Donate Now
We've Moved! Check out our new boards.
Post New Topic  Post A Reply
my profile | directory login | search | faq | forum home

  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Gender Issues » crossdressing

 - UBBFriend: Email this page to someone!    
Author Topic: crossdressing
sapphirecat
Activist
Member # 5317

Icon 5 posted      Profile for sapphirecat     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Here's something that's fascinated me lately: why is crossdressing considered "wrong" for guys? It seems that society deems it fine for girls to wear pants, yet a guy in a skirt is "bad", somehow. We even have the word "tomboy" to describe boyish girls, but I'm not aware of any (positive) word for the reverse.

So why is that? Does anyone have an explanation other than "it's just wrong"?

------------------
Sapphire Cat
You can love me or hate me, but it won't change who I am.


Posts: 235 | From: Louisville KY (St. Matthews) | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
KittenGoddess
Scarleteen Volunteer
Member # 1679

Icon 1 posted      Profile for KittenGoddess     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Well, I'm sure this probably isn't the entire answer, but it's the way I've been given to understand things are in certain sections of the culture. In high school, I was taught that biblically women were supposed to look like women, and men were supposed to look like men. This apparently translated into nothing but skirts for girls, and nothing but pants for boys. Now it should be noted that I went to a Christian school, and neither myself, nor my familiy bought into this ideology. But regardless, the point I was trying to make was that perhaps it's an effect of our past religious background as a society in general shaping todays ideology in ways we might not even realize. (just my opinion though)

------------------
~KittenGoddess
Scarleteen Advocate

"Not everything in this magical world is quite what it seems"

"Remember, I'm pullin' for ya. We're all in this together!"


Posts: 7316 | From: USA | Registered: Oct 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Heather     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I'm going to assume you mean Western society, because in plenty of cultures (and, here in my house, thank my lucky stars), men wear garments which are sarongs, wrap skirts, kilts or robes.

And as far as your asking about this culture, I don't think there is a good answer because it is terribly hypocritical, and I don't believe there is any logical reason why it is acceptable for women but not for men.

People can just be silly.

------------------
Heather Corinna
Editor and Founder, Scarleteen

My epitaph should read: "She worked herself into this ground."
-- Kay Bailey Hutchinson

[This message has been edited by Miz Scarlet (edited 10-26-2001).]


Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
-Jill
Scarleteen Volunteer
Member # 5375

Icon 1 posted      Profile for -Jill     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
As far as the Christian idea of wearing "gender appropriate" clothing goes, that was originally done to prevent diseases. The Church used to be the primary source of guidance for any of life's problems, including health. Someone must have noticed that fewer diseases were spread when clothes weren't shared and gave the order. I can think of nothing that specifies what men or women were to wear, just that it shouldn't be shared. At the time it was a really good idea but it's a little obsolete now that technology has advanced. Unfortunately, some people take it way out of context.
Posts: 3641 | From: Truckee, CA, US | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
kythryne
Scarleteen Volunteer
Member # 5460

Icon 1 posted      Profile for kythryne     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
And as far as your asking about this culture, I don't think there is a good answer because it is terribly hypocritical, and I don't believe there is any logical reason why it is acceptable for women but not for men.

People can just be silly.


I have to agree -- it's ridiculous, and hypocritical, and just doesn't make any sense. Men in skirts are sexy.

But in all seriousness, if you stop to think about it, men are expected to stay much more closely within rigid gender roles, while women can take on typically male gender traits without nearly so much stigma. For example, it's okay for a woman to know how to work on a car and be strong and assertive, but it's not okay for a man to grow roses and be gentle and cry at mushy movies.

Gah. Society infuriates me sometimes.

Kyth

[This message has been edited by kythryne (edited 10-26-2001).]


Posts: 1685 | From: New York City | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
sapphirecat
Activist
Member # 5317

Icon 10 posted      Profile for sapphirecat     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Miz Scarlet:
...I don't think there is a good answer because it is terribly hypocritical, and I don't believe there is any logical reason why it is acceptable for women but not for men.

People can just be silly.


Thanks It seems I've never understood it because there's nothing to understand. More power to skirt-wearing guys in Western society!

------------------
Sapphire Cat
You can love me or hate me, but it won't change who I am.


Posts: 235 | From: Louisville KY (St. Matthews) | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Beppie
Scarleteen Volunteer
Member # 94

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Beppie     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I think it's because there is still a prevailing idea in our culture that women are weaker than men, and therefore, if men adopt clothing styles that are attributed to be "feminine" they are seen as being "weak". (Please note that I'm not talking about physical strength here.)

I know that there are many men who do not see women as weaker at all, but I do think that it is a pervasive cultural ideaology that many people (both women and men) subscribe to without even realising it. As such you might still hear a boy reprimanded for "acting like a girl" if he cries, even though the person doing the reprimanding might be quite happy with the concept of equal rights.

I think that this cultural idea is something that is harmful to both men and women in different ways (and it doesn't make much room for people who feel themselves part of neither gender), and we should all do our best to change it.


Posts: 2710 | From: Australia | Registered: Jun 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Milke
Activist
Member # 961

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Milke     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
What Beppie said, only I would have said it less eloquently. Sad, ne?
Posts: 5122 | From: I *came* from the land of ice and snow | Registered: Aug 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
'rin
Activist
Member # 1950

Icon 1 posted      Profile for 'rin     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
something that might explain it a little bit is that masculine clothing is somehow percieved as more powerful - ie who wears the pants in your family etc. so wearing masculine clothing can be seen as a way of appropriating/gaining power, and in this culture at least the pursuit of power is seen as a noble thing. if masculine clothing can be seen as powerful, that makes feminine clothing weak (since this culture seems to be built on binary opositions, bah). so a man wearing feminine clothing has given up his powerful clothing for weak clothing, and giving up power tends to be looked down on. now personally, i have had some of my strongest moments wearing a skirt (granted i've also been wearing my steel-toes, but i wear them everywhere). the power dynamic idea is one that i learned about in an anthro class on gender, and compared to some of the other things that were brought up it seemed pretty logical at the time. our culture still "remembers" a time when everyone wearing a skirt was weak, so becuase we culturally value power seeking, wearing "weak" clothing is looked down on.
'rin

------------------
"-and i hope i'm not shooting my mouth off...again...and i pray i'm not tempting the fates....."
-james, off millionaires
They that give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."
-ben franklin


Posts: 219 | From: lost in yonkers | Registered: Nov 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
'rin
Activist
Member # 1950

Icon 7 posted      Profile for 'rin     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
completely off topic - saphirecat, i grew up near buffalo, is it bad there yet this fall or is it just mild everywhere? it seems really warm to me here in yonkers for this time of year, and i think it may just be b/c i was used to western new york winters.
'rin

Posts: 219 | From: lost in yonkers | Registered: Nov 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Confused boy
Activist
Member # 1964

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Confused boy     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I suppose its partly historical with women showing that they are as good as men by wearing their clothes but men not wanting to become like women.

I did have an interesting thought. It seems that many women like to see men in women's clothing and men like women to dress like that too. It seems to make both look more attractive therefore. perhaps this is from the idea that women are meant to look nice for their men but not the other way round. But in this new improved equal world should not both try to look nice! Therefore, rather than having gender specific clothes, male clothing becomes work and sport clothes while female clothing is for going out at night or when going to parties. For both genders.


Posts: 711 | From: England | Registered: Nov 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
PoetgirlNY
Activist
Member # 168

Icon 1 posted      Profile for PoetgirlNY     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
LOL, that's a great idea. Unfortunately, I don't think much of mainstream western society thinks that men look sexy in skirts. I do, definitely, but I only one straight woman in real life who does.

------------------
*Limes Are Sublime*


Posts: 1101 | From: San Francisco | Registered: Jun 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
'rin
Activist
Member # 1950

Icon 1 posted      Profile for 'rin     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
i don't know you in real life, but if this counts at all you now know two. my last bf broke up with me b/c i tried to get him to wear skirts for me sometimes, so the fact that my current guy dresses was actually a selling point.
'rin

------------------
"-and i hope i'm not shooting my mouth off...again...and i pray i'm not tempting the fates....."
-james, off millionaires
They that give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."
-ben franklin


Posts: 219 | From: lost in yonkers | Registered: Nov 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
sapphirecat
Activist
Member # 5317

Icon 10 posted      Profile for sapphirecat     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
My girl thinks I look sexy in a skirt. It made telling her I like to wear them quite painless

------------------
Sapphire Cat
You can love me or hate me, but it won't change who I am.


Posts: 235 | From: Louisville KY (St. Matthews) | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
somewhatanonymous
Activist
Member # 3820

Icon 1 posted      Profile for somewhatanonymous     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by kythryne:
men are expected to stay much more closely within rigid gender roles

no freaking kidding I've taken to telling everyone that I'm bisexual simply to explain away my lack of "masculinity". Everyone just assumes that I'm gay, I got tired of telling them over and over that I wasn't, now they don't bother me and I can do whatever I want, including cross dressing (I was getting back to the topic at hand) which gets me more chicks so it's all good Plus, at 6'1" (wearing high heels makes me more masculine? go figure) in my high heels I intimidate people who would otherwise treat me poorly for being gay.

As to why it's veiwed as wrong for a guy to dress as a girl: because women are treated as a subclass. To deny my "superior masculinity" and do something "feminin" is an affront to logic and a man must be mentally sick to even consider such a thing.

Quite frankly I abhore the very notion that some thing (see how I can ever use a gender neutral, innanimate pronoun) can be masculine or feminin. It's rediculous to think that actions have gender, animals have gender, innanimate concepts do not. I have a penis, why am I supposed to do anything else to prove that I'm a man? Screw that.


Posts: 141 | From: Seattle, WA, USA | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Pumpkin_Pie
Scarleteen Volunteer
Member # 5822

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Pumpkin_Pie     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Maybe its because the whole religious argument in favour of men hasn't really been fought on a political stage but has been for women? We campaigned for years for equal rights, maybe wearing pants was sort of "Shove it in the male's face!" thing and men never really needed that and so its sort of a taboo today. Know what I mean?
Posts: 896 | From: Europe | Registered: Nov 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Gaffer
Activist
Member # 2105

Icon 2 posted      Profile for Gaffer     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
That's what I think too--the feminist movement came along and said "Hey, pants are particularly male so let's get girls to wear them just to spite the guys." That's how girls got it to be okay to wear all sorts of clothes, while guys really are still stuck in pants and shirts.

I don't like this at all. I actually would like to try wearing a dress sometime, but no, I would get horribly horribly humiliated and mocked for doing so (after people got over the initial shock of seeing a guy wear girls clothes, that is--can you see the sarcasm oozing out of my ears?).


Posts: 356 | From: Phoenix--name that plurally | Registered: Dec 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
sapphirecat
Activist
Member # 5317

Icon 1 posted      Profile for sapphirecat     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Gaffer tells us:
I actually would like to try wearing a dress sometime, but no, I would get horribly horribly humiliated and mocked for doing so...

You know... I've found that coming out as a crossdresser is eerily similar to what I've heard about coming out as gay. Once I realized that everyone would just assume I was buying it for someone else if i didn't make a big deal of it, getting lipstick was very easy. Kind of like hetero is the default orientation.

------------------
Sapphire Cat
You can love me or hate me, but it won't change who I am.


Posts: 235 | From: Louisville KY (St. Matthews) | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
glitter695
Activist
Member # 1515

Icon 1 posted      Profile for glitter695     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Totally OFF TOPIC

Hi sapphirecat. I asked you this in All About You, but I dont know if you look in there at all.

I wanted to know where abouts in Buffalo you are from? I live north of buffalo. So where ya from?

------------------
*~*~12/3/99*~*
Bobaroony & Erica Bearica
<3 love forever!

*~*Scarleteen Advocate*~*


Posts: 1978 | From: NY:) | Registered: Oct 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
ksupantyboy
Neophyte
Member # 6334

Icon 1 posted      Profile for ksupantyboy     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
i would love to find a girl who let me wear her things and dress me up as a girl, currently i just wear panties and bra's and pantyhose and when i sleep at night i have a nighty that i wear. So i guess if any girls from the kansas city area want to help me out and have some fun at the same time let me know.

------------------
-- email address edited. This is not a personals service. See below. --

[This message has been edited by Miz Scarlet (edited 12-30-2001).]


Posts: 4 | From: kansas city mo usa | Registered: Dec 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Milke
Activist
Member # 961

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Milke     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Hey panty, please don't post your e-mail address on these boards, and don't try to approach other board users for real-life mettings.
Posts: 5122 | From: I *came* from the land of ice and snow | Registered: Aug 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
rekling
Activist
Member # 6341

Icon 1 posted      Profile for rekling     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
hmmm...
i agree "cross-dressing" (personally i disagree with the idea that clothing should be at all gendered...but that's how things are, i admit) is definitely considered very unacceptable for males in our society, particularly if they identify as heterosexual (if they're gay, its slightly more acceptable because it allows for the societal belief that gay men are just more feminine).
but i disagree that "cross-dressing" is acceptable for females. yes, it is more acceptable for women to wear pants than it is for men to wear skirts in our (western) society. but pants have, in the last 30 years or so, become a bi-gendered article of clothing, in a way. however, a woman who "cross-dresses" in complete male attire will probably be fairly socially ostracized at some point (maybe not to the same degree as the man in the dress). even wearing "men's" pants has gotten people to assume that i was a lesbian, wanted to be a male, or that i was just plain weird. when a woman wears a three-piece suit, but not trying to "pass" or do full drag, but if she just looks like a woman wearing boxers and men's shoes and a three piece suit, she will definitely face some societal repercussions.
sorry that rambled on for a while...
with love and girls in boxerbriefs,
-rek

Posts: 72 | From: oberlin, oh / new york city | Registered: Dec 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
shine
Neophyte
Member # 6523

Icon 1 posted      Profile for shine     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Defining clothes by gender is simply outdated. I see plenty of boys in skirts around here. : )

[This message has been edited by shine (edited 01-13-2002).]


Posts: 13 | From: Minneapolis | Registered: Jan 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

Quick Reply
Message:

HTML is not enabled.
UBB Code™ is enabled.

Instant Graemlins
   


Post New Topic  Post A Reply Close Topic   Feature Topic   Move Topic   Delete Topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:


Contact Us | Get the Whole Story! Go Home to SCARLETEEN: Sex Ed for the Real World | Privacy Statement

Copyright 1998, 2014 Heather Corinna/Scarleteen
Scarleteen.com: Providing comprehensive sex education online to teens and young adults worldwide since 1998

Information on this site is provided for educational purposes. It is not meant to and cannot substitute for advice or care provided by an in-person medical professional. The information contained herein is not meant to be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease, or for prescribing any medication. You should always consult your own healthcare provider if you have a health problem or medical condition.

Powered by UBB.classic™ 6.7.3