Tuesday, June 14, 2005

pondering men's liberation

(by Michele Angelique)

I am only coming to realize the pain and guilt that so many endure for a simple pleasure like crossdressing. I am confounded by it, actually... how could something so harmless and healthy as a man wanting to express femininity be deemed so wrong by society?

Women earned the right to crossdress with "women's liberation", and no one thinks anything of it anymore. A powersuit on a woman is considered sexy by many... when I'm feeling my yang, I can dress and act as masculine as I want, and it's ok... why is a skirt on a man who's feeling his yin considered so abnormal? I really don't get it.

"Men's liberation" still has not happened. Society still binds men tightly to rigid one-sided standards. All men feel yin to some degree, yet are brainwashed into believing it must be surpressed and denied. This very fact is a discredit to the feminine gender. Women should recognize that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. For a man to want to be feminine means he places value on the yin energy, which is as it should be. To surpress and deny yin is to say it is of lower value than yang. The emergence of the openly yin spirited man is what is needed to balance this society and humanity in general.

The irony is, it is men who are enslaving themselves to the rigid social archetype. Ordinary men are threatened by the presence of yin spirited men because they are reminded of their own inner torment and battle to enslave the yin, such that many will respond vehemently if not violently. It is men who are keeping themselves confined to the little black box, and persecuting those who dare peek out and openly celebrate yin.

Perhaps it is the women who must reach out, help the men out of the little black box, and join them in the celebration of all that is beautiful, kind, nurturing, loving, feminine... by genetic women condemning trans women, they are assisting in the enslavement of yin, and admitting that yin is inferior. Instead we should be praising her emergence in the male population... it's about time! The world could use a little more nurturing and love, and a little less war and greed.

Yin spirited men represent the evolution of men... their existence indicates the decline of an old-energy social paradigm which has been so destructive to both men and women alike for most of human history.

9 comments:

Michele Angelique said...

From: "Arianne Travis"
Date: Wed, 08 Jun 2005 17:53:25 -0400


Michele, dear,

You have opened a can of worms here! :) You know this old saying: becareful what you wish for... (lol !!!)

But the question at hand is the oldest of them all. In my book, it's all about "evolution". (yeah ok I'll admit I borrowed Darwin's book) 800 years in the past, you could have been called the devil and be killed on the spot. 250 years ago we used to burn "different" people on a stick by calling them whitches. 100 years ago was a time when homosexuals went to jail to roth. 40 years ago we called communist whoever did not agree with an imposed democracy and you family doctor was able to prescribe smoking as a stress relief. And it's only a few years ago now that some government do acknowledge same sexe marriage. We have come a long way. Change comes in small steps... but it does come.

Social conformity is just the tip of the iceberg if you factor in homophobia, family issues, friends and relations, etc... Even if most don't care what the neighboor thinks, we all have to think more than twice when we open up to loved ones. Theses choices are difficult for some and impossible for others.

And personnally, I do not think your peers at work would find it "acceptable" if you showed up with a beard, hair cut and no breast for work on a monday morning. That area is so fuzzy and grey anyway...

Still, I do agree on the underlaying concept of this email, we need more people like you.

Love, hugz and kisses

Arianne
xoxox

Michele Angelique said...

Date: Wed, 8 Jun 2005 16:21:07 -0700 (PDT)
From: Jennifer Fiacco

It's obviously a cultural thing. Given my current situation with my wife as an example, her biggest concerns with my dressing are my security and how our children might react. But I totally agree with what you've said.

I've never thought of a woman wearing pants as crossdressing, just as I've never thought of a Scotsman wearing a kilt as crossdressing. From a cultural perspective, I just think acceptable dress has changed over time. Just look at beach pictures from the turn of the century as an example. Men haven't worn ties at the beach since probably the 1910s. I don't consider woman wearing pants as crossdressing, just as I don't consider myself to be crossdressing when I'm wearing my "normal" pants. But if I put on a pair of woman's pants, I do consider myself to be crossdressing. Why? Because the cut of the pants, and perhaps even the fabric, allow me to match my outward appearance with my internal perception of my gender. If men were "allowed" by society to wear skirts, I don't think me wearing a man's skirt would resolve my gender needs - I'd stilll want to wear a woman's skirt so that it's cut and fit would transform my physical appearance to match the internal perception of myself.

I definitely think you're right that most men think they have to surpress their "feminine" feelings. This was a very big problem I had been dealing with for most of my life. I "compartmentalized" things into masculine and feminine categories, and as a perceived protection device to keep my femaleness from my maleness, never allowed my male self to enjoy those things I considered female. One ridiculous example of this is that I put dancing in the female category and never allowed my male persona to enjoy dancing. Isn't that crazy? I grew up and changed this earlier this year - no more categories - I'm just me!

But I think you're being harsh on women by saying they are condemning trans women. I think it's innocent ignorance. I can use my wife as an example of that. While my wife has known for all but one year of our 24 year marriage that I dress, up until this year she has always provided me time to dress, but never really understood my need to do it. It wasn't until earlier this year, after much discussion and reading, that the light bulb went on in her mind and she realized I didn't have a fetish but I had a different psychological makeup than most other men. She realized that gender wasn't male or female, but more of a continuum, and that I was somewhere in the middle of it all. She also finally realized that gender and gender identity was different from sexuality and sexual preference, which, in her case, was always an underlying fear that she associated with my needs to portray myself in the female gender.

See my first paragraph for my shock at you expressing your belief that you're a man trapped in a woman's body. I'm not sure I totally agree with the remainder of your paragraph. If you really wanted to express yourself as all male you'd still get negative feedback from the general population. Just ask any very butch lesbian with short hair and wearing a flannel shirt, Levis, and work boots if she doesn't feel prejudice.

Michele Angelique said...

From: Tammy
Date: Wed, 08 Jun 2005 18:07:24 -0600

At 02:39 PM 08/06/2005, Michele wrote:
To surpress and deny yin is to say it is of lower value than yang.

Absolutely. In fact, studies on gender & society's acceptance of gender roles & expression states exactly that. It all boils down to the patriarchal nature of many societies. Throughout history, women have been suppressed & many things considered feminine have been considered "weak", whereas traditionally "masculine" behaviours have been viewed as strong & thus preferred.

I do think this is slowly changing, however, western society has a long way to go when it comes to the spectrum of behaviours males are permitted to express.

There is also a lot of fear & confusion amongst the general public re: gender identity & sexual orientation. While the two have no relation to one another, many people assume crossdressers & other trans-folk are gay/lesbian, which adds a double stigma. Little do they know, most crossdressers are heterosexual. I think that's why a lot of GG's can't
handle it when they learn about their husband's dressing.

As for women's crossdressing being accepted & thus not even being considered crossdressing, I couldn't agree more. I myself am a GG who hardly ever wears dresses. And while I'm not butch, I'm far from being a girly girl. And when I was a kid, I loved playing with both dolls & mini toy cars, rubber snakes, etc. I was not your typical girl. :) But thanks to women's lib, I can be me & not have to worry about it.

I think the TG community, however, is also guilty of looking at things in black & white. It seems you're either a TS or CD. Or a drag queen if you're a performer. Because of this categorizing, I think many people end up getting surgery when they shouldn't. A few years ago, I found a great article entitled: "Transgenderists: When Self-Identification Challenges Transgedner Stereotypes". It's worth the read:
http://www.firelily.com/gender/gianna/transgenderists.html

Unfortunately for most, living as a transgederist as described in this articule can be quite a challenge, but people do it. I have several friends who are doing just that. Unfortunately, one had to move to San Francisco in order to do it. So, certainly where you live has an impact.

I think the increasing acceptance & visibility of androgynous & feminine artists over the years has slowly helped to broaden men's choices for expression of gender, but at the same time, it often seems artists are given more liberties in this regard than say your average guy. Case in point, several of my TG friends who are able to express their gender more freely & outside of the closet just happen to be artists.

Anyway, I've disgressed a bit, but those are a few of my thoughts.

Tammy
GG in Canada

Michele Angelique said...

From: "Alexis Rene"
Date: Thu, 09 Jun 2005 03:41:23 -0000

-Michele,
You constantly mystify my little brain with your intelligence.:) If you keep writing the way you do, I personally am going to go contact a major book company and get you a book deal. The way you can transcribe feelings/thoughts on this or any subject needs to be out to a bigger venue! So thank you for sharing here! I am thinking I need to get some media contacts now....:)

One thing that ALSO needs to be addressed are the gg's such as yourself and all others who are supporting transgendered people/ communities. As the social ramifications of this could have major affects. I am sure not all of your gg friends "understand" for lack
of a better term, definitely opens up possibilities for you to lose friends & loved ones etc. With great sadness emblazoned within. The solace being that the gain is worth the potential loss(es)! I am pretty sure that all gg's haven't been completely liberated
with regards to this either.

As far as the liberation of men it is slowly progressing....Look at all the changes in the last 2 years alone with all the products available to men as far as hygienic/grooming. Go to Europe(not that I personally have been) and there is a mascara and other cosmetic lines marketed exclusively to men. I am sure the clothing outlines are abit looser within that as well. However 16" mini's and the barely there tank aren't in that(yet) :) but things are a changing! You just have to look for it! I encourage all to dwell on the "good" that we do have!

Also go to any public place whether it is a coffee shop, mall, or better yet a bar...I will expalin that in a sec. But pose the question of "liberation" to some creative extents of your own and see what the answers are of the people you ask. Typically the responses I got were along the lines of "Women weren't fem enough anymore and Men just weren't Men enough anymore". So have we all been liberated somewhat? Are the lines starting convergance? Also answers I got from the opposing genders were an avg.<~ And NOT my own opinion!

I did not replicate this at several cities or outings so just an evening of....deliberations:)
Inhibitions is the reason I cited a bar as they lighten later in the evening for those I was posing the questions to in conversation...... I did it for fun and to learn abit!

Wow I have rambled way to much here so will button up for now!:)
Have a wonderful week everyone! XXOO, Alexis

http://profiles.urnotalone.com/AlexisRene

Michele Angelique said...

Date: Thu, 9 Jun 2005 10:08:39 -0700 (PDT)
From: Miranda Skye
Hi Michelle.......

Receiving this "essay" was a wonderful timely welcome. I feel no need to dissect it as It speaks openly and honesty with a profound awareness very congruent to both my spouse and I's feelings and experiences.

Because of the social stigmas and young child crossdressing is a sore subject in our household right now but my wife has touched on many of the same things you've illuminated here.

When the timing is right I'd like her to read this.... but for now, can you just shut the closet door behind you on the way out? ... giggle.


Thanks a bunch,

-Miranda
http://profiles.urnotalone.com/40348

Michele Angelique said...

From: Stacie Ku
Date: Wed, 8 Jun 2005 16:33:38 -0700 (PDT)

Lady Dominess/Michele;

In most groups, I'm generally just a lurker. I read the postings and generally don't comment. But I find your comments so insightful and intelligent, I just had to respond.

Let me start with a heart felt Thank You for the enlighten way you think. If all people think as you do, the world would be a much safer/peaceful place. Too many people are hung up on external appearances. Clothes and external appearances do not make a person masculine or feminine. We all have Yin and Yang energy in us. As another wonderful GG I know says, it's want between your ears that count.

Biology aside, simply putting on a dress or a pair of pants does not make one female or male. It is how you act and carry yourself when you are dressed that makes a difference. Even when I'm in boy mode, my Yin energy is still present. It's just not as dominant. Because of society, too many men suppress their Yin energy. Most of them are not evey aware of, or admit to having any. What a shame.

I think you are so right when you say that "genetic women condemning trans women, they are assisting in the enslavement of yin, and admitting that yin is inferior." It is my yin energy that makes me a better father/mother. When I cannot dress for a while and my yin is supressed, I/my kids find that I get more irritable, touchy, grouchy, ... When you look at the Yin Yang symbol, both sides are balance, mirror images of each other. surpessing my Yin, makes me unbalanced.


In Western and most societies, Yang is dominate. Even in Gay cultures, especially in gay cultures, Yang dominates. IMHO, society is more accepting macho gay men than effeminate gay men. But even in society's heirarchy of disapproval, crossdressers or t-girls would rank below gay men.

Although society perfers us to be one or the other, the world is not made up of black or white. I think some of the worlds' problems today is the over abundance of Yang energy. Allowing Yin energy to show itself more may not bring world peace, but I think the world/society would be more peaceful.

Well, I've ramble on long enough. Before I go, let if I had the freedom to do so, I would seriously consider going to Vancover just to meet you. You appear to be a beautiful person, inside and out. I like the way you think.

Stacie

Michele Angelique said...

Date: Thu, 9 Jun 2005 12:45:05 -0700 (PDT)
From: Victoria DeRhen

hi michele, thanks for the thoughtful and thought provoking essay.

i'll just throw this idea out there - i don't think the freedom that women have in their wardrobe choices has much correlation to the issues of the t-girl and male crossdressing.

at least from where i'm coming from. as far as i know, most of the women i know are not projecting their "inner maleness" when wearing menswear. it's just an option that's available, via the evolution of fashion, to them. i'm not motivated in wearing women's clothes for any other reason other than it enhances the visual clues in completion of the presentation of the gender i feel inside. i'm not particularly fetishtic about woman's clothing items, the "silky touch of nylons", wearing panties under my drabs, etc. transgender is something i am, crossdressing is one of things i do that stems from that. it's not the other way around for me.

and it's not the anima inside my male self that is dieing for expression in CDing - there are less provocative and more sociably acceptable ways of accomplishing that - outward display of the more sensitive aspects of my male persona (AKA the alan alda syndrome... lol!), the realization and celebration that marketing attempts skewed towards male demographics wildly miss the mark with me (any other girls here find your average beer commercial and maxim magazine content competely stupid?)

as far as society and it's goes, it all comes down to motivation of the "feminine" man. i think society has less issues when a man demonstrates feminine presentation when done in a staged burlesque or comedic way. everybody loves la cagelles, uncle milty and rupaul, right? fashion designer's periodic attempts to foist skirts for men on the public are greeted with nothing more threatening than rolleyes. but when we are talking gender indentification, that is an entirely different kettle of fish. it threatens the world view of those who see things in a binary way, whether male or female. i think it is just as difficult for a woman to help a man achieve his true self if that woman views the world this way - it is so psychologically ingrained. in my experience, i don't see a huge line of GGs forming to become spouses of t-girls despite the fact that we'd probably be the most complimentary partners imaginable. i think a lot has to do with, as jen suggested, ignorance and the fears that ignorance stokes. i know my wife was convinced i was gay when i came out to her - the gender continuum is a subtle concept for those unfamiliar beyond the media-fed stereotypes. it all goes back to that binary gay/straight, boy/girl dualism. michele, your willingness to accept us as entities beyond curiosities and at the same time not
feel your femininity threatened is refreshing... :) and rare :(

well, that's about all i can say in one sitting. but thanks again for throwing this issue out there and thanks so much for all that you've done for/with us.

my best to all of you!
victoria

Michele Angelique said...

Date: Fri, 10 Jun 2005 22:32:38 -0700 (PDT)
From: Karen Reeves

Hi Michelle !
I've thought about these issues ALOT ! Here are a few of my observations, perhaps just ramblings in a disjointed order.

Society needs stability. People look for labels and boxes to place people into. People who do NOT fit "neatly packaged" represent instability to many i.e., a THREAT ! Crossing the barriers is frowned upon or worse. Look at interracial marriage and the children of such marriages. Gay marriage is another example.

Perhaps the greatest fear for many in society is transgenderism. The concept that men can "morph" physically into women or vice versa seems unsettling to most. The "haters" are particularly unsettled by the idea that it can now be done WITHOUT DETECTION ! ! ! Who knows ? The homophobic guy may be making love to a beautiful girl, one who used to be previously a guy physically ! ! ! This goes to the core of our being, our sexuality, our inner identity.

Sadly in our society we may be our own worst enemies. One study says that at the most liberal definition of crossdressing (guys alone trying on womens' clothing even if for only a short time in the privacy of their homes) it amounts to 60% of the male population ! ! !

It is astounding to think that if everyone came out and really admitted their urges, their feelings, their inner souls to the world we would be so vast in numbers that the world would be COMPELLED to accept us ! Our ability to avoid detection when we go full time is a double edged sword. We who are 24/7 avoid detection and feel validated, vindicated. Our very success at flying "under the radar" means though that the world thru our secrecy lacks proper perspective and acceptance of the TG world.

A Tgirl who can express her inner feelings is as much a blessing to the world as the Tguy who can show strength of character.

Eventually in the far future the world will mature and see we are not two genders "black and white" but a kalidescope of varying shades of grey or bright colours. When this world is reached it will be a far better place than we now inhabit. Who knows, perhaps the concept of awarding a Nobel Prize for Peace will be deemed no longer needed. The world will TRULY be at peace then !

*Hugz & Kisses To One And All*

KAREN ~(*_*)~

Michele Angelique said...

From: "Tray"
Date: Tue, 14 Jun 2005 19:28:58 -0000
This was a very interesting subject. I myself prefer a man with a softer side. One that also loves to shop, giggle, touch, and fight over who has the cutest panties is a BONUS by far!! I grew up attracted to a man who could blend the best of both sexes, only to be disappointed when once in a relationship.....they felt the need to be more "manly". Aggressive behavior, king of the castle, breadwinner attitude gave them all a swift kick to the curb. I do not need a man that can crush a can on his forehead, belch out the entire "Star Spangled Banner", or constantly "adjust" himself in public (unless he was giving me a hint) ;) I, myself, was glad when the generation of Metrosexuals came about where more men dont fear going to salons for manicures and facials, wearing colors beyond the spectrum of black, blue, and gray, and enjoy a good cologne (male or female). It has made a step in the right direction for the male population, contrary to popular belief, to be more free with their appearances.

I watch men more closely when Im out and tend to notice more the ones who choose to wear colors, are nicely groomed, earrings in both ears, and some who exhibit more femenine traits than myself. I just LOVE it!! In the time I have known Traci, I have watched her bashfully come out dressed for the first time to a GG. I have watched as she has become more confident in her appearance and makeup techniques. I was there when she dressed with another CD for the first time and we all sat and spent a wonderful evening together. To me, she is like a beautiful butterfly who is coming out of the coccoon spreading her wings and flying off into the sunset. I only wish others felt the freedom to do as well.

I joined the CD groups almost a year ago when a friend of mine from high school told me his secret. I would never have guessed. But when he tried to tell his fiancee, she dumped him and told his family and job, which forced him to leave town and relocate on the West Coast. I hardly hear from him now, and it saddens me. Right around the time this happened, I was also talking to two male friends who I felt a connection with. It turned out that BOTH were CDs! Traci told me about herself right away and if made a world of difference to me! The love and trust we have in each other will never be broken. The other CD told me only a few months ago, but Ive had others comment to me how wonderful it was that not one, not two, but three had felt the connection with me. You are all beautiful creations and if I can be of help to anyone....Im here!

Sorry...didnt mean to just blab on and on.....I am a talker by nature! LOL

Hope all have a wonderful day!!
Much Love, Tray