Samstag, 20. Mai 2017

Thoughts about a skirt. An open letter

Dear mother,

I know that you got somehow worried about your 4 year old grandchild wanting to go with a skirt to the kindergarten. I believe there is no reason to be worried about it as you and I were just raised in a much more conservative environment than where your grandchild is. Maybe I was skeptical at the beginning when he insisted to wear a skirt and his soccer T-shirt, but I realized that equality of genders starts at home and even better if it starts while one is still a child. I am not saying that wearing a skirt is good or bad for children at this age, when innocence is the overall rule and “sexualism” is absolutely absent. But we have to understand that in the developed world there are places where male workers voluntarily wear skirts at work (link) just because they are more comfortable, and this does not necessarily compromise any sexual preference if this is the reason of your concern.

Train drivers in Sweden. Photo source

I do not have to mention that the typical dress for men in Scotland is a skirt, and I do not think there is a single lady in this world that will find less attractive or question the sexuality of Sean Connery if he is to be found walking around in his skirt.

Maybe your grandchild will flush or simply laugh about when I take his pictures out at his wedding showing him dressed with his Maya the bee skirt and his soccer T-shirt.

Through the eyes of his parents and those from many other people, this is just a phase that makes him even more sweet and innocent than what he already is. Something to respect about him is how he independently chooses and has the initiative to wear something like that. This power of choice was not inherited from his father who at this age was always a conformist and weak-minded when it was about making own-decisions.

How the parents of your grandchild think and accept this situation comes pretty much hand in hand with a very strong social movement to achieve equality of genders at all levels. There is increasing awareness in Europe (and hopefully all over the world) that women should be treated equally to men. For example, by getting paid for the same job as it is known that women are underpaid compared to male co-workers. This is unfair as we all know that in many instances it is women who “wear the trousers” (to put it in an understandable words that are still discriminatory) at work or home.
In this same line, a paid parental leave at work after a son or a daughter is born is mainly taken by women, with only few fathers daring to take this time off to take care of their kids.

From my side, I feel lucky when I am able to play the role of “housewife” (I did not found a valid equivalent word for the male counterpart and I find that offending). I do not only enjoy this time but I also believe that is the correct thing to do after typically mothers (and grandmothers)  have to be fully engaged taking care of the children, even at the expense of their own careers.
I hope I can thwart somehow this situation at home with a paid paternal leave that I was allowed to take thanks to the Austrian system and the good spirit of the company where I work. These two months are typical for fathers who stay at home but still much less compared to the invested time of mothers.

I hope I could clarify dear mother your thoughts and worries by explaining why your 4 year old grandchild and 37 year old child sometimes choose to wear the apron. Gender equality could be achieved already at very young or older ages. I also send you a big hug while I still can before your second grandchild wakes up and demands for his fruits that are not yet cut.

Your son.

1 Kommentar:

  1. Another special case in England