Tartan innocence: Because Kilt Is A Skirt And Why It Doesn't Matter

Someone said that the only thing that separated Scotland from the spread of obesity was heroin. Fortunately, things have changed over the years and obesity has become a social plague all over the UK. Speaking of obesity, in Scotland, particularly on the west coast, the so-called Scooby snacks are widespread: greasy horrors in the form of hamburgers that contain egg, pseudo-cheese and every sort of product that was meat in a previous life, sold by panini vans . Equally widespread are the shady kiosks that prepare, almost at night, almost any variety of unhealthy, fried food, with soft potato chips. They are both classic Scottish, a reason for very little pride, which provide the doses of carbohydrates and low-cost proteins eagerly devoured by drinkers of all ages upon return from a pub crawl. It's the kind of food that, at the time, at one in the morning, maybe even seems like a good idea. 

On the sidewalks, at the small hours of the morning, couples are often seen intent on absorbing disgusting sandwiches in complete silence. The unspoken agreement is that we don't talk about scooby snacks while we're eating them. One might think that the same embarrassed camaraderie is, in the lands that have given the world the whiskey and Irvine Welsh, the reason for the silence among men wearing skirts. There is obviously nothing more wrong. 

One might think that the same embarrassed camaraderie is, in the lands that have given the world the whiskey and Irvine Welsh, the reason for the silence among men wearing skirts. There is obviously nothing more wrong. One might think that the same embarrassed camaraderie is, in the lands that have given the world the whiskey and Irvine Welsh, the reason for the silence among men wearing skirts. There is obviously nothing more wrong.

My first time in Scotland, getting out of the taxi, on the sidewalk in front of the hotel a big kilt and flannel beret was walking a tiny little dog. I later discovered to be the owner - the big man in the skirt, not the dog - of an antique shop not far away. The fact is that kilts are not, to use Corrado Guzzanti's words, "stupid, funny regional customs". Or better: yes, they are funny regional costumes. Are they stupid too? Not necessarily more than others. The kilt is the result of a long tradition that precedes that of trousers and underwear — as is the case, on the other hand, of Greek-Roman togas and armor with pterigi. 

The kilts are practical when it comes to running around the moors, fighting as soldiers and throwing logs; when there is to march for hours without being able to stop for physiological functions; when you sweat a lot by climbing up mountains that are not particularly cold but at the same time it is important to keep the soft inguinal area wrapped in wool; when it is useful to recognize the mutual regions of origin by looking at the respective tartans. 

Wearing kilts today is unusual and not particularly practical. So much so that, in addition to the antique dealer with a dog, in everyday life few do. Not because the kilt is a ridiculous object and a cause of particular shame, but because the kilt, in Scotland, is practically the equivalent of the tailcoat: an estate of great prestige and tradition, reserved for occasions such as gala events and weddings. It is also used in céilidhs, informal dancing events; but the céilidhs are usually places of extreme confusion in which everyone is drunk and nobody remembers the steps. Kilt or pants, therefore, makes no difference.

Kilt is never really seen as a little masculine garment. It is a simple question of historical perspective: in medieval northern Europe the plaid wrapped in life, the progenitor of the modern kilt, was as widespread as, and probably more than the Germanic, barbaric trousers. However, it would be too easy to dismiss the whole speech simply by saying that there is nothing to talk about, given that kilt, in itself, has nothing to do with it. 


To put it in cultural terms is like doing something in public universally recognized as stupid or at least radically unusual — to show off a Hitlerian mustache, for example — and when someone points a finger protest, stuttering, clinging in vain to the very valid examples of Charlie Chaplin or Oliver Hardy. That kind of speech belongs to the academic literature. We also avoid falling into that black hole which is the rhetoric of what makes a man a man, because he is sterile and retrograde. 

All that can be said is that a man remains a man even wearing a kilt (or not wearing it). He can try to convince himself and others that the kilt is not a skirt. But the fact is: the kilt is a skirt. Not a monster, not an estrogen injection: a simple, harmless skirt. Practice, moreover. Hot. Soberly colored. harmless skirt. Practice, moreover. Hot. Soberly colored. harmless skirt. Practice, moreover. Hot. Soberly colored.

Looking at the kilt for sale with the disdain of the high school boy desperately looking for a way to assert his masculinity is an immature attitude that we can leave to the high school students. The men frightened by the kilt is not really the kilt they fear. They do not see it as a castrating garment that gives the right to insult the one who wears it. They are rather frightened by the security with which a kilt wears a kilt, and worried that they themselves see kilt as a threat to masculinity more than many women do. But to say that it is legitimate to wear a kilt because it is a skirt, but a men's skirt, of course, is not the point. Let's leave it to Marc Jacobs to use the dialectics of the skirt for men. That you wear what you want. And if anyone has something to say, lift the kilt and show him the buttocks.


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