Wear The Pants (Day)!
Personally, I fancy a skirt on warm June days (though we're far from that these days, in Seattle). But where would moms be without that one pair of perfect jeans? You know what I'm talking about. The jeans you wear at least three days a week? The "from playground to casual dinner" jeans? Wearing pants is a must in the Pacific Northwest where the temperate, rainy climate demands some serious leg coverage at least nine months out of the year.
For the most part, pants for women and girls are as ubiquitous in the United States as hamburgers or shopping malls. But that wasn't always the case; especially in professional environments. For some girls and women, the world over, wearing pants is a criminal act, bringing penalties like public flogging and imprisonment.
It's why New Moon Magazine for girls has declared Friday, June 11th "Wear the Pants Day!" Why June 11th? From the web site:
We picked this day because on June 11, 1964, the Equal Pay Act was enacted in the US, mandating that women receive equal pay for equal work. On June 11, we’ll celebrate our freedom to wear pants won by our foremothers, and we’ll also show support for girls in other places who don’t have that right.
The truth is that, even as recently as 1994, notes New Moon, laws needed to explicitly state that women wearing pants in the workplace was "acceptable." Even now, writes one New Moon young writer,
"Young females in professions such as law are still advised that wearing a skirt rather than pants is better for job interviews. And when powerful women prefer wearing pantsuits, such as US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, they are still regularly criticized for “unfeminine” clothing choices."
It's more than just heartening, it's purely inspirational when young girls care enough to remember, acknowledge and take action on behalf of the struggles our peers, our mothers and our grandmothers faced and overcame (and that many women continue to face). The girls at New Moon Magazine chose June 11th, as I mentioned, for its significance as the day the Equal Pay Act was enacted. And though, thanks to the hard work of so many Momsrising members, the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act passed last year, when women continue to make only 78 cents for every dollar a male makes in the workplace, the struggle continues.
Let's support our girls as they support women in the workplace and beyond. Celebrate Friday, June 11th by wearing pants proudly and speaking up about why it's so important that we continue working for equal rights for women and girls the world over!
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