It’s still a prevailing thought among Sri Lankans that women are more “civilized”, “chaste” and in many ways “better off” wearing skirts; the traditionally accepted female attire(here I mean the normal knee length or longer flared type and not the tight ones and the very short ones). Pant-wearing-females are still (in some minds) looked down upon and labeled “fast and furious”. Though this phenomenon is decreasing rapidly in urban areas, pants-on-women are still recognized as “bad” among some traditionally thinking Sri Lankans.
This observable fact was actually opened up to me with the start of my University life. According to local university “culture”, some universities and faculties have “rules” that girls should not come in pants during the initial rag season and some others force girls to come in skirts and dresses all throughout their campus lives! This, I truly believe, is not a rule to get students to be in line with Sri Lankan “tradition” or the likes, because if so, the boys would’ve been forced to wear sarongs or national suits as well. No! They can come in any cultural attire while females have a set of rules restricting their dress code.
The irony of this situation is that most males find females more attractive, sexy and beautiful when they dress in skirts and frocks which naturally accentuate their femininity along with increased emphasis on curves and legs. According to my findings from an informal research, most girls (whose normal dress usually consists of T-shirts and pants) actually choose skirts in order to be intentionally sexually attractive to guys.
So does our University culture (and the somewhat inflexible traditional thinkers) want females to be looked at in a sexual manner by their male counterparts? Do they want females to seduce males with skirts when and where possible?
Leaving aside all others, a very obvious difference between female pants and skirts is that the latter makes the wearer more vulnerable to be the target of sexual abuse which can even lead to rape cases, etc. As my mother (a strong opponent of the “skirts-are-better” perception) rightly says, any man would find it even a fraction bit harder to take pants off a girl than a skirt, which will give the victim even a slight chance to free herself. A bit far fetched yet perfectly true.
So, in my opinion, for any female living in Sri Lanka( which I may fearlessly say still holds plenty of gender based threats), pants would be a better option for everyday wear, given of course that seduction is not one of the intentions of the day.