Taken from a pastoral letter by Bishop Richard Williamson
Summer's end may not seem to be the cleverest moment to choose to write about women's dress. Surely the arrival rather than the departure of the warm weather would be the time to inveigh against immodest clothing. However, several ladies happen to have raised with me this summer the question of women wearing trousers or shorts (pants), and the problem is broader and deeper than just immodesty, grave though immodesty is.
For instance Bishop de Castro Mayer used to say that trousers on a woman are worse than a mini-skirt, because while the mini-skirt is sensual and attacks the senses, the trousers are ideological and attack the mind. For indeed women's trousers, as worn today, short or long, modest or immodest, tight or loose, open or disguised (like the "culottes”), are an assault upon woman's womanhood and so they represent a deep-lying revolt against the order willed by God. This may be least true of the long "culottes", trousers most closely resembling a skirt, and at best mistakable for a skirt, but insofar as "culottes" establish the principle of dividing woman's outward apparel from the waist down, they merely disguise the grave disorder...
Making idols of liberty and equality, to refuse any inequality or subordination of woman to man, it will deny any distinction between them, it denies of course any order of God in His creation, any need for Redemption, and it will deny if necessary God's very existence. Today's feminism is intimately connected to witchcraft and satanism.
These considerations have taken us a long way from the question of women's trousers, and of course not every woman putting on a pair of shorts is consciously thinking of defying God or of defying her menfolk. She is, however, conscious of something. She is clearly aware that divided shorts are not like an undivided skirt, and the difference is that abandoning the skirt gives her a vague feeling — surely of unease, or emancipation, or both .... What is that feeling based on?
Clothing divided for the legs obviously liberates the mobile lower half of the body for a number of activities for which clothing undivided like a skirt is relatively cumbersome. Adam then having to earn his family's bread by the sweat of all kinds of activities outside the home, it is entirely normal for the man to wear trousers, and if a girl gets it into her head to join him in these activities, obviously trousers likewise emancipate her to do so. Shorts are the outward and visible sign of her liberation from the restricted range of homemaking activities.
However, she is uneasy because trousers are not the natural wear of a woman. Howsoever it be with other species, in the human species the female is designed to attract the eye of the male much more than the reverse — compare the number of male and of female beauty magazines on the market. Now original sin wounds human nature with concupiscence (unlawful desire) particularly in the senses of sight, touch and imagination. It follows for questions of clothing that what might rouse concupiscence needs more to be disguised in woman from man’s eye than in man from woman’s eye. Hence as trousers benefit the activity of the man, so skirts disguisingly loose befit the dignity and honour of the woman. Hence while donning his emancipatory trousers, she feels uneasy – at least until her conscience is dulled – as she is moving away from her identity and role and dignity as a woman. In her conscience is resounding the voice of the Lord her God pronouncing in the Mosaic Law: “A woman shall not be clothed with man's apparel, neither shall a man use woman's apparel: for he that doeth these things is abominable before God" (Deut. XXII, 5). And trousers are normally man's apparel, for reasons given above. [But not in your case, obviously - Ed.]
Of course if one denies the original sin which inflamed man's concupiscence (Gen. III, 7) and sharpened woman's subordination (Gen. III, 16), women's trousers are not so unreasonable, but see all around you the absurd consequences of denying original sin ! — sweet Polyanna goes to the office dressed fit to inflame a stone, but woe unto the poor male colleague in the office who fails to react like a stone, because with recent laws (in the U.S.A.) she will attack him in court! Insanity! Places of work will soon have to extract in advance from women sworn declarations whether they do, or do not, want to have advances made to them! But what was to be expected when women were pulled out of their home? It all serves the liberal men right for so misleading their women.
Contrast the reflective good sense of an American grandmother who said to me this summer when she was on retreat here in Winona that, looking back on her Californian youth, she could see she had often been induced to wear trousers, and now she regretted it — she could see now that each time her womanliness had been diminished. As G.K. Chesterton said, there is nothing so unfeminine as feminism. Women's trousers are a vital part, maybe the crucial break-through, of feminism.
As for the true womanliness of woman, its importance cannot be exaggerated. It all turns on women being essentially designed by God for motherhood; for the bringing of children into this world, and for their rearing; for the giving of life, warmth, love, nursing, and nourishment, everything represented by mother's milk. For this, men are not designed, of it they are intrinsically incapable yet upon it they are wholly dependent if they are to become human, as opposed to inhuman, beings. In a valuable book, The Flight from Woman, a cultivated Jewish psychiatrist, Karl Stern, tells how he could discern in countless ills of the big city patients coming through his Toronto practice after World War II a pattern of womanlessness with which he was familiar from the works of famous modern writers such as Goethe, Descartes, Tolstoy, Ibsen — not a lack of women, but a lack of truly womanly women, because modern men and women alike are trampling upon the womanly qualities and virtues. Shakespeare distilled this spirit in Lady Macbeth, proto-feminist and satanist:
"Come you spirits
That tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here,
And fill me from the crown to the toe top-full
Of direst cruelty.... Come to my woman's breast
And take my milk for gall, you murdering ministers..." (Act I, Sc. V).
Heaven help us! The womanliness of our women is being rooted out and the result is a way of life doomed to self-destruction, doomed to abort.
Girls, be mothers, and in order to be mothers, let not wild horses drag you into shorts or trousers. When activities are proposed to you requiring trousers, if it is something your great-grandmother did, then find a way of doing it, like her, in a skirt. And if your great-grandmother did not do it, then forget it! Her generation created your country, your generation is destroying it. Of course not all women who wear trousers abort the fruit of their womb, but all help to create the abortive society. Old-fashioned is good, modern is suicidal. You wish to stop abortion? Do it by example. Never wear trousers or shorts. Bishop de Castro Mayer was right.
September 1 1991 (reproduced without permission). Source.
P.S. Quote of the day has to be this from the Mail:
'It's just so sad. He was always such a thoughtful boy who used to come and sit and have coffee with me and talk about things. I can't imagine what's got into him.'
Mrs Edna Andrews, 81, talking about the Richard Williamson she used to know.
Friday, 6 February 2009
Taken from a pastoral letter by Bishop Richard Williamson