Nils Pickert’s 5-year-old son likes to wear dresses and skirts. In show of solidarity, Pickert started wearing them too. “Yes, I am one of those fathers who are trying to raise his children with gender equality. I’m not one of those pseudo-intellectual daddies that rambles on about studying gender justice, and then, as soon as the child is born, falls back into the comfortable and clichéd gender roles.”
That’s pretty badass.
It all started back when he lived in West Berlin. The skirts were certainly a conversation-starter, but not much more than that. Now, Pickert and his son live in a “very traditional” South German village where his son’s flare for dresses is the talk of the town.
Dresses are such a culturally gender-defining article of clothing. It’s so easy for a girl to dress in boy-centric clothing, no problem. My wife and I have done that occasionally with my daughter. Most notably back when she fit into her Back To The Future “boy shirt”. Does she look like a boy? Who cares! No one thinks any different and it’s no one’s business how we dress her.
And what’s Pickert’s little dude doing by now? He’s painting his fingernails. He thinks it looks pretty on his dad’s nails too. He simply owns it and smiles when other boys (and it’s always boys) make fun of him and say, “You don’t dare to wear skirts and dresses because your dad doesn’t dare to either.”
He’s stronger, more confident and it’s all thanks to his dad in a skirt.