Sunday, February 14, 2010

Christians and Skirts

Some people I've talked to - specifically some strongly opinionated Fundamental Christians I know - sometimes reject the idea that men should wear skirts on religious grounds. This is just the usual repression and if thought out rationally the arguments don't hold water. A skirt is obviously a modest garment. Of course a lot of the argument surrounds Deuteronomy 22:5 (KJV)
"The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman's garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the LORD thy God.
 We aren't talking about that, though. We're talking about wearing 'gender correct' clothing. I'm really not interested in wearing high heels, tights or even ruffled shirts - even though that particular fashion was invented for men too... If someone hits you with Deuteronomy 22:5, have them read verse 30 in the same chapter. "A man shall not take his father's wife, nor discover his father's skirt." A skirt is traditionally a male garment.

Well, lets go ahead and ask the usual question, "What would Jesus do?" Specifically, what did Jesus wear? Well, he wore a tunic or Alb, tied with a sash or cord. Looks remarkably like a dress, doesn't it?
Jesus was rather comfortable with himself, as evidenced from John 13:4-5
"He riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girded himself."After that he poureth water into a bason, and began to wash the disciples' feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded.."
 Jesus was comfortable using a towel as a skirt. I don't think that anyone would suggest that Jesus was a cross dresser.
What about the prophets? What did the prophets wear? Traditionally, sleeveless cloaks - just like the alb above - and the Priests all wore them too. If you read Isaiah 20, you can see that Isaiah prophesied for three years while completely naked, but that was rather unusual. Maybe it's a bad example to use here...

Interestingly enough, we can ask the question, "What does God himself wear?" The Bible provides the answer in Ezekiel 16:8
Now when I passed by thee, and looked upon thee, behold, thy time was the time of love; and I spread my skirt over thee, and covered thy nakedness: yea, I sware unto thee, and entered into a covenant with thee, saith the Lord GOD, and thou becamest mine.
Jesus the son of God wears a skirt! Imagine that! I could go a lot further and give a lot more references. Let's just say that the Pope doesn't wear pants and leave it at that. If a fanatic gives you a hard time about being in women's clothing, show them your scriptures and challenge them to show you where the Bible says that men have to wear pants. Trust me, it ain't in the Bible.

Don’t measure my efforts by your expectations.

The subject of Kilts/skirts has brought me to thinking about my life a lot lately. So many adults are badly 'broken' by our society in ways that are hard to fix. In our society, from the time we are born, we are exposed to negative conditioning. This conditioning usually comes from our parents, grandparents, religious affiliations, and the media.

We are taught to be uncomfortable with our thoughts, our bodies, and even our joy. In many ways the twin fangs of guilt and sin are sunk into our souls and the joy is sucked out of our lives. Effectively, this causes us to deaden parts of our minds and bodies to awareness, sensation, and, ultimately, a joyful life. No one should feel guilt over their strife to well being.

When we suffer emotional hurts and disappointments in the course of our lives, we further armor ourselves to protect ourselves from pain - physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual pains - but this only hampers our ability later in life to seek out our individual truths and experience true joy freely. This armoring is heavier than steel, and greatly interferes with our full realization as human beings, and with our enjoyment of our senses, our emotions, spiritual acceptance and indeed our entire psychological well being.

People can learn to deal with their pain, not hide or suppress it; the pain may never go away, but it does not need to control our life. Finding a way to deal with one’s pain can take many turns. When one path does not work you should not quit, or feel as if it was a failure, more as elimination of paths. Gaining a true understanding can take many years and is not easily found….. unfortunately.

I have been told many women deal with the trauma of rape with overeating. Some turn to drugs still others may confront the pain by working as a rape crisis counselor. No one “fix” works for everyone and often it takes more than one approach to deal with it effectively. Most often the “fix” seems only to separate the problem from the person, not solve or overcome.

Emotional / psychological / spiritual / physical well being all go hand in hand. Everyone should have a balance between all, but equally important; should give up one to achieve another. If someone give up their emotional health in order to gain physical well being… what have they gain?

The trauma of rape creates an emotional trench. A person’s happiness and wellbeing has fallen into it, this happiness is not gone, but it will take work to get it back. Dealing with crisis is not easy and its effects are different for everyone. Contrary to the TV ads no magic pill can fill in this trench thereby floating happiness to the top…. It WILL require work.
Don’t measure my efforts by your expectations.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

It isn't a hat, it's a cap

Just know that when you're having the, "It's NOT a skirt, stupid, it's a KILT.", that you aren't fooling anybody. A Kilt *is* a skirt by definition. You'll do better to stop arguing and start educating. In the consciousness of society there are things that are decidedly male garments and things that are decidedly female garments. Men don't wear bras or string bikini bathing suit tops. Women don't wear... Ah... What don't women wear? Ties? I think I've seen women in ties... Hmmm... The thing to remember is that in our gender confused world is that most garments are worn by both sexes at the right time and place. The best example for the Men in Skirts idea is hats. There are men's hats and women's hats. Some of them have different names, but they're all hats. If someone says, "Hey! I like your hat!", it's kind of silly to say, "It isn't a hat, it's a cap." Just take the compliment and move on. Educate them! Save them from the slow strangulation of their manhood by the evils of modern fashion!
 The bottom line is that there are skirts for men and skirts for women. Even those without much fashion sense ought to be able to tell the difference in about two seconds if you point it out to them.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Don't call it a skirt

While all of this applies to women too, it's harder to get men to think about the practical usefulness and comfort of skirts, so this is directed at the men.

"Self-respect is the noblest garment with which a man may clothe himself, the most elevating feeling with which the mind can be inspired." - Samuel Smiles
I know that for some men in our culture, the idea of wearing something commonly seen as women's clothing is a Very Big Deal, so let's get over that hump first. We aren't talking about wearing women's clothing here. We aren't talking about cross dressing. Hey, if that floats your boat, then go for it, but I look lousy in a sundress. What I am doing is inviting you to consider wearing a traditional MALE garment. Alexander the Great conquered the known world in a skirt. Think about it.
In modern Western Civilization, the appearance of a man in a skirt - unless that skirt is part of some kind of costume - engenders a range of response from total disregard to curious inquiry to obstinate denouncement. Masculinity is a fluid term, applied to men across class and racial backgrounds. It is a product of society's need for classification to keep people in constant relation to each other. Masculinity serves a useful purpose, but it creates problems by creating standards of thought, personality, and fashion for all men, regardless of other forms of individuality. This is the problem of clothing, and there are many books on the subject. Because we wear clothes and no longer have access to sexual and gender clues, our clothing takes the place of these cues and being able to classify people as the appropriate gender according to their clothing has become second nature in our society. Anyone who violates the common perception of these gender cues will generate a little attention - no matter how flawed or uninformed the common perception actually is. The common result is that even many men are confused about how to play out their own gender roles.
Even some men who wear skirts are very insistent that they aren't wearing a skirt, despite the obvious fact that they are. I mean, if you're walking around with a turtle on your head and someone asks you why you have a turtle on your head, then to say, "It isn't a turtle, it's a tortoise.", isn't useful. You haven't made any real distinction or answered the question of the inquirer. But, if it makes you feel better, then go right ahead and play the semantics game. Don't call it a skirt, it’s a Kilt!