Monday, 22 August 2016

dressing the part

People dress similarly because they want to fit in. Of course that is the short and simplistic answer.

My point is that its greatly learned behavior and you will note how much people fall in line every time there is a change of style in clothing. Of course these changes are aligned with gender norms but the idea is the same. If there were no stigma associated with breaking the rules you would see much more variety in the way people chose to garb their bodies.

This is the one aspect of gender that is greatly based on copying and can be altered.

The problem in the past was about divergence being frowned upon rather than doing what people preferred and the outlaws were few and far between. Much of our adherence was tied to not wanting to be shunned or ridiculed and so we fell in line in order not to stand out too much. Yes some rebelled during their teens and artists stretched the limits in order to be more daring and avant-garde but in general there was mostly conformance.

The faux masculinity of my era and that of my father before made sure that people like me felt like failures. To not measure up to their standard was to be less of a man but we know this not be true today and just like women are not June Cleaver mopping up their kitchen in high heels, men are adopting alternate models of masculinity that are far less rigid. Hence I don't need to be shamed for indulging in a version of femininity that soothes my gender dysphoria and sees me espouse the literal meaning of transgender as transcending the binary.

My son knows why I shave my legs and recently he noted that many of his peers are doing the same because they prefer the way it looks. The stigma of doing such a thing is now gone and in fact to have too much hair is considered unsightly. He is wondering if he might not do the same at some point down the road although I know he won't be crossdressing.

Vive la difference!

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