Penned by Sonja
Once upon a different time…
Today’s post is the start of a new series in which each of the Golden Orb founders will write about her personal thoughts and opinions.
Let’s start with a rather provocative question:
Why do we as a society have such difficulties with men in dresses?
Whenever I do see a man wearing a dress, I think to myself: »How brave«, and enjoy seeing someone standing up for what he likes regardless of the general opinion. But this seemingly liberal attitude sadly reveals that for me, too, the sight of a man in a dress is nothing I consider normal, try as I might. This made me wonder. With women I encounter I have not noticed any distinction of my perception based on them wearing a dress or them wearing pants – neither strikes me as anything out of the ordinary. I am guessing that most people can agree to that. Women wearing either dresses or pants – depending on their personal preferences – is fully accepted in our society. Why is this different for what kind of clothes men are wearing?
Men have a much longer history with skirt- or dresslike clothing than women have with wearing pants. For instance, Scottish warriors and Roman soldiers, when depicted in images and movies, are generally perceived as very manly – despite wearing skirts. Even without a military context there are examples of men wearing dresslike clothing which are fully accepted and do not strike anyone as odd, i.e. wearing various styles of caftans or religious garments. Yet, this degree of acceptance has not found its way into every day or festive clothing for men.
I assume that this has a lot to do with society’s influence on each of its members. We regularly stumble upon the mostly historical examples of men wearing kilts, military skirts etc. in books and movies and, in case of religious garments, even in everyday life. Most of us have first encountered these images in early childhood and will continue to encounter them all our lives. We perceive men wearing these kinds of skirts or dresslike outfits as nothing out of the ordinary because we grow up with these images. Among the children of friends and relatives I have noticed several times that boys in their pre-school years try out new things in a more playful way: They are fascinated with colorful nail polish, mommy’s jewel box and the funny, oversized high-heeled shoes just as much as little girls are. Just a few years later this fascination suddenly vanishes and henceforth they declare these things as »girls’ stuff«. Does this really reflect their own opinion or is it mostly shaped by outer influences which tell them that these things are not suitable for boys, let alone men?
As we would like to support future generations in their endeavor to think outside the box, we as developers do not restrict our players when its time for them to choose the wedding outfit of Cinderella and the prince. Everyone may choose for themselves whether they prefer a traditional outfit, whether both of them should attend in a dress or in pants or whether she will wear pants while he wears a dress. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if one day men will encounter the same social acceptance in their choice of clothing as women already do? Men could still opt for pants or suits, of course, I would simply prefer that to be based on an individual preference rather than dutiful fulfillment of social expectations.