Whither SkirtCafe?

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Re: Whither SkirtCafe?

Postby Milfmog » Sat Nov 20, 2010 10:48 am

Derek Plattis wrote:I'm afraid I can't agree with the premis of the post which suggests we have proved that men wearing skirts is o.k. and accepted. The last time I went public in a skirt was in the summer of 2009. After many years of apparently problem free skirting, in one day out I got so much ribbing and jeering that it put me right off the idea

One negative experience and you were put off? Do you still drive a car? I bet you've had folks complain about your driving, but you did not give up. The fact is that whatever we do, there will be someone who does not like it. So what? If you want to do it and are doing no harm, just carry right on. Occasionally I hear a giggle or an over-loud stage whisper, sometimes (very, very rarely) a direct negative comment. Sometimes it is because I'm skirted, but more often than not it is either not directed at me (and I'm just being over sensitive) or because I've done something else that upset the individual. If I've done something silly I apologise and get on with my life, equally if they are being silly I grin to myself and continue. No harm done either way.

Derek Plattis wrote:I do not want to be a laughing stock, I want acceptance as a man in a skirt but I really don't think that is possible in England today.

As a guy who has worn skirts and kilts all over the UK and in many parts of Europe, I have to say that my experience disagrees with your view. Most folks simply don't care what I wear, even if they notice I'm just a passing curiosity for a few seconds and then they are back to living their own lives.

Derek Plattis wrote:Most people who see a man in a skirt just laugh, usually silently, inwardly, and move on.

Agreed and it does you no harm, while it may bring a little more light and laughter to their lives. What's the problem? Most people laughed the first time they saw a Smart car, now they are just an everyday sight and nobody notices them any more. Familiarity has removed the humour value; more skirt wearers would have exactly the same effect over time.

Derek Plattis wrote:Some actually jeer out loud.

And can be dealt with or ignored. On one occasion I had a group of teenagers, one of whom thought he'd be funny. He was half right, all his friends had a good laugh, as did I! See the story here.

Derek Plattis wrote:I was almost convinced that I would not skirt again but last week I discovered a beautiful long black and white skirt in a local charity shop. I just had to buy it. I could not stop myself. I've tried it on at home. It looks and feels marvelous and now I'm seeking the opportunity to wear it publicly - if I still have the nerve.

That has to be your decision, but if you are not sure how to make it look right on you, why not put up a few pictures of you in it with a variety of other items and see what people here think of the look. As Carl has remarked many times, a believable look is important and dramatically impacts on the confidence of the wearer. Self-confidence is by far your best defence against a surprised world.

Have fun,


Ian.
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Re: Whither SkirtCafe?

Postby crfriend » Sat Nov 20, 2010 1:13 pm

I have to agree with Milfmog that a single -- or even a series of -- negative incidents should not put someone off the notion of pushing the boundaries of what men can wear, especially if all the negativity was confined to a short span. To use Milfmog's driving analogy, I've been unfortunate enough to have been in a couple of rather spectacular crashes in the past 20 years, one of which was a near head-on from a drunk and one last year where I got shoved into the side of a bridge by an out-of-control SUV; whilst rattled by the incidents, I didn't give up driving, and I suspect you'll allow that those things were a little bit more serious than getting laughed at.

When it comes to my skirts, I have gotten a few "less than stellar" comments, mostly from men, but nothing about the skirt itself; the comments were mostly about colours, e.g. "Purple isn't your colour". Interestingly, I have had semi-negative and positive comments from the same man -- in the same sentence: "I like your outfit today, yesterday's not so much." An interesting observation is that most of the comments were made about my two very long purple skirts; I take this to mean that those styles stick out and catch the observer's eye in a way dark colours and shorter styles don't. I think I'll reserve those looks for when I'm feeling brave -- like today. (I just reinforced the waistband elastic of my new Long Tall Sally "Ellery" skirt and need to see how it performs).

Ultimately, it's the individual's choice whether to continue wearing skirts in public settings or to return it to the peace and quiet of one's home. The community here cannot make that call for anyone, but we can stand up and state our own experiences and offer advice (and see Milfmog's signature regarding that) and, perhaps, perspective.

If something happens that rattles one's self-confidence to the core one usually cannot help but project that, so it might be better to "pull back from the edge" a bit for a while and return when the confidence does. It's been said that wolves can smell fear; likely bullies -- or would be bullies -- can as well, so don't wear bait on your sleeve (or legs) when you're not at > 95%.

That's enough rambling. In any event, nobody's planning to put SkirtCafe out to pasture any time soon, so don't fret on that account!
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Re: Whither SkirtCafe?

Postby couyalair » Sat Nov 20, 2010 6:22 pm

I can't say I have any fears on the streets in a mug. I feel self-confident, but I sometimes wish I did not stand out quite so much, could be a little more anonymous. It annoys me somehwat when I stand up at a meeting to give my opinions and feel that people are paying more attention to my clothes than to what I'm saying.
(It was similar when I was at university in USA. Other students' ears began waggin bcause of my British accent, but i'm sure none of them ever rembered what I said. Perhaps it's just me!).

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Re: Whither SkirtCafe?

Postby Mugs-n-such » Mon Nov 22, 2010 11:44 pm

Since1982 wrote:
the tunic-wearing Romans thought trousers were barbaric.
Hear hear, as a Roman type, I'd make the slaves wear only trousers so they could do all the heavy jobs. :D :D

roflmdo (again). Hint: d=derriere. :lol:
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Re: Whither SkirtCafe?

Postby Derek Plattis » Wed Nov 24, 2010 12:05 am

One negative experience and you were put off? Do you still drive a car? I bet you've had folks complain about your driving, but you did not give up.


MM - literally millions of people drive cars. It is generally accepted behaviour - hardly a good comparrison with men who wear skirts! If we have made our point and skirt wearing for men has become acceptable, why do we see so few men doing it? If that premise is true, surely around 50% of the male population of western countries would be wearing skirts on a regular basis - obviously not.

Not receiving negative comments does not mean that everyone approves - only that they do not comment.

Let's be honest with ourselves. Men wearing skirts is still unacceptable in the eyes of the general public. It is seen as wierd, gay, and masses of uneducated, ignorant people will associate the wearer with all types of perversion imaginable.

Skirtcafe and any other similar forums and organisations have a huge mountain to climb if it is ever to become generally socially acceptable - so keep up the good work guys, the battle has hardly begun yet!

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Re: Whither SkirtCafe?

Postby Milfmog » Wed Nov 24, 2010 9:06 am

Derek Plattis wrote:
One negative experience and you were put off? Do you still drive a car? I bet you've had folks complain about your driving, but you did not give up.

MM - literally millions of people drive cars. It is generally accepted behaviour - hardly a good comparrison with men who wear skirts!

The point was that giving up after one minor setback is hardly a behaviour that will get you what you want.

Derek Plattis wrote:If we have made our point and skirt wearing for men has become acceptable, why do we see so few men doing it? If that premise is true, surely around 50% of the male population of western countries would be wearing skirts on a regular basis - obviously not.

Oh dear a straw man. I did not say that we'd made our point, nor that anything had become acceptable. I wrote that I have not experienced significant disapproval during extensive skirted travels in the UK and Europe. Wearing a skirt as a guy has never been unacceptable, it has been unusual and out of the ordinary. The vast majority of people either don't notice or, more likely, don't care. They simply accept it. It is not so different to kids wearing jeans under their backsides; folks notice (and probably don't like it) but accept it, rarely doing anything about it.

As for your suggestion that if a guy in a skirt was acceptable 50% of the male population would wear skirts, that is plain silly. Riding a unicycle is a perfectly acceptable thing to do; do 50% of the population do it? How about wearing a hat or going caravanning or... Have you ever heard the word minority? Are minority activities all automatically unacceptable?

Derek Plattis wrote:Let's be honest with ourselves. Men wearing skirts is still unacceptable in the eyes of the general public. It is seen as wierd, gay, and masses of uneducated, ignorant people will associate the wearer with all types of perversion imaginable.

If we are going to be honest why not start with yourself? Is that how you feel? (No need to answer that publicly - just think about it.) It has certainly not been my experience. Sure most folks think it's odd (weird if you like) but Joe Public is smarter than politicians and the media (and apparently you) give him credit for, and although there are some idiots out there the vast majority of the species does not deserve to be generalised about as you have.

Derek Plattis wrote:Skirtcafe and any other similar forums and organisations have a huge mountain to climb if it is ever to become generally socially acceptable - so keep up the good work guys, the battle has hardly begun yet!

Subject to replacing the word "acceptable" with "common" or "unremarkable" I agree, however few battles are won by troops who retreat as soon as the other side says "boo".

Changing public perception of what is normal clothing is not going to be achieved on the internet; it needs people to go out in public wearing the clothes and soon enough it ceases to be worthy of comment and just becomes a so what. Not so very long ago men in long hair were considered effeminate, ear rings on guys were definite proof that the wearer was "bent", a woman in jeans had to be a lesbian. You know what? Most of Joe Public has grown up and learned and all it took was the familiarity that came about because those who wanted to dress that way did not give up and go home.

Maybe you do not want to be a pioneer; that's OK, most people feel like that; but that is no reason to lob unsupportable opinions at those with greater motivation than yourself.

Have fun,


Ian.

Edited to add the words in blue in the penultimate paragraph - Ian
Last edited by Milfmog on Thu Nov 25, 2010 12:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Whither SkirtCafe?

Postby Derek Plattis » Wed Nov 24, 2010 11:52 pm

Wow!!

I find that previous post absolutely insulting both personally and to my intelligence - I'm sure I don't need to quote the offensive parts. If you cannot see the evidence plainly in front of your eyes and can only respond in such a defamatory manner we are better off without your input. Thanks for replying but no thanks to the insults!
I thought I would find some honest, objective thought on the matter here but I see I am disappointed again.

Bring back the IMFF!

Derek Plattis

P.S. It may interest you to know that I have been skirting in public for over forty years on and off. I am well happy with my own self-image but I am also sensitive enough to detect and respect the opinions of those around me.
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Re: Whither SkirtCafe?

Postby crfriend » Thu Nov 25, 2010 12:52 am

{sigh}

[Mod hat on]

I'd like to see some climb-down on this one before it degenerates into the sort of ad-hominem conflict that gets things locked here. It is acceptable to assail ideas, but not individuals.

It is worth noting that most of us here have personal experience with the general public's reactions to us in our assorted skirted/kilted looks, and those experiences must necessarily differ because we all dwell in different locales and we all have our own sense of style. So what one bloke finds in his neighbourhood will differ from another's personal experience -- this does not mean that comparisons and contrasts are intended to be insulting or anything else which could be perceived as derogatory. Hence, if we fall to the level of name-calling due to differences of opinion, then we're no better than the bottom end of society who have no choice, or motive, to be different than sheep.

Given that much of what we perceive in our lives is viewed through the lens of our own experience, it's very difficult to be completely objective; however, accusing others of tossing insults based on differing experiences is not particularly welcome. In short, don't do it; accept that differences in experiences exist -- just as differences of opinion do -- and get on with life.


[Mod hat off]

This writer's personal experience, based on having worn skirts for a good many years, both in private and in very public settings, is that the general public is willing to accept a man in a skirt so long as he presents himself in a manner that is worthy of respect and admiration. I have done this at work where my opinions and experience are valued, I have done this as a participant at Town Meeting in the hamlet in which I dwell, and I endeavour to do so in my daily life whether I am wearing trousers or wearing a skirt.

Yes, it is unusual to encounter a guy in a skirt, but from my experience it does not detract one whit from his worth as a human being, does not lessen his value in his community, and certainly does not warrant that most juvenile school-yard taunt of "gay". Get over it.
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Re: Whither SkirtCafe?

Postby TomH » Thu Nov 25, 2010 4:27 pm

Thank you, Carl. I resisted jumping in knowing that you would show up soon. You certainly have a way with words that makes lots of sense. I totally agree that we can disagree with style, but not attack any person on this site. (Well, anywhere for that matter). It never works out good and fails to change anyone or even their ideas.

Again, thanks for being there. This note is a lot different than I expected to write last night.

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Re: Whither SkirtCafe?

Postby Derek Plattis » Thu Nov 25, 2010 7:54 pm

[quote][/quote]Yes, it is unusual to encounter a guy in a skirt, but from my experience it does not detract one whit from his worth as a human being, does not lessen his value in his community, and certainly does not warrant that most juvenile school-yard taunt of "gay". Get over it.[quote]

Yes I agree with that fully - who on this site wouldn't - I have nothing to 'get over!'

You are very lucky to be able to wear a skirt for work and since I work in a school with teenagers and their parents to consider, my appearance one morning in a skirt would undoubtedly cause a riot probably followed by disciplinary action.

In my experience over the years I have found acceptance when skirted and the lack of it probably in a ratio of about 30:70. The majority of people seem to not understand it - find it weird, or worse as I wrote above. - It can easily become the subject of ridicule.

There is a great need for education of the 'general public' on the matter and I don't know an effective way of bringing such education about.

As an aside ---- its funny that a previous writer should mention riding unicycles! There is, in our town, one man who regularly rides around the town on a unicycle. This is not seen as acceptable behaviour! He he is generally considered a menace to himself, traffic and pedestrians and he is considered weird for wanting to behave in this way. Only a few people would admire him for his unorthodox behaviour while most would consider him to be an eccentric, and a show off. In other words he is stigmatised for his personal choice of mode of transport. - Surely an interesting parallel with the skirt wearing man! - However, unicycles do not carry any gender implications in the way that skirts do in most people's minds (whether we choose to accept that or not!).

This argument could and probably will go on. I completely agree that we should not be critical on a personal level of people whose opinions and experiences differ from our own and I will no doubt 'get over' the insults, implied or explicit made by a previous contributor.


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Re: Whither SkirtCafe?

Postby crfriend » Thu Nov 25, 2010 10:12 pm

Derek Plattis wrote:[CRF is] very lucky to be able to wear a skirt for work and since I work in a school with teenagers and their parents to consider, my appearance one morning in a skirt would undoubtedly cause a riot probably followed by disciplinary action.

Here's where the notion of environment comes to the fore. I work in an adult millieu amongst professionals who need to have deep experience and background in what they do in order to survive; in a "school setting" -- and I absolutely mean no offence in this -- conformity is likely more highly prized than independence and individual thought. Teenagers (been there, done that) tend to be amongst the most conformist folks going, to the point of causing physical and emotional injury to any peer who defies convention. Through that lens, I can absolutely see how a skirt-wearing bloke could be perceived as being completely warped.

However, the point remains that unless somebody gets out there and pushes the envelope precisely nothing will happen to the status quo. If thrust is not applied to the inertial vector then it'll never change. I do not advocate applying thrust in a diametrically-opposed direction, for down that path lies folly and failure; instead, I'd advocate applying it at about 90 degrees or even 135 astern for that would shift the inertial vector at minimal resistance to the one applying it. Read, "You won't get a maximal smackdown for being a deviant." In other words, push the envelope, but choose your battles (and looks) wisely.

In my experience over the years I have found acceptance when skirted and the lack of it probably in a ratio of about 30:70. The majority of people seem to not understand it - find it weird, or worse as I wrote above. - It can easily become the subject of ridicule.

My experience is different in this regard. First and foremost, I am fairly assertive in most things; I am not an "in your face" sort of character, but then again I am no shrinking violet. When I state something, it's usually after hotter heads have commented and I've had time to develop a reasoned opinion which I then state softly and with some force behind it. I endeavour to do the same with my attire. This is the reason I have spoken against "full fashion freedom" in the past; "full freedom" has more than a trivial chance of sending a very dissonant message to the general public. I feel it better to take bold, but still cautious, steps in the direction of the goal taking into account potential obstacles along the way.

There is a great need for education of the 'general public' on the matter and I don't know an effective way of bringing such education about.

The best ambassadors for "men in skirts" are men in skirts themselves. If they portray a sense of style and dignity that's compelling and worthy of emulation then their message will be heard. If they put forward a sense of confusion and dissonance then they'll garner scorn and ridicule. The choice is entirely up to the practitioner -- and there are no hard-and-fast rules to go by.

As an aside ---- its funny that a previous writer should mention riding unicycles! There is, in our town, one man who regularly rides around the town on a unicycle. This is not seen as acceptable behaviour! He he is generally considered a menace to himself, traffic and pedestrians and he is considered weird for wanting to behave in this way.

Interestingly, and this is again personal experience, I learned how to ride a unicycle a number of years ago and was positively amazed by what one can do with such a conveyance. Far from being a "hazard to others' navigation" the manoueverability of the devices is astonishing and likely safer for bystanders than bicycles, scooters, or skateboards. That the chap in question is viewed as a menace, I find rather odd.

Only a few people would admire him for his unorthodox behaviour while most would consider him to be an eccentric, and a show off. In other words he is stigmatised for his personal choice of mode of transport. - Surely an interesting parallel with the skirt wearing man!

I feel that there's a disconnect in understanding here, and one that is easily solved with a bit of compassion and education. Public perceptions certainly come into the equation here, but as has been pointed out "Joe Public" is not the ignoramous he's often portrayed to be, and when presented with a compelling argument is more than capable of "seeing the light". Your unicyclist's ability to turn on a dime to avoid someone who lurches into his path will hold a resonance to anybody who's ever hit anything while riding a bicycle or driving a car. Similarly, the notion of wearing a loose flowing skirt in the heat of summer will, too, resonate in the reasonable mind. The key is to avoid the "herd mentality" where stampedes happen with startling regularity.

However, unicycles do not carry any gender implications in the way that skirts do in most people's minds (whether we choose to accept that or not!).

I'll posit that gender has precisely nothing to do with it, save for the basest of minds which tend to be so binary that they make computers seem complex. Skirts can be worn by guys in ways that do not portray a gender dissonance. Calling a Scot in his "traditional" kilt "gender confused" might well lead to a righteous thumping. Similarly, a well put together skirted rig that allows one's manhood to show through (minds out of the gutter, please) will likely not put the observer off.

This argument could and probably will go on. I completely agree that we should not be critical on a personal level of people whose opinions and experiences differ from our own [...]

It certainly will, and airing those differences is one of the reasons that this community exists -- it allows us to compare and contrast our experiences, our style choices, and how we think the notion can best be forwarded in public. Rational debate on this is most welcome here -- even heated debate. What is most emphatically not welcome is personal sniping.
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Re: Whither SkirtCafe?

Postby Derek Plattis » Wed Apr 20, 2011 10:21 am

Yes, I have periods of months in which I seem to have no interest in skirts but then it all comes round again with avengance. (I do have an interest in all freestyle fashions - not just skirts.) I always maintain that men - and women- should be able to dress exactly as they like with no social or pseudo moral constraints.

Anyway, I have returned to skirtcafe after a break of a few months (glad its still here) and this time I will endeavour to stay with it.

P.S. Looking forward to spending a day out skirted tomorrow

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