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Aug 30 2012

Dad wears skirt to make dress-loving son more comfortable

Via Gawker, apparently people can come to the conclusion that traditional gender roles are inherently harmful completely unbidden.

“I didn’t want to talk my son into not wearing dresses and skirts,” Pickert tells the German feminist magazine EMMA. “He didn’t make friends in doing that in Berlin already and after a lot of contemplation I had only one option left: To broaden my shoulders for my little buddy and dress in a skirt myself.”

At first, Pickert’s son was reluctant to wear a dress in public, fearing he would be laughed at, particularly by other kids at his preschool. But that all changed one “skirt and dress day” when he and his dad made a resident of the town stare so hard she slammed into street light face first.

“My son was roaring with laughter,” says Pickert. “And the next day he fished out a dress from the depth of his wardrobe. At first only for the weekend. Later also for nursery-school.”

This is a really nice story. Dad wants his little guy to feel more comfortable doing things that he likes doing, so he decides to do those things too. That inspires the confidence in his son to challenge those gender roles himself and wear dresses to preschool, defying the bullies and telling them that THEIR dads aren’t brave enough to wear dresses like HIS dad.

It’s like “my dad can beat up your dad”, only more like “my dad sticks up for me and the things I enjoy; yours attacks you and enforces conformity.”

The picture at the original article is very much a “d’awwwww”-inducing shot.

11 comments

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  1. 1
    Onamission5

    I noticed and appreciated the terminology the dad used in describing his decision to wear skirts, “To broaden my shoulders…” Broadening the shoulders as I have seen it used is a phrase associated with hyper-masculinity and toughness, so using it specifically in relation to supporting his son and wearing dresses is a direct, verbal challenge to the whole social construct that dress wearing cannot possibly be “manly.” I wonder if he phrased his statement that way on purpose? If he did, good on him.

  2. 2
    Jason Thibeault

    I don’t know if we can extrapolate that intent from the phrase — it seems to me more like a direct translation from Dad’s German. But yes, it does have that impact at least in the English-speaking world, and I appreciate it in the same way.

  3. 3
    Drewzilla

    @Onamission5

    Sometimes it’s not so much the author’s intentions that matter but the way the reader interprets them.

  4. 4
    One Way Monkey (formerly 'Nym Too)

    I’ve got the biggest grin on my face now. That little kid’s really lucky.

  5. 5
    emptyknight

    What a fantastic story! And the picture was really heartwarming. Thanks for posting this.

  6. 6
    Christoph Burschka

    Awesome dad is awesome.

  7. 7
    Anthony

    This is the first thing I’ve read all day that made me laugh out loud – either I’ve had a boring day or I have the same sense of humour as that kid does! Possibly both..

  8. 8
    HappiestSadist, Repellent Little Martyr

    That is absolutely lovely news. Aww.

  9. 9
    silomowbray, sans frottage pour la douche

    This is an AWESOME dad. And little kid!

    The most important thing a parent can do for their children is to love and support who they are. This was never brought home to me as hard as when a friend’s son came out as trans at the age of 17. He of course (!) supported his child, and made it clear he would always love her, no matter what. When asked how he made the choice to support his child’s trans nature, he replied, “I realized I could either have a living daughter or a dead son.” He must have understood how much suffering a trans person endures.

    What wisdom. Just wow. I hope I can live up to that level of being a dad to my own kids.

    PS: I apologize in advance if I’m using the wrong words or phrases to describe trans people. I’m not really up on what is deemed offensive and what is not.

  10. 10
    maxdwolf

    I’m glad it’s working out so well so far. I hope it continues to do so. I’m not so sure it would in U.S. schools, particularly in the higher grades. Our k-12 institutions, from my experience, are extremely poor at getting a handle on bullying.

  11. 11
    BinaAssault

    People like this guy restore my faith in humanity.

  1. 12
    Dad performs video game gender reassignment for daughter’s benefit | Lousy Canuck

    [...] post is “Dad of the fucking year.” I can’t outright disagree, though I do think he faces some significant competition. Sharing: Pin ItShare on TumblrMoreEmailPrintPress ThisDigg Posted in Games, Geekery, Gender [...]

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