Words of warning and welcome:

This is very much my blog, so don't be surprised if this doesn't follow accepted patterns and norms. Obviously it started out as a blog about my cross-dressing but it has developed a great deal since then. It is a place where I can be anonymous and honest, and I appreciate that.

It will deal with many things and new readers would do well to check out the New Readers' Page above this and the tag down there on the right. Although there's nothing too bad in here there will be adult language, so be careful. If you think this needs a greater control, please let me know. Thank you!

Thursday, 12 December 2013

Confluences

Is it my blog without a wedding picture every now and
then?

Eh, the extra connotation of pink on boys as a
gay thing is arguably as bad as the original
pink = girls assumption.
I have heard and seen more and more about the equalisation of colour and choices in early childhood. The idea that there are no feminine traits or masculine traits, there are simply things that children do and the way in which they behave. The boys who do not mind, or actively seek, pink; the girls who are tomboys; the boys who wear tutus and dresses and so on. The Boy does this too, and my Girlie, both often behave and enjoy things that are outside of the societal norm attributed to their physical gender to the extent that it has me questioning what femininity and masculinity are beyond a societal expectation that we learn. Certainly I would argue that what we see as these things is highly coloured by what we are told they should be by the generations that went before us rather than something that is set by birth and by nature.







Juana Galan and an army of women turned
the tide in Napoleon's invasion of Spain as
recently as 1805. And women were in the
home and nowhere else? I think not.
My understanding of gender politics through History tells a similar story. Contrary to what the Industrial Revolution likes to teach us (and, in particular, those bastard Victorians) men and women did not operate in terribly different spheres for much of human history. Certainly there was a distinction in some areas of Church (and I include Judaism in this) whereby the Priesthood was a definably male arena, but even this had much in the way of female participation that has been ironed out by the Industrial Revolution. For the most part, ordinary lives appear to have been rather distinctly genderless, in that roles that were open were open to either gender. Historical records of prehistoric peoples encountered by more modern observers suggests that people displaying traits of more than one gender were often minor celebrities or assumed to be spiritually stronger than those who did not. The fact that such points come up in just general reading around the subject suggests that these attitudes and ideas are rather common.





She looked like this.
Tonight, I was on the phone to my mother and she happened to mention the saga of me cavorting for the amusement of a girl in primary school. Most of my friends would go home for lunches and I stayed at school, meaning that I was invariably bored and lonely at lunchtimes. At first I remember playing alone or just being lonely. I would stand in the sunlight in cold days and make-believe that I was solar powered. I would sit on the low wall between playgrounds and cry. I would sing to myself out of line of sight of other children. However, at some point in juniors, I happened across three(?) girls who I always assumed were younger than I. I drew upon storytelling and would put on a play for them with silly voices and the loosest of narratives (I was between seven and ten, let's not assume too much here). My mother suggested that this was because I fancied someone at that age. If I can recall my motivations correctly I don't believe that it was like that. As far as I can remember my own intense loneliness and boredom coupled with my general desire to please and be praised to give me the impetus to 'play' for the benefit of others.

A happy teacher.
Yes, I guess I can claim that now.
At work the praise continues, which is nice but bad for my ego. I have barely been there a full term and long-serving teachers are pointing NQTs, trainees and colleagues to observe me and my lessons because of the good press I get from students. Apparently I am well known by staff that I have never met through the reputation that I have with students for being engaging and interesting. This, though flattering, is dangerous stuff as I can already feel myself taking greater risks with what I do and how I teach. Not sure if that is a good or bad thing. Feminism is weaker here than at where I used to work, as is tolerance of most things. For one, students here still use 'gay' as a derogatory term. I didn't realise how much that had been eradicated in where I used to work, I haven't heard the term as a derogatory term for about four years! Then there's the sexual dimension. Where I worked, we joked about it, but the school was remarkably accepting of homosexuality and trans* in general. Where I am is more... mainstream, in that attitudes are not as accepting nor as understanding as I am used to.

Men fight battles, women wage war.
Yes. Of course. Right.
Over the last few days Tilly has had another friend over (there was a visit over the weekend from another too) who has stayed in the spare room. She is nice, we shall call her Vanessa, and polite. Her and Tilly go a ways back (no, not sure how far) and they share a number of tastes in the historical fiction vein so they ended up watching The White Queen last night on a kind of marathon. This brought up much in terms of the power of females in medieval times in the British Isles and the matriarchal nature of clan structures in the fringes and possibly in the main areas of towns and cities too (though the latter is hard to trace).

Subversion in societal artifices.
All of these things make me wonder what the motivation really is for me dressing the way I do on occasion. I rescued the wig that Tilly was throwing out and added it to my horde. But why? If expectations of femininity and masculinity are artifices created by society and, more to the point, relatively modern and unnatural, then what does that suggest about cross-dressing? On this basis, the need for it to be specifically feminine would suggest that what I do is equally artificial and relatively modern, predicated on modern society's perception of gender roles and social genderised mores. If I had been born and lived in another time period then it is highly unlikely that my desires would remain the same - further suggesting that what I do is unnatural in that it only occurs in my present position and in the present time. By that reckoning cross-dressing as I understand it, use it and enjoy it is a peculiarly First World activity. My own motivations and predilictions in another society would have resulted in different behaviours. That would imply that Tilly is 'right' to reject my cross-dressing as abnormal and not worthy of actual discussion - what would there be to actually be discussed. Or, and this is the semi-frightening part for me - cross-dressing cannot be separated from GID.

In this analysis then, cross-dressing is a natural stepping stone or watered down version of the feeling that one is in the wrong physical body. After all, clothing is one of the most societal artifices that I can name and so there is no real need to feel that clothes must be designed for the opposite gender. I can trawl through human history and find times and places where any female attire was male and vice versa. So, my urge and desire to cross-dress cannot be motivated purely on the basis of 'girls get better clothes' or 'forbidden fruit'. This only really leaves the desire to fulfil a role and position that society has deemed as feminine. If that is the case then the natural part of the urge, that is, the part that is not learned (and my musings on this suggests that there is such a part of what I do) implies that what is really going on is jealousy on some level. That I actually do wish to be united with a physical form that matches my internal feelings on the matter. This, in turn, suggests that on some level I consider myself mentally female, hence GID. In that case, my protestations about my male parts would be a case of Juliet protesting rather too much and the danger, worry and thus disgust espoused by my spouse would be not only understandable but almost expected. I would not be the man she fell in with at all, I would, in fact, be a woman who had hidden herself from Tilly rather well (and from herself too). I would be more Joanna/Rebecca than the male persona I inhabit.


2 comments:

  1. Your thoughts are fascinating when on your game as here, Jo, but, by gawd, you think too much. I cannot argue with any of your conclusions, but you are so hard on yourself, like you aren't entitled to your own complicated humanity like the rest of us. You are, ahem, like the rest of us.

    Forgive yourself, girl.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I shall burn a bit with flushed cheeks that you find my post fascinating first, thank you!

      And yes, thinking too much is definitely one of my less-nice qualities. As for being like the rest of us, I'm afraid I can't claim that, I've seen your pictures Leslie, you look much better than I (and you write significantly better too!) so there! :p

      And yes, I shall try.

      Delete

All comments are welcome, I have a thicker skin virtually than I do in real life!