Are Cross Dressing Men Offensive To Women?
I wrote an article recently titled 'Why Women Find Cross Dressing Men Scary', an article which reflected on the way that cross dressing men can sometimes be quite intimidating because of the 'uber' feminine appearance and manner they have.
One reader, Tracy, made a comment which was perhaps tangential to the initial point of the article, but which I think has a great deal of merit and definitely deserves discussion. Tracy said:
I don't think it is so much that women are "jealous". I think they are offended. Offended at the fact that some man actually thinks they can dress up a certain way and "be" a woman. Offended that men perceived "being a woman" by how they look and not how they act, tirelessly clean, nurture the family, cook the meals, shuttle everyone from event to event and still hold down a full time job. THAT is a woman. It is offensive to think that cross-dressing men focus on a fantasy part of women that rarely gets to exist. Which also brings up resentment. Real women resent that they are not provided the time to spend hours on their own personal grooming. They have too many other important things to do.
Here Tracy expresses something I've been thinking myself for a wee while now and partially expressed in the article “Can A Dress Turn A Man Into A Woman?” but she does it in a blunt and direct way that certainly hammers the point home. Having spent quite a significant amount of time around men who cross dress, I do agree that men are buying into the fantasy of being female much more so than the reality.
Actually being a woman doesn't always mean being soft and gentle and nice and sweet. Actually being a woman means your hormones throw you for a loop on a monthly basis and many of us spend a few days in the borderlands between being sane and being certain that the world is a horrible place out to get you and you can't stop crying at advertisements which include things like puppies, children, reconciling estranged adults or low fat cookies.
Actually being a woman can be a messy, dirty business. It quite often involves expelling a small, screaming human being out of your body, after all. (The average woman will do that two or three times in her life time.) But society pressures women to look good and behave nicely when what we'd really like to do sometimes is roll, frizzy haired, out of bed, throw on a toweling robe and tell the idiots in HR she's not coming in today, or ever. The same 'feminine' accouterments that cross dressing men covet can often seem more like the trappings of a prison of social morays to a woman.
I suppose in one way, men cross dressing as women and feeling soft and feminine and dainty would be like women dressing as men and kicking back, feet up on the coffee table, cigar in hand, telling the 'little woman' what to do. In many ways it can seem as if it is little more than embracing a stereotype rather than truly appreciating the reality of femininity.
But, at the end of the day, does it matter? Does it matter if cross dressing men aren't exactly embracing the reality of femininity? I think not. Men playing fantasy pretend and cross dressing as women certainly doesn't harm women any more than having little kids point their fingers at each other and shout 'Bang' harms real soldiers. Personally, I don't find it offensive at all, but I do very much understand where women such as Tracy are coming from.
Cross dressing men may be walking a fine line if they claim to be truly feminine, as it may be interpreted by some ladies as being an insult to women as a whole. (Kind of like it would be if some guy from the mail room dressed up as a soldier and went to meet shell shocked soldiers returning from war and proceeded to tell them he was just like them because he felt he had a truly militaristic side and looked totally awesome in the uniform.)