44-year-old Vladimir Fomin, from Kineshma, a town in Russia’s Ivanovo Region, is a very peculiar man. He became somewhat of a celebrity in his country after he was expelled from the University of Mathematics for refusing to wear pants and walking around in women’s clothing.
Vladimir certainly isn’t the only man in the world who prefers skirts and dresses to pants, but his reasons are definitely unique. He is not gay nor a transvestite, nor does he want to attract media attention. He just wants to stand up for the rights of men to wear whatever kind of clothes they like. After all, women are allowed to wear pants, so why can’t men wear dresses or skirts, why is that regarded as weird? But his fight for the rights of the stronger sex have brought him nothing but trouble. Despite being one of the brightest students at the Ivanovo University of Mathematics and earning a scholarship, he was expelled because of his fashion choices, he was shunned by most of his friends and relatives and even verbally abused and beaten by locals in his home town for walking around in women’s clothes.
But in spite of all these problems, Vladimir Fromin continues his fight for the right to dress any way he likes, and hopes to one day be able to walk around in his skirts without being discriminated against. And he has a wardrobe of over 30 women’s garments prepared…
There was a time when Vladimir wore pants. He even had a wife and children, but he says his views of men’s clothing have always been the same. In an interview with Russian newspaper
Fromin said he had always been jealous of the Scots for being able to wear kilts, and of the ancient Romans and Greeks who also didn’t wear pants, and that the 25 years in which he forced himself to wear pants were the worst of his life. For the 44-year-old unemployed Russian, pants have a very negative effect on the mood, well-being and health of both men and women. In his eyes they are an abomination that was accepted by both sexes in order to hide most of their bodies and please their jealous partners. And apparently, he’s not the only one who feels that way; Vladimir claims there are thousands of people out there who call themselves his fans but are too afraid to imitate him.
Fromin’s plight started the day he started wearing women’s clothes, but it didn’t affect him that much until it got him expelled from the Ivanovo State University. After he heard a cleaning lady saying he was not right in the head and she was disgusted to even look at him, he got so angry that he took off all his clothes and decided to walk around his dorm in the nude shouting that if she didn’t like to look at him in skirts and dresses she would have to look at him naked. She filed a complaint, and that was all the university needed to have him expelled. Since then, he has tried reapplying, but because he was not allowed a place in the university dorms until he dressed like a proper man, he couldn’t afford to pay rent somewhere else and was again expelled for not attending classes. Vladimir Fromin says that if he was looking for fame, he could have achieved it in the fields of mathematics and science, but instead decided to give up on his career dreams in order to fight for what he believes in.
After being featured on several TV shows where he pleaded his cause, Vladimir’s situation worsened. He can’t get a job, because no one will hire a man wearing skirts and dresses, (although he is willing to make a compromise and wear only long ones), and locals in his Kineshma village have threatened to throw stuff at him if he so much passes by their windows dressed in his cooky clothes. Right now his only source of income are the vegetables he plants in his garden and that he sells at the market every day. But with winter just around the corner, that’s no longer an option. Still, he has no intention of “mutilating” himself by putting on pants…