If I have one regret, and hell, I have a few, it’s that I really fall foul of the standard guilt-ridden T-Gurl archetype. I get great joy from dressing, and then after a month or so of ruminating I get guilt which is often followed by the short-term cathartic exercise of purging all my girlie things.
Why on earth do we do this?
I don’t want to come off like a poor-man’s self-help tape but in the grand scale of things what have we to be guilty about? It’s a fashion choice for some of us, rather than a lifestyle choice, and both of those are entirely the remit of the individual. But we do – I’ve seen countless stories of guilt-ridden gurls tossing collections of shoes, frocks, wigs, undergarments, the whole hog.
For me it’s the upbringing. I’m not blaming my parents, I decided a long time ago that their values and my values were a different kettle of fish, but for some reason there’s a deep nugget of good old fashioned catholic-style guilt in the middle of my brain that says it’s just WRONG.
But it’s not. I pride myself on being a non-sexist but occasionally I do get a flare of jealousy around the fact that we, as a society in the western hemisphere, have embraced feminism well but not trans-feminism.
Some days I wake up and I don’t want to be the middle-aged cynic who has all of his clothes in four plastic boxes (in case you’re interested – socks/pants/t-shirts/other). I want to be the ditzy housewife in a comfortable tea-dress. I want to be the flirty girl in a slightly too-short dress. But that’s not a culturally acceptable option at this point.
Granted, we’ve got it good right now. There’s a ground-swell of popular interest in trans-rights, freedom of gender and the like (although the US is being a little, err, intransigent in some states), we’ve got the internet which gives us shy-shoppers access to whatever we want to buy. We’ve got good social options, we’ve got current media interest and support.
But there’s still that little demon in the back of my head who I have to keep under control with frequent beatings. He’s the one that says ’empty the closet so you can huddle back in there’.
So going back to my one regret – there are many, many beautiful outfits that I binned that I’d love to have again. On the plus side, more room in the closet for new frocks.
So, ending on a semi-serious note – if you’re like me (and sorry if you are) then just remember that it’s not a flaw. It’s a bonus – you get to experience both sides of the gender gap. When you’re done dressing you can go back to the male-centric society as ‘one of them’. And when you’re dressing you can enjoy the emotions, the feel, the smell, the rush of being a girl. And that’s a girl with an ‘i’.
Stay beautiful, sweeties….
3 thoughts on “Joy, guilt, purge, repeat….”
“…the US is being a little, err, intransigent in some states…”
that’s one way of putting it. not to completely open the can of worms, but have you heard we have 11 states suing the federal government over equal access for trans students? and at least one state* is calling for presidential impeachment over it? even better, in some places there are brave vigilantes (men, of course) patrolling outside women’s restrooms to keep everyone safe from the trans menace. what exactly they are looking for, i don’t know, but i bet they would incorrectly stop this person, but not look twice at this one. kind of how it’s always been. they had best watch out for this woman, though.
ok, sorry, had to get that off my bra-covered chest.
i’ve read the advice that when you feel the need to purge, you should instead box up all your things and put them away somewhere, like the garage or attic. seems like a much less expensive option. thankfully, i have not yet gone through a purge, but i have, on occasion, had the impulse to quit. i think i’m much too cheap (in the frugal sense), though, to get rid of my things. in a way, i think i’ve bought myself into a perpetual habit – and i don’t even have anything that’s particularly expensive.
and yes, the double-standard is nonsense. a woman could wear an outfit identical to the one i am wearing right now, and no one would bat an eyelash, but heaven forbid i wear anything that is actually ‘pretty’ (unless the rest of me looks like a girl). it’s a little hard to complain about, given the huge number of gender double-standards that work in the other direction, but it’s still a bunch of bs.
* this is the same state that recently held that rape is not rape if the victim is unable to refuse. yup, god bless the usa.
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Recycling all your female attire due to Catholic guilt resonated for me too – especially when I was a lot younger. OMG! I can’t even spell Catholic without capitalising the word. Brainwashing or what!
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Son/daughter of strict Roman Catholic mother here …..hello!
I wore a white summer dress that was in a dressing up box when I was 6/7 years of age and was punished by being made to sit at the dining room table wearing it and in front of my Nan and sisters. I think that’s why I never got any further than the occasional skirt and blouse. Throughout my life even when I’ve dabbled I’ve had pangs of anger/guilt and just taken everything off in a hurry! I haven’t even bought much throughout my life in terms of female clothing but what I have bought I can safely say has long since gone. I won’t slag off my mum or dad as they were good parents(I know that sounds contradictory) , they just were from a different era and their teachings were different .
I only go to church for weddings and funerals now .
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