passion / wings

Men and Skirts

And no, I don’t mean kilts, which although they look like skirts, aren’t.

No, I’m referring to an interesting phenomenon I’ve noted. It’s probably not new (is there anything in human nature that is new? It just comes around again and again) but it was new to me. I’m talking about a fear and loathing of the males of the species. Now, I get that some women look back into our history (I have to look no further than my own mother, and Mother-Dorothy, but more on that later) to see “dire opression and horrors, and oh, my… swoon.”

Heck, there are college girls in Massachusetts shrieking about the oppression of males… by a statue. And, well, I’m standing here watching this like high entertainment (or very, very low, since I have that sort of sense of humor). You see, I live in a generation that has won more concessions for women than pretty much any before us. Girls, take a deep breath, and maybe some smelling salts, and listen up. You worry about the oppression of the male gaze, whatever the heck that means?

I grew up at an age where, had a high school counselor said to me what one said to my mother: “You can’t go into architecture, that’s a man’s field.” I could have gotten him fired for discrimination. Was he right? no. Was she right to listen to him? No, she didn’t have any actual barriers, just that he’d said something stupid. Nowadays? Men are terrified of what they say and do around girls. I can see your self-satisfied, cat-who-ate-the-canary smile now. Wipe it off your face, that is not a good result.

See, the whole point of suffrage and feminism (the early days) was equality. Having the other sex afraid of your sex, oppressed and out of a job because you wanted one, even though you didn’t have the best qualifications? Does that sound like equality to you? No?

But what do you care, you’re the one in power.

Are you? Now we come to the skirt part of the post. When I was a a younger woman (stop snickering, Amanda and Kate, I have been proclaimed to be the product of an older time by that odious blogger, so there. Not the baby any more) I made a decision to wear skirts and only skirts. I did this to remind myself with a physical momento of my need to be an obedient wife. I wore skirts only for seven years. You’re gasping, aren’t you, with a hand to your mouth, thinking “that poor dear, so oppressed!” or you’re thinking, OMG, she’s a far-right-wingnut. Nope, neither.

See, it was my choice to wear the skirts, to accept the oppression. I walked willingly into that trap. I’m not dumb, and I did know what abuse was (I thought) and I did it anyway. You’re walking into the same thing. By denigrating men, under-educating and overmedicating boys in an attempt to force them into little-girl molds, you are destroying your other half. Camille Paglia became one of my heroes in a fell swoop, with her recent books and articles on the war on men. She says: “When an educated culture routinely denigrates masculinity and manhood, then women will be perpetually stuck with boys, who have no incentive to mature or to honor their commitments. And without strong men as models to either embrace or (for dissident lesbians) to resist, women will never attain a centered and profound sense of themselves as women.”

You’re so strong, you don’t need anyone, you can have sex and walk away without more effort than that genital sneeze you just enjoyed… But you’re putting the skirts on willingly. When you are ready to settle down, what man will have you? Boys are by definition not mature, and mature men… well, you have betrayed their trust, kicked them when they were down, and ground your heels on their faces. You expect them to just ignore what you were and are, and be willing to become your other half? Sister, it’s not happening.

Am I suggesting that you become oppressed. No, a thousand times no. I’m suggesting you stop looking for offense at every turn, and consider this. Twice in my life I have been mortally betrayed by men. The skirts were part of the second one. Do I blame the skirts? Nope, I still wear skirts regularly, although not every day, for sure. I like the way they look on me, and I’m a big fan of swishy skirts and how they feel. So I’m not going to discard them just because of an unpleasant interval in my life.

As for the men? Well, there were two in my life who were odious beyond words. But there have been dozens, even hundreds, who were good, decent, kind, honorable people who cared for me. My father, and my partner, among them. I’m not going to give up on the male sex just because some men are evil. No more than I am going to give up on my female sex because some members are evil, short-sighted, and misguided.

9 thoughts on “Men and Skirts

  1. I have GOT to pick up some of Paglia’s books. I feel the exact same way. And I’m a big fan of skirts, too, same reasons.

    When my husband and I became engaged, I told him up front that I would be following him. If a big decision was made, he got the final say. That’s because you can only have one CEO in a committed relationship, and you must agree on who that is. My love for him and my faith that the life we’d make together would be better than any life we could have apart led me to offer that sacrifice. Eleven years together through multiple military moves and I have NO regrets. But that’s because he accepted his responsibility (and offered up his sacrifice) for ME as well – the fact that if he got the final say, it would be his task to ensure we were adequately provided for. In other words, he manned up.

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    • Yes, and my commitment was not matched,so I can say that what you two have is wonderful… I did finally find, in Sanford, a partner. Now, he does have final say (LIke when I asked if it were possible to carry over 20 credits this semester and he calmly and firmly said NO. LOL). But we talk. A lot. And that is very good.

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    • Exactly: submission is matched by sacrifice. If there’s a question about who’s wrong (and this is waaaaay simplified) then I have the privilege – as in: private law – of saying, “I’m sorry.”

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  2. Cedar, It’s women like you that give us Gentlemen hope. I quit looking, because I got tired of being #1 on the “call when I’m hurting list,” but not good enough for any other list.

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    • There are still many like me (well, not exactly, but you catch my drift!) we just aren’t as vocal as the shrill harpies. I finally had enough with the bullying, and it’s time to start speaking up.

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  3. I’m getting a little freaked by how many discussions this week have revolved around men and women’s relationships with each other.

    You are spot on, ma’am, and I applaud your love of skirts! I’m mostly jeans-and-t-shirts, but I love swishy skirts on Sundays 🙂

    I followed the link. I agree, complaining of sexual assault is a bit of an overreaction, though given how much controversy it stirred, one could probably argue for moving the statue to a slightly less public venue might be a good solution.

    Fear and loathing of men…yes. Yes. My family background is such that I’ve never really felt that–my men are here to protect me, I am here to support/work with them. But there are so many women who view everything as a competition, Us versus Them. I understand the mindset to a degree, but it still frustrates me.

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    • “My family background is such that I’ve never really felt that–my men are here to protect me, I am here to support/work with them”

      You’re lucky. As are they. 🙂

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  4. Cedar, the incident you mentioned when I was in high school — the teacher actually told me, when I walked into the first day of drafting class, that he didn’t want me in the class because I was taking the place of a boy who would need to support a family someday. I guess it amounts to the same thing as what you said, really. He didn’t know that I wanted to be an architect, and I was too shy to protest or to tell him why I wanted to take the class. I’ve always regretted that incident — if I’d told my mother about it, I think she would have fought it on my behalf. But then I remind myself that God is in control of my life, and I am now where He wants me to be.

    I wore only skirts for a while, too, not anything to do with my husband, but believing that God wanted me to do that. I’ve since come to the conclusion that what God wants is for men to look like men, and women to look like women. The type of clothes we wear is only relevant as it applies to that. It does worry me to see people raising their children to be gender-confused. I’ve met a little girl who was allowed to pretend (in school, and, apparently, at home) that she was actually a boy — she was six years old. And this year in Good News Club we have a little boy, a kindergartener, who looks like a girl. He sits with the boys, and I think accepts that he is a boy, but if you didn’t know he was a boy, you’d think he was a girl. He wore a pony-tail to school yesterday. Sigh.

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  5. My husband and I have a very simple, basic agreement on the order of command: if anyone shoots, I hit the ground while he shoots back. (It may say something about our exposure to the less-civilized parts of the world that we started negotiating on this before we were even engaged – namely, if we walk together, who has the free gun hand.)

    When it comes to social situations, we treat it much more like being in charge of an airplane’s controls – when there are two pilots, they always coordinate so both know who is in charge at any given moment, as well as who has what responsibilities. But then, we’re both very, very strong-willed people, so it’s an endless task of love to keep communicating, through our cultural differences and expectations and different amounts of information. As long as we keep talking – or have a very clear order for who does what when there’s no time to talk it out – we’re good.

    The only reason I don’t wear skirts is pure habit; I must wear jeans for work, so the wardrobe is already prepped for that. Every now and then, I wear them out of whimsy, to dress up and look pretty.

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