False advertising

“You can be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world, and there’s still going to be somebody who hates peaches.”
~ Dita von Teese

As I’ve said before, I’m grateful to the people I know for being so accepting of what I do. I also understand that for many other cross-dressers and would-be cross-dressers, they encounter a lot of hostility. I think there’s a number of reasons for this, but I’ll summarise them as briefly as I can.

1) Religious “morality”

“A man’s item shall not be on a woman, and a man shall not wear a woman’s garment; whoever does such a thing is an abhorrence unto Adonai.”
~Deuteronomy 22:5

Well, Adonai can go screw himself. This is usually cited as the earliest example of a prohibition against cross-dressing, and although the intent of it is open to interpretation, the message is fairly clear. In case there was any doubt:

“It is in itself sinful for a woman to wear man’s clothes, or vice versa;
especially since this may be a cause of sensuous pleasure;
and it is expressly forbidden in the Law [Deuteronomy 22]”
~Thomas Aquinas

We can’t have people dressing up for fun, can we? That would be bad thing, surely! Once it was established that certain clothes are not for men (or women), and that cross-dressing was immoral, the concept could tap into people’s sense of disgust.

2) Thwarted expectations and cognitive dissonance

The idea that cross-dressing is immoral can lead to people being disgusted, but I suspect there’s more to it than that.  If someone (a straight man, say) sees what appears to be a woman he finds sexually attractive, and then discovers that the woman is actually a cross-dressing man, this can lead to cognitive dissonance: “How could I find a man attractive? I’m not gay!”

Depending on how easy-going the man is, he could shrug it off, or congratulate the cross-dresser on being convincing. On the other hand, if the man was brought up in a conservative, religious culture where homosexuality is to be feared, he will respond with resentment – the merest suggestion that he might be gay won’t result in a moment of quiet reflection of what it means to be attractive, but a knee-jerk response of anger.

3) “False advertising”

Why might someone be angry at cross-dressing? Well, if men assume that women dress for men’s benefit, advertising sexual availability (and we’re just getting started at dispelling that idea), then they are likely to think that men who dress in women’s clothing must want to have sex with men too, despite the fact that the overwhelming majority of cross-dressers are straight. In this view, cross-dressers are trying to ‘trick’ innocent men.

“If someone wears a skirt, they must want  to be fucked by a man” is victim-blaming; it’s the myth people can tell themselves to avoid the realisation that what’s really going on is the thought, “If someone wears a skirt, men must want to fuck them.”

Changing attitudes won’t happen quickly, but that doesn’t mean it won’t happen at all.

“It’s all about aesthetics, and it’s fuck-all to do with morality.”
~Renton, Trainspotting

I suppose I could have summarised this whole post with this image:

From Art of Trolling at Cheezburger

4 thoughts on “False advertising

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