Friday, November 20, 2015

What Would Happen If?

    What would happen if guys wore frilly dresses, and gals wore 3 piece suits?  What would happen to our society?  What would change about us?  Because, we would change, you know, substantively, guaranteed.  But what would that change be?  How would it manifest itself in real world terms?
     I ask these questions because increasingly we are looking at the blurring, and partial erasure of gender lines.  From those who are trans, to the poly, the auto-erotic, the non sexually identified, to all the other variants that comprise the continuum that is human sexual identity and response, the desire to express more fully who we are, is growing, and subsequently, the area now considered the normative, is receiving continual challenges to long held patterns of behavior, and response.
The answer to that first question is, we already do, at least, some of us do.  What is shifting, and creating the extremes of discomfort that some feel because of this shift, is that we no longer understand the cues we are seeing when we engage the Attire language.  We are unsure of how to respond, or what to think, and this makes many of us deeply uneasy.  The response is almost always dismissal, derision, and defensiveness.  It's a behavior set we have carried with us from the beginning, as a survival skill, based on the fear of the unknown, which has the potential to be mortally dangerous.  Of course, someone wearing clothing that is out of character with what we suppose is correct, does not mean they are dangerous, but the old programming is tough to beat; and requires constant diligence to control.
    It is at times like this that the most social growth is possible, and with that, an eventual flowering, as the culture reaches a new normality that embraces fully what was excluded before.
  Naturally, what makes all this so difficult for so many, is that it stabs the heart of the oldest conceptions we have of male and female, their roles, uses, and meanings.  That we have so much trouble with men wearing women's clothing is understandable, since this is a patriarchal culture that elevates the male, and suppresses the female. The substructure of this problem is the erroneous assumption that a man wearing women's clothing is somehow less male, and therefore less powerful,
less worthy of respect.   If you have spent any time at all hanging around drag queens, you know how
wrong headed that is.  In this culture it takes supreme chutzpah to do what drag queens do.
    Conversely, because of our male focused society, a woman wearing a man's clothing does not receive the opprobrium that men do.  Why?  Because by wearing the clothing of the male, a woman is visually taking on power, not relinquishing it.  And in our culture's hubris, wanting to be more like a man is a compliment to the male power structure, however wrongheaded that might be.
    So, getting back to the essential question of how this would change us, I can see that ultimately it would be freeing for all concerned, and could result in an easing of some significant social tensions.  I'm not saying we would suddenly all sit around in a circle and sing Kumbaya, but there would be a few less things for us to bash each other with.  That can only be a good idea.

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