I really, REALLY wish you could read this article about a father who started wearing skirts because his son likes to wear skirts and dresses and he wants his son to feel stronger
Like, holy shit, the end made me feel so happy
This is so beautiful I’m sorry for everyone who can’t speak German and can’t read this right now.
I translated the article. Please excuse any mistakes, it was done in quite a hurry.
My 5-year old boy likes to wear dresses. In Berlin Kreuzberg that was enough to start conversations with other parents. Is that sensible or ridiculous? ‘Neither!’ I still want to shout at them. But unfortunately they can’t hear me anymore. Because by now I live in a little town in southern Germany. Not even a hundred thousand inhabitants, very traditional, very religious. Here my son’s preferences aren’t only a topic for the parents, they’re common talk.
Yes, I’m one of those fathers who try to raise their children equal. I’m not one of those academical dads that while studying keep blathering on about gender equality and as soon as there is a child fall back into the cuddly cliché role images: He self-actualizes in his job, she takes care of the rest.
With that, I have realized now, I am part of a minority that occasionally makes a fool out of itself. Out of conviction.
In my case it has to do with me not wanting to persuade my son not to wear dresses and skirts. Since he wasn’t making friends by doing that in Berlin, after due consideration I only had one choice. To square my shoulder for my little guy and put on a skirt myself. After all I can’t expect the same assertiveness of a preschool child than I do of an adult. Without a role model. So I am the role model now.
So back then in Berlin we already had skirt and dress days when the weather was tepid. Long skirts with elastic bands quite suit me, I think. Dresses are more difficult. The Berliners reacted hardly at all or positive. They are used to weird people. In my little town in southern Germany that’s a little different.
With all the stress while moving I forgot to tell the teachers at kindergarten to make sure my boy won’t be laughed at because of his preference. A short time later he didn’t dare to go to kindergarten in a skirt or dress. And asked me with big eyes: ‘Papa, when will you wear a skirt again?’.
Until this day I am grateful to that woman who kept staring at us in the pedestrian zone until she ran into a lamp post. My son was roaring with laughter. And the next day he took a dress out of the cupboard again. At first only for the weekend. Later for kindergarten as well.
And what’s the guy doing by now? He paints his fingernails. He think it looks pretty on me, too. He smiles when other boys (it’s almost always boys) want to make a fool out of him and says: ‘You just don’t dare to wear dresses and skirts because your fathers don’t dare to.’ That’s how much he has squared his shoulders by now. Thanks to dad in a skirt.