Day 19: The Apocalyptic Skirt

by ashleighpenrod

My TV antenna doesn’t pick up anything other than the ION Network, so unless I’m in the mood to watch Rebound or three hours of Cold Case, I don’t watch much television (that’s not to say I don’t take full advantage of my Netflix account). So, when my Facebook newsfeed blew up last night with posts about Kanye West’s skirt at the 12-12-12 Concert for Sandy relief, I had no idea why.

This morning, I did some research. Yes, West wore a skirt. Yes, it was made of black leather. Yes, he wore leather leggings underneath. And although I love my Facebook friends dearly, I don’t know why it was a big deal.

Women wear pants. Dogs wear jackets. Guys can wear skirts.

Frankly, I’m not sure why West even bothered with the leggings. Maybe it was cold at the show.

A few months ago, I read a story in the Huffington Post about a father who wears a skirt in solidarity with his dress-wearing five-year-old son. Nils Pickert determined that his son needed a role model who didn’t succumb to “fluffy gender roles.”

It’s likely that West and Pickert are similar only in that they’ve experienced the awesomeness of skirts, and that they don’t employ the same reasons for their choices. Making a fashion statement is ultimately different than sticking up for a kid who wears what he wants. But both situations bring up the same questions for me. Why is this news? Why do we care? Why do we have to identify clothing as feminine or masculine?

Unless a clothing item is somehow dangerous (a blazer ablaze?), if you like it, you get to wear it.