The Why Factor

Clippings from news sources involving fashion freedom and other gender equality issues.

The Why Factor

Postby floatingmetal » Sat Dec 21, 2013 10:46 pm

The Why Factor - http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p00xtky9 - is a series of short (15 mins) programmes on the BBC World Service I only recently came across. "Searching for the extraordinary and hidden histories behind everyday objects and actions to inform us about the way we live in the 21st Century."

They've not yet covered men in skirts specifically. Last week ("Cross Dressing") is billed on the podcast as asking why western society has issues with men in skirts but it's approached mostly from a transvestism perspective. However, there are other programmes on tattoos, make-up, body hair and heels which may be of peripheral interest to those hereabouts plus there are others on a whole range of subjects.

Enjoy!
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Re: The Why Factor

Postby skirtyscot » Sat Dec 28, 2013 11:58 pm

Reasonably interesting programme, though it didn't say anything that hadn't been said plenty of times before. In the programme description there is this: "He also poses the question why is it that western society accepts men in kilts, priests in cassocks but has issues with men in skirts", which is a good question, so it's a pity he didn't ask it at all.

Interesting comment from Grayson Perry, probably the only one relevant to men in skitrs as against TVs. He said that he could pass as a woman, but that was boring, so he decided to wear dresses while presenting as a man, because that had more shock value. (Of course his choice of dress is probably nothing like anything you would ever wear, but that's by the by.)
Keep on skirting,

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Re: The Why Factor

Postby crfriend » Sun Dec 29, 2013 12:58 am

skirtyscot wrote:Reasonably interesting programme, though it didn't say anything that hadn't been said plenty of times before.

I just listened to it a few minutes ago and was rather appalled to hear that there's a new term in the DSM (or the UK equivalent) that describes a lot of us quite prominently as having a "disorder": "dual-role transvestism". Blxxdy fscking lovely. OK, so we don't get "turned on" by what we wear, we simply like it for aesthetic reasons or other bits that likely have nothing whatsoever to do with trans-* stuff.

I noted, rather prominently that they didn't bother to interview anybody who wears skirts and just so happens to not only identify as male, but also as unabashedly male.

I've got quite a bit of respect for the BBC, but they failed in spades with this narrow-minded presentation by omitting what might just well be the largest set of guys going -- those who identify as male, but are tiring of the increasingly tiny box that we're put into when it comes to something as fundamentally irrelevant as what we cover our nakedness with.

I liked the commentary about the jealousy of youth where our sisters get to raid our wardrobes, but that it's forbidden the other way 'round. That was one of the few parts that had any resonance to me (even though I don't have siblings). The rest was personal anecdotes of folks whom I would call "affected" and pseudo-scientific pontification. In short, the producers were pandering to popular perception rather than actually trying to break ground.

Note to the Beeb: You guys lose on this one.

:evil:
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Re: The Why Factor

Postby Grok » Sun Dec 29, 2013 1:46 am

Why men in skirts? A point that has occasionally been mentioned is physical comfort. (Which of course applies to unbifurcated garments in general). With trousers there is that wedge of cloth in one of the most sensitive parts of the male anatomy. There is the general discomfort of encasing each individual leg in harsh scratchy cloth. During hot weather you are, in effect, air conditioned below the waist-skirts can do a better job of this than shorts, because air can circulate around your crotch. Another problem is sheer boredom-wearing the same dull clothes for a life time. Which, if you think about it, is in itself a motive for borrowing from the other side of the aisle-the range of choices is very meager for men.
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Re: The Why Factor

Postby Grok » Sun Dec 29, 2013 1:51 am

If you assume that Men In Skirts must be freaks, then your production is likely to be very biased.
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Re: The Why Factor

Postby crfriend » Sun Dec 29, 2013 2:09 am

With all due respect, sir,

If you assume that Men In Skirts must be freaks, then your production is likely to be very biased.

If one walks into a situation with preconceived notions then, by force of nature, one will be compelled to follow those notions. I do not know whether the notions followed by the BBC journalist were his (her? What gender is the producer?) own or whether the snippet was deliberately created to pander to society's preconceived notions. Those questions would need to be answered to properly critique the snippet presented, and, sadly, we do not have those data at hand.

What I specifically didn't like is the extending of the notion of cross-dressing (and its "upmarket" synonym, "transvestism") to include those who don't "get a kick" out of it. As far as I'm aware, that's rather new, although I don't follow the trade-journals of the psychiatric profession that closely (as (1) I'm not all that interested and (2) I can't afford the subscriptions nor the time to read them all). However, it's a troubling development when it comes to getting guys liberated from the tyranny of trousers.
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Re: The Why Factor

Postby Grok » Sun Dec 29, 2013 3:09 am

So Men In Skirts are to be psycho analyzed from afar? By those who know little or nothing of these things?
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Re: The Why Factor

Postby skirtyscot » Mon Dec 30, 2013 12:15 am

I think you guys are both being rather unfair. The programme is about cross dressing, men dressing up as women, so it really didn't try to explain the (to us) quite different phenomenon of men in skirts. I listened to the two classes of TVism (sorry, forgotten their names and can't be arsed playing it again to find out) and I thought "No, that's not me" and "No, that's not me". Peter/Penny, likes sewing but only when he's dressed up as a woman, falsies and all. I just don't understand that, I mean, if you want to sew, can't you just get your needle and thread out and get on with it, without putting your wig on? Don't let me stop you, whatever floats your boat, but I just don't understand it.

So the disorder seen by the trick cyclist is not one that we suffer from. And so I did not take umbrage at the suggestion that it is a disorder. (I wouldn't be at all surprised if she had another one up her sleeve for us, though!)

There's only so much you can fit into 18 minutes, and of course the personal stories which eat into the time for serious analysis are there to make the whole thing more enjoyable for the average listener.
Keep on skirting,

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Re: The Why Factor

Postby crfriend » Mon Dec 30, 2013 12:58 am

skirtyscot wrote:I think you guys are both being rather unfair. The programme is about cross dressing, men dressing up as women, so it really didn't try to explain the (to us) quite different phenomenon of men in skirts.

That's a fair enough criticism, but the thrust of my point wasn't about men dressing as women, but rather that there seems to be a new term in "The (psychiatric) Profession" that didn't exist before and manages to tar the lot of us with its definition.

Very few of us here lean towards "Orthodox Crossdressing" (to use AMM's wonderful term), but the general populace don't necessarily know that and will, pretty much out of necessity, drop us into that bucket because they have no other bucket to put us in -- and it then falls upon us to climb out of that wrong bucket by direct interaction with folks on a one-to-one basis.
I listened to the two classes of TVism (sorry, forgotten their names and can't be arsed playing it again to find out) and I thought "No, that's not me" and "No, that's not me".

Wise. If one of the two didn't hit uncomfortably close to what this forum is about I'd have dismissed the "podcast" as noise.
Peter/Penny, likes sewing but only when he's dressed up as a woman, falsies and all. I just don't understand that, I mean, if you want to sew, can't you just get your needle and thread out and get on with it, without putting your wig on?

That's an affectation, but if the individual and those around him (and occasionally "her") are OK with it (and clearly The Wife wasn't) it's not a problem, and "The Professionals" can be damned. In the "Peter/Penny" case, however, we got quite a good picture of how wives may view things, and it points up the tragedy that the double-standard has wrought upon menfolk.
There's only so much you can fit into 18 minutes, and of course the personal stories which eat into the time for serious analysis are there to make the whole thing more enjoyable for the average listener.

Perhaps I have my standards set a wee bit high. Maybe it's time to readjust the knobs.
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Re: The Why Factor

Postby Grok » Mon Dec 30, 2013 3:39 am

Perhaps MIS may come to be viewed as iconoclasts or eccentrics. In that case the trick will be to enjoy such a status. 8) My concern is that the psychiatric profession will label iconoclasm as a disorder :cyclops: We already have enough problems as it is.
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Re: The Why Factor

Postby couyalair » Mon Dec 30, 2013 10:35 am

I certainly feel myself to be an iconoclast and happy to be one. I certainly don't feel the need for professional advice on sartorial matters. If I did, I'd just ask my friends what colours suit me best.

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