We’re Clearly Soldiers in Petticoats

Yesterday Dad and I went for a walk, and he said we couldn’t go off the trail in the park because I was wearing a long skirt. What is that all about? That’s about the twentieth comment he’s made about how I can’t do things because of skirts lately. It is my #3 pet peeve (after the couch cushions being thrown on the floor and not put back, and being told that my feelings are not real and only being caused by stupid hormones. But that’s a talk for a different time). I mean, he was all “how can you ride a bike in that dress?” Me: “Well, Dad, I purposely got this bike with its chainguards and fenders so I could do just this. Besides, the skirt isn’t even flowy enough to reach the gears.” He did not understand this reasoning, apparently.

Why is it that people always think dresses/skirts are restricting? Why? It annoyed the crap out of me when I first became homeschooled because some people mistakenly thought I was wearing a long skirt because I was forced to. How dare they accuse me of being so docile! 

And I can’t stand reading historical fiction sometimes. I mean, every single time it’s about a girl, she spends at least part of the story complaining about the fact that she has to wear a dress. She steals her brother’s breeches, disguises herself as a boy, etcetera. I can understand hating corsets and stockings. But dresses altogether? Come on! And every. single. girl. So cliche.

For me, dresses and skirts are just way more comfortable. No “pull up your pants pull down your shirt” as Rachel would say (or chant). No flies unzipped or ill-fitted waistbands. No being unable to fully bend or stretch due to tight denim. Just pull the dress over your head and you’re done. Very simple, and comfortable. Besides, it feels great to walk around in a long skirt. I always feel confident and strong, natural and smart. When I wear jeans or shorts I feel like one of the crowd, like some pushover girl, like I’m smaller or younger or whatever.

Think of all the great people who wore a dress with pride! Alice Paul, mainly. She’s not only my hero(ine), but she led the Suffragettes to victory! She was tough, quick-thinking, and brave. But she was also a lady and acted accordingly, as did the rest of the Suffragettes. In fact, that was one thing that helped them win sympathy for their cause– even as men threw rocks and spit at them or roughly dragged them off to jail, they remained collected and dignified. They fought with the power of their words and actions, not fists and riots.

They and others fought for women to have better rights in this country, so that we could be anything we wanted to. So everyone should respect that if I wear skirts, it’s my choice, and they don’t restrict me. In fact they make me freer to express myself and feel confident. I can very well ride my bike, thank you.  

Anyway, it just drives me crazy. I think someone ought to do a sort of experiment, like wear a dress/skirt for 300 days out of the year (that way you’re OK to go camping or tobagganing– the only places I wouldn’t wear a dress). Then that person clould prove that dresses really can be liberating rather than restricting, and we should all wear whatever we want and leave each other alone.

Love,
Pen

PS: going to GS Camp in a few hours!! (It’s been dubbed Camp Rockin’ Creepers. Don’t ask. Seriously.)

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5 thoughts on “We’re Clearly Soldiers in Petticoats

  1. Francis

    Just a “short” comment. (No pun intended) I would like to address (another pun, oopps) the issue of feelings and hormones. Speaking from a long, and often, confusing hormonal history, I would say that our design as females is rather complex, especially when we find ourselves crying over a greeting card commercial at a certain time of our ladies calendar. The reality that our tears are most likely produced by an extra boost of hormones doesn’t mean that we don’t really feel sad or are not moved with great emotion. Our tears are real. However, we might not feel so deeply at another time of our ladies calendar. In fact, we might even laugh at the very same commercial. Still, whatever we are feeling at the moment must be considered in this way: We are not the sum of our feelings. Sometimes our feelings can be misdirected. Sometimes our feelings can be inappropriate. This does’t make them any less real, but it does make them a very unreliable source of truth. So, if on a particular day, we reach the deep valley of many tears, and then the next hour find ourselves laughing so hard that our sides hurt, all is well with us as a human person, a masterpiece of God’s creative handiwork.

    PS. Skirts and Dresses!! The day Dismas whispered his love to me, I wore a blue sundress. He has never forgotten that day!!

    1. pen2sword

      Thanks, I will think of this comment next time I am frustrated with my feelings and reactions and such. You always explain things so well!

  2. long skirts are the best! and I agree with you all the way.
    I also agree on historical fiction….though my most common issue is that the boy wants to go to war, goes, comes back and wants to be a baker or something…..

  3. crescendocroise

    Yay for skirts and dresses! In fact, Duck and I are going to make every Wednesday dress-up costume day this coming school year!!
    I totally agree with Rachel’s chant! I have just about had it with shorts and pants!

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