Men in skirts

New Buzzfeed article (translated from German) about a dad who wears skirts in solidarity with his five year-old son.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My favorite line is a toss up between: “You only don’t dare to wear skirts and dresses because your dads don’t dare to either” and “I had only one option left: To broaden my shoulders for my little buddy and dress in a skirt myself.”

Love that image of broadening his shoulders to wear a skirt. In a few words it refutes the idea that skirts emasculate men and evokes the sense of bravery required for men to wear what some call “unbifurcated garments” in white western society. At this point there is a split (or a bifurcation, if you will) in “men in skirts” advocacy.

There is the branch that says, hey, men in other cultures all over the world wear “MUGs” (male unbifurcated garments) – think kilts, sarongs, dashikis, etc., and there doesn’t have to be anything feminine about it. This branch emphasizes the masculinity and liberation of male skirt-wearing. See, for example, the Men’s Skirts Facebook Page, which asserts,

The idea behind MEN’S SKIRT’S is that Men DO look masculine in skirted garments, designed and made for men and that its time that men have the same freedom and equality in fashion as women! It is NOT about men wearing “feminine” skirts, rather it IS about men RECLAIMING masculine skirted garments, which have always been a men’s garment, worn by men throughout every era of history and still today in many countries.

Or the “Liberate Yourself with the Macabi for Men” campaign, which says, “the Macabi Skirt is the original unbifurcated adventure travel garment, for guys who truly know no fear.” The language in the sales pitch is fascinating and telling – “we faced our demons,” “free your manly self,” “no more fear,” “unfettered fellow Macabites.”

On the one hand, I find these images of everyday guys wearing their Macabi skirts refreshing correctives. They really serve to highlight the question, “WHAT IS THE BIG DEAL?!” Why does this seem threatening to anyone?

 

On the other hand, we tried selling the kilt idea to our son and it was a non-starter. (For those of you who find it hard to believe small children have their own ideas about fashion and self-expression, yes, a 4 year-old can tell the difference between a boy’s kilt and a girl’s skirt!) And it’s pretty evident in the picture of the little German boy in the article that it’s not a MUG he’s aspiring to. The other branch of men in skirts advocacy says, “so what if men are feminine — whether what is stereotypically considered feminine or what they feel themselves to be feminine?” The website malefemininity.com asserts:

Men are going to have the freedom to express their feminine side and many will enjoy it along with all the benefits that come with a feminine personality.

This trend is not something that will overthrow masculinity or classical maleness and we don’t want it to. So all you guys who can’t identify yourselves with feminine men need not feel threatened by these changes in any way. Think of it more as a broadening of the horizon for men and their place in society. Nobody has to become feminine but, equally, nobody is denied their feminine side either.

Before I had kids, I was most focused on giving boys more options: I was troubled that their options and our definition of masculinity seem so stunted and constrained. Why can’t boys have bright colors and motifs? Why are the only emotions we encourage competitiveness and anger? Why are things characterized as beautiful, whimsical, or creative almost always also characterized as feminine? Etc. I still feel this way. But my son has gently taught me that, in addition to this desire for all boys to have more fully developed and healthier choices, some boys want more than this.  Regardless, I think more dads in skirts of any kind will make more room for everyone.

Aside | This entry was posted in Clothing, Femininity, Gender complexity, Masculinity, Musings on the News, Parenting, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

52 Responses to Men in skirts

  1. David says:

    I am a 33 year old male, and I wear skirts on a regular basis i feel great and enjoy the comments that people make and also the comfort that they provide. I no longer try to justify to people why I wear them I only comment when they say something positive and outside of that I just go about my day. I am not a cross dresser, nor am I gay, or any other stereotype that closed minded people think, and even if I was, it would not be a concern to them. Clothes are clothes they do not make you who you are, all they really do is to cover up what is private, so people need to only worry about what affects them personally and nothing more.
    thank you,

  2. Jim Dunlop says:

    I think that what the German father is doing to support his son is fantastic! Yet, it probably goes without saying that the majority of the people observing that scene on the street would not perceive it that way. They would see it as, “Poor child. He has a freak for a father, and now he’s instilling his freak values onto an innocent child.” And unfortunately, it’s impossible (and quite impractical) to set the record straight to everyone who were to think that… Which leaves us with an interesting conundrum.

    I am very much an avid unbifurcated garment wearer, and have been for many years. I am in my late 30s, but started wearing Burmese sarongs when I first got introduced to them during my undergraduate studies in university, by a group of Burmese friends. Since then, I’ve expanded my wardrobe to Sri Lankan sarongs, African kikoi, and all manner of traditional and modern kilts. And yes, I also wear jeans, trousers, and shorts — I don’t discriminate with my wardrobe. I wear what I like, and as I feel that particular day. For that, I really enjoyed reading this article, and kudos for a work so well-written!

    One thing that I’ve noticed in my own, personal journey, is that sometimes it’s better to put others before myself. Not only is it unselfish to do so, it’s very much the norm in community and group-based cultures (I live in Japan). Every day, I have to balance my desire to wear what I please with good judgment and discretion, and sometimes that means sacrificing certain elements of my wardrobe for the greater good. I don’t think that men are emasculated by any one thing they say, do, or wear… But where I’m going with this, is that even though any given article of clothing or accessory is neither necessarily OVERLY masculine or feminine on its own, you start to run into problems when you take them collectively. Let’s say, for argument’s sake that I’m walking down the street in Harajuku, Tokyo. I see… A man in a skirt — Sure. Why not? Further on, a man in high-heeled boots. Unusual… But okay… Then, a man wearing nail polish on his fingers and toes… Yup — lots of avant-garde men in Japan do… And just to be clear, I wear all of these things myself, and still consider myself to be a cisgendered (not transgenered) man. But then I see a man wearing a skirt, high-heels, and nail polish…. And it starts to get a little complicated in my mind (even though it shouldn’t, necessarily) and no matter how liberal and open-minded a person is, it’s hard to say at that point, that even on a gender-fluid spectrum, that we aren’t pretty much in the transgendered domain at that point. Not that there’s anything wrong with that at all, but mainstream society still has a LOT of growth and development before it becomes commonly acceptable. And that being the case, are we really furthering our own cause and our own happiness by rocking the boat so much? Unless the goal is simple, unadulterated social activism, I would say that the point is to be happy, satisfied, and self-fulfilled, deriving from the freedom of self-expression and individuality, which may be severely compromised if we are constantly fighting a battle with negative comments, perceptions, and other forms of discrimination.

    That said, I’m trying to put myself in the mental position of the German father in the photo. I think that I would probably go about it a little differently. I might allow the child to wear the dress, but for myself, opt for something different, yet also avant-garde… Like shorts and tights, which is a look that has gained some popularity with metro- males, especially in Europe. I do think that I would still probably try to teach my child a balanced approach to everything. While a four year-old may well have some very stubborn ideas about fashion and know the differences between a kilt and skirt, four year-olds do other silly things like wear 6-pairs of underwear, mismatched socks, and cry when they can’t wear their bathing suit to church, which is why four year-olds still don’t get to make the household rules… I would do my best to teach him to find ways to satisfy personal wishes, dreams and desired but without descending into selfishness and hedonism. In our house, he would learn that dad loves nail polish (probably more than mom does) but he doesn’t wear it to a business meeting. Or that sometimes dad goes out wearing a skirt, but if he does, he will keep accessories and jewelry down to a minimum. Or that kilts and skirts can be really similar in how they look, how they feel, and that it’s far easier for people to understand a boy wearing a kilt. Lessons like that are no different than teaching a child that we don’t wear our pajamas to school, or our Sunday church clothes to do gardening… The focus doesn’t have to be on limiting freedoms or putting a boy into a gender box, but just that we have to be considerate of both ourselves AND others if we want to function in society.

    • pink says:

      I think those of us with gender-fluid kids make those negotiations all the time — church vs. school vs. home vs. play dates vs. visits to uncomfortable family members. Unfortunately, our thoughtfulness is required not only for others’ comfort but for our own children’s safety. Their comfort with being who they are has to be balanced with potential discomfort for being stared at, teased, shunned, or harassed. I think your question merits ongoing thoughtful consideration – in addition to evaluating our own motives, we must evaluate the origins of social discomfort. Is it really good to keep people comfortable in attitudes of homophobia, or sexism, or racism, or other prejudices with which we disagree? And what is the balance between keeping others comfortable and allowing our children to be comfortable enough to thrive, to concentrate on learning, to rejoice in themselves? Raising My Rainbow has a great quote here: “My sweet son isn’t trying to make anybody uncomfortable; he’s trying to make himself comfortable, in a body and soul that don’t always feel in alignment. Imagine that feeling.” (http://raisingmyrainbow.com/2012/08/24/dear-c-j-s-kindergarten-teacher/)

      • Jim Dunlop says:

        Thanks for the reply!

        Indeed, let’s talk about about this question of evaluating social discomfort and considering the level to which we can/should/shouldn’t allow people to remain comfortable in their traditionalist modes of thinking…

        One point I would make would be through an analogy. Last year, my wife and I adopted a vegan lifestyle, both of us having until then, been eating animal products every day, and at almost every meal. After we made this lifestyle change, it was only natural to talk about it with friends, family, and really, anyone who showed interest or cared to listen. We made our change because we felt it was the right decision to make for health reasons, and wanting those around us to be healthy too, would talk about our discoveries… But whether it’s this, or a convert to a religion who then becomes zealous for his new-found cause, wanting with a sincere heart for others to discover that what transformed his life, treads on thin ice. All of us in a position of what WE consider “enlightenment” have to always be careful and mindful of others’ limits.

        If we hit people over the head all the time, every day, with every waking moment, we will become tiresome, and people may start to shut us out (at best) or even begin to despise that what he have ourselves embraced (at worse) just because they begin associating it with irritation, anger, and frustration.

        So it is with gender issues. I believe it’s important to question, challenge, and change the minds, hearts, and attitudes of those who would rather we stay in our binary boxes, but we have to allow them some respite too. If we are 100% activists 100% of the time, we risk losing those who we most wish to change to our way of thinking.

        For the record, this Buzzfeed story has now made its way to mainstream news media, and there have been some interesting comments. While the responses I watched were not condemning of the father who wanted to support his son, nor of the son for wearing dresses… The concerns were two-fold, and I must say that in spite of my own personal views on gender issues, I can respect these reasons. The first was that the father was not being genuine with himself. I.e. is it really noble and praise-worthy to be doing something that you really can’t identify with and are doing solely for someone else’s benefit? Why put on a skirt if that’s not really who you are? Sure, encourage your son to wear what he likes, but that by itself shouldn’t be your cue to join him.

        And second, someone pointed out (a little like I did) that it is incumbent onto the parents to not let their children do absolutely anything or wear anything they like. E.g. What if the child then goes to a school with a uniform policy? You can’t very well allow your son to wear the girls’ uniform rather than the boys’ uniform, or even eschew the uniform altogether. The boy simply just wouldn’t be allowed to attend. The take-home message, I believe, was that even freedom has its limits. Neither critic seemed particularly perturbed by the fact that a boy was wearing dresses, however, so I would hesitate to call their comments narrow-minded or traditionalist.

    • DAChecker says:

      People are allways selfish, that is the foundation of humanity.

      Every day, I have to balance my desire to wear what I please with good judgment and discretion, and sometimes that means sacrificing certain elements of my wardrobe for the greater good.

      Living for others is your biggest problem and there is no such thing as the greater good, except your goal in life was to kiss the asses of others.

  3. Covert Angel says:

    Incredibly well-put, Jim! As a 62-year-old gender blender (& proud father of a MTF Trans son) living in New England USA, I envy those men who are boldly, albeit slowly, transforming society’s norms. Were I 30 years younger I might be as brave as these men are. But sadly, I find myself living with societal pressure that says, “Geezers don’t crossdress!” (even though I am far from achieving true Geezerdom. But I try, as best I can to loosen things up–I wear an earring (I’ll soon add another), I wear a “man bag” in public, and enjoy wearing cowl neck sweaters in cooler months. I’ve even sported toenail polish a few times, with my wife’s approval (but she’s not so sure about the murse or the sweaters).

    Anyway–here’s a toast to gender blending! Slainte’!

  4. I Disagree says:

    I disagree entirely with the notion that “white Westerners” are responsible for men not feeling comfortable enough to wear skirts in today’s world.

    Originally, men wore sarongs, kilts, etc. for a specific purpose and NOT for fashion/personality expression. The “white Westerners”, who I will go ahead and make the grandiose assumption are, in your context, Americans, switched to bifurcated — come on, PANTS, because they either made more sense to wear in one’s particular line of work, or — and this is a shocker — they just liked them.

    The fact that any man in any hemisphere, be it east or west, chooses to wear pants does not detract from any other mans’ choice to wear a skirt. And if someone makes fun of a man in a skirt, that reflects the attitude, morals, and choices of that THAT INDIVIDUAL and not the “white Westerners”. A man from the east can just as easily come down on another man for wearing pants, which would be a display of THAT MANS’ behavior and not the entire population on the eastern hemisphere of the globe.

    It boggles my mind why people devote time to harping on other people and blaming them for things they think are “the ways of the world”. Do what you want — wear a skirt, wear pants — it’s YOUR CHOICE. The only person stopping you from putting on what you want is YOU.

  5. Oxford Grad says:

    Thank you very much for such an interesting article! I am studying masculinities as part of my PhD, and I really enjoy reading your blog. It may interest you to know that Oxford University has just changed their policy on sub fusc (the academic apparel required at matriculation, examinations, and graduation). They now allow both male and female students to wear either a suit and white bow tie (originally the male outfit) or a white collared shirt with black velvet ribbon and a skirt and black tights or black trousers and socks (originally the female outfit).

    (5. All members of the University are required to wear academic dress with subfusc clothing (and candidates who are not members of the University are required to wear formal clothing) when attending any university examination, i.e. a dark suit with dark socks, or a dark skirt with black stockings or trousers with dark socks and an optional dark coat; black shoes; plain white collared shirt; a black tie or white bow tie.

    Dress should be such as might be appropriate for formal occasions.

    Candidates serving in HM Forces are permitted to wear uniform together with a gown. (The uniform cap is worn in the street and carried when indoors.)

    6. Notwithstanding regulation 5 above, a woman who is a Pro-Vice-Chancellor, or a Proctor or the Assessor, may, if she wishes, wear a white bow tie and bands in place of a black tie and bands as part of her subfusc clothing when wearing academic dress.)

    This decision came about due to pressure from the student body, who felt the previous requirements were too confining to students who wished to express their gender.

    • Jim Dunlop says:

      Something tells me that there won’t be very many men opting for the skirt & black tights option… But I AM curious, especially given that Scotland is a part of the UK, and even outside Scotland proper there are numerous Highland regiments — is Highland formal wear also permitted? (I.e. kilt + dress shirt + jacket)

      • Oxford Grad says:

        I’m honestly not sure. Apparently the policy was changed in response to student surveys, so clearly there is a desire. Whether anyone will actually take it up remains to be seen. Term is starting up in a month, so I suppose we’ll see then. I don’t believe any form of national dress is allowed. Unless you are a serving member of the military, you must wear subfusc, but I assume that if your military uniform involves a kilt, that would be permitted.

  6. The Patriot says:

    I have an argument in favor of men in skirts that I’ve never heard mentioned before on any website – the idea that enforcing (whether by law or public pressure) a gender on fashion not only fits the very definition of fascism/dictatorship, but also goes against our Founding belief in individual liberty. No one should dictate what men or women wear, as clothing is one of the three basic necessities of life (food and housing are not gendered, so why should clothing be any different?). And while I agree that dialogue is better than militancy, we must also not tolerate any derogatory comments from those who are sexist – we must point out that calling men who wear skirts “freaks” is not going to help us in our struggle for independence. In fact, extremism on BOTH sides is detrimental to our cause.

    On a side note: I’ve noticed that the percentage of TRULY enlightened people – meaning those who look at history as a guide in predicting the future – has always, once a civil rights struggle begins, been in the minority. When I first heard of the men’s fashion freedom movement, I IMMEDIATELY realized that men can achieve complete equality without any problems (making me one of that minority). As a wise person recently pointed out: “Never, in the history of America, has there been a civil rights movement that resulted in failure.”

  7. Mara says:

    Yes, rethink the history when men wore skirted garments. But we are in the 21st century and we should go on with all our power to make the world live able, that means also no (or as a minimum:) more or less crime, no more bullying, etc. what some people do when seeing a man in a skirt falling behind all old borders and thinking that a man should wear pants. Totally wrong, I assume we all born individually, so let us show it through fashion or just kind of clothes that we are not just a part of the mass.
    Well, the Oxford University try to combine uniformity with equality and individuality. We will see how does it work out, but I think even this try is a great step forward.

  8. mitmar says:

    History shows that women never have worn pants in past, so put history beside. Today it is a necessary issue that we have to think about men wearing skirts. Skirts have style, giving freedom, skirts are comfortable and practical, so why men should not use it. They should, and it is only our thinking -society enhanced- that most men stay away from them.

  9. Jim Dunlop says:

    I don’t know if anyone is still following this article or comments discussion, but if so, I would point out that the father of the child in the photo, Nils Pickert, a little taken aback by his sudden rise to Internet fame, has been reading a lot about himself (both good and bad) so he’s decided to issue a response, trying to answer some of the big questions like WHY… His open letter was published by Huffington Post Gay Voices and can be found here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/nils-pickert/skirt-dad_b_1911444.html?utm_hp_ref=gay-voices&ir=Gay%20Voices

    On a personal level, I’m afraid I disagree with Nils’s point of view… He does something he truly doesn’t like or enjoy, making him the very antithesis of what he is trying to engender in his son, which is to be who you truly are. This, above all: to thine own self be true, said Shakespeare, and in this instance, I’m afraid Nils fails the test because he fails to see the forest for all the trees. Perhaps he could explore ways to support his gender fluid son WITHOUT compromising his own comfort and interests.

  10. Mara says:

    Yes, Jim, I still follow this discussion. I agree that I am missing in his article his personal point of view regarding feeling or doing something different. Maybe Nils did not see the forest for all the trees, but when writing for a femals magazine he should know what is going on in the world. Even when the Oxford University allows male students to wear skirts with stockings and female students using bow-ties with pants then he should see that isn’t it just a personal issue anymore. Skirts for men going around the world as a hot issue since 6 years and more and more men waking up and see that we are talking about clothes, we have to see the reality: fabrics do not make not sexes nor gender.

    • Jim Dunlop says:

      Absolutely right. I wouldn’t wear stockings to work, (though I have a cool selection of tights that I occasionally wear with shorts) but I certainly do wear skirt-like clothing on a regular basis, as a man, and with no compulsion to cross-dress. Yesterday I wore an Indian lungi… While I DID have to take a couple minutes before each class to explain to my students what it was and why I was wearing it, as they were definitely staring, whispering and giggling, it rapidly became a non-issue as soon as I cleared the air. (I am a high school and college educator)

      When people ask me why I wear some of the clothes I wear, I tell them that I don’t live in the present. I choose to live in the future. And in MY future, both men and women are free to wear whatever they want, wherever they see fit, without society imposing restrictions them that they shouldn’t.

      And as for Nils Pickert, I just hope that in the end he can do what makes HIM happy, as well as being able to support his son and the choices he makes.

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  12. Mara says:

    Yes Jim, it is okay to live today for the future. I know another teacher at a high school and college which is wearing skirts because he has to wear support stockings all the time and he cannot wear it under pants because of the heat. So he decided to go the more comfortable way to live today with issues from the past.
    He never had a problem with his students just nice comments and a bunch of admirers, especially female collegians.
    I am with you thinking of the future when male and female have the possibility to wear what they want.

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  14. Charles says:

    It’s like watching darkness shining into the light to see men who are absolutely stuck in this rut of the “thin edge of the wedge.” We should wear only “masculine” skirts, or skirts “intended” for men, and skirts that are not “feminine.” In the strongest possible terms (as in Andrew Jackson facing you in a duel) I stoutly disagree! If that causes stress, then, as in a front squat of several hundred pounds with a bottom pause. Enough of kilts, ethnic types will continue wearing them, men who worry about deflecting critics will limit themselves to them and to Utilikilt offshoots. We should wear skirts “intended” for men, huh? That’s exceptionally devious attempt to promote a few companies offerings who make skirts “intended” for men. Their offerings are insidiously boring, and maintain the myth that men should look like undertakers in clothes, while it’s OK for women to look like vividly decorated tropical fish. You pal are still stuck with the historical social forces that resulted in The Great Masculine Renunciation in which fancy clothes came to be regarded as only for females, except to the shallow extent you advocate single tube leg garments for men, which they set aside for the equestrian trousers. If you want to talk about styles already extant as traditions, the best examples of fustanella (I am versed in all its spellings) are in essence little different from square dance petticoats except less prolific in colors and heavier as to fabric weight. Egyptian Tanoura dervishes wear truly fantastic skirts with designs exceeding the intricacy of styles worn by female Irish dancers. Indian Kathakali and Bhutanese male dancers wear petticoats of multicolors. British Beefeater guards wear frilly full circular pleated neck ruffs and shoes fancier than any you’re ever likely to see on the style monopolistic female, who has been raised to think expression is hers exclusively. We cannot be stuck at the border of tradition, that’s like a travel agent saying Scotland is the only acceptable overseas destination. It’s like early colonists urging others to not explore further inland—who cares what’s beyond the Ohio Valley? Elizabeth Hawes urged men to take over whatever they like of “female” clothes. As long as it isn’t a bra, a bra form in a bodice, and as long as a man presents as a man, yes, anything goes. Arguing for limitations is senseless! There are no attempts at restricting choice of trouser styles worn by women, it’s like seeing mold on food reading advocacy of men limiting choices in skirt styles! On EBAY and ETSY I have acquired frilly petticoats, full circular pleated skirts with metallic “ric-rack” embellishments, and anything else anatomically compatible, and do always present as a man with facial hair, broad shoulders, forearms and biceps. Phooey on this TEPID advocacy of being stuck at the thin edge of the wedge. No self respecting peacock would concur that his finery should be plain and drab. Onlookers, re-read what I said three times before deciding we can only wear “masculine” (meaning plain and drab) skirts, to be bought from some people with vested financial interest. For extensive history of clothing, see pdf file embedded at the link.

  15. Herby says:

    I do wear skirts whenever I like, all kind of it. With pantyhose and stockings or socks, nobody cares. And I like it very much that people greet more and like to chat with me . Just amazing.

    • Charles says:

      October 28, 2012 saw me spending several hours walking about in a very full pleated skirt (a fustanella I had custom made) at three museums in Fort Worth. Inside the museums, up and down sidewalks between the museums, seen by passing motorists (no honking) and lots of museum goers. Only one person had a question, no disrespect noted. My T-shirt front and back identified the skirt I was wearing as ethnic male. See, it does NOT “have to be a kilt,” that’s a dismal argument against variety! The female museum staff at the Kimbell Art Museum is almost entirely in slacks all the time (my 4th time there, always in a skirt). Most people seemed unaware of what I was wearing, however, they were aware. But art museum goers may be a more tolerant crowd than people in a football stadium. I’m wondering how I might be treated if I attend wearing a so-called “female” skirt (any design not directly linked to traditional male wear in some foreign culture). But this fustanella is frillier than most so-called “female” skirts. Again I very strenuously repudiate that men should wear only “masculine” skirts, being decorative in appearance is not a female only prerogative, “Solomon in all his glory” was a reference to his clothes, not his palace. No possible chance will I ever accept that masculine has to mean plain, drab, and no opulence! Look at the skirts on You Tube worn by male Egyptian Tanoura dancers! On how people will treat a man in a skirt, I have come to think there is truth to the notion that if you expect to be left alone and not mistreated, it tends to inhibit the cruel conformists in society from obstructing your expression. At the museums there were less than 1 woman in 5 in dresses/skirts, and I seemed to be well nigh invisible to them, though there was the occasional grin.

  16. Bob Moore says:

    Charles is absolutely right. I have had it up to here with friend and stranger alike presuming to dictate fashion to me. I personally despise trousers, although I have to admit that they do have uses.

  17. Herby says:

    what is a “masculine” skirt, please. I\f you call the style masculine and women will see it it will take a minimum of time that women will wear it like men. Several years ago Nordstrom offered men’s skirts, (Miami) really nice looking, pleated, 19 inches long, only in black. I try to get one, sold out, and the lady told me most of them were bought by girls and young women.

    • Charles says:

      Those pushing “masculine” skirts are confused—and ignorant. They got past the twin tube fixation. Yet there are 2 fixations people have re men. One, the legs have to be in separate tubes and two, the other guiding dictate is—nothing frilly or fancy such as ruffles, lace, polka dots, floral prints, metallics. That’s all absurd. Their views are influenced by historical social forces they have no knowledge of especially Puritanism (anything besides blacks, browns and greys was “of the devil”) and the truly awful French Revolution, which equated fancy clothes on men with political repression. The view was transposed since then to “fancy clothes equals female.” People without any background in history cannot be relied on as to their notions about masculinity. The Industrial Revolution and 19th century Protestant hell fire preachers put the last screws to fancy clothes on men. That does not make fancy clothes on men wrong that people lack comprehension. “Solomon in all his glory” was a reference to his fancy clothes—not his palace. And Solomon wore a beard—THE garment of male identification, and was in no sense any female impersonator. Fancy clothes on men survive as remnants from the distant past when this dumb notion “fancy clothes are purely female” was not subscribed to. The British Beefeaters wear shoes frillier than any I’ve seen on women (spike heels are useless and don’t rate), they wear a pleated neck “ruff” and a hat surrounded by ribbon bows. The Greeks use elaborate embroidery on the vests they wear with a SKIRT. Egyptian Tanoura Dervishes—men—wear skirts with intricate embroidery, multicolors and even micro-light illumination. The “masculine skirts only” faction is mainly the so-called bravehearts, kilts only, utilikilts only, who were championed by a lawyer named WDP. He hell well knows less about history than some other specialty. Kilts and utilikilts will remain, but they are antiprogressive when those who wear they holler “STOP” this far, and no further! Look around you—women are wearing dresses/skirts today to the extent they want to—which is very little!!! Kilts are historical, but we have to be free to innovate. Forbidding innovation is desperately
      wrong. If “lampshades” are to be seen more in public, more men will have to wear them.

      • DAChecker says:

        What is so innovative about wearing skirts with frills, multi colors and floral patterns if they were historically worn by men? The bravehearts are into that was modern masculinity entails as a strategy to beg for acceptance. The Utility Kilt itself is an innovation, an evolution of an traditional garment. If ya beg for acceptance than the MUG way is the easiest.

  18. Mara says:

    I agree what “The Patriot” said. We just missing enough encouraged men going that way. What stands against comfort, health and individuality? Is that important enough to think and going to that what some people call “common sense”? Why common sense – well nothing would fit a man better than a skirted garment because his body is build that his reproduction organs should stay cooler than the average body temperature. Does any kind of pants can do that or help a man?
    People in past knew that and took care of it, in present time we know it also but we don’t care – again, common sense.

  19. Sinned says:

    I am a man and I wear a skirt every day but my wife only allows me to wear them around the house at the moment. I wear a skirt instead of trousers and wear other mens.’s garments such as shirts, jumpers, shoes etc. I wear thick tights in winter for warmth and see nothing wrong in that. I still want to look as a man whilst wearing a skirt. I have lots of skirts of various lengths, materials and styles. I feel immensely comfortable in my choice. The most difficult thing about wearing skirts is convincing my wife that it is still manly to wear a skirt.

  20. Terrence R. says:

    I wear skirts, knee high stocking and pumps all the time. At chuch, restaruants and at the mall. My wife does not mind. See “Men’s Dress Reformation Movement” on Facebook, there is a photograph of me in Leopard Print both at Dillards and McDonalds, ladies love my home made top/skirt and I even glued the fabric on the pumps.

    • Charles says:

      May I guess that you do not reside in the State of Texas? Texas is the most antiprogressive area of the USA insofar as what is discussed here. The local mall, a veritable militarized zone of hostile police and hostile security guards, has signs saying in five different places if they or anyone objects to what you wear, you will be “asked” to leave—or worse. The contra dance group here is not the least open to men wearing a skirt. Churches which advertise open, inclusive, welcoming etc., and do accept gays, will NOT tolerate any man coming in a skirt, including when presenting as a man and openly hetero. The wrapper is considered of greater importance than the contents. But there also could be opportunity in Texas—as in lawsuits.

  21. Pingback: 2012 – Thank you, and Year in Review | Pink Is for Boys

  22. Charles prezley says:

    Hi, I have worn skirts now for years.and I love wearing them too.history teaches us that men worn skirts sence begaining from romans to hebrews,and indains to scottish men. I will always were skirts they are cooler in summer and qarm in wenter.

  23. Breanne says:

    Congratulations to you, Charles. I just can’t understand that men have “to ask” using the Internet if they can wear skirted garments. Of course, they can, and most men looking much more masculine than in pants (but obviously they don’t know it at all) . Real men have not to ask, they have to do it, in this case to wear it. They have not to copy women’s dresses or skirts, a man will always be man whatever he will wear. The same counts for women. So what is the point?

  24. Kenneth bentley says:

    Wearing a skirt won’t make you a man only a silly looking one . You can make up all the excuses to wear a skirt and still look downright silly .,women have a body made for a skirt or dress. Just looking at a man in a skirt and looking at a woman which looks better. Some women look stupied the way they dress but that doesn’t make them a man when they put pants on . Common sense should tell you women are different and have different needs just as men . Conformity and order help us see who we are not going off pushing te limits of our gender to feel good inside .or some other lame brain excuses . Different cultures dress different because of religion or customs or environmental conditions .we don’t have a subculture that needs to change from pants to dresses . There is no need for that . Don’t mess up your life with cross dressing or gender bender stuff be yourself . Ken

    • pink says:

      Kenneth, disagreement and statement of personal discomfort is welcome here. But you have many forums and opportunities to practice willful ignorance. If you’re not interested in actually reading and engaging with the reality expressed by hundreds of people, which pretty clearly indicates that “being yourself” sometimes requires “gender bending,” then you should go post on one of them. This blog is for folks interested in wrestling with ideas, asking hard questions of yourself and your culture, and being open to the results of inquiry. In other words, we’re dealing with the real.

    • Charles says:

      In mid 16th century Italy you’d have laughed at men in pants, pants were named after the famous clown, Pantalone. In 393AD Rome, you’d have been leading the mob to exile men in pants after the order was issued by Theodosius I. Men in pants were political subversives. In ancient Greece, you’d have been shocked at the barbarians wearing twin tube leg coverings. In Bulgaria in 867 AD, you’d be waiting for the messenger to return from Rome to get the Pope’s decision on whether you could be a Christian, EVEN THOUGH YOU WORE PANTS. In 1431 AD, you’d have tossed the torch onto the woodpile that burned Joan of Arc to death, because she had worn pants (“clothing not belonging to her sex”); In the 1870s, you’d have been saying along with the editor of the New York Times that women in pants were under “permanent mental hallucination.” In 1943, you’d have been the Chicago cop who arrested Evelyn Bross for wearing pants (“clothing not belonging to her sex”) or you’d have been judge Jacob Braude, who ordered her to see a psychiatrist for six months. Do you think it no longer matters what style women wear, because they’ve all become hermaphrodites? More like you think what they wear doesn’t matter, because the notion of everything goes for women has been drilled into your thinking from day one. You’re a typical conformist expressing the viewpoints dictated by this mass hypnosis environment you’re in that men have to look plain and drab, and that we always have to wear what was invented for riding a horse—pants, centuries after what caused pants has long since faded away. A man needs pants and plain clothes to confer gender on him, but a woman’s gender is conferred no matter what she wears. You are an idiot. I hope your pants are tight enough to squeeze your parts. It’s men that need the extra space a skirt gives—not women. Skirts and pants, fancy and plain clothes—individual differences—not gender differences. What people wear has been caused by social forces, the absorption of concepts from parents and teachers causes learned behavior. Neither has to do with sex chromosomes. Hair length is also a non-gender difference. Short hair on men is a habit tracing to early medieval European military regulations that came about as a measure for controlling head lice. The markers of male identification are facial hair, deeper voice, broader shoulders, narrower hips. These natural differences are in place and need not be added. What you’re appealing to is entirely synthetic and arbitrary.

      • Blake says:

        Man,you said it for me,THANKS.I do agree that society has us brainwashed since birth.Blue blanket for boys,pink for girls…..SAYS who id like to know,and other things like that as well..

      • Robert says:

        Charles, thanks for another great post!

  25. stilettos says:

    Magnificent web site. A lot of useful info here. I am sending it to a few buddies ans also sharing in delicious. And of course, thank you in your sweat!

  26. Blake says:

    The people i have came in contact with…95% of the females,of many age’s love what i wear.Just recently,i was coming out of my grocery store,and there were 3 girls going into the store,at the same time i was leaving,one yelled back to me after we already past each other,”Hey,i really like your outfit” , i then said to her, “Thanks” then she said “you are welcome,you look so good in that skirt” It put a smile on my face.So can you guess the age of this female that said this ? I rarely get a negative comment but,its always nice to
    hear the positive…..Well,the girl that said that was in the age range of 14-17….she could of easly said a derogatory comment,but she didnt.So this goes to show ya,many ages likes to see a guy wear a skirt tastefully done,it is all how your body langauge,how you talk,and other things as well..But i know,not ALL females like a guy in a skirt,and i understand that.There is always an exception to every rule.For me to wear a skirt is like putting on socks,dont give it much thought.It feels totally natural to me to be in a skirt.When people are unsure,they will say to me “nice kilt”,i will kindly say to them, “This is actually a skirt,a kilt is a TYPE of skirt ” I think they say that for fear of offending me.I wear female known clothing anyways,and i feel better in girl clothes than mens,i also like freedom of choice of what i wear and want…

    “LIVE YOUR LIFE LIKE YOU WANT,YOU ONLY HAVE ONE CHANCE AT IT”

  27. I don’t think garments have a gender themselves. It’s just the projection of a particular human being that makes them “male” or “female”. And – as your article mentions – those projections may be very different in different cultures. Like in South-East Asia it is completely normal for men to wear skirts (called sarongs or lungis)
    I myself, I am wearing sarongs on a regular basis – mostly in European summer though.
    I am even running a blog (http://www.sarongs.eu/ – in German!) because I love this stuff so much and believe that men are looking perfectly fine in skirts. Why not???

  28. Totallyamused says:

    I think that men should be allowed to wear ANY clothing they wish. And this includes make-up, nail polish, coloring and styling hair, hair bows, and bling. And act as they wish, without having to give up the fact that they are indeed men. All of the above is just superficial packaging, and I should be able to freely express myself as I wish, and vary this day by day, (as women do), without speculation or contempt by others. Frankly I am tired of the facist-esque ( radical authoritarian ) religious intolerance. They have been warned not to judge, yet they do. Here in the US I have religious freedom also, and that includes my right to believe as I wish. Also freedom of expression. As mentioned above, do we want to be locked into Puritanical boxes? Wearing only black or grey? Face it some people just want to dictate to you what to do, wear, eat, because they are just plain bossy.
    I am a man, and I kind of hate to say it this way, a girly man. Sometimes. Yet, I do love women as my romantic interest, and this is called into question by my appearance and demeanor sometimes. And to my continual dismay this keeps attracting people who want to tell me how to live. Live your life, and let me live mine. I do not believe I am alone in this train of thought. Look at the length of this thread over time, and many other similar discussions all over the internet. It is still a valid discussion to be having.
    I have to say, with some grim satisfaction, that I am quite enjoying the outright angst and hand wringing going on by these rigid, non tolerant, demagogues here of the following trends: The rise of the LGBT community, impending federal approval of gay marriage, approval of nationwide drug legalization, and the seeming total embrace of body modification ( massive tattoos, gauged ears, multiple and varied facial piercings ) , and such. While I am not saying here that I approve or not of any of this. It just amuses me to no end to see so many going into conniption fits over the accelerating pace of change in modern society. Haha, haha, you all thought my jean skirts, tights, make-up, and curly hair was off the charts… I hope you just plain choke on this much more shall we say intense change in our society! Enjoy!

  29. leonardo Rudman says:

    yes when will it be vogue that men can wear skirts and be part of there wardrobe i have 4 pairs of short mine skirts and they is so comfortable much better than short pants i love the wearing of a skirt no scrothing and shaving around the grow

  30. sissy lady says:

    now wear only female shoes, slacks and tops. — wear a bra and have my hair colored at a beauty shop. –why should I not look my best also? on a good diea at 135# size 6 and love it–
    carry a purse to match my outfit. — Just anothe co-ordinated lady shopping.
    people are busy and do not notice you as much as we think

  31. isamuel says:

    Desde tiempos inmemoriales los varones nunca usaron pantalón, solo, hasta hace 300, o 500 años, que nos han obligado a soportar la mayor incomodidad, como es el pantalón.
    Los pantalones son la prenda menos adecuado para un hombre, los calzoncillos ajustados o bóxer, actúa como una férula en los genitales, (promover la disfunción y discapacidad), la costura central de la pantalones maltratados, golpeados e incómodo todo el tiempo de los genitales, la correa o cinturón actúa como un torniquete, y obliga al corazón a bombear sangre con más esfuerzo (para superar la contracción que hace que el torniquete), y la falta de riego sanguíneo afectan: el sistema digestivo , el sistema urinario, el sistema reproductivo. Además de usar los pantalones de hombre terminó de orinar de pie, que es totalmente antinatural. Las faldas y los vestidos con faldas para hombres son sumamente sanos de la mente, cómodo y confortable. Los pantalones, los calzoncillos apretados, la costura central de los pantalones y el cinturón o el cinturón, están promoviendo enfermedades modernas de los hombres:. Impotencia, infertilidad, problemas de próstata y testículo CÁNCER POSIBLE
    Ninguna parte del cuerpo masculino que son víctimas de abusos genitales más.
    Para mejores FALDAS salud y comodidad de desgaste o vestidos con la falda

  32. I am really thankful to the holder of this web site who has shared ths wonderful piece of writing
    at at this place.

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