Had to take the bus into town today, and wore a kilt. Some Delores decided to take issue; which sadly I'm used to. "Why are you wearing a skirt?!" and so on. As I said, used to it (and big scary white dude, so I have some privilege to wield), so I'm calmly addressing it with her

But then she said "well how am I supposed to explain that to my kid?!", and friends, I didn't have to say a thing, because the most awesome Black lady jumped in. She turned to her kid (I'd guess roughly 13 years old) and said "hey, why is he allowed to wear a skirt?"

Kid: "he's grown enough to wear whatever the fuck he wants"

Mom: "see?! Ain't hard ma'am"

Delores huffed but that was pretty much the end 🤣

And yeah, it definitely seems like they had rehearsed that to some degree, so they must have seen similar shit enough to have had a Conversation about it. Doesn't make it less awesome IMO

@calcifer Ha, or maybe the kid has been told enough times they can't wear X until they're a certain age :p

@calcifer Unexpected allies are awesome even if they themselves expected it all along.

It makes me even happier that they may have prepared. That mom is not only teaching her kid to not be "Delores", she's teaching the importance of consciously standing up for others, even folks who don't look or dress exactly like us.

It is a beautiful thing that a mom and kid may have thought about what they'd do if they met someone like Delores. It's even more impressive that they transformed an intolerant screed into a teachable moment for Delores and everyone else on the bus.

May I ask what town (other than "hackers") you live in?

@calcifer I've been thinking: Why does the presence or absence of a slip of fabric between my legs have anything to do with my decency? Is this like how women weren't allowed to show their ankles because it meant they were "loose" does it mean that because I wear a skirt i'm "loose"? because if so, why aren't I getting more attention from my desired partners?

@ConsoleWitch I suspect this particular Delores took Unbridge at what she perceived to be a man wearing women's clothing (she's half right: I'm a man. But skirts being "women's" is a really modern idea, and even now a kilt is generally masc-associated)

Folks like this often want their morality to be a set of clear rules about who fits in what bucket, and can't grasp that the rest of us are comfortable with difference and ambiguity: they see that comfort as an attack

@calcifer I just can't figure out the deeper logic of it. Is the concern that my penis is easier to get at? (it probably isn't because usually, I'm wearing leggings and underwear and my skirt has built-in boy-shorts) is the concern that I'm showing a lot of leg and that somehow is indecent? I know that they think its a problem because boys need to be different than girls but i want to know WHY. What would a vulcan say?

@ConsoleWitch I think it's literally "magic book says it's bad", no deeper logic at all. The world is right when everything fits in neat little boxes. DO NOT CHALLENGE THE BOXES

And definitely don't add new ones

@ConsoleWitch @calcifer Birdsite yielded a plausible answer to this question recently, albeit in a somewhat different context: (CW: anti-abortion evangelical BS)

@markusl *checks Urban Dictionary* yeah… none of those are the definition here. Think Dolores Umbridge from the HP series.

@calcifer based
"damnnnn you haven't heard about doing whatever the fuck you want??? damnn thats rough"

@calcifer @lilo I love this story! The funny thing is that it’s much harder to explain the rightness of gendered clothing to kids than the wrongness. We let our kids wear whatever they wanted, but it was interesting to watch other parents try to explain why gendered clothing made sense. It really breaks down on explanation. Kids see through that quickly.

What she was really upset about was that her kids might see how illogical she was.

Also skirts and kilts on dudes are awesome. :)

@calcifer I've worn Utilikilts in public, and didn't get any real shit for it, but I'm also a giant dude, and it was Seattle, where everyone's weird, kilts are common-ish, and summers are unbearably hot so not wearing pants is rational.

@mdhughes I mostly don't get shit, but it happens just often enough that it's not super surprising when it happens. It's mostly drunk jocks and the occasional pearl clutchers who imagine that kilt means I'm trans, and that trans means I'm some sort of threat

It's less frequent since I stopped dying my hair bright colors (no spoons during COVID, feel?), so I'm sure the kind of bright-hair Punk aetsthetic drew extra attention

@calcifer @Aleums my favorite “why are you wearing a kilt/skirt” retort is “what else am I going to do with it?”

@mayor @Aleums I tend to like "why are you wearing jeans/shorts/whatever?"

Usually it's "I like it!" And I only need to say "well, there you go"

Sometimes it's "it's NORMAL", and I like to pull a sad face and say "oh, how boring for you"

@calcifer Extra points for the mum being cool with her kid swearing when appropriate (and boy, was it). Sounds like a wonderful family.

Was she wearing pantaloons? or some other kind of absurd reform dress? possibly even without a corset?!?

That's definitely a huge scandal that no woman should be allowed ever to do, unless she wants to be mistaken for some extremist like a suffragette or something!


@calcifer also want to wear a kilt because it's hella comfy but have not had the time to organize myself one

Kudos to this lady and her kid! :blobcatheart:
You are lucky to have people like them around!

@calcifer I'm tempted to put a warning that says "this user may act in ways that are difficult to explain to kids" in my profile.

@samgai @calcifer obviously I act in ways that are difficult to explain to kids, I'm a mathematician. in fact, it's even hard to explain to adults that I'm working on the fundamental identity in number theory which expresses the degree of an extension of global fields in terms of local information.

@Vierkantor @calcifer "You're a mathematician? How am I supposed to explain that to my kid?!" 😂

@samgai the thing is none of the things people ask that about are actually at all hard to explain to kids. Half of them are things my own kids asked about at very young ages, and it was never hard

Why are those men holding hands? I'd guess it's because they love each other

Is that a boy or a girl (person with beard wearing a sundress)? I don't know, maybe neither, and it's really not anyone's business anyhow.

Wait "maybe neither?" Yep, not everyone is a boy or a girl; it's true most people are, but there are lots of other options, so we can't really know unless someone decides to tell us

And so on. Really easy conversations. They just don't WANT to explain to their kids that the boxes they grew up with might have not been the whole story and/or have changed

@calcifer @samgai As a small child in the early seventies, I was puzzled by the gender expression of someone sitting across from my mom and I on the subway. Her matter-of-fact explanation to my whispered question made it easy to understand they were different that way from folks I knew, which was perfectly OK. Retrospectively, there was compassion in her voice for their rough road. And she was born in 1933. I miss her.

@calcifer @samgai I would like to note that this isn't because kids have a hard time understanding, but because adults are bad around their own biases.

@samgai @calcifer A TOS per account to follow would be a fun addition to Fedi. 😄

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