Why do men wear pants and women wear skirts or dresses? It might sound like a trivial question in Western countries, but actually this matter of fashion history and of fashion culture is rooted way back in time.
Egyptians, Incas, Chinese emperors, Greek citizens and Roman conquerors were wearing skirts or dresses. So when did the switch happen? Since when are men expected to wear trousers while until recently, women were supposed to stick to skirts?
The answer might surprise you!
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I actually wouldn't mind wearing a sarong/ kilt/etc. but the combination of my bare arms & legs in public would probably have me joining the chimps in the local zoo. Dear Justine I guess you know about Beau Brummell?
👋🏻 “...as a man - the one reason I would not like to wear a type of dress/skirt is that flowing/moving fabrics (without a closer fit to the body) get caught on things which can be dangerous, eg. in a factory/processing plant, on an industrial fishing trawler, and also crease hence ‘not as practical as pants and or shorts for an active/working man [perhaps not for a Scottish kilt given its structural design and thickness of fabric].”
I'm female and prefer a bit of fabric between the legs to combat the dreaded Chub Rub. You'll always find bloomers or leggings under my skirts and dresses in all weather - for dryness at all times, but especially during the week and a half of summer in my part of the world, and for warmth in our 9 months of coat-and-scarf season.
Marci for your research and my education. I also read somewhere that Greek men used to wear skirts, however when they went to battle and travelled north by horseback they complained that their long skirts were bothersome. Therefore they cut their skirts shorter. However, travelling north was cold so they wrapped fabric around their legs which became the beginning of pants. Just wondering if you heard of this also.
As hominism has shown, today only men who have power are allowed to wear feminine dress; such as Supreme Court justices and clerics. The dress, like all make-up and mascara, clearly represents female power.
Her unsteady ambulation in high heels suggests she needs a man's assistance to navigate rocky ground or uneven pavement. Her painted nails suggest she cannot do greasy manual work. (The fact that the word "manhole" has not been challenged, but that "chairman," "fireman," policeman, and mailman (mail carrier) have been challenged, suggests that women only challenge work they find female-friendly.)
Female long hair, of course, suggests women cannot engage in sweaty heavy labor or work machinery that might entangle their hair. Other parts of a woman's wardrobe all suggest her commodity status (painted lips and eyes, like those of a doll), slit dresses and much of what even "decent" women wear today were once the exclusive marks of the prostitute.
There is a charming video from "The Barkelys of Broadway" (the Gershwins' "My One and Only Highland Fling") where Fred & Ginger dance in kilts and flat shoes; which shows that a man need not look unmanly in a "skirt" and a woman need not look unfeminine in flat shoes.
What upsets me is why women fashion and clothing is so much more open to colors, new ways of wearing things, new styles and mens fashion for the most part is so basic. Pants, shorts, black, brown and blues. I hate how any kind of "loud" colors or different clothing styles and anything other than tshirts and jackets are considered "gay" or flamboyant. Why cant mens fashion be more in the free spirit like womens fashion.
So religion is the building block of the patriarchy? Not a big surprise at all. Religion has always been more bad than good. We should label the pope and others as the monsters that they are. And don't tell me what to do
“AS WOMEN BEGIN TO LOOK LIKE AND IN A SENSE BECOME MEN” ---reference to women wearing PANTS, Christian Science Monitor, January 11, 1968, page 6. "A Curious DISEASE" was an editorial against women in pants, New York Times, May 27, 1876, page 6, and spoke of women in pants being under "permanent mental hallucination."
Psychiatry is the direct continuation of the Roman Catholic Inquisition and the Protestant witch hunts and witch trials. Psychologists are to psychiatrists what Hitler youth are to Storm Troopers.
I am sorry, I don't know what version of the bible you are reading, but in most versions of Deut 22:5 is not talking about armours and worriors, but about garments in general:
"The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman's garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the Lord thy God.
Deuteronomy 22:5 KJV
"A woman shall not wear man's clothing, nor shall a man put on a woman's clothing; for whoever does these things is an abomination to the Lord your God."
Deuteronomy 22:5 NASB
“A woman shall not wear a man's garment, nor shall a man put on a woman's cloak, for whoever does these things is an abomination to the Lord your God."
Deuteronomy 22:5 ESV
Interestingly enough, in thr Bronze Age, when thr Old Testament was written, _women_ wore trousers under a tunic, and men wore long tunics . When men went to work in the fields, or to go to war, they would push their skirts between their legs, and tie them around their wais, and sometimes tie a belt (called a girdle) over to secure them. This is the origin of the term 'gird your loins'.
Later, in the Middle Ages, women wore long skirts with knee-length hose, and men wore shorter (usually about knee-length) tunics, with long hose that tied at the hip. Eventually those long hose evolved (in the late 15th-early 16th century) into knee-length sort-of trousers, and knee-length hose. In the early 19th c, they became long trousers.
Women were basically were stuck with floor-length skirts until WWI, when they hiked up their skirts and went to work to support the war effort. And then the 20s happened...
When someone throws that Old Testament passage at me, i say 1. I bought these trousers in the women's section of thr department store. 2. The clothing company made these trousers for women. They are sized and shaped for a woman's body, not a man's. 3. The zipper and button are faced the opposite direction from a man's. The trousers do not 'pertain to a man'- they are clearly women's clothing.
(I grew up in a religious sect that had ridiculous arguments on this matter. I've heard it all before.)
The answer certainly did surprise me. To explain something deeply rooted in western culture for over a millennium by blaming the 1604 King James Bible, which was used exclusively in Anglophone Protestant areas, makes no sense whatsoever. Perhaps you should stick to talking about contemporary fashion and giving practical advice on choosing and caring for clothes. Talk about what you know, not what you don't know. By the way, I HATE trousers! For normal-shaped women, modern trousers are incredibly uncomfortable as the hips and thighs are cut to suit the six-foot tall pipe-shaped fantasy women/boys of the fashion industry.
I’ve worn pants ever since I graduated from high school. Then, Jordan’s the next fifty years I’ve worn pants or jeans. Now I want to wear skirts again because they are cooler (I wear bicycle shorts underneath). Your point about the Bible Translations is brilliant! People need to realize we generally have no access to the original, untranslated books. What we read in any language is colored by the translator’s understanding.
Thank you for both a level headed look at the history as well as a nod of approval towards liberating people from needless societal rules!
One word in favor of pants though: skirts allow my thighs to chafe terribly in our humid, hot climate. Pants with a high enough crotch prevent the chafe. Any advice for wearing skirts in this scenario?
I can give a little insight into how that law got into the Bible.
The Hebrew people (who later became Jews) treated every element of life as a part of worship. As they recognized women carried (carry!) the majority of burdens, it developed that women are holier in their day-to-day lives. That meant men had to go out and work, take part in minyanim (prayer meetings), bring sacrifices to the Temple, and generally do the public stuff because, damn it, women had enough to do. This included going to war. Letting women stay home or act as camp followers meant that children and the elderly and infirm could be cared for, and taken to a safe place if necessary. (Women also worked the fields and handled livestock, so they were primarily responsible for the food supply. Kind of important.)
I agree on men in kilts. Then, I'm part Scottish. :D
A few weeks ago on FB there was a wonderful photo of 2 men wearing long sarong-type skirts, high heeled oxfords, very short hair and jackets (one was Nehru jacket). Oh there was uproar! Some said it looked disgusting but I was enchanted to see this wonderful mix from various cultures and centuries--plus the proportions were great, everything worked together. It was definitely men's fashion, not simply wearing women's clothes. I searched but can't find this picture right now! In Seattle and Olympia WA where I live there are lots of men who wear Utilikilts. These are so practical on hot days. Many men who do Contra Dancing wear skits because it is so much cooler when you are dancing like mad in a hot room. I see lots of younger men (college students) on the street wearing outfits they put together from second hand clothing store with dresses or skirts. Sometimes it is a mess, and other times quite stylish.
SOOOO interesting!! I come from a Christian denomination that believes all women should only wear skirts/dresses, and never pants. I've never minded, but sometimes it raises questions with other people. We use the King James version of the Bible. So we believe women should not wear pants because that's men''s clothes, men should not wear skirts because that's women's clothes. But I have wondered before about back in Bible times men wore skirts!! I really am wondering now what the original Greek/Hebrew says about this. I always thought that we just need to look different, so when people see me there is no doubt that I am a woman, etc. Long hair also has something to do with this. It is a crown of glory to a woman, but not for a man. Anyways, soo interesting, thanks for the research you did and for sharing it with us!
You probably didn't mean it this way, but it was mildly insulting to say our female ancestors weren't expected to do anything. I would say their lives were probably more demanding then ours are today.
Also, there is absolutely no basis for translating apparel as armour. Here's a pretty good explanation of why. https://hermeneutics.stackexchange.com/questions/8101/a-purported-hebrew-translation-of-deuteronomy-225-is-it-accurate
Male and female are integral, even sacred components of our identities, not to be treated as trifles or accessories to be exchanged on a whim.
Just a tip for interpreting the Old Testament: anything the orthodox Jewish scholars translate it as is probably accurate. They actually read and understand the original language.
Oh, no, darling, you got some things horribly and factually wrong in this video. The two I'd like to point out are when you said it's from the NIV translation onward that men weren't supposed to wear skirts, and that women weren't historically expected to do much.
First, the NIV version of the bible was first published on 1978. That's 1978. Not a typo. This version is only 40 years old. Long before this, men weren't supposed to wear skirts in wester societies.
Second, women who weren't expected to do much were wealthy women. The typical woman wouldn't have had enough money to sit around twiddling her thumbs while her husband and sons did all the work to support and feed her and any unwed daughters. Women worked, and the worked hard, right out in the fields when necessary. Yes, they did the cooking and cleaning, but don't let yourself think they didn't always do the same work the men did when their labor was necessary. It wasn't seen as a men's thing. Men did that work first while women did the cooking first because men are typically stronger, and the women were likely to have children to nurse, but you can bet that they got out into the fields and busted their asses.
While visiting Scotland we learned that kilts were much more practical to wear over the marshy, wet bogs. Also, they were versatile. Could be a warm shawl, or blanket as needed. They folded them in very particular ways.
I like wearing skirts, for the comfort and freedom, and for the good looks of the skirt itself. But I don't want to look girly, so I avoid frills and peekaboos and large flowers. Instead, I choose styles and outfits that look good on a man, such as solid colors. A lot of mini skirts have a unisex look. I find them in thrift shops, and it's easy to make one myself.
I wear skirts to school, to work, on public transport, and shopping with my wife. At school, nobody cares. In the shopping malls, young boys and older folks stare, and we laugh.
So, thank you Justine for this place to say what I do.
This is a fabulous topic! I think a man that can pull off a skirt (like a kilt or sarong) in the western world is incredibly sexy! It must be the confidence it takes to wear it!! Thanks for the insight into the origins of this matter:)
I clicked on your channel by accident; but, your demeanor immediately trapped me.
My response to the subject of this video: I still melt when I see an attractive woman in a skirt/dress (which, to me, makes her even more attractive).
(btw: seeing a man in a skirt is beyond repulsive to me.)
Also several Pacific Island cultures the men wear a sort of skirt. Even in my fairly conservative religion, no one bats an eye when men from those cultures wear a lavalava, or ta'ovola, depending on the specific country of origin, with a white button down shirt and tie. It's quite dashing.
These other cultures are totally ok and do not represent the men who try to dress as women (you know what I mean). Scottish kilts that men wear are not representative of men trying to dress like women either. Great video!
Even though the Bible says that, skirts weren't meant only for girls in the first place, so I think it's okay.. It doesn't directly say "don't wear skirt, earrings, etc.", which means everything girls usually wear is okay for boys to wear. Except like, bra, bikini, stocking, tampon, etc.. those're especially for girls to use
Hi Justine, I like the look of vintage styles, and they work well for my body. Things like long wool skirts with slips, blouses, silk scarves, and the occasional actual vintage dress. I'm a school teacher in my mid thirties and wondering, how can I wear "vintage" without looking like I'm wearing a costume? Thank you!
Hi Justine it’s Jane 😉 I just wanted to say that the modern version of the bible were not watered down but rather scholars went back to the original Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek texts and interpreted them. They are actually considered more accurate than the King James Version which was based on the Septuagint (the Greek translation) The NIV scholars interpreted the original texts rather than watering down from the meaning from later translations which your video inferred. Watering down and changing the meaning is exactly what Christians want to avoid and work hard to do so. Also you do not reference where you got the first version of Deuteronomy 22.5. The original text was in Hebrew and therefore what you displayed is still an English translation of the ancient Hebrew so may I ask where did you get this English interpretation as you didn’t reference it like you did the others. It would be helpful to know where it came from so I can look into it. Interesting video thanks.
Justine, I love your channel and content. It's informative, useful, often amusing and always worth watching. Just a quick comment. In this video you say that women in the past weren't expected to do much and practicality wasn't a consideration. I think you need to clarify that this only held true for the upper echelon of society. In all lower ranks, the women worked extremely long, physically hard days, from childhood onwards. They worked in the fields, kept and managed livestock, cleaned, cooked, butchered, did laundry (often a 4-day process), had kitchen gardens and even sometimes ran businesses, all while usually doing the most dangerous thing of all to women throughout majority of history, giving birth - often fairly regularly. Compared to previous generations, it is us, in the west at least, who do not need to really to think about "practicality" in any serious terms.
I think you’re doing women of the past an injustice by claiming they were expected to do very little. Women did and still do the majority of farm work in agricultural societies, on top of the backbreaking labor of caring for several children, preparing food with basic tools, cleaning your home, and, as you mentioned, often being pregnant throughout. Especially in a horse-riding society, a skirt could be a constraint on mobility outside the home, so men could keep “their” women - and their labors - in the home, where they could be watched and controlled. Finally, many men and women find unstitched “skirted” garments such as the sari, lungi and sarong to be convenient for manual labor, including farming and fishing, especially when they can be folded up and tucked away (easier for men than women in this case)
Actually Ancient Chinese men didn't wear skirt. For farmers and laborer they wore trousers so it's easy for them to work, for higher class men, they wear "robe" on top of the trouser to indicate their class. And depending on the era, you would find some of the robes had high cut along the sides so they wouldn't impede men riding on horses. On the other side, women are more wrapped in fabrics so they wouldn't show skin or even the underwear trousers. That's just ancient Chinese clothing in a nutshell, the case is actually far more complicated
I like this answer, I've been asking that question for a long time, and couldn't find a reasonable answer. I know that following question is not tight to fashion, but sience I'm not a native English speaker, I'm interested, is that translation correct? I mean,is the final, simplified verson correct, comparing it to the original translation(the first one that Justine mentioned)? Because it would be really funny that in some point in history people changed dressing code for bad translation xD I know that it's not entierly true, but stil..I would be really happy if someone answered this, thank you :)
F or 25 years we have provided deluxe wilderness outpost fishing trips from our Armstrong location into beautiful Wabakimi Provincial Park and surrounding lakes.
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Its a big time stress reliever! . how do you think about anything else when you are fighting a fish?
Greg and I had a great week. we caught over 1000 walleye. There were well over 200 in the slot size (>18"). This is the most large walleye that have ever been caught on a trip to whiteclay for me. The slot size protection is working. It seems that each trip has more large fish being caught. Our largest northern was 43". It was caught on a jig while walleye fishing.
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Received your card. Congratulations on 25 Years! We speak often about the great times we had at Ogoki! A Tribute to you both!
Best Regards, Rich Craddock.
What a nice surprise to find your post card in my mail yesterday. Twenty-five years is a long time to do anything; much less a business like yours with all the uncertainties of weather, exchange-rates, two-country economies, etc. There is a reason why your business has survived and (hopefully) thrived. you do the wilderness fishing experience better than anyone in the outdoor sport vacation business.
Dear Judy and Paul,
Congratulations on 25 years. I have many fond memories of my time with Jack at Ogoki. Hope all is well with you.
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Just a note to let you know our recent fishing junket to your Mojikit South Outpost.
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The boats are the best that Ive ever experienced at an outpost. The inside bottoms consist of flat carpeted panels. easy to get in and out of. 1st time Ive fished an outpost with "dry" feet. The boats had comfortable swivel seats and 15 & 20 hp 4-stroke engines that worked great.
We will definitely be back. Everything about Ogoki Frontier was quality. My two grandchildren had the time of their lives, as did the other 2 members of our party. Thanks for the memories.