Nils Pickert Talks Fatherhood and Fashion Choices

Feminist Conversations is a regular series here at Feminists for Choice. Today we are talking to Nils Pickert, a father we wrote about earlier this year who received global attention, support, and criticism for simply backing his son’s fondness for wearing skirts and dresses. We admire Nils’s persistent support of his son in face of such fuming controversy over a piece of cloth, and asked Nils a few questions concerning the issue. 

When did you figure out that your son liked wearing dresses and skirts?

There was never a turning point or a special moment when I had to realize that my son wanted to wear skirts and dresses. I never taught my son to alienate clothes as being strictly associated to the opposite sex, therefore there was no need for him to decide against something. Skirts and dresses were always an option. About the age of three he found his own voice and started to make his own decisions. Since then he sometimes likes to skirt up.

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Why Can’t He Wear a Dress?

A German father is showing support for his 5 year-old son who likes to wear dresses, by wearing skirts himself. Nils Pickert started wearing skirts in order to support his son, who was hesitant to wear dresses and skirts in public due to the threat of ridicule by peers and the overall community.

The story has drawn a lot of attention, and one commentator on the Huffington Post website felt that Pickert was completely in the wrong when allowing his son to wear women’s clothes: “If a boy (at the age of 3 or so) wants to wear girl clothes and act like a girl that means it’s time to explain to him that he is a BOY. There is NOTHING wrong with being a boy or a girl, but be who you are. Fashion and style do not make us who we are, but they do characterize us to a degree.”

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