Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Do one little thing outside your comfort zone every day. It doesn't have to be a big step, just something different from what you normally do or say. Even changing your thoughts about someone or something that has been bothering you can have a big impact on opening yourself up to new perspectives about the world and ways of coping with difficult situations.
In ordinary life, we tend to live in our own little area of comfort. Often referred to as our "comfort zone", this is the safety barrier that we build around ourselves to protect us from feelings of hurt, upset and a desire to react defensively. Every day, it helps to take a step outside this comfort zone to extend our limits and explore more life. Healthy challenges help us to build courage and strength!
Start off with small goals to make changes to your everyday life that will help you to grow more courageous and forthright in your approach to your goals. Start small and be more open and trusting of your wife, acquaintances, then your community, then your region and finally, your world. Over time, your goals can grow bigger and bigger, as you grow more and more courageous about interacting with others
Do not listen to unhealthy criticism from others, but be respectful.
Know your physical limits. Don't do something stupid just to be brave.
Know your emotional limits. For example, if doing something in a crowd sends you into a panic, do not force yourself to do it.
Some of us are built more sensitive to such situations than others, and with good reason, for some people are the risk-takers and some are the risk-averse. Without both kinds of people, societies would not thrive.
Avoiding the situation completely only results in strengthening the association since our beliefs about it become stronger. Lots of people avoid a situation all together when they fear it for example a women might decide not to get into relationships because of believing that she will get hurt or a man might prevent himself from having intimate friends because of trust issues.
If you avoided your fears they will keep growing bigger and bigger while if you faced them while learning how to control your emotions they will gradually decrease.
Being brave doesn’t mean to stop feeling afraid but it’s the ability to face your fears until you stop fearing them.
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
I see Masculinity as an inconsistent epoch. So is Femininity, however women are free to change at will (and do quite often).
Masculine definitions are: I can solve it. I can MAKE it happen. I am more powerful than the problem I face. I will show no weakness! Men are significantly less likely to visit their physicians to receive preventive health care examinations. Why? Too many see it as a sign of weakens.
In many cultures displaying characteristics not typical to one's gender may become a social problem for the individual. Among men, some non-standard behaviors may be considered a sign of homosexuality or femininity. Within sociology such labeling and conditioning is known as gender assumptions. These can have a powerful impact on people, and is a part of socialization to better match a culture's mores and acceptance. The corresponding social condemnation of excessive masculinity may be expressed in terms such as "machismo" or "testosterone poisoning."
Research on beer commercials show some results relevant to studies of masculinity. In beer commercials, the ideas of masculinity (especially risk-taking) are presented and encouraged. The commercials often focus on situations where a man is overcoming an obstacle in a group. The men will either be working hard or playing hard. For instance the commercial will show men who do physical labor such as construction workers, or farm work, or men who are cowboys.
Beer commercials that involve playing hard have a central theme of mastery (over nature or over each other), risk, and adventure. For instance, the men will be outdoors fishing, camping, playing sports, or hanging out in bars. There is usually an element of danger as well as a focus on movement and speed. This appeals to and emphasizes the idea that real men overcome danger and enjoy speed (i.e. fast cars/driving fast). The bar serves as a setting for test of masculinity (skills like pool, strength and drinking ability) and serves as a center for male socializing. Thereby drinking this beer you are displaying your masculinity by association.
The reverse can be true for car commercials, how many women are shown as the driver with a male passenger? Laundry commercials: men doing laundry? Dish soap, furniture polish, any cleaning products at all? Even Mr. Clean doesn’t DO anything other than display his masculine figure as a symbol of strength. The media displays a very definite icon of masculinity.
Cultural reflections on things show we can want changes, and I want to help to shape those changes. Let's make it okay for men to wear kilts, let's make it okay for anyone to be courtly and accept change. Let's make more options for more people, regardless of presentation. We can help shape this change if it is something we all believe in.
Monday, January 25, 2010
The world is made up of all types. No one person gets to decide what is best for everyone! Thank GOD for that.
On one end of the scale of wisdom we have the enlightened ones who understand on a deep and personal level that all life is an illusion, matter is merely condensed energy and we are one great consciousness experiencing.
On the extreme other end of the scale we have those who live their lives in an unconscious stupor, blindly accepting whatever social morays and practices they happen to have been exposed to as children without question and getting very upset indeed when it turns out that not everyone agrees with their particular set of beliefs. (guess you know how I feel about this one)
People like this are unable to comprehend the concept of being wrong. But more importantly, they buy into the idea that everything is either right or wrong. They are unable to see that nature, which has borne man, is a lover of variety. Very few things in nature follow strict laws of duality, as those who would put clothing into “men's” and “women's” boxes would like.
These people lack the empathy to imagine themselves as they would be if their lives had been different. They seem to believe that, had they grown up in a dung hut in Africa, they would have naturally adopted a Western gender appropriate style of dress (without ever having seen it,) worshiped the Christian God they would have never heard of, and followed the model of the one man, one woman nuclear family, in spite of that being rare among many African tribes.
If you honestly believe that the culture and customs you grew up with have some divine moral backing, you're an idiot. Seriously!!! If you believe the styles of dress which are currently common amongst the people of your local geographic area in this particular era are somehow more moral and proper than any other form of clothing one's body, then I actually wonder how you manage to get through the day without swallowing your own tongue.
It is a great big, wide world out there, and all cultures and customs are different. If it does no harm, then, what right do you have to say it is right or wrong? If it brings joy to people, then, what right do you have to judge it against the template you were handed at birth and declare it wrong? Are you truly so blind? Or does your narrow focus give you a sense of peace in this wild and beautiful world which is rocked by constant change. Those who fear the nature of life itself are often unable to deal with variances from whatever was taught to them as being proper. They'll never question it, because questioning it would open the door to the chaos of the real.
So what should you do if you don't like men who wear kilts? I recommend taking the same approach to it as you take to the rest of this beautiful, chaotic and wonderful world. Put your fingers in your ears, squeeze your eyes tightly shut and shout “LA LA LA LA LA LA LA” at the top of your lungs.
Oh look! It went away!
Sunday, January 24, 2010
I have noticed that the modern man choice in clothing has shifted towards total conformity, with an accompanying drop in personal fashion sense. Women now dress more like men, simply out of laziness, and the fact that women are tending towards male characteristics in general. I can remember when my mother would never even THINK about appearing in public without being 'presentable', but now a trip to your local Wal-Mart will show how much THAT'S changed. People actually wear their pajamas and house shoes shopping.
What's revealing is that the American male will spend millions on things that he is assured will make him sexually irresistible, but will not move one inch beyond what is accepted as normal male clothing. A fashion conscious male is automatically suspected of being gay. Men dress to fit in, not stand out . . . not what they want but what others want of them.
I think that men in general are herd animals when it comes to outward appearances, and seek conformity. Women tend to seek individual expression in their dress, and that may be one of the first manifestations of evolving gender unification. I've read where many women have stated one of the greatest pleasures they get from their femininity is in clothing, and freeing themselves from their male counterparts.
Women have FAR more latitude in what they can wear. Men wear pants, shirts, shoes, and jackets (which serve as a social status indicator) and that's pretty much it. Hats are rare, are generally just caps anymore, but up until the '50s, a well dressed man
ALWAYS wore a hat. Suits haven't changed fundamentally over the last 200 years, while women's fashions have gone through some extreme changes.
But I think my point is that people are so bound up in gender identification modes that they have been conditioned to react negatively to ANYTHING outside the strictures social norm. Women can wear male clothing, as that projects an image of masculine strength, which modern society has accepted. But for a male to wear anything even subtlety outside the norm gets him looked at with suspicion. A kilt is not a skirt, it is a male article, I can not understand why some people want to try and make something out of it other than what it is; Masculine male attire.
Saturday, January 23, 2010
Do you seek a happier, healthier life and one that is more fulfilling? If so you must look within yourself, and gain some degree of understanding.
Do you like what you see? How do you feel? Do you condemn yourself for lacking in something? Do you demean yourself for not having enough? Do you feel that you aren't good enough? Do you feel you need more material goods? Are you are always coming up short? Or maybe you feel that you aren't measuring up to a particular standard of norm that people in general have decided / considered to be the norm?
Far too often people will allow themselves to be told they are abnormal or don’t fit the norm, when in fact the very person making you feel that way is only looking to elevate themselves.
No two people are the same; yes we can have similar likes, taste, but we are separate in many more ways. Being different is the true normal that is what everyone should accept. Break free from the stigma of being something other than yourself. No one really cares what you wear, eat, drive or where you live. They are looking only for the comfort they themselves can’t find.
You are on a path called life. Sometimes you end up on at dead end, you have to start all over again, or end up on a road that takes you not where you thought it would. Life is like that. You are only here for a short time learning. 100 years is a drop in the bucket when it comes to the bigger picture of it all.
What will you reflect on in your last days? I hope I can look back and be happy, laugh at silly things and know I enjoyed my life. A memory of regret, missing small things that may have made a simple day a great one... not something I think would enjoy.
Friday, January 22, 2010
It's going to take some out of the box thinking on the part of the guy who wants in on the comfort that only a Kilt/skirt can offer.
Honestly, I don't understand why there has been such skirt segregation for so long. Take a look at the shorts men wear in the summer. They are typically knee length, the same as a kilt. They are typically no less form fitting than a pencil skirt. They just have bifurcation (seam) where a kilt has none.
As Dan Rather would say: "Courage" "That's what it's going to take." And it's the same courage that women like Greta Garbo, Katherine Hepburn and Jackie Kennedy displayed when they first started to wear pants while the rest of the female world, here in the U.S.A. were wearing dresses and skirts.
It’s time to MAN UP. If you want to put on a Kilt, know that you can.
Thursday, January 21, 2010
Once upon a time, not so long ago.
Women rarely had to open a door for themselves and little old ladies never crossed the street alone. To see a woman pumping her own gasoline was unheard of, as were loading the weekly groceries into the car.
Men did not mind, because we wanted the women in our lives to be happy, even if we did not know them by name.
Then one day someone (Oprah?) decided women no longer wanted to be treated this way, so they said “from this day on, I wear the pants” “for today I am equal to you and whatever you have I shall have as well.”
We, as Men, stood aside and allowed women to fulfill the desire to do those things we had been doing for so many 100s of years. They took jobs that only men could have in their father’s generation. They took our role as leaders in government and law. They became CEOs and got their PhD. They took our clothes and overpower the market with their taste and style.
Men became less needed, as some women took wives and adopted children from foreign lands. They hyphened their names as a clench to power and defiance of authority. They began to use tobacco and speak vulgar language, in public places.
As we men stood aside.
Not all men were happy with this, "New World Order"; some took their voices to the streets only to be labeled as sexist or chauvinist. Soon The Law of the Land would change, “women will now be your equal, in the eyes of the law” “and men shall not tread upon this” “treat them as one of you, unless they want something different.”
The media empires fueled by the advertisement industry. “We will tell them what they want to hear, and we will be rich.” Women said “no longer will we be denied the final word” and “Oprah shall show us the way.” So she became their leader, as we as men stood aside.
Now as our cities waste away, families are no more. We are driven by our desire for bigger homes, to fill the voids, as we neglect our real needs. We believe the media and never question their motive, we have become “herd animals.” Our lives are filled from day to day doing what others tell us we should do, and we do it, without question.
Now should a man say “I too want something generations before me had” “for today I will wear a kilt!” he is seen as weird, he is not following social norms. His pants wearing, check book holding wife said “NO, today you will wear what I lay out for you to wear and you WILL like it!” He did because as for 100s or even 1000s of years we men want to please the women in our lives.
A Few will be the hero of many, and I shall not be oppressed! For I will wear my Kilt!
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
My wife and I are working on things; I am seeing her point in a better light. I feel in part because of her willingness to "tolerate" things about me that may make her uncomfortable.
We can become so comfortable with ourselves that we think that others are as well. That may not be the case, that was mine.
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
You don't have to let problems run your life.
The determined pursuit of understanding will make most problems go away, and then you and your wife can solve the rest as you take a team approach to solving them, together, in a positive way.
Keep the problem, the problem, and keep your relationship the priority. Problems can be an opportunity to learn and grow together.
Talk with each other, learn and grow, and use effective problem solving methods with a positive, productive approach to the challenges you may face. This will keep your loving relationship alive and happy with mutual honesty, kindness, and respect.
No one really wins if one or the other throws in the towel and surrenders.
No mater what role a person takes in life se all seek some acceptance form someone otherwise one would be totally alone. Wise men (women too) seek acceptance from God first and foremost. Acceptance as one’s self should be next followed by the people around you (wife, husband,etc). I have know people who were more concerned about the acceptance of others than the acceptance of themselves, acceptance of themselves over that of God and at the bottom of the list, acceptance by people they don’t even know above all, no mater the price.
I will NOT address your acceptance from/to God here; this is something between you and him.
In the movie “Pretty Woman” one plot followed the fact that Edward Lewis only stays in the penthouse of the best hotel, orders food he does not like and acts the way he does because his “acceptance” in the business world, he is judged by that. While this is totally a media created fantasy of life, it carries truth among those in that environment. Acceptance from the crowd… just a different one.
People act a different way at home than they do at a dinner party (good perhaps or they not get invite to next one), men at a sporting event will paint their face (and some other parts as well) in order to gain the most acceptance of the team and other fans they wish to be accepted by.
We have different uniforms of acceptance, identifying with a specific religion or faith. I have attended a few churches in my days; I notice how different people can “act” for a couple hours each week in contrast to the other 99% of their lives. Why? They are seeking acceptance from the congregation not the Master.
Some one said to me “why on earth would you want to wear a kilt?” My first thought was why on earth does it matter? I do think I know why the question was asked; they were questioning their own acceptance. Perhaps they saw something they did like but it is not seen as an accepted activity in their eyes. I read on a religious website on the subject of fashion “would you want to stand before God wearing what you have on?” ….. Sure I would!
The follow the flock attitude is rampant, everywhere. Even among those who say they desire to be different, different than what, You and I? Some do and have achieved great success with it. Green spiked hair, fully tattooed head, enough metal in their face to make a set of cookware and the baggy pants that show the boxers/rump.
The tattoo and body piercing sect have a large and growing following. I for one have no problem if you have or want one. Should you should decide that is something you would like to have, just make sure you can live with the “Forever Jane” ……forever.... because I don't think it will be well accepted by your new wife Betty.
Saturday, January 16, 2010
My Wife and I have come to a workable agreement, for now.
I am free to enjoy my kilts at my choosing; however I must respect her choice to not accompanying me should I be kilted. She will however accompany me out one time a month as a show of faith. I will not push her too far on the subject as a show of mine. I will plan an outing to a single place with a limited time frame in mind. A sports bar trip made in mid afternoon on a Sunday? Perhaps I can build slowly on overcoming her fears.
It would be extremely difficult, and probably impossible, to change all of a Trouser Tyrant's, (namely my loving wife’s) prejudicial beliefs, all at once. To be most effective, we must choose the one or two beliefs that are most susceptible to change and which are most necessary for achieving our goal. We must identify, and believe, in our own goals, or all effort will be in vain.
I have chosen the Braveheart approach, the safest against the possibility of a total defeat, but not without risk.
My first step is to acknowledge the beliefs that skirts are exclusively female and that wearing skirts promotes effeminacy. Even in the honesty that a great many “women’s” skirts are nothing more than one leg cargo shorts available to men or women.
The Braveheart approach addresses these concerns by distinguishing kilts from women's skirts, by emphasizing their masculinity. We do this by pointing out, that very macho men have worn skirts/kilts throughout history and still do in many parts of the world. This approach would seem a lot easier than trying to uproot the deep-seated prejudice against women’s skirts on men. This is their view: "The first step to cross-dressing." Even though more and more “unisex” items are available, every item we wear MUST be clearly men’s on the label, not so for women.
The Freestylers object to such gender distinctions. They contend that skirts are skirts, shirts are shirts and that it makes no difference whether the clothing a man wears was originally intended for men or women. After all look at how many items are sold that are totally male designed, other than the tag. Women can enjoy the fact that; every single item available in the men’s department, of JCPenny’s is available in the women’s.
However, when used against Trouser Tyrants, this argument could easily backfire. It might simply confirm their prejudicial belief that a man wearing any type of skirt is "cross-dressing." And a great many of these see a kilt as nothing more than a skirt.
Friday, January 15, 2010
Today, a woman in the United States, as well as most Western countries, can simply say, "I feel like wearing slacks (or jeans, or a skirt, or a dress) today!" and go ahead and do it, with no questions asked. Ideally, a man should also be able to say, "I feel like wearing a kilt" without having to justify himself. But for many men, it isn't that simple. Merely verbalizing a desire may stir up a storm of objections, most of all in his own home. A man might easily become discouraged, particularly if he is uncertain about his own wife’s feelings on the subject.
Before we confront our wife (mate, etc), it would be helpful to examine our own attitudes, motivations, and goals regarding kilts, skirts, and other unbifurcated garments. After all, we are the ones who are challenging the status quo. We know that we may be in for a fight. Therefore, we must have a clear idea of what we're fighting for. Exactly what do we want to accomplish, and why?
The answers to these questions will depend on each individual. There are many different reasons why men desire to wear kilts, skirts, and other unbifurcated garments. Your reasons and goals may not be the same as mine. So, before we become mired in confusion and controversy, let's clarify where we're coming from and most importantly where we want to go. You must decide the path you intend to follow.
While recognizing that individuals are complex and not easily categorized, it is nevertheless helpful to distinguish the following different approaches to men's skirt/kilt-wearing:
■ Transgender: This involves men wearing women's skirts, dresses, and other clothing and accessories, not primarily for comfort but because they are women's garments. Most men are fascinated by the magic and sensuality that they observe in the female image and female clothing, so it should not be surprising that some men want to try it out for themselves. This approach may or may not involve dressing in full drag, with wigs, make-up, and fake breasts, and adopting a "femme" name. (Most men couldn't "pass" as female even if they wanted to.) The goal may be to express one's "feminine side," to achieve erotic stimulation, or simply to have fun at a Halloween party or similar occasion when people dress in costume. There may be a combination of motives, with varying degrees of intensity, depending on the individual. This approach is commonly referred to as "cross-dressing," and it's probably what many people think of when they hear the term "men in skirts." The Transgender approach actually has nothing to do with men's fashion at all, since the whole point is to adopt women's fashion instead.
■ Freestyler: This approach is based on the premise that men should be free to wear any and all clothing, without regard to gender - just as women in the United States and some other countries are now free to do. The goal is "Fashion Freedom" - the total abolition of gender distinctions in clothing. Freestylers openly buy skirts and dresses in the women's departments and wear them as men. They may or may not also wear women's slips, panties, pantyhose, shoes, make-up, and other accessories. They may wear a combination of men's and women's clothing. The whole point of the Freestyler approach is that gender should not matter. In actual practice, in which women's skirts or other things traditionally associated with female fashion are given a masculine presentation or otherwise incorporated into a masculine fashion statement.
■ Ethnic. This approach involves wearing unbifurcated clothing - such as Scottish or Irish kilts, Greek fustanellas, or the robes, caftans, or sarongs of other countries - as an expression of one's ethnic pride or in connection with ethnic celebrations or activities. For example, a man of Scottish descent may wear his tartan kilt while attending Highland games, Robert Burns dinners, weddings, Scottish dances, or other special occasions, or while playing the bagpipes or marching in a parade. When most people encounter a kilted man, they automatically assume that he is Scottish or Irish and on his way to or from such an event. The rest of the time, most kilts are hidden in closets or cedar chests and therefore have little impact on men's everyday fashion.
■ Braveheart. This approach involves wearing kilts and other male unbifurcated garments (MUGs) as ordinary, everyday attire, for reasons of freedom, comfort, and compatibility with male anatomy. Bravehearts do not desire the freedom to dress in women's clothing, nor are they concerned with abolishing gender distinctions in clothing. They strive to maintain a clearly masculine image. Strict Bravehearts prefer unbifurcated garments that are specifically designed for men and avoid clothing that is intended for females. Their goal is to open men's fashion to kilts and other MUGs, so that men will be free to wear these garments everywhere, all the time, and not just for special events.
Which of these approaches most closely describes your attitudes and objectives? Perhaps you identify with more than one. Perhaps your approach is something altogether different. Whatever it is, you must recognize and understand it before you can develop supporting arguments. The approach that you follow will determine the way you address the objections of the Trouser Tyrants, as well as affecting your chances of success.
When it comes to convincing, or at least neutralizing, the Trouser Tyrants, some approaches will be easier to "sell" than others. It is important that we understand our adversaries and how they think. We will start with the following general observations about people who support Trouser Tyranny:
■ Many are uncomfortable with sexual ambiguity. They want men to be clearly masculine in appearance and easily distinguishable from women.
■ Some are religious conservatives who try to use the Bible to justify their prejudices about clothing.
■ Some are homophobic and disturbed by anything that they associate with homosexuality.
■ Many get upset when people don't conform to traditional "norms" in appearance and behavior.
■ Many are overly concerned about appearances and worried about what other people might think.
■ Many are worried about how the appearance of another person (spouse, family member, employee, etc.) might adversely reflect upon themselves or otherwise cause problems.
If these observations about Trouser Tyrants are accurate, men defending the "Transgender" approach might as well save their breath. Cross-dressing is the epitome of everything the Trouser Tyrants loathe. According to the religious conservatives' interpretation of Deuteronomy 22:5, it is an "abomination" for a man to put on women's clothing. They believe that God demands a clear distinction between males and females. In addition, some religious conservatives see cross-dressing activities in public schools as a plot to promote homosexuality. In deference to this view, many schools in the United States have forbidden boys to dress as girls for Halloween or powder-puff football games.
But people do not need religious justification to find cross-dressing objectionable. Discomfort with sexual ambiguity is so common that it probably has deep psychological or sociological roots. In addition, there may be genuine and realistic concern that the cross-dressing individual might become the victim of harassment and even violence.
Likewise, men advocating "Freestyler" principles will come up against the same objections to men wearing women's clothing. (Freestyling has been characterized by some as "cross-dressing lite.") The concern for safety may also be an issue - since a Freestyler openly wearing a skirt or dress as a man would make a more obvious target than a man disguised as a woman. These problems might be mitigated if the Freestyler chooses his outfits carefully and projects a self-confident, masculine image. However, the Freestyler philosophy rejects any such limitations. By definition, Freestyling has no boundaries. It stands for men's freedom to wear anything and everything that women wear, all the way up to full drag. This is a concept that Trouser Tyrants will never accept.
In contrast, the "Ethnic" approach would probably be easiest to sell; particularly if you have the appropriate national heritage to justify it. This involves traditional male clothing worn in a limited, clearly defined context.
However, even this is not a sure thing, as indicated by the following examples which have appeared on the Internet. At a high school in Michigan, a boy of Scottish descent wound up in detention for wearing his kilt to the school's "Ethnic Heritage Day." In another case, an Irish-American boy was disciplined for wearing a kilt to school on St. Patrick's Day. A few years ago, when a male employee of Scottish descent wore a kilt to work at the University of California-Davis admissions office in honor of Tartan Day, his supervisor ordered him to remove the kilt and put on jeans instead. The supervisor deemed it inappropriate for the man to wear a kilt when greeting prospective students and their parents - even though one of his duties was to praise the University's policy promoting ethnic diversity!
The Ethnic approach might be a good starting point for some men, including those who have some Scottish or Irish background or who don't mind pretending that they do. But it is probably too limited, by itself, to free men's fashion from Trouser Tyranny.
The "Braveheart" approach builds on the already established heritage of ethnic MUGs, such as kilts, but it is not limited to ethnicity or special celebrations. It is open to the development of new varieties of unbifurcated garments, such as the Utilikilt, designed and marketed specifically for men. It provides men with the comfort and freedom of unbifurcated garments without suggesting that they raid the women's wardrobe. Because kilts and MUGs are male clothing, the thrust of Deuteronomy 22:5 is blocked (look up same chapter verse 11) . Because Bravehearts emphasize a distinctively masculine appearance, the concerns about sexual ambiguity are blunted. In addition, the Braveheart philosophy is supported by rational arguments and pragmatic justifications - as well as the emotional power of movies like Braveheart and examples of macho male celebrities proudly wearing kilts.
Using the Braveheart approach, we can stake out a defensible moral and rational position, be consistent, and hold our ground. While there is no guaranty that the wife will be convinced, I (you) will at least have a fighting chance!
Thursday, January 14, 2010
The belief that skirts are exclusively female. This idea has prevailed in Western societies for the past few hundred years. Until about 50 years ago, most people also considered trousers/pants to be exclusively male (and some religious conservatives still do). In medieval times, men could wear either trousers or unbifurcated clothing like robes and tunics, while women like Joan of Arc were burned at the stake for wearing trousers. How things have changed! Although women in the United States and most Western countries now consider both trousers and skirts to be standard female attire, some of them feel uncomfortable about giving men the same options. Even though they themselves rarely wear skirts any more, some women nevertheless want to keep skirts as their own exclusive property. They consider it unfair to allow men to wear skirts, because this would diminish skirts' value as a "power symbol" of female sexuality.
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
I was thinking on what to write today and I came across this bit on the web.
It's nice to see a wee bit of good press for a change.
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
So you may be thinking ‘am I man enough to wear a kilt?”
Kilts are not for everyone, and for most who do wear them they are not everyday attire.
I would wear a kilt on special days, like Sunday, or warm days, days that the sun rises in the east (just kidding).
How much can you spend? Well it’s a lot like a suit or a new pair of shoes. How much you spend has a lot to do with what you get. The cheapest kilt I have was $35 it was an experiment to see if I wanted to wear a kilt.
Looking something similar to a Uitilkilt and a fraction of the price I found out I am man enough to go kilted. A true hand made kilt from 8 yards of fabric will set you back $500 or more. I just can’t see myself at the Highland games spilling beer on a $500 kilt.
My next kilt came from Stillwater kilts at less than $100. A medium weight Standard kilt made from acrylic fabric. I quickly discovered I like this enough to order a second one in a different tartan. There is no tartan police anyone can wear any tartan they like. Weathered Mackenzie was a favorite for me because of the darker colors. Some of the better made kilts come from a full 7-8 yards of fabric and have and have a deep first pleat and reversed final pleat this gives a nice finish and tailored look and feel.
Pleats are sewn down at the hips this is a tailoring that makes a better fit and feel when you walk. Leather straps and buckles provide for size adjustment. You will not want your kilt to look to tight around the hips.
Belt loops are nice but a belt is an accessory not always worn with kilts, not so with pants. Kilts with belt loops most times only have 3 or 4 but a “kilt belt” is over 2 inches wide and will not fit your Levi’s. I have one belt and 2 different buckles for it. Kilts are heavy and will take some time to get used to the higher waist.
Full-width comfort lining- extends down 12" this is like a slip that prevents the fabric from chafing the skin, and if you are a hairy dude, trust me you will want this lining. If you should go with a true wool kilt you will understand.
Pleating should be set (tartan pattern appears across pleats) in other words the pattern shows even with the pleats folded.
Bottom edge is traditional selvedge, not hemmed. This is where the fabric comes straight from the loom or from a bolt of fabric. Each row of thread is rerouted back so it doesn’t unravel or need to be hemmed like the cuff of your pants.
Now comes the hard part…. Size….. Your 36” pants have nothing to do with a kilt. You need a tape measure.
For proper sizing, measure your waist at the navel. Do not use your pants size!
The size stated on your trousers tag might be smaller than what you measured (the garment industry often adds an inch or so to your waistband without telling you, so can feel thinner than you really are). Also, kilts are worn a lot higher on the waist than pants. There is no formula where you can take your pants size and determine your kilt size.
Measure your waist at the navel. Have a helper, or read the measurement in a mirror. If you lean over to read the tape, it can make your waist expand! Pull the tape snug but not tight. Please note your measurements can vary throughout the day, you can take multiple measurements to get an average.
Most kilts are offered in EVEN waist sizes 28"- 52". Size is determined on kilts with the buckles fastened at their tightest position. This means a 34" will go up to about 35.5". Kilts look & fit best with buckles at the tighter positions for maximum overlap. This does not mean the kilt should be tight when you wear it! If you are not sure about size, keep in mind that it is easy to alter a big kilt to make it a little smaller (just re-position straps & buckles) and very difficult to alter a small kilt to fit a bigger size.
As for the length the standard is about 24 inches. I am 6’ and 188 pounds with a pants size 34” my kilt size is 38” and a length of 24” fits me fine.
Basically, order whatever size your measurement comes closest to. These are from the Stillwater site so you can’t expect every kilt maker to follow the same measurements.
My next blog I will talk about kilt accessories, including kilt pins, sgian dubhs, plaid brooches, shoes, hose (socks) and the most important the Sporran.
Monday, January 11, 2010
A constant complaint about men's kilts is their price. Some men feel that it is ridiculous to pay for a genuine man's garment when women's skirts are so much cheaper. Although kilts and real MUGs tend to be expensive, we should not assume that those who make and sell them are being "greedy." Persons who are really greedy wouldn't commit themselves to such a risky venture as making MUG's to begin with.
It is an inescapable fact that, absent an independent source of income, people have got to make a reasonable profit in their business if they are going to survive. The same applies to making and selling MUG's. We have already seen a number of MUG ventures bite the dust.
Traditional Scottish kilt making will probably survive, regardless of high prices, thanks to continued interest in Scottish heritage, bag piping, Scottish dancing, etc. But this will continue to be a very narrow specialty market, limited to a relatively few kilt enthusiasts who are willing to pay the price. Sarongs are sufficiently masculine and reasonable in price, but they are probably too informal and lightweight for most purposes in Western society.
MUG's will not become mainstream until good-looking, comfortable, practical, and reasonably priced MUG's are readily available, so that enough men are willing to set aside their fears and try them out. Most men will not have the courage to do this until there is a sufficient number of other men already wearing MUG's. So there by one or the other must give in first.
And here is where the price factor presents a dilemma. The cost of making quality MUG's is going to be high, because MUG's are a specialty item with a very limited market. The high price will deter many men from experimenting with such a garment, because they aren't sure about wearing one to begin with.
We know how the big clothing merchandisers are able to stay profitable while keeping prices competitive - they mass-produce tens of thousands of the same item in sweatshops in third-world countries. It will be a long time - if ever - before we see MUG's being produced on the same scale.
Therefore, the prices of quality MUG's will not substantially come down until MUG's are mass-produced and competitively mass-marketed like trousers, women's skirts, and other popular items of clothing. This will not happen until there is a mass market for MUGs. And there will be no mass market for MUGs as long as price remains an obstacle, together with men's fear of wearing alternatives to trousers.
Even though men could buy women's skirts for much less, very few men are willing to wear women's clothing. In fact, this is exactly why most men are still reluctant to wear kilts - they are afraid it would look too much like cross-dressing. Therefore, MUG's must be clearly understood to be male clothing if they are to become mainstream.
If we are serious about overcoming Trouser Tyranny, I think we should reconcile ourselves to the following:
Public acceptance and popularity of MUGs will never occur unless there continue to be people who make and sell unbifurcated garments specifically designed and intended for men. If the only source of unbifurcated garments is the women's department, then unbifurcated garments will continue to be regarded as exclusively female, men who wear them will continue to be viewed as "cross-dressers," and other men will continue to cling to their trousers.
The MUG's have got to be well-designed and of high quality. They must be comfortable, practical, handsome, and something that an ordinary man would enjoy wearing. Flimsy, shoddily made, impractical, and odd-looking creations are bound to fail, even if sold at low prices.
We should give our encouragement and support to those pioneers who are helping to expand the variety and availability of good quality MUGs. Products that come to mind are recent kilt variations like the Practikilkt, Mountain Hardwear Hiking Kilt, 21st Century Kilts, Stillwater Kilts and Utilikilts.
Yes, I know that we chafe at the high prices. But I remember a time, about 30 years ago, when hand-held electronic calculators that did multiplication and division originally came on the market. They cost more than $100 at Radio Shack. But I seriously wanted one, and I paid the money for it. Now we can buy calculators that do much more than that for less than $5 and are often given for free as an adverting gift.
The same will be true for MUGs, when and if they ever become popular. But in the meantime, we are the ones who must shoulder the responsibility of keeping the concept alive until it builds up greater momentum, and until MUG-wearing men reach the critical mass necessary to bring the prices down. In the meantime, we've got to give all the encouragement we can to the pioneers who take the risk of marketing MUG's, even if they cost a lot more than a pair of trousers or a woman's skirt at the Gap.
Saturday, January 9, 2010
Gathering from messages posted from the internet and other places, the Number One obstacle to wearing unbifurcated garments (Kilts, etc.) is the negative reaction from men's wives. Girlfriends may also present problems, but it's a lot easier to change girlfriends than to change wives. A man can move away from his disapproving parents; he can find relief from restrictive dress codes by wearing his male unbifurcated garments ("MUGs") outside of work or school; but when he can't even wear MUGs in his own home, he is truly a slave in his own castle.
Many men are reluctant to confront their wives about this issue, out of fear of disrupting their marriages - some of which may be on shaky ground already. Even in stable relationships, men may worry about rocking the boat. So they dutifully trudge around in uncomfortable trousers - enduring cramped crotches and jock itch - while their wives freely choose among jeans, slacks, shorts, pantsuits, skorts, short skirts, long skirts, dresses, and whatever else suits their fancy; often times borrowing from their own husbands clothes.
Men hear cries of indignation when women are required to wear skirts at work, and they watch as employers' dress codes for women crumble in response. Yet when a man seeks a more comfortable alternative to trousers, his request is dismissed as being "trivial." A man is told that he is "head" of his household, "king" of his castle, a "free" man living in a "free" country. However, these are but meaningless clichés when a man is arbitrarily denied something so simple and as harmless as the comfort of wearing a kilt, Utilikilt, or other garment he may chose.
Therefore, our desire to wear kilts is not "trivial" at all. Husbands should have as much right to comfort, pleasure, and self-expression in clothing as wives have. If marriage is to be a relationship of mutual respect, a "two-way street," then our wives must come to recognize and accept that fact.
Although my wife jealously defend her own freedom to wear both trousers or skirts, she sees nothing wrong in denying her husband the same freedom of choice. Many women refuse to acknowledge the illogical and inequality of this situation. Even when wives recognize the unfairness on an intellectual level, they may continue to object based on their emotional reactions and deep-seated prejudices. Therefore, we must understand the sources of these emotions and prejudices and create strategies to deal with them.
The most important sources involve a wife's expectations, fears, and prejudices. These are my views:
Expectations. When you got married, your wife wasn't marrying just you; she was also marrying her idealized fantasy of what she expected in a husband. You just happened to be a convenient approximation of that fantasy. While courting, you did your part by trying to conform to her fantasy. She was even willing to overlook some imperfections, hoping to "change" you into a more ideal personification after the wedding. (Women aren't the only ones who have such expectations. At the same time, you were probably expecting her to fulfill your fantasies.)
Your wife's fantasy of the ideal husband and sexual partner may have been drawn from many sources - impressions of her father or other male relatives; teen-age heart-throbs that she and her girlfriends used to drool over; heroes in romantic novels; attractive male celebrities in movies or on television. Unless she had a thing for Mel Gibson in Braveheart, the chances are that all these men wore trousers.
To further complicate matters, you and she were not the only players in this game. She may also have been influenced by the expectations and opinions of her parents and peer group. She may have wanted a husband who would make her look good in their eyes, thereby bolstering her self-esteem.
On a more pragmatic level, she probably expected you to provide her with security. She expected you to be strong and protective, both physically and emotionally. She expected you to hold a steady job that provided sufficient income to help support her and the family. She expected you to enhance her position in the community and in social circles.
She expected you to be a good role model for her children.
In other words, she expects you to conform to a certain preconceived role that she has formed in her mind. Like a Hollywood casting director, she expects you to look and act the part. And all the other men she has seen in that role are wearing trousers and threw by you are expected to follow suit.
Your own choices are no longer a factor, the longer you are married the more the expectation of conformity must exist. Take example where you are asked "what do you thinking about these as a new style for the bedroom." I have never, not one time been given a choice in anything other than a feminine floral print. Nothing in a manly or masculine form. We are under assault and I for one am not handling it well.
Friday, January 8, 2010
Men from all walks of life are wearing kilts. Kilts cross just about every demographic boundary, and includes men of diverse description: bikers, musicians, actors, librarians, engineers, scientists, computer types, mechanics, truck drivers, and even a few video production/freelance writers. In some cities, Seattle, San Francisco, New York, and Austin modern kilts are becoming a frequent sight. In fact, according to an online kilting newsgroup, Texas leads the country in kilts per capita, but I’m not moving!
Currently, according to my rather unscientific research, there are a few kilt wearers in Tri-cities, Tennessee. I found this out when I took mine to the cleaners. A chat with the clerk told me that they get several people bringing in kilts for cleaning.
We have a Celtic Festival locally, and when I last attended I noticed the tags on the cars in the lot, by far the most were local folks. This tells me I am not alone. I can not say I know anyone personally but it’s only a matter of time until our numbers grow. The 3rd largest Highland Games in the works are held only an hour away from me. I attended this year along with my wife; however her condition was “if you wear a Kilt you go alone.”
I also travel to Stone Mountain Georgia in 2009 for their Highland Games; once again the law was lay out on the table….. so this time I went alone. I was kilted from the time I left home until my return 3 days later. I would have enjoyed the trip so much more if the stubbornness had not been in play.
Honestly, wearing a kilt isn’t for everybody. It helps to be a little outgoing, or at least not shy. If strangers approaching you for no apparent reason makes you paranoid, and you don’t like being asked either “What’s up with the kilt?” or “What are you wearing under there?” by strangers who wouldn’t otherwise give you a second glance, then I suggest you stick to the trousers.
Getting any reaction from people these days is tough; the body modification movement has made tattoos and piercing, which just a decade ago would have marked a person as an outsider, now seem commonplace. It gets harder to stand out everyday, but you know you’re onto something when the teenage girl with the tongue, lip and eyebrow piercing, plus the neck tattoo, eyes you up and down, and says admiringly, “Man, that’s cool. It takes a lot of guts to wear a kilt.”
I’m in my mid forties. I’m not a flamboyant guy, but I like to think I have a little style, which can be tough to pull off, as I left my 32” waistline behind in junior high school. I find my kilts to be comfortable and stylish, while letting me set myself apart from the pack without making a great deal of effort; you could say I’m a lazy extrovert. I’m a typical example of a modern kilt wearer. I’m not shy, I’m comfortable with my sexuality, and I don’t mind answer a few questions occasionally.
The only downside to the kilt for me is that my wife, an avowed introvert, hates it. While not causing outright fights, it has frequently been the source of numerous disagreements. I have only been seen publicly in the kilt alone as she refuses to accompany me kilted.
Her reaction is typical of her altitude in general. She sees it as an attention grab, something she avoids at all cost. I on the other hand could care less what others think. I have been in Speedo’s longer than I can remember. Now my wife says it is time to can the Speedo’s for more “age acceptable” trunks. Give in on that and next I am expected to give in on everything else as well. Yes I am talking about the kilts.
One kilt newsgroup refers to kilts having a very high “CDI” (Chicks Dig It) factor. I have to admit I do get a lot of positive reactions from women (not that I look for it) while I’m wearing my Utilikilt, Practikilt or a Tartan. Women approach me, smiling, and ask questions like, “WOW!! That looks so awesome” or “I love your kilt?” which I’m sure they intend in good fun, and I accept their admiration as such, but I always wonder how long it would take for me to be hauled off in handcuffs if I asked women I didn’t know similar questions.
Men either want to know where I got it, where can they get one, or say something along the lines of “It takes a real man to wear that.” One gentleman on his 70s came up to me at a restaurant and said “ My wife thinks you are the best dressed man she has ever seen in real life, and I can see that you are the kind of man more [men] need to be like” Hey, who am I to argue. I have expected a few negative reactions, but so far, apart from my wife, I really have had only one.
WHO is under the Kilt?
A man. Nothing more and definitely nothing less.
Wednesday, January 6, 2010
In many people's minds, a man wearing a woman's skirt is not expressing his masculinity - he is either "gay" or getting his sexual kicks from cross-dressing. This may be totally false and unfair, but that is how most people will interpret it. That impression is further increased if the man is wearing a miniskirt with shaved legs and/or pantyhose. While it may not be fair, such activities simply reinforce the negative stereotype that skirt-wearing men have either a fetish about women's clothing or some form of gender disorder.
In contrast, the public nowadays should have a much more positive reaction to a man who expresses his male sexuality by wearing a masculine kilt. Many women drool over men in kilts. However, this does not mean that traditional Scottish kilts are the only way to go. I am simply pointing out certain practical things we must keep in mind if we want to move kilts into the mainstream.
Buying and wearing women's clothing will not accomplish this. While I suppose that the first women to wear trousers must have borrowed them from the men, I do not find this to be a convincing analogy. There wasn't the same kind of social stigma against women wearing men's clothing (which symbolizes power and practicality) as there is to men wearing women's clothing (which symbolizes submission and passivity). Women were discouraged from wearing trousers because trousers were viewed as a symbol of men's elevated status and power. If there is any "power" in women's clothing, it is the way in which it expresses female sexuality, by showing off a women's body or femininity to good effect. Therefore, women's clothing on a man looks incongruous to most people.
If we wish to overcome Trouser Tyranny, wearing a man's kilt sends a much stronger message to the public than wearing women's skirts. When asked what your objective is in wearing a kilt, you can explain that you want "the freedom to wear a man's garment that is more comfortable for a man's anatomy." In contrast, the Freestylers' "fashion freedom" objective basically boils down to allowing men the freedom to wear women's clothing. This message does not advance the public's acceptance of unbifurcated garments as men's clothing.
Tuesday, January 5, 2010
In this age, from the time we were little, we were brought up to believe that men wore pants. There was no asking why. It was just that way. Have you ever used or heard the phrase, "Who wears the pants in the family"? I bet most people have. It has been a lie fed to us from our birth that wearing pants was a masculine thing.
The sad thing is that we never asked the important question "why". So why have we believed this lie for so long? It is amazing how things that you are taught when you are little stay with you for life. Maybe it is the innocence of young age. Who is to say for sure? Breaking out of this learned thought pattern can prove to be harder than it is to learn, however. Children undergo years of therapy to unlearn learned thought patterns just like this. The idea of conformity in society is a heavy issue.
These are the same ideas that your parents were force fed to them by their parents when they were young. Most people find embarrassment in things that they do or say when it is outside of what society considers "the norm". So why would people fall into these crazy ideas? Well, along with conformity goes the need for acceptance. When you do something that is looked down upon by society, or friends in general, how do you feel? Probably not very good unless you are used to it. You feel out of place. You feel the unequivocal urge to conform, don't you? Why do we? Human nature is my guess. We are all just worker ants in a large social chain.
Asking why we feel a need to conform is like asking why when the lead bird in a flock changes direction, the flock does as well. It is convenient and instinctual. Kids in school just have to have the name brand stuff because it is cool and they'll be accepted as cool. So now why would or should a guy want to wear clothing just because everyone else does?
Saturday, January 2, 2010
If Kilts and other MUG's (unbifurcated garment) catch on and go mainstream, they may help to resolve the frustration felt by males like me, who have found trousers to be irritating in the crotch and who realize that unbifurcated garments are far more comfortable and better adapted to the male anatomy.
In the past, if a boy was curious about what it feels like to wear an unbifurcated garment (MUG), his only feasible option was to try on a girl's skirt or dress - a forbidden activity about which most boys would feel guilty or ashamed. When he discovered that he actually preferred the feeling of a skirt or dress as opposed to trousers, he was likely to feel that there was something horribly "wrong" him. Actually, he has simply discovered a physical truth that Western society has tried to repress: that fact that unbifurcated garments really are more comfortable and more natural for a male than trousers.
The boy may come to envy girls for being able to wear skirts and dresses and pants as well. He may find himself wishing that he were a girl, not for any other reason than the fredom of choice in clothing.
For no other reason than boys aren't allowed to wear skirts, the only option may be to disguise himself as a girl (such as for Halloween or a costume party). The Internet is filled with TG fantasy fiction about this sort of thing, where boys end up allowing themselves to be feminized by their mothers or other female relatives.
A male's desire for the comfort of unbifurcated garments has been routinely equated with transvestism or transgenderism. But what if the boy is perfectly happy with his sexual identity, and simply finds unbifurcated garments more comfortable than trousers? He will nevertheless be taken to a shrink, who will probably diagnose him as having a gender disorder. He may come to believe this himself. He may end up confused about his sexuality and obsessed about female clothing.
Of course, there are many reasons why persons may have a gender disorders, and some people are probably born with it. But I feel that the situation is unnecessarily complicated by Western society's absurd notion that males must only wear trousers and that any male who feels otherwise must be perverted.
Now imagine a world in which MUG's (Kilts and Skirts) have become mainstream. Notice how the following scenerio becomes much different from what the typical reaction would be today.
A boy asks his Mom and Dad, "Do you think I would a Kilt?"
"Why do you ask?" replies his dad. "Are your jeans feeling too confining?"
"Yeah,and" admits the boy, " my Boy Scout troop will be attending the camp out, Kilted."
Mom: "Well, why don't we drive over to JCPenny’s, and you can try on one of the Utilikilts or maybe Gap for a SportKilt."
"If you want to get the "BSA" Taran we will need to get you mesured and sized" his Dad said.
So they hop in the car, drive to the store, pick a Utilikilt off the rack, and the boy takes it into the changing room to try on. He soon comes out wearing the Utilikilt to show his parents.
"It looks really handsome," says his dad. "How does it feel?"
"Awesome!" exclaims the boy. "No wedgies! Can I get this one? I can't wait for the other guys to see, and the camp out is only 2 weeks away! It'll be great for going on hikes and stuff."
So they make the purchase and go home. The boy proudly wears his Utilikilt around the neighborhood and to school, receiving much admiration.
One of his friends remarks, "My dad has one of those. There're really cool. I've been begging him to get me one. I'm tired of wearing blue jeans all the time like my sister." "are you wearing it to the camp out like the pack leaders do every year?"
"YOU BET I AM!"
Doesn't this story sound a lot healthier and more natural than the alternatives?