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Thread: The silliness of it all

  1. #1
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    The silliness of it all

    Sitting here today, I thought to myself "how silly is all of this?"

    I don't mean by that my desire to dress, underdress, much less anyone's desire to pass, not pass, or express themselves however they see fit.

    No, I'm talking about how silly it is that somehow, sometime, society developed all these stupid rules about about fashion and who "can" wear what.

    For instance, why does society make me feel such anxiety because I like the way a certain shirt is cut, the patterns it features, or the details it is laden with. And most of all, why do I have to "take a risk" when I wear a shirt with buttons sewn on the opposite side of where they are "supposed to be"?

    It's infuriating at times, frankly.

    I'm not hurting anyone by doing that. And even if I'm wearing clothing designed for a "woman's body" - like say a bra or a top that's cut for someone with breasts - what's the harm? Why do people think it's okay to say "I'm weird" or even that "I'm brave" for doing so? I'm not any of those things - I'm just wearing something I think is pretty and I like the way it feels or makes me feel.

    And if it doesn't quite fit, so what? God knows I wear plenty of men's clothing on a regular basis that doesn't quite fit my body right. Does that give anyone the right to snicker behind my back or say "You shouldn't buy that much less wear it, it's not for you?!"

    No, of course not.

    Please know I'm not saying this in response to anyone's comments here. It's more me looking back on my life and saying "why the eff have I suffered so much anxiety, anguish, depression, and so on over the years for this passion, these goals of mine? Why? Isn't that all wasted time?"

    I'm really beginning to think so.

    I'm not looking to be a martyr, a leader, or an advocate based on my desire to dress in a way that makes me happy. I'm just saying I'm beginning to realize how all of my agita through the years has been based on meaningless, hypocritical, and arbitrary standards that have stuck around for no good reason.

    Just venting, I guess.

  2. #2
    Member Nyla F's Avatar
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    Most people want social norms to provide order and make sense of the world. People want to belong, and fit in, with their social circle which motivates them to conform to those norms and criticize those who don't. I can think of many times where I tried to conform to a norm in order to fit in. I don't think it is coincidence that there are a larger proportion of conservatives in rural US communities than in urban areas.

    I find it strange when I read posts in other forums where someone asks "why can't men wear skirts?" (or some other women's clothing). At least in the part of the US where I live there isn't any law that I know of that would prevent this. Of course what they are really asking is why is it the societal norm for men to not wear skirts. But it isn't like there was a committee that was formed to come up with a logical set of norms. It just evolved over time.

    These norms may have been influenced by leaders (men) who may prefer other men to conform to a macho role (and women to be subservient). In this way gender roles may serve the interests of those in power. It helps to have a lot of macho men at your disposal if you want to raise an army.

    I personally don't agree with the conservative norms. Like you, I don't think they make logical sense. I am thankful that there are growing communities where there is acceptance of a diverse set of behaviors and ideas. I hope that anyone who feels trapped in a place where they don't feel accepted can find a community that will accept them.

    Just rambling. Sorry, Vanphair, Probably took this in a different direction than you intended. I understand your frustration.

  3. #3
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    You are correct; however, you are preaching to the choir.
    I have been wearing Jeans from Woman Within for over 15 years.
    they look plane enough to pass for men's jeans; except the pink small tag by the pocket.
    I under dress for over 15 yeas also, and have not been spotted yet.
    I would love to wear one of my long skirts out to the store just once, But like you said.
    I would be labeled something nasty.
    Rader

  4. #4
    Platinum Member Teresa's Avatar
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    Vanphair,
    The point is deciding are the problems in the RW or are they in your head , we possibly see rules where there aren't any .

    Sometimes we need to look at this situation from another direction and ask yourself how critical are you of other issues and the behaviour of other people ? Can you honestly put hand on heart and say I've never passed judgement on others ? We have to accept we are members of society and don't always agree with other people , at times we can all be hypocritical and judgemental , that's how society works .
    The real me , no going back.

  5. #5
    Administrator Di's Avatar
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    I do not think

    Who imposed the rules? Are they self imposed?
    I have read back and most posts you have written are underdressing, so unless you compromised with a wife and limited yourself by agreement, or work dress codes I think you are free to wear what you want.
    I worry you feel embarrassed or that you think underneath this is wrong . Unless it is a agreement with a loved one or work situation just be you.
    If you are a Genetic Female (Female at Birth) and would like to join us in the F.A.B. Forum, please follow the link.

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    You forever and always will be my one and only true love . ❤️

  6. #6
    Aspiring Member GretchenM's Avatar
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    I don't think it is so much rules as it is social expectations. We tend to lean toward complying with the expectations so we have a feeling of belonging without really thinking a lot about what that compliance requires of us. It is a very complicated subject that goes to the heart of human social structure. I suggest you read Gina Rippon's "Gender and Our Brains." She explains very well how all these gender expectations developed over history. Di's remedy really does work, but it is often easier said than done. My wife tells me to be myself. Unfortunately, the image she has of being myself is different from the image of me being myself and when I am myself it clashes with her expectation. So, it really comes down to expectations and the observer having an attitude of acceptance that is flexible enough to allow someone to be themselves without any conflicts in expectations. Rigid expectations can produce conflict if there is insufficient acceptance of diversity in others. The degree of tolerance of diversity therefore patterns expectations. Tough nut to crack, for sure. But it can be done.

  7. #7
    Gold Member Alice Torn's Avatar
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    Teresa, well said. We all are judgmentaland make many small or big judgments every day. I know women can wear anything they want now,though,and itis accepted. I remember the French phrase viva la difference'. Well, the difference is not so clear today, as most females do not wear dresses or skrts at all, or very seldom. and many have very short hair cuts now. If a male goes out in a dress, skirt, hose and heels, that , will stand out a lot. As long a s a person is not trying to harm others or themselves, live and let live. Discretion ought be the rule, and consideration of others. When in Rome, do as the Romans do. In the small town where i now live, it would be extremely unwise and dangerous for me to be outed as a man who wears clothing designed for women.
    IT TAKES A REAL DRESS TO WEAR A MAN.

  8. #8
    Senior Member NancySue's Avatar
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    Great points. I couldn?t agree more. Look at history, in France when it was the fashion for men to wear makeup, perfume, nylon stockings and high heels. We?d been right at home. Will history repeat itself? Sadly, I doubt it. Before COVID-19, I underdressed daily, now, I dress daily. What fun, relaxation, and enjoyment.

  9. #9
    Member rachelatshop's Avatar
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    I don't know how to respond. On one hand I agree with you that there should be no limits on what one wants to wear. On the other hand I want to dress in girly clothes that make me feel like I am the girl I want to feel like. So there is a real disconnect.

  10. #10
    Platinum Member Teresa's Avatar
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    GrtechenM,
    " Be yourself !" easier said than done . I accept I could not be Teresa if I was still married but that was mostly the reason why I'm now divorced .

    It goes back to my point about coming out to people and the reality of seeing you . Two good examples for me have been my art group and my dog walking friends I know what they expected to see and what I actually looked like was not what the same thing , it's nice to add in a good way .

    While I don't want to sidetrack the thread too much this is why I don't feel DADT is only a short term compromise and not a long term solution but then all this revolves round the individuals dressing needs and what rules govern it . It might be interesting to see if more CDers were allowed to dress freely how many more would actually transition which is usually one of the fears most wives/partners have .

    To return to the question in the thread it's possibly not so much silly but very complex , with associated fears of the unknown .
    The real me , no going back.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Maid_Marion's Avatar
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    Before the pandemic I found that feminine dressing made me more approachable when I went out shopping. Women would ask and accept grocery store shopping advice that I would give.
    I'd quickly explain that I'm buying the more expensive dry scallops because they are the best at taking a sear in a hot pan. Then they would also buy some.

    It may help that I'm really short with a thin waistline, yet well proportioned, so a feminine style enhances my image.

    Marion
    Last edited by Maid_Marion; 11-16-2020 at 03:58 PM.

  12. #12
    Member Star01's Avatar
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    If I had the freedom to dress at home the first step out my door I'd have to get past the man's man neighbor who tried out for a pro football team and coached the local high school team for years. Then there is the widow across the street who watches every move out her window and phones my wife if she see's something different. If, for example, my wife goes somewhere overnight I'd still have to get past that neighbor knowing she would phone my wife if she saw a "woman" walk out of my house, get in my vehicle and drive away. If by chance I got past that and a couple of other watchful neighbors that I won't go into detail about I would be faced with the question of where to go. This is a rural community and I would stick out like the proverbial sore thumb. On the other hand, if I had a cooperative spouse, could shop and dress to my heart's content and lived in a large city I could likely stroll out the door dressed to the nines with my head held high.

    As I have said before, location, location, location, is the difference between acceptance and a beat down.

  13. #13
    Platinum Blonde member Ressie's Avatar
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    Well, we can get away with wearing shirts that button on the opposite side sometimes. I get away with wearing women's jeans, women's T shirts, Women's shorts that don't look obviously feminine. But if I wear too many of these items at once I might as well add makeup and a wig. That's because with each fem article of clothing I look less and less masculine.

    So go ahead and dress however you want every day and pay no attention to others' social norms. You can be aware that many people will think you look silly without it ruining your day (or your life). This is what many CDs and trans do. Why be so concerned and worried about the whole thing? Crossdressing doesn't have to be so complicated.
    "You're the only one to see the changes you take yourself through", Stevie Wonder

  14. #14
    Oh to be an English Rose Jane G's Avatar
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    An interesting question. I wonder just what Apes think about crossdressing. They have much social pier pressure, so I understand, but little clothing. So I guess it's not an issue for them. I bet they still have gender issues though.

  15. #15
    Weirdest woman ever! docrobbysherry's Avatar
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    Question When it comes to silly social rules, why stop there, Van?

    I can think of 100's if not 1,000's of silly things I do or think each day that impede, confound, or confuse what I should be doing every minute of every day.

    Which is using and enjoying the little time I have to live on this beautiful, bizarre, and bewildering planet to the max!

    One reason I belong to so few groups is because they ALL have rigid requirements! To some degree.


    To trans I'm just a CD and not trans enuff.
    To CD's I wear a mask! OMG!
    Maskers love masks but not me. I don't like masks. I wear them only because like how they look!
    I love to dress in costumes and do picto stories featuring Sherry. Yet, I have little interest in Comicons or becoming Japanese cartoon characters.

    Like me, if u do when u do what u want? U may not fit in anywhere!


    What I HAVE found in my 77 years? Is if u go your own way? You're likely to offend or disturb everyone if you're completely honest all the time!
    I can handle that pretty well. But, not ALL of the time. It's ego deflating and exhausting!

    U got to be an incredibly tuff cookie to be able to offend everyone and still be happy!
    Last edited by docrobbysherry; 11-16-2020 at 01:54 PM.
    U can't keep doing the same things over and over and expect to enjoy life to the max. When u try new things, even if they r out of your comfort zone, u may experience new excitement and growth that u never expected.

    Challenge yourself and pursue your passions! When your life clock runs out, you'll have few or NO REGRETS!

  16. #16
    Silver Member Micki_Finn's Avatar
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    Keep in mind that you’re talking about Western/European/Judeo-Christian culture. There are many cultures around the world that embrace or even celebrate two-spirit/third gender/etc individuals.

  17. #17
    New Member Naty's Avatar
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    I think we shouldn't blame social conventions so much. They have been changing constantly and will surely continue to change. So we have to learn to live with them without having them take away our happiness. Also, I think the fact that they exist and have the power to break them even if it is in secret also helps to spice up what we feel when we dress. As it is a challenge, perhaps we enjoy it more. Otherwise maybe it wouldn't be as much fun.

  18. #18
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    Vamp hair, I feel sure we have all been there with these thoughts. What makes it even more interesting is that in different historical times clothing rules and styles were different from now. Also in current times there are cultural differences in terms of acceptance of different ways of dressing. We are all so different in the ways we experience norms others seek to impose and then we react in highly individualised ways. I try not to think about words like should and ought and just please myself, albeit in a very limited way.

  19. #19
    Super Moderator char GG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ressie View Post
    Well, we can get away with wearing shirts that button on the opposite side sometimes.
    Until I came to this site, I didn't realize that men and women's shirts button on different sides. I doubt anyone really pays attention to a minor thing like that.

  20. #20
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    All those "barriers" are falling away, although not at the same pace everywhere. I happen to live where the general attitude is "Live and let live" and crossdressing is Not A Big Deal. I regullarly go out into my world as a MIAD. Dress or skirt outfit with heels but no makeup, wig or boobs. There is no attemp fool anyone into thinking I am a woman. The result? I feel accepted everywhere go. Men say nothing, but women converse with me about topics they have only with other women, as though I were an Honorary Woman.

    I say all of this because in the more liberal parts of the world, the barriers are down, even eliminated. The only barriers left are the ones we keep in our own minds. And I know they're deep seated and hard to overcome, but once they are slowly cast aside, the feeling of liberation is fantastic. Keep working at it, the end result is worth the trouble.

  21. #21
    AKA Lexi sometimes_miss's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by char GG View Post
    Until I came to this site, I didn't realize that men and women's shirts button on different sides. I doubt anyone really pays attention to a minor thing like that.
    Sure they do. At least, men do; they're constantly on guard against any other men not being the all male, all masculine people they want us to be. Homophobia runs deep.
    I can't speak for how many women notice, but I'm betting a significant percentage notice, even if they don't say anything. One very cold day a few years ago, I wore a sweatshirt to work over my scrubs; it was one I purchased while on vacation, and it had the resort town's name printed on the front. While peeling it off, I turned it inside out, revealing a pink-ish manufacturing label with the manufacturer's name in lovely script writing. Instantly, one of the women I work with, asked me why I was wearing a 'girl's' sweatshirt. The sweatshirt was light blue. This was coming from a 40-ish registered nurse. So yes, at least some women notice.
    Of course, one of the remedies for the button problem, is to have a pet bird who loves to chew off all the buttons. I have many polo shirts, no buttons left, and no one's ever said a word about whether they're boys or girl's shirts (I have some of both).
    Some causes of crossdressing you've probably never even considered: My TG biography at:http://www.crossdressers.com/forums/...=1#post1490560
    There's an addendum at post # 82 on that thread, too. It's about a ten minute read.
    Why don't we understand our desire to dress, behave and feel like a girl? Because from childhood, boys are told that the worst possible thing we can be, is a sissy. This feeling is so ingrained into our psyche, that we will suppress any thoughts that connect us to being or wanting to be feminine, even to the point of creating separate personalities to assign those female feelings into.

  22. #22
    -1.#QNaN Lydianne's Avatar
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    I discovered the button-direction thing at age 7! This is so random 😄:

    OK, there was a programme of Christmas performances at school, and I was in some sort of jazzy-gospel-type choir. I got ill for a couple of days and was off 🤒. I missed the final rehearsals - they changed up the dance steps and decided upon clothing colours.

    I made it back in time for the first performance. They had decided on white shirts and black pants. I actually did show up with a white shirt underneath my pulli, but it was short sleeved. So close! . I was given a white blouse from the drama department - it was all they had 😧. I was told no-one would notice - just that it buttoned up in the other direction. Obviously, I got ripped by another kid that heard this , but, of course, it went otherwise unnoticed. People were paying attention to other things. That was of no comfort to me, though . I sent my mother out that evening to buy me a boy's white shirt before the next performance.

    But as for the silliness described in the topic: It exists within the gates as well as outside.

    - L.

  23. #23
    Aspiring Member ShelbyDawn's Avatar
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    I also wonder where this came from especially considering our colonial forefathers seemed to have a thing for wigs, lacy frills, leggings and heels...
    Go figure.
    I am Me and Me is OK!



    Shelby

  24. #24
    Platinum Blonde member Ressie's Avatar
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    I could pay a seamstress to take the buttons off of my men's shirt and sew them on the other side. But it would still be a men's shirt! Of course there are other differences between men's and women's shirts. Some are obvious and other's aren't.

    For example, often women's long sleeves don't go down to the wrist. The cuff ends up midway between the wrist and elbow. T-shirts are slightly different between the two sexes i.e. the material, the neck line, etc. Yet some look virtually the same.
    "You're the only one to see the changes you take yourself through", Stevie Wonder

  25. #25
    Member ambigendrous's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ressie View Post
    For example, often women's long sleeves don't go down to the wrist. The cuff ends up midway between the wrist and elbow.
    That would be a 3/4 sleeve - that's the biggest difference between male and female shirts: men get a long sleeve or a short sleeve while women get a long sleeve, 3/4 sleeve, half sleeve, short sleeve, cap sleeve, sleeveless, wide shoulder strap, spaghetti strap, strapless, snug fitting all the way to billowy sleeves - a seemingly endless variation, and that's JUST the sleeve options!
    Ambigendrous
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