Friday, August 31, 2012

Skirting the Issues: Dad Wears Dresses?

There's an article circulating pretty heavily in the news right now about a dad who has taken to wearing skirts to support his son who wants to wear skirts & dresses, but was afraid of what people would say. This story is getting quite a bit of action it seems, and given I'll be a father myself in a couple of months, I feel I should talk a little about this topic. If you'd like to read the article in question, here is a link to it.

I'm sure it goes without saying that I think this dad is awesome. I happen to have come from a very supportive household as well, so I definitely know the value of having parents that encourage you to be yourself. This is actually a topic that I've given a lot of thought to recently, as I've thought about what kind of parent I will be. The conclusion that I've come to is that the most important thing I can do is encourage my child to be themself, whatever that may be. I do have my own hopes about how they will turn out or the things that they will be interested in, but I know that at the end of the day I want to allow my son or daughter to discover themselves and be themselves, because that's what is most important.

While I do find articles about men in skirts interesting, I'm often more interested by the comments section. I enjoy reading other people's opinions on these types of stories, because I feel like it gives me a bit of a social barometer of "where we are" in the whole men's fashion freedom movement. It feels a bit paradoxical, but I do often want to know why people who don't like men wearing skirts or dresses feel the way they do. While I've never read an opinion on why men shouldn't wear skirts or dress that I've agreed with, it's interesting to catch a glimpse of things from the other side, and helps give me some perspective.

Speaking of perspective, I really feel like the perception of men's fashion freedom is truly moving forward. I've seen a lot of positive support for men in skirts recently, and that support seems to only be growing. I think it was just a little over a year ago that there was national outrage over an ad featuring a mother painting her son's toenails pink. Seriously, you would have thought the sky was falling from some of the comments on that. Now, just a year later, we see articles such as the above that receive a lot of positive attention, and much less gnashing of teeth. This makes me feel like things are moving forward ... and honestly who knows where we could be in even another year?

Bringing this back to talking specifically about fathers in skirts, I have to wonder if eventually I will be the subject of an article like this one? To be perfectly honest, I'm not sure how I would feel about that, but it's something I realize is possible in the back of my mind. A number of people have asked me recently (with regards to a skirt or dress I'm wearing), "So what are you going to do about all that once you are a dad?" Will wearing a skirt or dress in public with my child make some people question my ability to parent? Absolutely. The answer to the question, of course, is that I still plan to remain true to myself in all aspects of life, and I can't imagine doing it any different. Being yourself, even in the face of criticism, is a very important lesson to set for my child. 

We've decided to leave the sex of our child a surprise (which seems to be driving some people mad, ha), but I've been doing a lot of reading about "princess boys" & other male identified at birth kids wearing skirts and dresses, so look for my thoughts on all that and how it may pertain to my child (gender dependent, of course) soon.

What do you think about dads wearing skirts, or allowing their boys to do so? Let me know in the comments below!

7 comments:

  1. i'm actually writing my undergrad thesis on the topic of gender expression in kids right now...

    Numerous articles have discussed the fact that not allowing children to express themselves leads to anxiety and distress. The best way for kids to feel good about themselves, especially kids who express themselves as the oppposite sex, is to have parents who support them and show unconditional love.

    I loved seeing the story that you mentioned about the father wearing a skirt with his son as well. It just makes me happy to see a parent who knows that being loving is better for his child's health than shunning him.

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  2. Congratulations to you and your wife Mr. Spookshow, Yes I see the changes too in the Fashion industry with the addition fo the feminine male models like Andrej Pejic. who has been a trail blazer for other feminine male models that we are able to see joining Andrej Pejic. We now see feminimale models like Artyom Eduardovic,Ivan Rastrepin,Sasha Mikailyan, who is stunning in feminine dress plus the Fashion designers as Marcel Ostertag to name only one, the fashion industry is changing and so are men around the world from China to Japan to Germany to the United States.

    Times are changing.

    Spookshow, yes things have been changing for the last 55 years, when you and I where kid's men started wearing Jewelry like ID Bracelets but now they are wearing what they wish even Earrings and the world for the most part could care less. Back in the 50's men did not wear perfume, but now they are wearing cologne and other fragrances. Even 20 years ago men did not wear skirts but now more and more men are wearing kilts a skirt by any other name.

    If the closed minds where gone, the ridicule gone the fear of lost job's and family's, if all this changed and men could enjoy the same freedom to wear what they wish as any woman has today even to wear dresses and high heels or the the whole ball of wax and be feminine, I feel this would all change. Every one loves to look and be pretty and that go's for men too.



    Technology changes men and woman too.

    We don't need hunter men to be Hunters and Gatherers any more because technology has changed this too. Men are still acting like Neanderthals and need to be Emasculated, no not (castration) but an improvement in the way think and see woman, men raised to think more feminine and less aggressive and softer in the way they think and act.♥ Woman of today have changed in so many ways but still have along way to go in the way they think of their self's too. Woman don't need men to protect them or hunt for them any more, Technology has changed this so if you see a nice guy talk to him even if he is wearing a dress and high heels you may fall in love with him after learning he has a feminine side his self, think of the things you both could do together.

    Feminization of the world would not be bad, who knows it may end wars?



    It's not just Malaysia but Japan, but in Europe in Germany,Italy, France, Spain, in the United States, it's all over the world, Straight,Gay,Bi who cares. Even Straight guys are looking for change, this is why men are starting to wear high heels, skirts/kilts, Men have a line of Makeup too, men are sick of 200+ years of being kept down by unjust use of force or authority of governments and churches and schools but now after years of oppression men are finally revolting and demanding Equality in Fashions by removing gender from clothing.

    End the Hate

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  3. My favorite answer to "What are you having?" was "A baby, at least I hope so!" Then they'd say - "No, I mean is it a boy or a girl?" "I don't know - I haven't gotten any answers when I ask them, perhaps you'd like to try?" (and point at the baby-containing belly.) People usually only ever asked me once.

    As for dads wearing skirts/allowing boys to wear skirts: I see it as a fashion choice, albeit a frequently politically and socially charged one, but only a fashion choice.

    We get a lot of crap because our son has long hair. I live in a very liberal part of the US (Seattle) and people have made some pretty over-the-top nasty, homophobic, and plain rude comments about my kid's long hair. We believe in bodily autonomy pretty strongly - so we haven't cut his hair because that's his choice to make. I comb it and chose how to style it until he could tell me how he wanted it styled and if he ever asks for a cut, he'll get it. My parents didn't let me cut my hair because "girls are supposed to have long hair" and I found it really disheartening, even as a kid. I've had people try and convince me that his bodily autonomy isn't important 'at this age' - because they want to enforce their idea of when his hair should be cut, who he should be required to hug/kiss (no one is our view, he hugs/kisses who he wants to even if that means no kisses for Mom or Grandma,) what he should be required to wear, and so forth. None of which impacts them or society in any major way. All of that is to say, I've found a lot of societal resistance to empowering children to have control of their identity and bodies from an early age.

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  4. I think it has to do with the parenting style not what someone wears. But as a wife of someone who is not the "normal" tough guy per say. I would have to say that after having a child we or should say myself have to have it be gender middle ground. Its a lot to put on a child to have to see confusion too on what they know is male or female. I do have a dad in painted toes and under dressing or fem in the bedroom but to have it all the time would drive some women nuts I know it lead to mega jealousy in our household because of my own self esteem issues.

    It wasn't for us to be full time. I wanted the boundaries and the middle ground for our daughter to get to know her dad on middle ground this has worked . I m all for dressing up dads and f-m s just comes down to what each couple is comfortable with. I support the glbt community and wish to see equality in all areas. But when it comes down to it I myself have my own images of what a man is and isnt ok based on what I was raised on which is a hippy type of attitude which has helped our relationship to flourish. Still I sometimes want what is the impossible a more dominant man one who isnt always wanting more feminity . But wanting more of masculinity. I want to see images of what all or most all females want a tarzan type of guy with that skirt on would probably rock my world better. I hate always being the dominant one.

    I love seeing your posts and the commentary. I love reading it they make me think on what I want my daughter to grow up with which is open minded and loving all people like I do. I would and do fully support all couples. I m the opposite of a bigot. Just wish I could open my mind to that of most of these wonderful people writing on here.

    Maybe someday I ll get there. Keep rocking that skirt. I love the pics. You have my lovers build so I told him to check this blog out. Will continue to read if thats ok with you.
    Talk to you all Later..

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  5. Good luck to you & for me, too, when I wear skirts in public. This has happened & I feel better for having done it. I'm quite happy to not go much further, though.
    Be well.

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  6. I don't think children are at all that obsessed with gender as some people might believe. They have no problem with a man in a skirt, unless adults tell them they should have a problem with it. As an example, when I was a kid, my mom thought I would comment on a friend of theirs, because he had dark skin. When they asked me about their friend, I would simply say his name and that he was nice. My parents never taught me to differ between colors on peoples skin, so I didn't. If we don't teach our children to question gender, they won't. I think your child will have a happy childhood full of good memories, because you have accepted yourself and will therefore accept your child however they might want to be. And after all, that is the most important part of being a parent. Good luck with your kid, I'm sure you'll be a great dad!

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