What Is Gender Nonconformity?

As noted in another post, sex and gender are not the same thing. Sex is typically seen as a binary trait that flows from reproductive function whether that be regarded as genital, chromosomal, gonadal, hormonal, or structural. There are, of course, biologically intersex persons born with karyotype disorders, androgen insensitivity disorders, and/or genital dysgenesis disorders. Accordingly, these cases might require intersex persons to be considered either a third sex or a combination of sexes.

Gender, however, is more complex and is not a monolithic construct. In short, gender is the perceived sex of a person and this can be both internal and external. Societies generally construct gender norms around sex such that the gender of individuals is typically presumed to be congruent with sex. This is known as cisgender. Here, gender identity and gender expression both align with social expectations. As an extremely broad umbrella concept, gender nonconformity means that the person’s gender identity or expression do not comply with a particular societal expectation. As a consequence, it is possible for a person to be gender nonconforming in one country but not in another. Gender norms are also not static. At one time, a woman who wore pants would have been gender nonconforming, but that is no longer the case today.

According to the National Institute of Medicine and the American Psychological Association, gender nonconformity is defined as “the extent to which a person’s gender identity, role, or expression differs from the cultural norms prescribed for people of a particular sex.” A gender nonconforming person does not necessarily see himself or herself as the opposite sex and might or might not be attracted to her or his same sex. Continue reading “What Is Gender Nonconformity?”

A Guy’s Guide to Getting Skirted

Words do not adequately describe the comfort of a skirt in the sweltering summer months. While comfort is an enormous justification for donning a business-acceptable skirt, it is not its only benefit nor the only reason, as I have pointed out in other posts.

The actual number of men worldwide who wear skirt-like garments is unknowable, but a reasonable estimate would be between 500 million and 1 billion, which, out of a world population of 4 billion men, is a rather significant percentage. Their garments are known by many names across the globe: kilt, gho, fustanella, hakama, sarong, dhoti/veshti/lungi, longyi, kanga/kilenge/kikoy/tappa, lavalava, baana/chola, ihram, futah, sulu vakataga, qun/chang, qumbaz, and thobe.

It is worth noting that, next to the loincloth, non-bifurcated garnents are the second oldest articles of clothing. But the bifurcated pant is also fairly ancient as shown by native Amerindian peoples. Some anthropologists have suggested that bifurcation is attributable to textile technology. Under this theory, textile cultures adopted non-bifurcated garments while animal hide cultures adopted what we know call pants. For purposes of this blog post, I will use “skirt” to refer to all non-bifurcated garments regardless of gender much in the same way that “pants” refers to bifurcated garments worn by both males and females.

This post is aimed at providing curious and novice American men with the advantage of practical advice and a basic education on how to start wearing skirts. While I strive to be practical and balanced, I do advance a viewpoint of masculine aesthetics for several reasons: first, it is my personal stylistic preference; second, I believe this to be the most natural tract for men making their first forays into this counterculture movement; third, I believe this to be of greater service to the movement (as explained in closing). To make it easier to digest, I have divided this post into four sections: Key Concepts, Masculinity & Femininity, Wearing a Skirt, Shopping for Skirts, and Closing Remarks.

Continue reading “A Guy’s Guide to Getting Skirted”