Men In Dresses and Women In Red, The Cost Of Fashion Freedom
Recently one of my readers left a comment on a hub saying that it was all very well and good for women to fight for equality, after all, they started at the bottom so they had nowhere to go but up, therefore they had nothing to lose. Men, on the other hand, are apparently at the top of the food chain and so have something to lose. I thought this was an interesting point and I have pondered deeply before penning this response.
The notion that men can 'go down' as a group is probably incorrect in today's society. We are ostensibly egalitarian in our approach. As a single man against the world wearing a skirt or a dress to work might result in the loss of employment or bad treatment by one's coworkers, as well as a loss in dating and procreating opportunities. That's not an entirely invalid point. But its not stopping some men from taking action and wearing what they want to wear anyway. Some are even garnering international attention.
A fellow female hubber, Princessa, put me on to this group, Hommes en Jupe, a French group of men fighting for the right for men to wear skirts as normally as women.
You can read more about them here in this Huffington Post article.
"We're fighting against prejudice and cliches," says Moreau, a 39-year-old civil servant who quotes Virginia Woolf as a gender-bending inspiration. "Women fought for trousers; we're doing the same with the skirt."
Men, there is nothing to fear but fear itself, and being afraid of the battle is not good enough reason not to engage in it. Don't kid yourselves, the women who fought to wear trousers faced no less marginalization than you do. They faced no less pain, no less suffering, and no less anguish. In fact, there are still women fighting for basic fashion rights today.
This poignant photo shows an Iranian girl being arrested for daring to wear red clothing. No doubt she knew arrest and even beatings were a possibility when she stepped out that day, but she did it anyway. Why? I cannot hope to speak for someone who showed more courage in one day than I have in a lifetime just by getting dressed, but I wager she believed in her inherent right to wear whatever she wanted, and she was prepared to fight for that right.
Men who wear skirts, dresses and lingerie will not be arrested for it. Men who wear skirts, dresses and lingerie will not be taken to cells and beaten by police for wearing what they want to. Granted, they may suffer the sneers, stares and catcalls of the ignorant, some have even been attacked, but that is not a certainty and depends greatly on location.
So to those men who claim that they have more to lose than the women who fought for equal rights, I say don't kid yourselves. Those women faced abuse of all kinds, weathered the storm and won the rights for generations of women after them. Today in many places many women still display this kind of courage. If anything, the recent upheaval in Iran has demonstrated just how brave women can be.
And just how is the conflict in Iran related to men wearing panties? Simple. Both are battles for freedom. Men, just be glad yours can be won without blood in the streets.