Of all the types of clothing the skirt is only predated by the loin cloth. This is because the skirt is one of the simplest way to cover the lower body. It is after-all, at its most basic, a rectangular fabric tied around the body.
The absence of skirts on men can be seen as a result of the gender-conforming attitudes of society. But the fact is skirts were the standard attire for men and women in almost all ancient cultures as well as most of the world throughout time.
Functionally, skirts are loose and unrestricting clothing allowing ease of movement as well as the ability to feel the air against your legs which is particularly useful on hot days or humid weather conditions when one wants to achieve optimal comfort levels.
Although common throughout the world they are virtually non-existent in the “west.” This is because, unfortunately our society, and the world over, treats women as subordinate, and skirts have mistakenly become seen as feminine and therefore not acceptable for the “superior male.” So what can we do as a people to change gender inequality and rampant sexism to show that women are just as important as men?
One thing men can do is wear a skirt. It takes courage and bravery for a man to wear a skirt because society mistakenly opposes the idea that skirts are for men too and belittles women and those that they deem act like them. Wearing a skirt as a man in this society is to willfully subordinate oneself. To paraphrase Noam Chomsky those in power or who have a privileged status rarely willfully subordinate themselves. Wearing a skirt as a man today is quite simply to stand up for human rights.
We at Sumptuary Culture believe clothing is just clothing, it doesn't define you or label you, and it has been given too much importance. Society has not yet realized this.
“Vain trifles as they seem, clothes have, they say, more important offices than merely to keep us warm. They change our view of the world and the world’s view of us… There is much to support the view that it is clothes that wear us and not we them; we may make them take the mould of arm or breast, but they mould our hearts, our brains, our tongues to their liking.” Viginia Wolf
Throughout most of human life, we realized that skirts are not representative of a gender, but in the human era year, 12,018, we have almost all but forgotten. We must demand that our men wear skirts because, while there still might not be gender equality when men wear skirts again, it won’t come before it.
Written by: Max Moeller.