Right now, today, there is no respectable military (or military-esque) organization in the world that would put a man or a woman in a skirt
and ask him or her to perform any sort of manual labor.
Who says this crewman has to crawl through tubes?
Have you seen an episode of Star Trek before? Any of them? They're forever
crawling through tubes, up ladders, and over fallen debris. They go on away missions to hostile planets, they recalibrate sensor arrays, program torpedoes, move stuff around on floating dollies, and that's all to say nothing of the fact that they're pretty routinely in combat with stuff exploding
sending shrapnel in all directions.
I'm not saying that the idea was silly based on what it looked like. I'm saying it was silly based on the notion of working
in a skirt. It was silly in 1980. It was silly in 1990. It is silly in 2010. The notion of working in a skirt is silly. Not because of how it looks (though it does look pretty stupid) but because of the practical limitations and the unnecessary exposure to risk working in such a uniform would have and cause.
The idea that some planets being visited might be incredibly hot would make a casual, short version of the uniform essential. Why not something that looks like a skirt, no matter a person's gender?
Well, they weren't wearing it on a desert planet, were they? They were wearing it around the Enterprise (which I'm assuming had climate control.) And as for the "what if?" Here's your answer;
My argument isn't about fashion. My argument is about practicality and how, if it seems stupid now
it would seem stupid in the future
to ask anyone to work (under the conditions Starfleet Officers were under) in a skirt with no coverings for their legs.
@withers: oh man, how much did it bother you seeing seven of nine climbing jeffries tube ladders in high heels. I could understand the producers putting women on the show in heels, but she was the former borg!! No other women, or men (that I noticed), ever wore high heels on the show. ugh.
Yes, very much- it was clear the actress
was uncomfortable so the idea that the character would perform the tasks she did wearing that...thing, with those shoes... well, I rolled my eyes pretty hard.