Answers to Quora Questions by Yair Davidiy (7 December 2017, 20 Kislev, 5778)
When and why were skirts and dresses invented for women but not for men?
The pictures above shows Druze males. [The Druze are a group with their own religion found in Israel, Lebanon, and Syria] . They are wearing the sherwal which is a trousers-like garment. It allows much room around the waist, like that of a skirt, The sherwal is especially associated with the Druze though others in the Middle East also wear it. A variation was also worn by women from non-Druze communities. It has been adopted by women clothes designers in the west and has been given such names as "Harem Pants Skirt," "Aladdin Trousers, " etc.
Some variations of the design are more similar to skirts whereas others are closer to trousers. Recently in Israel among Jewish women an adaptation of this dress has become fashionable. Unisex versions are available that look more masculine.
In fact there are reasons why such a design should perhaps be adopted by men in a form similar to that practiced by the Druze. In principle all the male body beneath the belt should be free to breath. The male apparatus should not be encased in a tight covering. Heat is not healthy for the gonads. Lack of movement may harm fertility and related matters. The sherwal solves this problem. It provides protection, modesty, and comfort, and if worn in the way the Druze wear them they even look good. The problem (or solution?) however is the Bible.
Deuteronomy (NASB) 22:
Â 5 A woman shall not wear a manâ€™s clothing, nor shall a man put on a womanâ€™s clothing; for whoever does these things is an abomination to the LORD your God.
It is therefore forbidden for a man to wear the garment of a woman. On the one hand Druze men (and others such as some of the Fellahin and Beduin) wear sherwals. They are definitely masculine.
On the other side, in the Jewish and Western communities it is a type of dress worn almost exclusively by women.
If a Hebrew male who abides by Biblical law should wish to clothe such a garment would he be committing a transgression?
What do you think?