Skirt or beard, what do you prefer?

He straightened his skirt, covering his well-shaved knees. You do what you can to fight the nervousness. Women naturally tend to scratch their beards, for instance. The President was going to be live in a few minutes and the tension was palpable.

Beard or skirt? A story about how easy is to control people with an invisible fear.
Beard or skirt? By Daniele Frau

“Four seconds.”

Informed the director.

That was it. After all those years, that was their long-awaited moment. Now the country was finally ready for a speech like that. They tried everything, they even threw in the Scripture, but it didn’t work. They tried then with the sense of responsibility, the family and the sense of decency- nothing, the country didn’t seem to be perceptive. Then, the stroke of genius from the President.

The phrase he wrote was simple, but it sounded like a slogan from the very first moment. So he decided to post it on the walls of half of the country.

“Don’t call us homophobic, but…”

Under the phrase, a picture landed like a slap on the face of all the public opinion. There was a picture of a small girl dressed as a boy. Her shoes were pastel green, she wore a pink skirt and a lace blouse. But then again, what really shocked the families that morning, were the hair with a pink ribbon on them.

“Three seconds.”

What followed was an incredible response, with thousands of views. The news ran the front page on the principal newspapers, democratic and republican alike.

“One picture is like a swallow; it doesn’t make a summer.”

“We’re becoming THIS?”

“Since when we’re so shameless?”

“We call it progress!”

Many other pictures followed after that one. Photos of women without mustaches or beards, with long hair, men dressed as women with tie, jacket and all.

That was enough for a civil war.

A few weeks away from the approval of the decree about homotransphobia, that picture was like a bomb thrown in the middle of the Parliament.

“Two seconds.”

Since then, pink was a color for men and pants and tie something for women? Who decided that? Furthermore, why they spoke about that when there was simply a law made to punish discrimination and sex-related crimes? The President of “Make Country Grease Again”- where no one pointed out for fear the typo “great” instead of “grease”- reinforced the message.

“They want to steal everything from us, all our traditions. So next, they’ll cancel Christmas from the calendar and dress men as women and women as men.”

“Going on like that, they’ll say Saint Joseph wasn’t a virgin.”

Even though those statements were totally disconnected from the main topic, they contribute making the discussion more and more controversial. The newspapers the next day rode that wave, balancing on it as expert surfers.

“Those are alarming statements, especially coming from a parliamentary.”

“Why can we not decide how to dress?”

“Get your hands off Christmas. Get your hands off the skirts of our boys.”

A famous makeup brand for men supported their initiative, publishing a shocking picture of a woman without mustaches and lipstick. Under the picture, there was a phrase:

“These are the women you want?”

That was a success, a real media triumph.

“One second and… we’re live!”

The President straightened his skirt one more time, then start speaking. Behind him, there was the national flag and a frame with the Republic’s President on it. The old man was dressed as always, with his typical hat with a feather, the same color as the suit.

“Ladies and gentlemen, our Republic is under attack. Our beloved nation is under attack. We are here, with “Make Country Grease Again” to stop this nonsense. We obviously support a law against discrimination, be sure about that.”

The President passed a hand on his beautiful curly blonde hair. Polls stated that the long hair and his pearl earrings alone gave him over 20% more votes. People love tradition.”

“What we don’t like about this law decree is the intention of bringing a gender-fluid concept in the schools. We don’t like the idea that a girl could decide to go to school dressed as a boy. All of you saw that girl dressed in pink, didn’t you? Well, Make Country Grease Again and Together for the flag are united to say a big no to all of that.”

Suddenly and before anyone could add anything, a hand was raised from the public.

“Hi, I’m Maria Sarti, from News8. Don’t you think that the way we dress or we decide to behave regarding our sex is a totally personal decision in a free and laic country? Thanks.”

The journalist sat down, leaving around her a cold silence. Who let that troublemaker in? The President didn’t lose his cool. Instead, he smiled, tilting his head slightly on one side.

Thank you for your question. No, I don’t think it’s a personal decision. If men dress in skirts and women dress in pants since the world began, there’s a reason. Don’t you think? In regards to your second statement, I believe you are totally wrong.

I know the law doesn’t clearly state that children have to change their clothes, but sometimes it’s essential to read between the lines. Well, suppose we start with the idea that a teacher would be able to make transgender propaganda in the schools. In that case, the next step could only be making confused children.

You’ll probably see girls dressed as boys, playing with dolls or… why not? Girls that decide to be ballet dancers!”

 Everyone now in the room laughed. Everyone, besides the journalist from News8, which stood up and spoke once again.

“I think you’re the one wrong here. I don’t know if the beard is natural for a woman or if it is to have shaved legs for a man. I think that’s not even the issue. It really matters that you’re playing with our lives just to get few more votes at the next elections. You can keep your Christmas; no one is going to steal it from you.”

Then, the journalist took her backpack and left the room.

This story is property of Flyingstories and in the person of Daniele Frau. If you need to use the text and before any kind of reproductions, please confirm with the author.

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