– “Are you from Little House on the Prairie?”
– “What about yard work? Winter? You going to wear skirts and dresses then, too?”
– “Why don’t you just wear pants?”
Gentle reader, I have heard all of the above (and many more along the same vein) since I began wearing skirts and dresses exclusively five years ago. Far from being an oppressive tool of the patriarchy, I find wearing decidedly feminine clothing beautiful, comforting, and freeing.
Many like-minded women I’ve met share some of my reasons for adhering to classically feminine clothing choices: tradition, femininity, and modesty.
Foregoing masculine attire started as a Lenten discipline for me. In addition to my other observances, I elected to follow a devotion to classically feminine dress. I initially viewed this as a personal, but visible, promise to God to live out the roles he chose for me as daughter, sister, wife, and mother. The results of this six-week discipline were both unintended and surprising. I noticed during that Quadragesima that I carried myself differently. I was more poised, had better posture, felt (and hopefully looked!) pretty. Contrary to the current cultural cacophony that demands acceptance and celebration of genderlessness, sex flip-flopping transgenderism, and other perversions, I was determined to display the differences and complementarity of the natural born sexes in my manner of dress. I had decidedly set myself apart from my brothers. I felt… womanly.
After celebrating Easter, I found I had no desire to return to pants, trousers, khakis, jeans, or shorts. My commitment to wearing skirts and dresses had extended into regular day-to-day life. Having grown up a short-haired, scruffy tomboy—but one who loved wearing dresses to church on Sundays and to birthday parties—this was a departure from my long-established norm. Despite this, the continuation of my Lenten discipline was natural and effortless.
I celebrate my womanhood by making the conscious, personal choice to don dresses. By doing so, I have reclaimed my God-given, natural-born femininity that decades of feminism has demanded I relinquish and abhor. Listen to me feminists, wymyn, grrrls, xilrs: I am woman, hear me roar.
And, finally, to answer the questions posed at the outset:
“Are you from Little House on the Prairie?”
No, ma’am. I love the skirts but not churning butter, thank you very much.
“What about yard work? Winter? You going to wear skirts and dresses then, too?”
I have denim “work skirts” for gardening and lovely, long fleece skirts for wintertime (coupled with fleece-lined tights and boots I’m probably warmer than my sisters in single-layer denim jeans.)
“Why don’t you just wear pants?”
Because I don’t have to.
*Author’s Note: If you liked this foray into feminine counter-culture, next time I’ll tell you all about veiling at church and how it is absolutely nothing like wearing a hijab, niqab, abaya, or burka.