Women in trousers - a grave warning by Cardinal Siri

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Zu den drastischen Zeichen der Auflösung der Sittenordnung zählt die Vermännlichung der weiblichen Kleidung. Dankenswerterweise hat der englische Newsletter der FSSPX einen Brief von Kardinal Siri (Wunschnachfolger von Papst Pius XII., der aufgrund von Erpressungen trotz Stimmenmehrheit aus der Papstwahl gedrängt wurde) veröffentlicht, der sich gegen "Frauen in Hosen" wendet. Die keineswegs geringe Bedeutung des Themas geht aus den Ausführungen der Exzellenz klar hervor. (M. A. S.)

Society of St Pius X in Great Britain
December 2001 - January 2002 Newsletter

By Giuseppe Cardinal Siri

Genoa, June 12, 1960


To the Reverend Clergy,

To all Teaching sisters,

To the beloved sons of Catholic Action,

To Educators intending truly to follow Christian Doctrine. 1


I.  The first signs of our late arriving spring indicate that there is

this year a certain increase in the use of men's dress by girls

and women, even family mothers. Up until 1959, in Genoa, such

dress usually meant the person was a tourist, but now it seems

to be a significant number of girls and women from Genoa itself

who are choosing at least onpleasure trips to wear men's dress

(men's trousers).


The extension of this behaviour obliges us to take serious

thought, and we ask those to whom this Notification is

addressed to kindly lend to the problem all the attention it

deserves from anyone aware of being in any way responsible

before God.


We seek above all to give a balanced moral judgment upon the

wearing of men's dress by women. In fact Our thoughts can only

bear upon the moral question.


Firstly, when it comes to covering of the female body, the wearing

of men's trousers by women cannot be said to constitute AS


trousers certainly cover more of woman's body than do modern

women's skirts.


Secondly, however, clothes to be modest need not only to cover

the body but also not to cling too closely to the body. Now it is

true that much feminine clothing today clings closer than do

some trousers, but trousers can be made to cling closer, in fact

generally they do so, so the tight fit of such clothing gives us no

less grounds for concern than does the exposure of the body. So

the immodesty of men's trousers on women is an aspect of the

problem which is not to be left out of an over-all judgment upon

them, even if it is not to be artificially exaggerated either.


II.  However, it is a different aspect of women's wearing of men's

trousers which seems to us the gravest.2


The wearing of men's dress by women affects firstly the woman

herself, by changing the feminine psychology proper to women;

secondly it affects the woman as wife of her husband, by tending

to vitiate relationships between the sexes; thirdly it affects the

woman as mother of her children by harming her dignity in her

children's eyes. Each of these points is to be carefully

considered in turn:-




In truth, the motive impelling women to wear men's dress is

always that of imitating, nay, of competing with, the man who is

considered stronger, less tied down, more independent. This

motivation shows clearly that male dress is the visible aid to

bringing about a mental attitude of being "like a man". Secondly,

ever since men have been men, the clothing a person wears,

demands, imposes and modifies that person's gestures,

attitudes and behaviour, such that from merely being worn

outside, clothing comes to impose a particular frame of mind



Then let us add that woman wearing man's dress always more

or less indicates her reacting to her femininity as though it is

inferiority when in fact it is only diversity. The perversion of her

psychology is clear to be seen.3


These reasons, summing up many more, are enough to warn

us how wrongly women are made to think by the wearing of

men's dress.





In truth when relationships between the two sexes unfold with

the coming of age, an instinct of mutual attraction is

predominant. The essential basis of this attraction is a diversity

between the two sexes which is made possible only by their

complementing or completing one another. If then this "diversity"

becomes less obvious because one of its major external signs

is eliminated and because the normal psychological structure is

weakened, what results is the alteration of a fundamental factor

in the relationship.


The problem goes further still. Mutual attraction between the

sexes is preceded both naturally, and in order of time, by that

sense of shame which holds the rising instincts in check,

imposes respect upon them, and tends to lift to a higher level of

mutual esteem and healthy fear everything that those instincts

would push onwards to uncontrolled acts. To change that

clothing which by its diversity reveals and upholds nature's limits

and defence-works, is to flatten out the distinctions and to help

pull down the vital defence-works of the sense of shame.


It is at least to hinder that sense. And when the sense of shame

is hindered from putting on the brakes, then relationships

between man and women sink degradingly down to pure

sensuality, devoid of all mutual respect or esteem.


Experience is there to tell us that when woman is de-feminised

then defences are undermined and weakness increases.4





All children have an instinct for the sense of dignity and decorum

of their mother. Analysis of the first inner crisis of children when

they awaken to life around them even before they enter upon

adolescence, shows how much the sense of their mother

counts. Children are as sensitive as can be on this point. Adults

have usually left all that behind them and think no more on it. But

we could do well to recall to mind the severe demands that

children instinctively make of their own mother, and the deep and

even terrible reactions roused in them by observation of their

mother's misbehaviour. Many lines of later life are here traced

out - and not for good - in these early inner dramas of infancy

and childhood.


The child may not know the definition of exposure, frivolity or

infidelity but he possesses an instinctive sixth sense to

recognize them when they occur, to suffer from them, and be

bitterly wounded by them in his soul.


III. Let us think seriously on the import of everything said so far,

even if woman's appearing in man's dress does not

immediately give rise to all the upset caused by grave



The changing of feminine psychology does fundamental and, in

the long run, irreparable damage to the family, to conjugal

fidelity, to human affections and to human society. True the

effects of wearing unsuitable dress are not all to be seen within

a short time. But one must think of what is being slowly and

insidiously worn down, torn apart, perverted.


Is any satisfying reciprocity between husband and wife

imaginable, if feminine psychology be changed? Or is any true

education of children imaginable, which is so delicate in its

procedure, so woven of imponderable factors in which the

mother's intuition and instinct play the decisive part in those

tender years? What will these women be able to give their

children when they will so long have worn trousers that their

self-esteem goes more by their competing with the men than by

their functioning as women?


Why, we ask, ever since men have been men, or rather since

they became civilized - why have men in all times and places

been irresistibly borne to make a differentiated division between

the functions of the two sexes? Do we not have here strict

testimony to the recognition by all mankind of a truth and a law

above man?


To sum up, wherever women wear men's dress, it is to be

considered a factor in the long run tearing apart human order.


IV.  The logical consequence of everything presented so far is

that anyone in a position of responsibility should be possessed

by a SENSE of ALARM in the true and proper meaning of the

word, a severe and decisive ALARM.


We address a grave warning to parish priests, to all priests in

general and to confessors in particular, to members of every

kind of association, to all religious, to all nuns, especially to

teaching Sisters.


We invite them to become clearly conscious of the problem so

that action will follow. This consciousness is what matters. It will

suggest the appropriate action in due time. But let it not counsel

us to give way in the face of inevitable change, as though we are

confronted by a natural evolution of mankind and so on!


Men may come and men may go, because God has left plenty of

room for the to and fro of their free-will; but the substantial lines

of nature and the not less substantial lines of Eternal Law have

never changed, are not changing and never will change. There

are bounds beyond which one may stray as far as one sees fit,

but to do so ends in death;5 there are limits which empty

philosophical fantasizing may have one mock or not take

seriously, but they put together an alliance of hard facts and

nature to chastise anybody who steps over them. And history has

sufficiently taught, with frightening proof from the life and death of

nations, that the reply to all violators of the outline of "humanity"

is always, sooner or later, catastrophe.


>From the dialectic of Hegel onwards, we have had dinned in our

ears what are nothing but fables, and by dint of hearing them so

often, many people end up by getting used to them, if only

passively. But the truth of the matter is that Nature and Truth, and

the Law bound up in both, go their imperturbable way, and they

cut to pieces the simpletons who upon no grounds whatsoever

believe in radical and far-reaching changes in the very structure

of man.


The consequences of such violations are not a new outline of

man, but disorders, hurtful instability of all kinds, the frightening

dryness of human souls, the shattering increase in the number

of human castaways, driven long since out of people's sight and

mind to live out their decline in boredom, sadness and rejection.

Aligned on the wrecking of the eternal norms are to be found the

broken families, lives cut short before their time, hearts and

homes gone cold, old people cast to one side, youngsters

wilfully degenerate and - at the end of the line - souls in despair

and taking their own lives. All of which human wreckage gives

witness to the fact that the "line of God" does not give way, nor

does it admit of any adaptation to the delirious dreams of the

so-called philosophers!


V.  We have said that those to whom the present Notification is

addressed are invited to take serious alarm at the problem in

hand. Accordingly they know what they have to say, starting with

little girls on their mother's knee.


They know that without exaggerating or turning into fanatics, they

will need to strictly limit how far they tolerate women dressing

like men, as a general rule.


They know they must never be so week as to let anyone believe

that they turn a blind eye to a custom which is slipping and

undermining the moral standing of all institutions.


They, the priests, know that the line they have to take in the

confessional, while not holding women dressing like men to be

automatically a grave fault, must be sharp and decisive.


Everybody will kindly give thought to the need for a united line of

action, re-enforced on every side by the co-operation of all men

of good will and all enlightened minds, so as to create a true

dam to hold back the flood.


Those of you responsible for souls in whatever capacity

understand how useful it is to have for allies in this defensive

campaign men of the arts, the media and the crafts. The position

taken by fashion design houses, their brilliant designers and the

clothing industry, is of crucial importance in this whole question.

Artistic sense, refinement and good taste meeting together can

find suitable but dignified solutions as to the dress for women to

wear when they must use a motorcycle or engage in this or that

exercise or work. What matters is to preserve modesty together

with the eternal sense of femininity, that femininity which more

than anything else all children will continue to associate with the

face of their mother.


We do not deny that modern life sets problems and makes

requirements unknown to our grandparents. But we state that

there are values more needing to be protected than fleeting

experiences, and that for anybody of intelligence there are

always good sense and good taste enough to find acceptable

and dignified solutions to problems as they come up.


Out of charity we are fighting against the flattening out of

mankind, against the attack upon those differences on which

rests the complementarity of man and woman.


When we see a woman in trousers, we should think not so

much of her as of all mankind, of what it will be when women will

have masculanised themselves for good. Nobody stands to gain

by helping to bring about a future age of vagueness, ambiguity,

imperfection and, in a word, monstrosities.


This letter of Ours is not addressed to the public, but to those

responsible for souls, for education, for Catholic associations.

Let them do their duty, and let them not be sentries caught

asleep at their post while evil crept in.


Cardinal Siri


Archbishop of Genoa.




Translator's Notes:


1.  At the end of the Cardinal's Notification, he explains that it is

not addressed by him directly to the public at large, but only

indirectly, through the Catholic leaders here listed.  However, that

was in 1960, when the Church still had a framework of leaders. 

In 2000, those capable by their Faith of responding to the

Cardinal's instruction are scattered among the public at large, to

whom therefore his instruction is fittingly diffused.


2.  Trousers on women are worse than mini-skirts, said Bishop

de Castro Mayer, because while mini-skirts attack the senses,

women's trousers attack man's highest spiritual faculty, the

mind.  Cardinal Siri explains why, in depth.


3.  The enormous increase since 1960 in the practice and public

flaunting of the vice against nature is surely to be attributed in

part to this perversion of psychology.


4.  When woman is feminine, she has the strength God gives to

her.  When she is de-feminised, she has only the strength she

gives herself.


5.  All great art and literature testifies to this moral structure of the

universe which one violates at one's peril, and which is as much

part of the natural order as is its physical structure.  The Cardinal

is here at the heart of the question. adds some links: vhp/index.html


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