Friday, 22 August 2008

Skirts and cultural norms

Am in a bit of a quandary. Normally I don't succumb to those cultural norms with no real point, but I'm having trouble with the issue of skirts. My daughter has only recently started wearing skirts. Until a few weeks back she wasn't bothered what she wore so I put her in trousers as they're easier, warmer and better for playing/climbing. But then she asked for a skirt, so I got her a skirt. I hadn't anticipated my son would then also ask for a skirt. And therein lies my dilemma. I find that I'm not keen on the idea of dressing him in a skirt outside the house. Inside the house, it's fine whatever he chooses to wear, but I must be more conventional than I'd thought (what a horrible thought!) as I find I don't want to get him a skirt. He asks me why boys don't wear skirts and I have no answer for him because there is no answer. Maybe I'll have to compromise and get him a kilt! My grandmother was Fraser from Inverness so I could even get him a genuine clan tartan, but I think I'm just disappointed with myself for kowtowing to utterly groundless cultural norms.


Becks said...

I feel for you on this one. My three year old loves to dress in skirts and jewellery and make-up if possible, the influence of teen sisters, but then to explain the reasons he can't go out wearing them......
I feel so hypocritical of my own beliefs, but what to do?

Carolyn said...

Shame on you Liz!!!! ;-)
This is not the same rebellious girl i went to school with after all!!!!
I think a kilt is a grand idea...or even a medieval tunic?!!

Liz said...

I know, *hangs head in shame*. But would let your boys out in a skirt Carolyn?
Becks - at least we don;t have make-up yet, but he often goes out loaded up with necklaces and hair clips. I don;t mind that even when people have referred to him as 'she' because of it, but... oh, it's too complicated!

Carolyn said...

Thankfully I have never had to deal with that one...but then I'm not as individually minded as you....! None of them would want to....they used to all play with dolls and prams and cooking things (and wore dress up shoes at other peoples houses)as the norm, though. I provided them as an integral part of their toy selection.
The eldest two never wanted to dress up though and David has always been to shy to go out even in his Batman suit!!!!!

bethnoir said...

well, my little boy likes jewellery in a big way (and he wears it out quite often, looks like Jimmy Saville some days) and big boy has long curly locks which mean that three people recently have assumed he's a girl (whilst we've been on holiday), so I kind of see what you're saying.

Could you talk to H about how people will view him if he wears a skirt? I know he's young, but it would be interesting to hear what his opinions are on gender at this point. Also if it bothers you, you could point out that Daddy doesn't wear skirts very often (well, I've never seen him in one, am I missing out?)
Don't beat yourself up about it though, you're still very alternative!

lovelorn said...

Well, apart from stating the obvious and saying you're AMAZING for all that you do (I've just started to home educate and 'live free' again with my two children, one of whom DIDN'T do the UK's 'start at three' education, and the other who did) and the former, now an eleven year old boy (who chooses to wear his hair long, despite having been referred to as 'she' for his ENTIRE life, and still not 'fazed') heard me reading your Q and before I'd read your suggestion, said "Well, why can't he wear a kilt?". Just 'my two cents worth' but you don't need to feel GUILTY for feeling GUILTY!!! lol, you're OBVIOUSLY doing fantastically! :D