It’s been almost a hundred years since women started to wear trousers without any societal disapproval. For decades, we’ve been fighting for equal rights and opportunities from the female side, and it’s been slowly paying back.
But during this great time of blurred boundaries for women, do men get the same treatment?
David Beckham was one of the first UK celebrities to come out in public wearing a skirt – or a sarong, to be exact. That happened 20 years ago, but the case still causes lots of talks and smirks. Why though?!
In general, men in skirts became more ‘normal’ nowadays, thanks to Hollywood’s Red Carpets and Men’s Fashion Weeks. However, in the day-to-day life of a ‘regular’ man – the situation with skirts is quite different.
“Society’s expectations these days – not before – are to embrace the woman as an individual, empower her freedom of choice and expression from gendered stereotypes without question,” says fell walker and DIY’er Jeremy Hutchinson, who prefers to wear long skirts instead of trousers.
Jeremy says, sadly, that men who want feel like an “empowered individual” often lack the “freedom of choice” compared to women, when it comes to gendered stereotypes – such as in clothing, for example.
Jeremy, 54, describes himself as a “standard heterosexual male following society’s obsession with labels and grouping of people” who’s been happily married to his heterosexual wife, Mary Hutchinson, for the past 27 years.
What makes Hutchinson stand out though, is his appearance. “I wear skirts all year round, sun, rain, wind or snow!” he says.
With comfort being one of the reasons for his choice, Jeremy also insists that women’s clothing is usually more colourful and has more character than menswear. ‘The Skirted Man’, as he calls himself on his blog, wears skirts on a daily basis for the majority of his activities – sometimes, even during hiking.
Jeremy is also challenging society with his appearance. “In our current era, it is not possible to dictate or expect what a woman can wear. For men, on the whole menswear – it is basically as it was from the early 1800’s and with strict social expectations without any modern changes,” he says.
“Many women still expect ‘their men’ to be in traditional clothing and not change unlike for themselves.”
His wife, Mary, 63, says: “Clothes do not define a person. How they are as a person does. Everyone should be able to wear what they want and are most comfortable with, without any sort of condemnation. I as a female have that choice unreservedly, my husband and other males should have that same…
Jeremy agrees that women have reached the point when they’re being widely accepted by the society regardless of their appearance, however for men – it’s not the same.
“The male wardrobe has been assimilated by the female sex and I, as a fellow human being, have as much right and expectations to be an individual, embrace freedom of choice and expression as any other… I make a stand for myself and for similarly minded men.”