On Striving for Gender Neutrality

I once experienced a freak Saharan heatwave with highs over 40° C while studying in Madrid. It was a dry heat, though, and very different from one recent 103° F July afternoon in south Georgia. I bounced to a thrift store in search of some well-worn (breathable) medical scrubs and that’s when I saw it: the plain, charred olive A-line mini. It struck me as the ultimate heatbuster and looked so sensible and professional that it triggered a brief flashback to my days in the corporate offices of a large regional bank and I wondered, as progressive as the bank was, if I would have been permitted to elect its female dress code. On second thought, I have no desire to cross-dress, but shouldn’t gender equality give men the option to wear skirts just as it gave women the option to wear pants many decades ago? As counterintuitive as it might be, I suspect the bank would have been much more cerebral than most universities in contemplating such questions. This being a summer break, I decided to test the waters and having donned various skirts for three weeks now, I reflect upon deeply disconcerting truths.Continue Reading

Why I Wear Skirts

Muscular man in masculine brown skirt and blue polo shirt

Why I wear skirts has everything to do with equality. It started one roastingly hot July day in 2016 and I haven’t looked back since. Sure, I see the curiosity in others’ eyes and on their faces, but it surprises me how few people are direct enough to ask about it. This is, after all, the deep south far from international megatropolises like Miami, Los Angeles, and New York where cultural anomalies might be more commonplace. Perhaps southerners just want to avoid the appearance of rudeness. Even so, a few days ago a local librarian lamented that I had not blogged my experience and this led me to think that just maybe the public at large might be interested in my personal reasons and my social message.Continue Reading

Gender Equality in the Shadow of 1960s Civil Rights

The outside temperature reached 103° F one recent July afternoon in south Georgia. I once experienced even hotter temperatures in Spain a decade ago, but the gulf humidity here is a beast of a different kind. I bounced to a thrift store in search of extensively used (i.e. breathable) medical scrubs. Little did I know that this simple mission would ignite a profound inquiry into gender equality.Continue Reading

Skirted Gallery

A Guy’s Guide to Getting Skirted

Words do not adequately describe a skirted man’s enhanced comfort in the sweltering summer months. While comfort is an enormous justification for donning a work-appropriate skirt, comfort is neither the sole benefit nor the sole justification, as I have pointed out in “Why I Wear Skirts” and other posts about men and skirts. Skirts need not be frilly, froufrou, or feminine, and skirts can indeed be very masculine if a person first understands the basic design characteristics and uses this knowledge to make some sensible selections.Continue Reading

The History of Skirted Men

Henry Frederick, Prince of Wales (1594 – 1612)In the not all to distant past, men wore unbifurcated garments and while few would want to dress like Henry Frederick, Prince of Wales, it is not a novel concept that men should not be confined to trousers. Little by little, journalists, sociologists, and artists are looking into the history of skirted men and sharing their findings:

Another Man’s Skirt Conversion

Travis MartinRight now I’m on a train headed to Toronto, writes Travis Martin, and I will be on another train coming back, late tomorrow evening. I’ll be participating in a photoshoot at Ryerson University as part of a research project on men’s fashion. The focus of the study is men of my generation who are using fashion to express themselves, and changing what “masculinity” means in the process. I am expressing myself right now, with my fashion. It feels awesome, empowering, and….   Continue reading How (and why) to Wear a Skirt (as a man)

Why Men Still Don’t Casually Wear . . .

In the not too distant past, European aristocratic males wore both skirt-like garments as well as high heels. (In fact, women adopted high heels from European men and made them daintily and femininely narrower.) Over time, though, the European and American industrial revolutions made bifurcated pants and flat shoes more utilitarian for daily life. Women, however, who were relegated to lives of domesticity continued with the less practical fashion. But there has always been a double standardContinue Reading

Advocacy Apparel – Because Clothing Is Genderless

I am developing a site and business plan to sell skirt-advocacy apparel. Not just screen printed t-shirts, either. There will be some classy polo shirts and caps (and perhaps bumper stickers!) with catchy phrases and educational URLs. Stay tuned for more details. In the meantime, please suggest items and slogans in the comments below.

Tell your friends too!
Feedback = Market = Advocacy
Live the change that you want to see.

In a Man’s World

Bravo has a cutting new series titled In a Man’s World.  Women from various walks of life receive full-body muscle suits, and craniofacial prosthetics to create a physique that is out of this world. The women also receive vocal and movement coaching and then simulate their regular selves….as a man. The circumstances and settings are a bit artificial (after all, some explanation has to be offered for the presence of video cameras) but some balance is achieved with additional hidden cameras. What I find most interesting about the series, though, is the coaches’ observations of the subtle differences between men and women. Esco Jouléy’s keen insight into body movement is fascinating and empowering for skirted men wishing to amplify their masculine aura.

Skirts, Pants, and Deuteronomy 22:5

Cognitively-challenged Christians are eager to invoke Deuteronomy 22:5—in judgment of women as well as of men—that “woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the LORD.” Some denominations read this as requiring women to wear dresses (or, in the contrapositive, as prohibiting women from wearing pants). Likewise, Deuteronomy 22:5 has been invoked to condemn and deny skirts as menswear. This was certainly my experience when I “saw the light” and “converted” to skirts in 2016, but it has taken me three years to get around to publishing this formal rebuttal.Continue Reading

The New York Times: “Skirts for Men?”

New York Times (1984) - "Skirts for Men? Yes and No."The social acceptability of men wearing skirts is by no means a nascent subject, but has has anything really changed since the Industrial Revolution? In 1984, the New York Times ran this piece regarding a Paris fashion show featuring men in skirts that was, according to French designer David Hechter, “the most important thing to happen in fashion in the past 20 years!” Hechter was one of the first designers to break fashion norms previously “when it was scandal for women to wear pants.” Rodney Martin puts a sharper point on it: “It makes me feel free. It’s a statement by which I can say I am free to do whatever I want. It does cause hostility on the streets, though. Sometimes I keep my coat closed over my skirt so no one will see it. And I do have to sit differently. But it’s not about being a woman.”Continue Reading

The Time a Cop Touched My Junk at a Club

A few months after the “double standards” occurrence, I was again at the same club and speaking with two ladies. Something in the conversation prompted a third to disclose that she was municipal police (and although the club was not in that city, municipal police in this state have extended jurisdiction for the entire county in which the city partially lies, which did include the county of this particular club). No fan of cops (and definitely not white cops), I excused myself from the conversation and went on my way. Over the course of the eveningContinue Reading

Self-proving Dress Codes

If an employer specifies distinct garments for males and for females, and if a “male” employee wears a garment classified for the opposite gender, then by definition that male is due to be construed as a member of the other gender. The dress code thus self-proves the validity of his attire.Continue Reading

Whether and How to Wear Skirts (as a Male)

Reviewing Google’s search data I was surprised to see queries about how to wear a skirt (the suggested subtext being “. . .as a male”). I have seen this and similar queries on Quora were a variation asks whether a parent should allow a boy to wear skirts “like a girl.” The answer to both is astoundingly simple:Continue Reading

What To Call Skirts Marketed For Men?

Part of the women’s liberation movement was inventing new vocabulary which enabled women to differentiate their agenda as the pursuit of equality and not emulation. Women sought to be treated equally as men (particularly in employment) but it was also clear that they were not to be regarded as men. Employment law shifted accordingly such that if trousers were acceptable attire for men, they must also be acceptable attire for women. And since men were not required to wear stockings or heels, neither could women. As I have pointed out in other posts, these cultural strides were not reciprocated for men. While it remained acceptable for women to wear sandals to the office, I have yet to read a single employee dress code that  specifically extends such option to men. (Granted, no one wants to see most men’s feet, and most men lack fashion sensibility to select dignified sandals, but the same can be said for a number of women as well.)Continue Reading