively is a loving thing to do especially with women in marriages…they tend to neglect how they look and fail in this area for their husbands. However, dressing to attract attention, with plunging necklines, short skirts, and tight jeans…well, then, that is another issue….

  9. zigfred says:

    Roxanne: Sure. No Problem

  10. You are so right! They should call it tradition not Christianity! They have cost so many a chance at salvation by running them off before they have a chance to hear the word of God!

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