Thursday, October 27, 2011

Crossdressing

Monday is Halloween. We're going to put Marla in a chicken suit. It will be awesome. As for me...well, we'll get to that.

So...two Halloweens ago, I donned a Little Red Riding Hood dress and took to the streets of Chapel Hill on Halloween night. It was fun. Interesting, too.

Fact is, that actually wasn't my first attempt with crossdressing. Or the last. I think it's fun. If you're a man and you're married to a woman who is roughly the same size as you (and who is fairly open-minded), you're going to have some fun with that, right? No shame here. I mean, it's just clothes. Who cares?

But most men won't admit to having such a curiosity, or to trying on their wife's clothes, and especially wondering what one would look like fully "made up" as a woman. Crossdressing, and gender-bending in general, is a pretty taboo thing, and I think that's too bad. I can't speak from the woman's perspective, but from the man's perspective, men are taught to be manly men, and God forbid we cross that boundary. You see this in society nearly every day, whether it's the controversy over the "boy with pink toenails" J. Crew ad, or the "That's not the least manly thing you've done today" beer commercials (which I am not a fan of, for the record). Since when were boys not allowed to have painted toenails? And since when was it a bad thing for a man to cry before his wife/girlfriend leaves town? Women actually like a sensitive man, you know. Why are guys such jerks? Because of the pressure society puts on them to be "manly". It's not like this everywhere in the world, though. For instance, Russian male ballet dancers are national heroes. But if a little American boy wants to do ballet, well, he's a "sissy". You don't want to do ballet, son. Ballet is for girls. Why can't you participate in a MANLY activity, like FOOTBALL!!!! I don't know if crossdressing is as taboo in Europe as it is here, but it's definitely taboo here. I think there's also a Bible verse which says that crossdressing is an "abomination", or something like that.

On Halloween, all that goes out the window. It is the only day of the year in which you can crossdress in public and not be judged for it. (Or, at least, not near as much.) Wear a dress to the mall on October 31st, and it's, "Hey, nice costume!" And it doesn't really matter how much effort you put into it, either. You don't even have to shave! Anything goes on Halloween. But wear a dress any other day, and...well, that's "weird", right? Strangers may or may not judge you (depending on how convincing you are), your friends will definitely judge you, and God forbid your parents ever find out!!!

Perhaps the same could be said for any Halloween costume...or, perhaps not. Consider the following two hypothetical scenarios, both of which take place in the middle of April:

1) I show up to a social function dressed as a pirate. People look at me weird, ask what the pirate costume is about. I say, "I just felt like dressing like a pirate today. We've all had those days, right?" People say, "Ha. Okay...whatever", maybe have a good laugh, and move on. Depending on what kind of social function this is, not that big a deal, really. People's perceptions of me have not been adversely affected.

2) I show up to a social function dressed as a woman. People look at me weird, ask what the women's clothing is about. I say, "I just felt like dressing like a woman today. We've all had those days, right?" People are shocked and don't know what to say at this point. Some people are very offended by the idea. Depending on what kind of social function this is, I may risk losing friends over it, or being asked to leave altogether. People's perceptions of me have been adversely affected.

Well...there's always Halloween. In case you haven't figured it out by now, I'm considering wearing a dress on Monday. I mean, it's just clothes. Who cares?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

AMEN!!!!!!!!!!