kaberett: Overlaid Mars & Venus symbols, with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (swiss army gender)
[personal profile] kaberett
This post is a translation of an article originally published on emma.de. It's an idiomatic rather than a strict translation.

Nils Pickert has started wearing skirts - because it's something his son likes to do. After all, the little one needs is an example! And anyway - long skirts with elasticated waistbands suit him. Read on for a story about two mould-breakers in a South German province...

A man wearing a red skirt and teal t-shirt holds hands with a small boy wearing red dress. Their backs are to the camera, but the man's head is turned to show him smiling at the child.
Today is skirt day! Father and son taking a stroll in the pedestrian zone of a small town in South Germany

My five-year-old son likes wearing dresses. In Berlin Kreuzberg, that's quite enough to get drawn into conversation with other parents. Is it reasonable or ridiculous? I always want to shout back, "Neither!" Unfortunately, they can't hear me any more - because I now live in a small town in the south of Germany. Barely 100,000 inhabitants; very traditional; very religious. You might even call it the Motherland. Here, my son's preferences aren't just a topic for parents - they're the talk of the town. But I did my part in making that happen!

Yep, I'm one of those fathers who try to bring up their children equally. I'm not one of those "academic daddies" - the ones who drivel on about equality of the sexes during their studies and then, the moment a child shows up, settle back into the welcoming embrace of cliched gender roles: him busy with his career, her taking care of the rest.

It's become clear to me that I'm part of a minority - one of those people who occasionally make fools of themselves. Out of conviction.

In my case that's because I didn't want to have to talk my son out of wearing dresses and skirts. His choices didn't make him any friends in Berlin - which, after careful consideration, left me with only one option: to square my shoulders for my lad and put on a skirt myself. After all, I can't expect a kid too young to go to school to have the same self-assertiveness as I'd look for in an adult, especially not when he's got no examples! So: now I'm the role model.

And that's how we ended up wearing skirts and dresses on milder days back in Kreuzberg. Hey, I think long skirts with elasticated waists look pretty good on me. Dresses? They're a bit more difficult. And as for the Berliners, well, they reacted positively or not at all. In my little town in South Germany, it's a rather different story.

In the middle of moving stress, I totally forgot to tell the teachers at the kindergarden that they should make care my boy wasn't laughed at for his clothing choices. Only a little while later, his self-confidence was gone: he couldn't face going back to playschool wearing a dress or a skirt. And then he looked at me with pleading eyes and asked: "Daddy, when are you going to wear a skirt again?"

To this day I'm grateful to the woman who was so caught up in staring at us that she walked straight into a lamp-post. My son was bawling with laughter - and the next day he fetched a dress back out of the wardrobe. At first, he only wore it at weekends - but it wasn't long before he was dressing how he liked at kindergarten again.

And what's the lad started doing in the meantime? Painting his nails. He reckons nail varnish looks pretty on me, too. When other boys (it's almost always boys!) try to make fun of him, he just grins at them and says, "You're just not brave enough to wear skirts and dresses, because your dads aren't either." He's made broader shoulders and a steel-reinforced spine for himself - and all thanks to daddy in a skirt.

Nils Pickert, EMMAonline 20.8.12

(no subject)

Date: 2012-08-26 11:35 pm (UTC)
joshuaorrizonte: A kitten cutely chasing its tail (Kitten)
From: [personal profile] joshuaorrizonte
This article is amazing. Thanks for sharing it!

(no subject)

Date: 2012-08-26 11:49 pm (UTC)
cereta: Gonnigan (Gonnigan)
From: [personal profile] cereta
That is AWESOME.

(no subject)

Date: 2012-08-27 01:11 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] sorrillia
Yay, epsilon! Yay, epsilon's parent!

(no subject)

Date: 2012-08-27 02:45 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] noldo
this is the cutest

(no subject)

Date: 2012-08-27 06:57 am (UTC)
el_staplador: Actress Mary Anne Keeley in a breeches role (breeches)
From: [personal profile] el_staplador
I have such a huge grin now it isn't even possible. Thank you for sharing that; it has made my day better before I've even started!

(no subject)

Date: 2012-08-27 11:17 am (UTC)
evilsusan: (Default)
From: [personal profile] evilsusan
This is beautiful.

(no subject)

Date: 2012-08-27 12:21 pm (UTC)
jamfish: (Default)
From: [personal profile] jamfish
Restoring my faith in humanity BEFORE BREAKFAST, how awesome is that? Thanks for posting this!

(no subject)

Date: 2012-08-27 02:17 pm (UTC)
shadowspar: Pic of Kurama holding a rose (kurama - rose)
From: [personal profile] shadowspar
N'awww! Thank you so much for translating & sharing this! <3

(no subject)

Date: 2012-08-27 08:49 pm (UTC)
jack: (Default)
From: [personal profile] jack
Oh wow, that's awesome. More of us should be trying that.

(no subject)

Date: 2012-08-28 08:42 am (UTC)
naath: (Default)
From: [personal profile] naath
awesomesauce

(no subject)

Date: 2012-08-28 07:38 pm (UTC)
rmc28: Rachel standing in front of the entrance to the London Eye pier (Default)
From: [personal profile] rmc28
Gosh, go that man.

This cuts very very close to home; this never occurred to us as a solution for C, and I am not sure Tony would have been up for it even if we had thought of it :/

(no subject)

Date: 2012-08-29 07:21 am (UTC)
stormerider: (Default)
From: [personal profile] stormerider
D'awww. Love this. :)

(no subject)

Date: 2012-09-04 07:42 am (UTC)
inoru_no_hoshi: The most ridiculous chandelier ever: shaped like a penis. Text: Sparklepeen. (Default)
From: [personal profile] inoru_no_hoshi
Omg that is adorable. A+++ father!

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kaberett

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