Stop the presses! I need to share something deep and shocking….
I am not a cross-dresser.
Bear with me, it’s not that radical a statement. I hate the term ‘cross-dresser’, it sounds like a angry wardrobe lady. It’s one of those phrases that has been created by a man to describe something he doesn’t understand.
I’ll take a step back. Yeah, cross-dresser is a bad translation of transvestite, which in itself is a pretty soulless way of describing a condition that personally fills me with wonder and joy.
Trans-vestite, trans meaning across/over, vestite meaning dressed (vestitus). Very descriptive.
So, I’m not a cross-dresser for a number of reasons, not just because the term is way too clinical. My choice of clothing does not reflect my born gender. So what? What it is about the dressing of a man in woman’s clothing that scares authority?
It’s a bit political at the moment. America is on the verge of flailing back into the 19th century courtesy of someone who really shouldn’t be in the position he is in, surrounded by very white, very WASPish advisors. Already they are making some very draconian statements and changes to rules around women’s rights. The LGBT pages on the White House website have gone. Darkness is starting to gather at the edges of society, and a storm is on the way.
But why, from the perspective of the T-person?
What is so threatening about a man choosing to dress and act as a woman? Given the way that the the majority of men treat women I would have thought that having more men behave as the opposite sex would be encouraged. Gives them more people to mistreat and look down on, and less competition.
And we arrive at my point, in an abstract and around-the-houses way. I’m probably the least sexist person you will ever encounter. I bend over backwards in my life to treat everyone as equals. I don’t see women as less than me simply because the womb I gestated in was a couple of degrees higher than that of a girl.
It’s that simple. The temperature in the womb. And that difference causes the chemical choice that takes you, as a *female* embryo, and flicks the internal switch that makes your sexual organs poke out rather than suck in. It’s nothing.
So why are men such idiots when it comes to treating women?
I know that’s a sweeping statement that will offend a tonne of renaissance men but we, and yes I class myself as new man as well as a retro-gurl, are a minority.
Men are stronger. As such we treat women as weaker and somewhat inferior.
Newsflash geniuses, you may be the stronger sex but you’re nothing more than a warm packet of seeds. Don’t rise above your station. The minute woman can manufacture sperm you’re a dying subspecies.
So, men are naturally defined to be pig-headed and superior-acting. We’re very lucky (up until Trump of course) to live in a progressive society, *but* we shouldn’t be congratulating ourselves. Women still, and this stunned me, get paid less for the same roles. In other parts of the world they are still treated as household appliances. We haven’t come that far from a period when the woman was treated as much less than the man.
It’s unfair, and it’s prevalent.
So where does that leave us in the middle? Well, that’s a difficult one.
I found myself in a meeting earlier this week not concentrating (I made an effort not to clean the last dregs of nail-varnish off of a tiny corner of one of my fingers, it looked like a little cut but I knew what it was and what it represented and I loved that it was there when I was portraying the rough, gruff, masculine role I pretend to have, and I was staring at that last vestige of Sarah) and at one point I deferred. I never defer especially when I’m right, but I found myself gently deferring to someone else who was being loud and brash.
It was a feminine move. It was surprising and not a little worrying. I deferred to the male in the room. Sure, I caught myself, but for an instant I had slipped into the defined role of the woman.
And the difference between myself and a genetic woman is that I enjoyed that feeling.
But I’m lucky, more lucky than I can say. And that is what makes me a T-Feminist. I have seen both sides of the mirror, and I enjoy both.
It’s a minefield on both sides. Men are arrogant and don’t realise the levels of inherent sexism they are all programmed to do. Women have had to live in that world for their entire lives and a lot of the coping mechanisms are not that pleasant – take the physicality out of responses and it gets very catty very quickly.
I’ll get back to gushing about frocks and trying to persuade myself that I’m not falling with one leg on each side of the bi-fence soon. This is just me trying to come to terms with the battlefield we’ve been given in the 21st century sphere of sexual politik.
If I had my way and it was possible I’d check out of the game. I hate the dog-eat-dog atmosphere of being around men, and I hate the social backbiting of the female world. I need a card in my wallet that says ‘T-Feminist, don’t assume anything’ that I can flash whenever I get dragged into a sexist scenario.
But hey, that’s not possible, so for now when I’m wearing drab I will try and be as pleasant as possible to everyone, and when Sarah comes along she can deal with the world whatever way she wants to (submissively, it seems).
And maybe we can all get through the next four years without being idiotic to each other.
So, to summarise – I am not a cross-dresser. I am me, and that’s good enough for now.
Stay beautiful and don’t get persecuted, you lovely, different, people.