Rachel Massey wrote:
...it is a Japanese martial art, and Japanese culture cannot be ignored, but why is it that if a gi is considered immodest, that it is only immodest for women and not men? Why must a woman cover with a hakama, while a man needn't?
Who is considering it immodest? Let me be blunt.
A woman's legs, hips and crotch make most Japanese men uncomfortable. It is kind of like going into the girl's locker room, a social taboo. In Judo, for example, men and women normally don't train together, and they don't wear hakama. Aikido has a greater percentage of women involved, and the training is co-educational. So there has to be some rule to prevent impropriety. Voila, all women wear hakama.
The real question is not about hakama at all, it is about the transfer of cultural standards. What we consider a breach of civil rights is to the Japanese the most natural thing on Earth.