When Mormon women staged "Wear Pants to Church Day" on the Sunday before Christmas, they hoped to draw attention to the role of women in the church. They succeeded, but they also drew criticism from male church members, and, unfortunately, death threats that were posted to the event's Facebook page.
The church has no rule against pants-clad women in Church, but many Mormon women feel pressured to wear a dress. Some said they didn't join the protest because they feared a backlash.
The protest was launched on Facebook and attracted thousands of participants, many of whom posted images of themselves dressed for church. Threats made on participants' Facebook pages are being investigated by "local authorities," according to the NYTimes.
The Times also quotes negative responses from male church members, including one man who suggested the women find another church, and another who said "women who want to wear pants, they just don't know how to follow the Lord."
Aimee Hickman, editor of Mormon feminist magazine Exponent II, said she was initially ambivalent about the protest, but she's on board having seen that the event "has people talking about Mormon gender roles more than anything I've seen."
The women involved said they hoped to open a dialogue about the ways in which boys and men are given more authority than girls and women within the church.