On crossdressing

Discussion of fashion elements and looks that are traditionally considered somewhat "femme" but are presented in a masculine context. This is NOT about transvestism or crossdressing.

On crossdressing

Postby moonshadow » Mon Nov 16, 2015 6:41 am

I posted this in the "London" thread originally, however despite the small section on page one of the London thread that touched on the issue of crossdressing, by page two, the thread had turned back onto it's original topic. Then what to I do? Haul off and hijack the thread AGAIN! :oops:

So anyway, I thought.... why not make a fresh thread to share this thought..... so I cut the comment (control X), deleted the old one, and now will repost it here....so here goes (hope it's still in my copy clipboard, otherwise I'm going to bed)..... control......V:


On crossdressing:

Amber and I had this discussion yesterday, and I shared my opinion on the matter with her, I will now repeat the jist of my position with you all on this everlasting subject.

Men who wear women's clothes are crossdressing. Women who wear men's clothes are crossdressing.

Now before you fire up the flare gun, hear me out.....

My skirts, belong to ME. I am a man. Thus they are not "women's skirts", they do not belong to the female gender. They belonged to the store who sold them, until I purchased them, then they became my skirt, thus I am wearing a MAN'S SKIRT.... because I AM A MAN. If my wife should wear one of MY SKIRTS, then I'm of the opinion that she is the crossdresser. I feel the question of crossdressing comes down to ownership of the garment, verses who is actually wearing it. A man, or a woman for that matter who simply dons a piece of fabric, cut and stitched in such a way to resemble a socially familiar garment, like a pair of pants, or a skirt, then by him or her cladding the garment in question simply does NOT change the definition of who this individual is! It's just clothing for God's sake!

I used the example of a unisex common t-shirt. I pointed to Amber's shirt and explained to her, "that shirt, it is for men or women, yet you are wearing it, it is YOUR shirt". Although it is designed for either men or women, it currently belongs to a woman. If I should wear that shirt, then I would be a man wearing a shirt that belongs to a woman, thus I would be a crossdresser. If you give the shirt to me to keep, then I am not a crossdresser.

Look at the Macabi skirt. A skirt marketed towards men and women. If a man wears a Macabi does that make him a crossdresser? No? It's a skirt isn't it? Long before I was wearing skirts I was wearing t-shirts with fairy drawings on them. These fairies are very feminine (and quite sexy too I might add), but I think they were more marketed towards women... was I crossdressing when I wore the shirts simply because of the drawing on the front? What makes a skirt a crossdressing skirt anyway.... lace? Ruffles? an inner slip? No pockets? Or is it simply the dreaded "WOMENS" tag on the back.... a tag, is the same as a label. "Man maketh no rule than canst be bent" The only LAWS that are ABSOLUTE are the laws of NATURE. And nature doesn't care what we wear or what we call our selves.

I realize that my opinion on this may fall in the minority, and is contrary to virtually ALL standard definitions of "crossdresser", however I do maintain that the argument DOES HOLD WATER. After all, women can wear clothes from either side of the isle and they are not considered crossdressers, and I believe it is for THIS VERY REASON. Why should men have to play by different fashion rules than women? Why are we so restricted, and labeled in so many different ways simply because we have a penis?

Now, to move into the stereotypical "crossdresser" as in, the man who actually wants to resemble a woman, and perhaps even go so far as the feel like a woman, well that's a whole different ball of wax. These are men who are actively trying to look and pass as a woman, and there does appear to be somewhat of a sexual fetish to it. Are they truly crossdressers? Well that's a different debate, and I don't have a horse in that race so I won't take it up. I also feel as though it really doesn't pertain to most of us here on this site.

The bottom line is, regardless of the fact that some of us wear dresses, feminine skirts, hose, shoes from the woman's isle, paint our finger nails and toe nails, I maintain that as long as we still IDENTIFY as a man, then we are simply a "man wearing a skirt, dress, hose, shoes, painted nails, etc". We are NOT crossdressers. If for no other reason than the simple fact (I reiterate) that women can dress as men and THEY are not considered crossdressers! What is the difference?

There is none, aside from the fact that in western society, women simply have more social freedom than men do. It's just that simple.
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Re: On crossdressing

Postby Caultron » Mon Nov 16, 2015 3:32 pm

We all here like dressing in clothes normally associated with the opposite sex. Maybe that's cross-dressing and maybe it's not. But impersonating a woman and unconventionally wearing skirts because of their style do reflect fundamentally different mindsets.

Even though the end result is much the same.

So what's in a name? I suppose the term, "cross-dressing," holds negative associations for some of us, and that's why we shrink away from it.

But In the end we are who we are, regardless of what label we or anyone else puts on us. So much for semantics.
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Re: On crossdressing

Postby Barefoot Joe » Mon Nov 16, 2015 3:48 pm

I'm not sure if it's really that simple. Sure you can state that you don't belong in the crossdresser labeled box, but unfortunately all the other people have their very own boxes and because they use societies rules for it, we end up in their crossdresser box. Or worse. ;) I dont think we can do much about it except wearing our skirts with pride in public until society learned that men can wear skirts and are not crossdressing at all. As I can't do anything against other people labeling me in any way they like, I just don't care about it anymore. See me as crossdresser, as gay, as a man with skirt fetish, as weirdo, I just don't care. And what's the big deal of being seen as a crossdresser anyway? Heck, I even don't see the problem of being one? Im the last one who wants to pass as woman, but I have a deep respect for them, because they share more than the same trouble with us skirt wearing men and have the balls to go through all this hassle just to follow their dreams.
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Re: On crossdressing

Postby Caultron » Mon Nov 16, 2015 4:27 pm

Barefoot Joe wrote:...we end up in their crossdresser box. Or worse...

The trick is not to view the crossdresser box as negative, but as just a label that may or may not apply, depending on each person's mindset.
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Re: On crossdressing

Postby Ralph » Mon Nov 16, 2015 6:51 pm

Barefoot Joe wrote:I'm not sure if it's really that simple. Sure you can state that you don't belong in the crossdresser labeled box, but unfortunately all the other people have their very own boxes and because they use societies rules for it, we end up in their crossdresser box.

Yes, that's it exactly.

Here's the thing about language: Language works because a society all more or less unanimously agree that certain words carry certain connotations. You have chosen to define "crossdresser" as "someone who wears clothes owned by another person"; in the same way I could decide that "genius" means "someone who can usually remember his own name with minimal assitance" and brag to the world that I am a genius. But because most of the people in the community of English speakers have a different expectation of what it means to be a genius, the only person I'm fooling is myself.

As Joe said, society believes that crossdressing refers not to who owns the clothes you are wearing, but who the intended wearer of such clothes should be. Further, society believes (with notable exceptions like ourselves) that skirts and dresses are for women only -- and up until the middle of the last century, trousers were for men only. So when a man wears a skirt or a dress, by society's expectations of what men are supposed to wear, that man is crossdressing.

Absolutely, we all wish it were not so. And perhaps some day in the distant future, men wearing dresses and skirts will be as acceptable and unremarkable as women wearing trousers. But until that day comes, we will be considered crossdressers no matter how we try to put a more positive spin on the words.

I fear that our struggle will be much more difficult than the struggle women went through to be allowed to wear trousers, and here's why: For all our advances in gender equality, underneath the veneer of politeness society still regards women as weaker, inferior. (you know, I'm really getting sick of what society dictates is proper). When a woman dresses in clothes traditionally associated with men, she is perceived as improving her condition, rising up to the higher status of maleness. But when a man dresses in clothes traditionally associated with women, he is perceived as degrading himself to a lower social status. A man who would voluntarily want to be less than a man? Preposterous!

Does that make sense? Again, let me stress that I don't agree with society -- hence the closet full of dresses -- but that's what I believe is holding us back.
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Re: On crossdressing

Postby partlyscot » Mon Nov 16, 2015 7:36 pm

moonshadow wrote:My skirts, belong to ME. I am a man. Thus they are not "women's skirts", they do not belong to the female gender. They belonged to the store who sold them, until I purchased them, then they became my skirt, thus I am wearing a MAN'S SKIRT.... because I AM A MAN.
You're not alone in that opinion.http://redqueencoder.com/wp-content/upl ... Izzard.jpg
I went looking for this specific interview question/answer, and found it on a blog, alongside this comment.

I like to express myself through what I wear. The idea that I would be constrained to wearing one kind of thing for the rest of my life or else be considered socially deviant crushes my soul.

moonshadow wrote:There is none, aside from the fact that in western society, women simply have more social freedom than men do. It's just that simple.
I agree that Women have more freedom in this regard, for the most part, but I don't feel any of it is simple.

The following comments are my opinion, and should not be taken to be statements on why any of you wear, what you do, or do not wear.

It is my opinion, that there are many reasons to want to wear unconventional items of clothing, I don't think, in a lot of cases, that it is possible to definitely conclude all the various interlocking aspects, and which ones do, or do not, apply.

I used to identify as a crossdresser. Why? Well, I'm wearing items of Women's clothing, isn't that it right there? I didn't pursue the thought further, because I was all wrapped up in the guilt/shame thing. My GF's reaction when I told her, which was a non-event, and her complete acceptance of it as a non issue, allowed me to examine the feelings and drives behind it, and to realize that I didn't have to go the "whole hog" and so, eventually, I ended up where I am today, comfortable and accepted when wearing my skirts to work and pretty much everywhere else.

Part of it is the comfort, part the fact that I've got damn good legs and am proud of them, part of it is a reaction to being told, "No, you can't" ... "Why the f#$** not?" There are other reasons, but that covers the basics.

I accept, that technically, according to some definitions, I am a crossdresser, and even that I'm TG. My opinion is that some of those definitions rely on what constitutes "feminine" or femininity, which is where I go off saying "Where do you get those definitions, and who determines them?" It is also useful to look at it from the other side, I consider myself a feminist, and the attitudes that strengthen that are the ones that say "Women shouldn't do that" .. 'Why"

There is nothing wrong with being TG, TS, Gay, Lesbian, Bi-sexual, Pan-sexual, or anything else. Be who you are, and do what you want, as long as it doesn't cause others harm. (If it makes you uncomfortable because of your beliefs and/or upbringing, that's your problem) It should be perfectly OK to think about, discuss, seek opinion, to find out what or where you lie in your Gender, Orientation, Sexuality, or anything else.

My opinion on what constitutes crossdressing, is whether there is any aspect of it that is trying to mimic the female form. Are you trying to enhance an hour glass figure? Are you trying to show off cleavage? Exaggerate hips? It gets a bit cloudy sometimes, because there are some areas where that stuff can cross over. Then there are some features strongly associated with "masculine" that can look good on a Woman. I'm not going to criticize anyone for wanting to wear a particular item, but I might express doubts about it from the standpoint of wearing it myself. I admit that some of my attitudes have changed, and continue to do so. Face to face, I try to be polite, but am not above saying it's not my thing. As long as others are polite to me, I have no objections to them expressing their doubts, or even sniggering to themselves later. (I'm sure some do) They can even snigger to my face, I think I'm confident enough to rebut their opinions in person.
Last edited by partlyscot on Mon Nov 16, 2015 11:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: On crossdressing

Postby partlyscot » Mon Nov 16, 2015 7:44 pm

Ralph wrote:
Barefoot Joe wrote:
I fear that our struggle will be much more difficult than the struggle women went through to be allowed to wear trousers, and here's why: For all our advances in gender equality, underneath the veneer of politeness society still regards women as weaker, inferior. (you know, I'm really getting sick of what society dictates is proper). When a woman dresses in clothes traditionally associated with men, she is perceived as improving her condition, rising up to the higher status of maleness. But when a man dresses in clothes traditionally associated with women, he is perceived as degrading himself to a lower social status. A man who would voluntarily want to be less than a man? Preposterous!
Quite a bit of truth in that. I will say, that there are changes happening, much more in some parts of the world than in others. It will be a muti-generation thing, though. So many attitudes are far too embedded, we are often completely unaware because it is the very air we breathe. I feel that wearing skirts and dresses and anything else like that is us doing our part to make some of the changes needed. I feel fortunate that I live in a country that is further along that path than many others, and work for a company that is further along than most in this country.
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Re: On crossdressing

Postby Barefoot Joe » Mon Nov 16, 2015 9:01 pm

partlyscot wrote:I went looking for this specific interview question/answer, and found it on a blog, alongside this comment.


Found the complete interview on YT: http://youtu.be/gHPh9j7lc58
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Re: On crossdressing

Postby dillon » Tue Nov 17, 2015 2:12 am

I enjoyed that interview, though by the definitions I carry around mentally, i.e. of my own mental imagery, I probably wouldn't call Eddie Izzard either a transvestite or a crossdresser.

We all attach our own uses to terms, and for me, crossdresser evokes the image of a closeted male, possibly TG, who dresses as a female secretly, for sexual arousal, though never intending to step out in public. Transvestite, to me, implies a male who is probably TG, and dresses as a woman to be in public, perhaps as a matter of gender identity and/or sexual arousal. The transvestite tries to emulate a female as best he can, and worries that he will be discovered, but still desires to "pass" publically and takes the risks that provide satisfaction. A drag queen also dresses to pass as a woman, but doesn't necessarily care if people see through his disguise. In fact, he may realize the impossibility of his "passing" but still feels the desire to publically identify as a woman; the absurdity factor may add to his satisfaction or arousal, and may lead him to make his outfits bizarre or outlandish. Anyway, those are the associations I have with the terms; each association is my own and mine alone.

So, I cant really figure where Eddie would fit in. Not really in any of these, I would say. He clearly understands he isn't passing, and doesnt seem to care to pass, yet his outfits and looks are smart and stylish and not outrageous caricatures of women. That's why I find him so cool, I guess, not to neglect his razor-sharp wit.

BTW, I also think Lindsey Graham is a lesbian passing as a male US Senator...
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Re: On crossdressing

Postby Caultron » Tue Nov 17, 2015 2:35 am

Does liking to wear skirts and actually doing so make me a crossdresser?

Maybe or maybe not, depending on one's definition.

But either way, so what? My world is the same.
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Re: On crossdressing

Postby dillon » Tue Nov 17, 2015 3:14 am

Caultron wrote:Does liking to wear skirts and actually doing so make me a crossdresser?

Maybe or maybe not, depending on one's definition.

But either way, so what? My world is the same.


I would say no to answer that question, primarily because you do so for fashion and comfort, and (I am presuming) not because you are trying to be mistaken for female. It may not be unfair to say that I am splitting hairs in that regard, because there is no definable point at which those like me, who see ourselves as "borrowing" or as i like to say, "appropriating" fashion or style traditionally reserved for the fairer sex, cross an invisible line which makes us crossdressers. There isnt much about this that's black and white, and it's mostly shades of grey. The main point is that whatever we wear for whatever reasons, it hurts no one.
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Re: On crossdressing

Postby moonshadow » Tue Nov 17, 2015 3:16 am

Good interview. He basically said the exact same thing I did, regarding the dresses being "his" dresses and not womens.

Now you'll recall I never claimed my position was the socially accepted one, of course I realize it's not (hence the rant), I just don't think it's right. Just because it's socially acceptable, doesn't make it right. I think we all know that once upon a time, many things that would appall us today were once socially acceptable. Definitions of words are amended and changed all of the time.

As we look up the google definition for "crossdresser", we see:
Cross-dressing is the act of wearing items of clothing and other accoutrements commonly associated with the opposite sex within a particular society.


So hypothetically, if men wearing what is today considered women's clothing, one day become common attire for men in our society, then it would no longer be crossdressing. But did the clothes change? Did the men who wear them change? No, society changed. As as a general rule, society is slow to change unless someone, or a group of people push the change.

I do see a clear difference between the "classic crossdresser" and what most of us here represent. Most of what was pointed out in Dillons comment that said it very well. Since there is a clear difference, there must be a different definition for simply a "man wearing his skirt" to clear up confusion to the uninitiated. The status quo must be challenged, or it will never change.

Now, I also want to state for the record that I do not view crossdressers negatively. To each his own. I will go on to say that I don't think there is any shame in crossdressing.

To be clear, it's not the crossdresser I have a problem with.... it's the word. It represents a gender double standard, a theme that is all to common, especially in modern America. Double standards are something I have a hard time accepting, especially when I'm on the loosing end. Regardless of the fact of the matter, the world will continue to view me when I wear one of my feminine skirts as a perverted crossdresser*, and I will NEVER be taken seriously. This is why I can't wear such clothing on job interviews, yet women can.

*I'm not saying crossdressers are perverts, I'm saying that's how I feel the general populous views them. It's not right, it's not fair, and if the shoe was on the other foot (no pun intended) it would NOT be tolerated!

If a man wants to have a little private fun in clothes from the other side of the isle, that's his business, however I look forward to the day when I can practice a professional life (as women can) wearing a tasteful skirt of my choice, and not be ridiculed for it.

However at the end of the day... like Caultron said.... it is just a word, nothing more it doesn't change who we are. I guess that will have to do.
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Re: On crossdressing

Postby Caultron » Tue Nov 17, 2015 4:26 am

dillon wrote:...There isnt much about this that's black and white, and it's mostly shades of grey. The main point is that whatever we wear for whatever reasons, it hurts no one...

There you are, call it what you will.
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Re: On crossdressing

Postby denimini » Tue Nov 17, 2015 5:49 am

I think it is all a state of mind of whether one is crossdressing or not.
I am definitely not crossdressing. I am just wearing clothes of my personal choice. Most of my skirts are from charity shops and previously owned by women so maybe they are "womens skirts". Observers will think what ever they like but thankfully I am beyond caring. Some young girls asked me the other day "is that a girls skirt that you are wearing" and I just said "yes" and that was that. I could have carried on with a long winded rationalisation which prompted more questions but ultimately would have got no more acceptance or respect than I did.
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Re: On crossdressing

Postby skirtyscot » Tue Nov 17, 2015 9:50 am

You're touch on a good point, denimini. The answer "it's a man's skirt because it's mine and I'm a man" is correct to our minds, but does it persuade many people? Some will accept our reasoning, but most will continue to think what they always thought.

But some is better than none, and how can you tell when you are speaking to one of the open-minded? Children are often open to new ideas. The ones who asked about your skirt hadn't just pointed at you and run away sniggering. They had plucked up the courage to ask about it. Let's say you had given the above answer. Obvious retort "but skirts are for girls". You: " Girls get to choose between skirts and trousers. Why shouldn't boys?" Not a long conversation, and an appeal fairness. Children tend to be big on fairness. Always worth a try!
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