A Tearful Ode To The Forgotten Skirt and Dress

As I put finger to keyboard and message to screen, I quickly admit I am an early 20th C American male who was raised in a post-Victorian, pre-Rock age when women were — as we used to call them — women!

Our provincial, Norman Rockwell tastes favored feminine attributes like: Long hair…little makeup… skirts and dresses…all with this unspoken feeling the two of us were complementary not competitive. [LONG PAUSE WHILE MANY SNICKER]. But I hasten to say in these same years, the women who mesmerized us included no less dazzling beauties than Lana Turner, Hedy Lamar, Vivian Leigh, Marilyn Monroe, Shirley McClain, Jane Fonda and Diane Keaton. Womanhood was hardly less passionate, simply packaged differently.

These days the packaging has grown more liberating and assertive. Which is perfectly understandable. But speaking just for my post-Victorian self, I haven’t seen a woman in a dress since, well, since my wedding. I grant women should wear whatever they want; only what they want all too often looks a lot like what my delivery man, water meter reader and neighbor’s teenagers wear. Skirts whisper “mystery,” while pants grunt “this is all there is!”

Granted, women are not supposed to dress for the pleasure of men. However, if a man’s pleasure is their objective, I’m guessing they have in their closets something besides pants and blue jeans. “So why shouldn’t the same be said about men,” you answer. You’re right, of course Only aside from a few Adonises, the male of the species is rarely going to communicate the kind of breathtaking pleasure as the female anatomy.

To support my case, count the number of acclaimed paintings and statutes of beautiful women vs beautiful men throughout the centuries. Why fight it ladies, the female anatomy is just too astonishingly stunning to be hidden in pants and jeans. I don’t care how post-Victorian that makes me…

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