What’s Wrong With This Picture?
Before I begin, it is imperative that my readers understand the person I am about to describe. He is not a crossdresser as one may define the word – dressing for sexual pleasure or to identify as a woman, or living in a selfish world of fantasy to the detriment of those around him. Nor does he feel he is a transsexual.
The man I will discuss here, does cross the gender divide with dress in a minimal fashion, yet I feel he differs from many crossdressers in as much as his “sin” is a lifelong disposition that seeks to align his deep and mysterious sense of the muliebral within his soul, with the reality of living an ethical life as the male he was created to be.
What’s Wrong With This Picture?
Like the picture at the left there are males, who acknowledge their sense of maleness unequivocally and live an honourable life. They are married, love their wives and children, have a job, raise a family, go to church, visit the sick, are patriotic; donate to charities and give freely of their time to their communities. So it is that exteriorly, to wives, friends and associates, they are honest, responsible and looked upon as fine examples of citizenship in living the ethical life they thoroughly believe in.
Yet for a few men like me, something is wrong with this picture. For though in all outward appearances of being a representation of normality and trustworthiness and for as much respect as they may have gained throughout their lives in living a moral life; there is a private uneasiness when the psychic interior confronts the one they understand and live with each and every day.
In as much as they will admit the persona they present to their wives and loved ones, as well as the general public, affirms the person they feel unmistakably represents who they are, they will also acknowledge, (to themselves of course) that contained within this understanding exists a male with a vague and unusual awareness that he is more than the sum of his psychological make-up and like many that are touched by this sensitivity, have been aware of it for a lifetime.
It is a source of wonder and fascination as well as a basis for guilt, a feeling of betrayal as well as confusion given we must all live within the boundaries of the social and cultural order to feel and be seen as a normal and trusted member. Yet it is a deeply rooted cognisance that though they understand thoroughly and unequivocally they are NOT female by any definition of the word, or have any need or want to be anything other than the male they are, there is nonetheless a persistent and mysterious subconscious “knowingness” of a distaff side that challenges all they have been taught, live or have learned that is contrary to what society defines and expects of them as a male first and foremost, as well as fathers, sons and husbands.
It is at one time a fear and a pleasure and for those who are emotionally drained by its presence can bear witness, a disturbing quality that one did not seek to bring upon oneself but nonetheless is an aspect of one’s personality that is as much a part of their intuitive identity as are their arms and legs to their physical appearance. Some may argue it is simply a figment of imagination, an over zealousness to escape one’s surroundings or reality, or even a heightened sexuality but again, having felt its present all of my life, I dismiss these as not being applicable to my situation or in fostering any understanding towards the unanswerable question as to why or where it came from.
Similar to my crossdressing, I sincerely believe this muliebral awareness is felt more strongly in some males (i.e. philogynist’s) than it is in others and has nothing whatsoever to do with how one may have been brought up by one’s parents. On the contrary, it is I believe an undeniable feature of birth that belongs to one’s personality and nature, a sense of being different that has been there from the beginning and as this blog will attest, if not addressed and confronted in some manner before marriage or more importantly as one gets older, it will become a source of enormous emotional anxiety in not being able to touch it, define it, or express it to anyone’s satisfaction nor even to oneself. IT IS!
Thus, with this lifelong sense of otherness of “What Is” – in moments of contemplation, with no intention to deceive and no thoughtful purpose to hurt the ones he loves, he is drawn to holistically align the whole person by turning to the only tangible characteristic of his muliebral consciousness he can touch: CLOTHING.
Now I would ask you to think about his act of mental adjustment for one moment and if you can; without any religious or social bias you may have gained about what clothing is in a feminine/masculine context (very difficult I know.) In light of his full intentions to remain male, live as a male, remain as a husband and father, does he become less trust worthy as a member of society by engaging in this act of emotional grace? Does his expression of the mysterious he cannot explain but knows it is part of his soul, change his moral character or his contribution to society? Does it in anyway make him a “danger” to those around him? These questions demonstrate the difficulties in finding answers to the very complex problem of separating one’s emotions from that of the clothing one wears; what it does, our application of it, or how a crossdresser uses them – without a learned religious, social and stereotypical point of view by others that will invariably cast judgment on his character.
As innocuous as clothing is for those who merely use it to cover their bodies, it will become a highly charged (almost insanely so) psychopathic collapse of rationality that takes place when the second skin of the wearer, no matter how innocent or guiltless his action may be, confronts the observer in is wife or is partner. His real “sin” is not the clothing per se nor his desire to express the deep emotional aspects of it in the personality he feels needs be aligns to reality of self. The real problem is found in his unarticulated and failed expression of honesty to his partner of what the cross-gendered raiment means to him and without this endeavour taking place, the almost immediate knee-jerk reaction of his spouse, despite the known love they have for each other, will take place in her feeling of betrayed, hurt and abandonment.
I am willing to admit there is a valid argument to be made that anyone transgressing the clothing divide has introduced a problematic situation into a marriage but remember; we are still talking clothes here; not a threat to world peace, a desire to change one’s sex, nor even an overt wish to be anyone other than the person they were when they entered the marriage contract. The real threat here is not the rationale behind the crossdressers act, but the inability to talk as adults, as husband and wife, lover to lover, about adult emotions, as well as the failure of not allowing each other the ability to express their individuality within a marriage without one’s spouse feeling terrorize by perceived anti-social or deviant behaviour. Again I remind you…… we are talking clothes here, not a desire to wreck a marriage by becoming someone we are not or selfish in our behaviour; but being open about ones emotions and making valid attempts to be truthful and sincere about oneself which is I would think, what a marriage should be all about. I will grant you, this unusual display should have been made clear from the beginning, but as anyone who undertakes any display of self expression can attest, social compliance often trumps reality when it comes to dealing with one’s experience of life.
Whatever the case may be, I do find it odd that many lovers and partners can introduce sex toys, be intimate and honest about their sexual desires in their marriage, but when it comes to dealing with an honest and open expression of one’s personal sense of self, it becomes a perilous endeavour that may see the eventual break-up of one’s relationship due to the absence of mature understanding and articulation.
The greatest and most divisive problem with crossdressing for the man I have described from the start of this post is the aggrieved partners knee-jerk reaction in suspecting homosexuality or transsexualism and when dwells upon it, why would she think otherwise given the binary code attached to dress by a lifetime of social conditioning? Surely one must see that as a consequence of stereotyping and a frightfully disappointing failure to recognize each other’s individual experience of self, relationships are doomed to that of fantasy and unrealistic expectations if they disregard the individual aspects of ones personality.
I posted the follow quote once before, however it seems appropriate to re-post it here.
“I see you, and you see me. I experience you, and you experience me. I see your behaviour. You see my behaviour. But I do not and never have and never will see your experience of me. Just as you cannot “see” my experience of you. My experience of you is not “inside” me. It is simply you, as I experience you. And I do not experience you as inside me. Similarly, I take it that you do not experience me as inside you.”
“My experience of you” is just another form of words for “you-as-l-experience-you”, and “your experience of me” equals “me-as-you-experience-me”. Your experience of me is not inside you and my experience of you is not inside me, but your experience of me is invisible to.”
Ronald David Laing The Politics of Experience
Make no mistake; I do understand very well that clothes carry a strong symbolic characteristic that transcends simple protection from the elements, but I remain totally mystified as to how emotional people become over someone else’s use of them, even if for reasons other than their original intent.
If partners in a marriage cannot talk or speak from the heart on the most intimate matters of each other’s desires, needs and personality in an ADULT manner, it is no wonder so many marriages fall by the wayside when many females enter a marriage idealistically with the belief that a marriage is a Cinderella love story manifested by way of exchanging vows, which dismisses any sense of reality of the human condition by way of negating the personal and individual’s sense of identity.
In spite of this pragmatic approach to the issue of clothes and the crossdresser, in dealing with the subject of dress and who is allow or not allowed to wear it, it goes without saying we touch a nerve that runs so deep within societies unconscious psyche, that all sense of logic and rationality is dispensed with and replaced with the most irrational assumptions and judgments one can image that in essence, have little to do with how one USES clothing, but everything to do with HOW OTHERS make critical assumptions as to the transgressors moral and ethical character - and all this, despite the knowledge on the aggrieved spouses’ part, of the irrefutable love the crossdresser has and demonstrates daily, for his wife, his family or his sense of living a good and upright life and that my friends is a pity!
Communicate, communicate, communicate!!!