'Women who choose to wear pants, no matter what the reason, no matter if it is for one day out of 365, or for the entire year, will invariably be ostracized, gossiped about, and otherwise excluded in parish life as a raving feminist.'
I dont understand the apparent outrage. Consider this statement. 'Women who choose to wear pants...'
Why would such women 'choose' to wear pants at all? Perhaps in certain, specific, limited circumstances it could be tolerated, but as a general principle I have always been taught and understood the norm to be that Catholic women do not 'choose' to wear pants: they wear skirts or dresses, using the Blessed Virgin Mary as their guide to modesty. Certainly the BVM has never been depicted wearing pants?
'Their children will no longer have other children to play with, they will be denied the sacraments, expelled from school, and otherwise made to feel as second class citizens.'
If the Catholic standard for female modesty in dress is that women wear skirts or dresses, and certain women insist on defying the standard, and they have been asked to comply with the norm, then why would it necessarily be wrong for these women who persist to behave immodestly to be socially ostracised? At least until they corrected themselves?
It would be the same, to me at least, if a man went to church wearing shorts and a t-shirt... or wearing a dress, for that matter! Perhaps he needs the rules explained to him again; perhaps he is new to Tradition, coming from a Novus Ordo parish or some form of 'protestantism'. But, if he persists in behaving immodestly, then he would be rightly excluded, mocked and otherwise ridiculed.
'So the mother who decides that it is better and more practical for her daughter to wear a pair of non-body-conforming capris to the volleyball party (for when she dives for that ball,) will suddenly find herself on the outside of the community that she (and her daughter) is in such dire need of.'
And? Does a modest, Catholic girl 'dive for a ball' at a volleyball party? What kind of party is it? Are there boys and girls? Just girls?
If this mother and daughter are in such dire need of a traditional Catholic community, and the community decides to uphold traditional standards of dress and decorum, then in my opinion the onus is on the mother and daughter to comply with the standards: not insist upon new ones.
Look, I'm not saying my house isnt made of glass -- and I wont be the one to throw the first stone -- but right is right... and it seems to me to be contradictory to insist upon being a traditional Catholic while complaining about traditional Catholic standards.
'I think this is a very important paragraph, especially the statement I highlighted. Because one cannot overlook the fact that many trad communities are absolutely brutal on any woman who chooses to wear pants or lets her daughters wear them.'
That is because -- unless there is some overwhelmingly important reason -- a woman who insists on wearing pants and allowing her daughters to do so as well is probably not thinking or acting like a traditional Catholic.
'I knew a woman who was literally hounded out of an SSPX community over the "pants" issue. She had talked to the priest about it, but he did nothing to stop the behavior of the parishioners, so he was essentially complicit in this treatment of her. She was a professional single woman, who wore beautifully tailored pantsuits. Her clothing was modest and feminine.'
Wow. The priest was 'complicit' in upholding traditional Catholic standards of dress. How very scandalous! He should have encouraged her to wear combat boots: that would've been much more 'tolerant', 'inclusive', and 'understanding'. (Hint: Sarcasm)
Professional woman or not, if she has the time and the resources to buy and wear 'beautifully tailored pantsuits', then she has the time and resources to buy and wear modest clothing in keeping with traditional Catholic standards of dress.
Moreover, the statements 'Her clothing was modest and feminine' and 'She was a professional single woman, who wore beautifully tailored pantsuits' are irreconcilable from a traditional Catholic point of view. This just begs questions like, 'Why is she single?', 'Why is she a "professional"?', 'Why does a traditional Catholic woman insist upon wearing pants?', and so on.
And before anyone goes off half-cocked about Joan of Arc wearing armour while fighting the English, or St. Whatshername wearing pants while digging potatoes at her convent, or whatever... let's put the matter in perspective.
The traditional Catholic standard of dress for women is a modest (below the knee) skirt or a dress. Argue about it until you're blue in the face, but at least let's start from a common assumption.
Now, that said, there are always exceptions to every rule. However we, as laymen, do not authorise these exceptions: the hierarchy (priests & bishops) does. So, if Ms. So-and-so insists on wearing pants without a good reason and without the sanction of her local traditional Catholic authority, she is being prideful and disobedient. Period.