Gendered Clothing and "Cross-dressing"

Discussion in 'Politics, Philosophy, and Religion' started by Sonic 5, Nov 15, 2016.

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    Sonic 5

    Sonic 5 Not Actually a Sonic Fan Supporter

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    The idea of gendered clothing has always bothered me. Growing up, I struggled a lot with my identity due to the way these ideas were forced on me.

    I had a lot of issues with femininity and responded by dressing in a very "masculine" manner: cutting my hair extremely short, wearing cargo shorts, men's cut t-shirts, etc.,. I've always felt uncomfortable in dresses and heels, babydoll cut shirts, most jewelry, etc., so dressing this way allowed me to feel comfortable in my own skin. At first, some kids at school gave me crap; I remember one boy shouting at me during P.E. that I had a boy's haircut (which was sort of the point?). Other than the occasional struggle with administrators who wanted me to wear a dress instead of dress pants and shirt, it mostly faded into the background at school.

    It was a huge issue for my father though. He would scream at me that I needed to "act like a lady" lest anyone think his daughter was, gasp, a lesbian. He had a bizarre fascination with controlling my appearance. I've long hypothesized that he was himself a closeted homosexual and this was a form of projection, but that's not really the point.

    Today, I still dress a lot "like a guy." Pretty much all of my shirts are "guy's shirts". I don't wear sandals, wedges, or heels. I alternate mostly between a pair of Chucks and Vans (the latter admittedly has a cute Aloha pattern).

    I can wear some skater dresses, though anything that completely bares my shoulders/back is a complete no-go. I've grown my hair out to past my shoulders. I like to wear a watch with a flowery band, stretchy bands with cute designs, and some bracelets with flower shapes on them. I really like floral patterns, to be honest. Some of my pants are "girl's pants" and I never wear cargo shorts outside of my apartment.

    So, wearing "men's clothing" wasn't exactly a phase for me, though I do wear some "women's clothing" now.

    All that said, even to this day, no one would really say that what I do/did could be called "cross-dressing." Why is that? Why is it (mostly) acceptable for me to wear (Number Withheld) x 28 jeans, a non-clinging t-shirt, Chucks, and a hoodie while a man wearing a blouse, Capri pants, and any jewelry would be called a cross-dresser? What we're each doing is literally no different. It really bothers me.

    Now, I don't intend this to be a topic about whether cross-dressing is "funny," like in movies. I'd just like an honest discussion about why it's this way. I really hope this is the correct place for this topic (seems like it'd fall under "politics and philosophy" to me, at least).

    How do you all dress? Masculine, feminine, a mix? How do you feel about styles of dress being described this way?

    tl;dr: It's (more) socially acceptable for a woman to "dress like a man" than it is for a man to "dress like a woman." Additionally, women are rarely called "cross-dressers" in this circumstance, while men almost always are. Why is that?
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    SKELETOR

    SKELETOR Overlord of Evil

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    People probably see women dressing in masculine clothing as trying to be stronger and independent, while men dressing in feminine clothing are probably seen as not achieving proper manhood.

    I dress in whatever. As long as it looks cool, I like it. I have expressed my distaste for the assignment of genders on inanimate objects before, though. I think it's a meaningless affair, moreso than other meaningless affairs.
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    I am nobody

    I am nobody I am not mean spam Staff Member

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    T-shirts if it's above 30 F, shorts if it's above 20. The pants are almost always cargo in some form because normal pockets are useful and jean pockets are painful to use. T-shirts, or the coat I wear on top of that if it's cold enough, are all solid or few colors with no (non-manufacturer) logos. Broadcasting tastes on your clothing leads to people making assumptions and associations about you, and I just find it's easier and more comfortable to not deal with that.

    As you can probably guess from that, I don't care in the slightest how people dress. Wear whatever is most functional for whatever you're trying to achieve, and don't worry about anyone else unless their living octopus clothing is literally attacking you.

    It's more socially acceptable for women to act like men in virtually every circumstance than vice versa, more or less for the reasons RU said.
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    Booyakasha

    Booyakasha das kleine Krokodil Staff Member

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    I pretty much wear what's comfy. T-shirt and jeans are easy like sunday morning. I can't think lady-clothes would be more comfortable. Lady fashion seems like a muddle----------trousers with no pocket space, necessitating purse. I'd be cheesed if I had to carry a bag about with me at all times instead of just going "all right, left pocket---keys, phone and clip; right pocket---wallet and stiletto; handkerchief hangin from left rear belt loop: let's do this".

    Lady t-shirts are cut tight, and high up on the arm--------how do you girls like that? It seems like it'd be cold.
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    Sonic 5

    Sonic 5 Not Actually a Sonic Fan Supporter

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    From my experience, women's clothing is, on the whole, decidedly less comfortable than men's clothing.

    Tiny lady t-shirt sleeves are the bane of my existence. The constantly ride up and bunch in the underarm area. May as well not have sleeves at that point. Some women's shirts don't have such drastically short sleeves, of course, but it seemed liked all of the "girl shirts" I saw growing up had these tiny sleeves.

    Also, yes, I personally get cold with such high sleeves.
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    I REALLY HATE PRESENTS!

    I REALLY HATE PRESENTS! Goku lives on the Sun

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    This world is shaped by the majority, and that means clothes will be gendered. The minority who don't want to dress according to their sex don't have to, but complaining about the way of things or expecting to not be viewed as odd is unreasonable. Nobody should give anyone trouble over it though, obviously, as tolerance is necessary.

    Not that it was a main point of your post but I don't see how a father wanting his daughter to dress like a lady has any correlation whatsoever to his sexual preferences. Maybe there's more to it and he is, but based on that alone there's not really anything to draw such a conclusion from.

    Anyway, the reason men who cross-dress are not as well received is complex, IMO. I think it's at least partially that men are judged more than women are in general. Men are expected to be successful and manly, and failing in those regards is judged more harshly, and an example of this seems to be homosexuality. For some reason the term "homosexual" seems to refer to men more than women, and they even get their own off-shoot for some reason I don't care to investigate, "lesbian." It seems to act as a shield to them; some people who have a problem with homosexuality don't even have a problem with lesbians, it's like they get a free pass. Same for unemployment, women are only expected to take care of their kids if they have any and aren't nearly as scorned. Then there's social success. The issue of "slut shaming" is a drop in the bucket compared to male virginity, promiscuous women aren't always spoken fondly of but they're not social pariahs, and today they can even be cheered on for it. If a woman has no friends she's only assumed to be shy, while a man is considered a weirdo. It's like this in many ways. It's not a competition, just an observation.

    So basically, I think male cross-dressers don't get away with it as easily because it just comes with the territory of being a man. It's not fair but that's the way it seems to be. Part of it ties into religious views as well, men are supposed to be strong and denying your sex is probably considered to be about the furthest from that you can get.
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    Booyakasha

    Booyakasha das kleine Krokodil Staff Member

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    Lots of lady clothes seem designed rather to disclose than to conceal. Speaking just for myself, I'm a bit of a pallid yellow-eyed nightmare creature. What good would revealing more of me do. 'Hey, get you, Boo, you look like you could be a model. Pickman's Model, to be specific. Hah. Ahaha. Bwahahahahaa.' Like I want extra attention.
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    ScottyMcGee

    ScottyMcGee Super Lab Tech

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    A friend of mine blew my mind once.

    He said, "You'd think logically based on how our genitals are arranged that men would wear skirts and women would wear trousers."
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    Booyakasha

    Booyakasha das kleine Krokodil Staff Member

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    ^Yeah, right. I live in Wisconsin, muchango. Do you have any idea how cold the wind blows here in January?

    Even were I so disposed to skirt up, I don't think I'd be keen to venture out in girl-clothes on New Years. Sounds like a great opportunity to get frostbite on one's weenie.
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    Sonic 5

    Sonic 5 Not Actually a Sonic Fan Supporter

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    There's more to it. He always framed it in a way that "looking like a lady" meant "looking heterosexual." He was fine with my tomboy nature until I was a teenager.

    Additionally, there were tons of things he did that made me think he was closeted. He acted extremely macho (I assume as a form of over compensation) and really rejected a lot of "unmanly" things. I remember once, he got a milkshake from McDonald's and demanded that they "take this gay **** off" (said gay **** being whipped cream and a cherry). He came off as someone desperately trying to assert his heterosexuality.
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    I REALLY HATE PRESENTS!

    I REALLY HATE PRESENTS! Goku lives on the Sun

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    ^ I was disagreeing until that last part, lol. I think you're onto something.
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    My Potions Are Too Strong For You Traveller

    My Potions Are Too Strong For You Traveller Supermod Staff Member

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    I don't have a problem with anybody doing what they like as long as it's not hurting anyone else. I mean, not accounting for however many rednecks' brains you break by looking good in pink. Gender is boring, don't let the way people see it control you. It takes guts to stick out and assert yourself, no matter what gender you are.
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    Sim Kid

    Sim Kid Well-Known Member

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    Now here is one thing that I find weird about women's clothing.

    Where are the ****ing POCKETS?!? Carrying purses around is impractical at times, ya know? >:frown:
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    I REALLY HATE PRESENTS!

    I REALLY HATE PRESENTS! Goku lives on the Sun

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    Pockets are called drawers and they're in the kitchen.

    jk
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    Festivus Ten

    Festivus Ten Happy Dingergisbar! Supporter

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    The waiter gives you the bill.

    "It's okay", you tell your friends, "I got this."

    Everyone is suddenly on edge as you reveal the drawer full of your belongings you snuck into the restaurant. You begin rummaging around in it, occasionally taking out a one or a five and placing them in a pile in front of you. It's always been awkward but you won't budge. Ever since someone compared women's pockets to kitchen drawers you've dedicated yourself to making this work purely to spite them.

    You've become a social outcast but you don't care because you feel morally superior and that's what matters. You've only been robbed 53 times. It's fine.

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