Or maybe the only plausible reason to put anyone in a miniskirt or a skant is to sexually objectify them, which seemed liberating at the time but is now recognized as just another mechanism for patriarchal control.
I don't agree. I think it's sexist in itself to assume that a woman is automatically a victim in any sexual situation. I think it's insulting to women to dismiss their choice to embrace and control their own sexuality as just another sign of their helplessness and lack of agency. It's not objectification if you're choosing
to express and employ your own sexuality in pursuit of your own fulfillment. That makes you the subject, not the object.
I think that in a truly liberated, non-oppressive society, sex would not be seen as a source of vulnerability at all, and no one would be seen as diminishing themselves in any way by choosing to present themselves sexually. So any present-day concerns that a woman or a man is somehow victimized by showing a little skin would seem bewildering in that context.
And maybe the skant looks ridiculous because people aren't conditioned to think it's okay to objectify men the way they objectify women, and that thus the answer isn't to "assume the male way is automatically better," but to recognize that a means of fashion designed to objectify is impractical, unprofessional, and sexist.
Isn't it ethnocentric to assume that trousers are automatically superior to a draped garment, or that the only possible purpose of a short draped garment is to "objectify"? Look at all the cultures around the world where people have worn togas, saris, kimonos, kilts, and other draped garments. Trousers were an invention of Central Asian horse nomads, because they were more practical to ride in than a draped garment. But since most people today (let alone in Starfleet) don't depend on riding horses for their livelihood, there's really no practical necessity for wearing trousers instead of draped garments. There's no good reason other than fashion for Scotty not to wear a kilt, the traditional male
garment of his people, on a regular basis. Would you consider that objectifying?
Personally I think it's ridiculous that Trek-era fashions aren't more
bizarre and outrageous to modern eyes. If we find the fashions of the 1960s and '70s so incomprehensible, those of the 2260s should be downright shocking.