Life is a Journey - Make sure you get the right roadmap to the universe

I'm quite sure I picked up the wrong one on my way out the door....

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Blue is for Girls, Pink is for Boys

What is it in society that determines what is designated proper for boys and what is proper girls?

Gender is simply a preconceived construct fabricated by society. It is a concept created by humans to categorize and segregate. Only humans understand the concept of gender. For animals and any other creatures, there is variance in sex, but no concept or construct of gender.

It is so fascinating to see what comes from the mouths of innocent children.... children who have not been indoctrinated to box themselves to a societal construct which serves simply to segregate, separate, polarize and isolate.

A recent video featured on ABC's Evening News was a refreshing reminder of what the unbiased young mind of a child knows....

How interesting it is, that societies pre-conception of what is inately masculine or feminine can change over the years.  I find it fascinating to know that high heeled shoes were initially worn by both men and women and that the modern French Heel was designed by King Louis  XIV.  As King Louis was not endowed with lofty stature and was somewhat vertically challenged, he often wore heels himself.  Perhaps owing to his insecurity in the height department, he did decry that no ones heels could be higher than his own... (Me wonders perhaps if there is any bearing to the Escalade driving men on our roads today ;) )   More on the history of heels at:  http://www.randomhistory.com/1-50/036heels.html  

The fascinating aspect of gender roles assertions seems to be the dichotomy inherent that allows women to dress in traditionally male garb but which precludes the same from men.  A woman so dressed androgynously or even sporting feminine versions of male attire is quite welcome in the business world as well, where a less feminine form of dress not only de-feminizes, but it has the tendency to increase the perceived status of the woman so presenting.  Unfortuntely, the reverse situation where a man may present in more feminine form, is seen as a less assertive and more passive realm.

My theory on this is that women have historically been considered part of the subservient gender role.  Women's liberation has helped to change much of that yet still, sexual and gender stereotyping remains at a low base level in the eyes of what has been a male dominated society.  Women are finding that in order to succeed in what was a traditionally male dominated world, that it becomes necessary to adopt to a more neutral form and presentation... one which suggested a more demure stature and towards a presentation which advocates presence and power.

The idea here is that a woman who presents in a more masculine manner asserts herself with greater perceived authority in a traditionally male world.  She moves "up" the social ladder in so doing.  A man who presents in feminine form makes what many would perceive as a step down on that ladder... giving up the quote-unquote "male privilege".  "Why would he want to be a woman?", some might ask of such a person.

One other area that arises to create a potential conflict occurs when there is a relationship between a transgender woman and a cis-gendered heterosexual mail which can abruptly give rise to a dichotomy in a male's perception and feelings.  Men who find a transgender woman attractive will find their emotional and physical senses stimulated.  But when they realize that they are being aroused by a person who may still be anatomically male, this creates a conundrum.  Those males who are most insecure with this disparity may resort to violence against the transgender woman.  For some males, eradicating the person eliminates the feeling of attraction and the perversity which they feel they are otherwise submitting to.

An intriguing article was written on this some time back by   Smithsonian.com which is well worth checking out.

From a personal standpoint, I have had numerous instances where males would both find me attractive yet find, upon realizing I am transgender, that they must laugh it off in order to try to deal with the confusing oppositions they are attempting to deal with in their own mind.   Fortunately, I've not had any more serious encounters than this.... but I do find personally, that the more sexually alluring I may dress, the more the dichotomy increases in the presence of males who know of my variance.  Needless to say, I dress down when out and about, just as many women do (but who may not be the subject of a transgender related hate crime).

As knowledge and understanding between what sex, sexual attraction and gender are... and how they are often not positively related, attitudes will change, understanding will increase and tolerance may yet one day become a more universal acceptance.

Keep a positive image and attitude, provide education at a basic level where one can, and be proud to be who you are when out and others will be assured and more comfortable as well  in your presence.  


"Self-confidence is the first requisite to great undertakings." - Samuel Johnson, (circa 1750)

5 comments:

Gail said...

yes, transgender women are at great risk for violence. to imply, however, that they are more at risk than non-trans women, when we are "out and about" or otherwise, is incorrect. a constant threat of danger..rape, domestic violence, assault, murder, misogyny and sexist piggery's the price one pays.

Christen Bustani said...

It may not be correct to ascertain that transgender women do not see increased levels of hate crimes as the data is often incomplete and many do not come forward for fear of being outed or for mistreatment. Studies are underway right now to come to terms with the numbers in the population of those who are transgender for which crimes have been committed in Edmonton, AB. The initial numbers coming in were staggeringly higher than anyone had imagined... If you would like the link to the report, I can contact my friend in Edmonton and follow up....

Sophie Lynne said...

Actually i was discussing this on the post I wrote for TG Forum today (It'll be posted monday). Numbers for violence vs trans people are higher than for natural women. Source; National Coalition of Anti-violence Programs

Diana Nicole B said...

the title reminds me of a joke of a baby boy and girl who prove to each other what they are based on the color of their booties LOL

but you are correct in what you have said.
as more professionals (Doctors, lawyers, judges and politicians ect.) come out and do so in a way that attempts to blend in to the fem world around them it does become more socially acceptable. this is why i never dress risque but rather always appropriate for the occasion. (Ie. it wouldn't be safe for a GG to dress "pretty" ether if she worked as a welder or machinist) i feel i must work harder than the average gg to blend in. also i feel i have somewhat of a responsibility to the rest of the transgendered community and since i still hold an active teaching license i don't want being transgendered to be misconstrued as something it is not.
just as those in the gay population have strived for acceptance, eventually much of the world will say " oh that's just ... my in-law , my sibling or my neighbor ect. it's no big deal" in meeting the world half way in terms of blending in we have a chance of acceptance. i have been pleasantly surprised with the kind reaction from my neighbors whom i have shared with one at a time. i usually show the profile photo when explaining how i dress. saying "always classy never risque".
i even had a situation where i needed to report an incident at the local police station while dressed and the the reaction was very positive. (i was dressed in a nice wool skirt, with a nice sweater along with dress boots)

even in the music world in the schools the students are sometimes perceived as playing a "guy" instrument or "girl" instrument yet in the professional musicians world this is for the most part not the case. one ether plays the chosen instrument well or not.

it's ironic in what started out as a "male" job ie. a typist, secretary or personal assistant changed and reversed the image due in part to the wars and the shortage of workers.

also we all fear the unknown including those who have never met a transgendered person but, this is no different than the ethnic and heritage issues every immigrant has faced over the years only more so in our case. as i said when it gets to a point where the average person knows someone like us it becomes less of an issue.

Joanie Barette said...

Though stature was most certainly King Louis' point. It by far was not the reason for a lofty heel/shoe/boot. In those days of yore, where a cobbled street was often polluted by waist of passing horse, goat, dog, cat, human. That those who could afford them used a platformed shoe as an attempt to avoid such soil to their upper garments.

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