04 Oct 2006 • 1,560 views
KEEPING UP APPEARANCES
Yesterday I was in a shop where I overheard someone apologising for mistaking a girl baby for a boy.
"I should have noticed she's got little pink boots on" they said.
Now there may well be some of you who would opt to use the word "bizarre" when describing my appearance in these daily self portraits. But I'll tell you, what is truly truly bizarre in our society is that anybody would continue to collude in the concept of gender specific clothing.
I have a friend who found a second-hand shirt he liked, but he wouldn't buy it because it buttoned up the "wrong" way. I didn't even know there was such a thing as gender specific buttoning until that moment. In fact with this text rant forming in my mind yesterday, I actually popped into a shop to check if clothing aimed at women really did button up on the other side.
The prohibitions against girls and women wearing trousers in schools, the workplace, and fine restaurants have mostly been eroded in our society. Yet the phrase "we can see who wears the trousers in your house" is still in existence as a mildly derogatory quip.
And there's still a lot of fuss made when a boy or man chooses to wear a skirt.
In my experience as a man with several skirts in his wardrobe, the attention you get wearing one in public is good and bad in equal measure. I've had a number of women approach me in the street when I've been wearing a skirt, and they've told me that their male partner wears a skirt around the house, but he wouldn't dare wear it in public. Subsequently whenever I see a man in the street wearing a skirt I make a conscious effort to tell him he looks great.
But fundamentally we have to get a grip on reality folks and remember that its all just clothes. It just doesn't matter what we choose to wear.