Monday, 6 February 2012

A little more on femininity

As I was walking down the highstreet today, feeling another little flutter of femme-loathing, it occurred to me to wonder whether there is possibly an element of jealousy mixed up in my hugely emotional reaction to extravagant femininity.

If I was female-identified, I would almost certainly put that down to poor body-image, low self esteem or something in that area. I'm not convinced that there isn't a little bit of that going on, but I don't think it's the main cause.

I think that some part of me believes that I am not allowed femme*. I think that, in my brain, identifying as male/masculine/boy means that I can't embody anything femme without compromising that identity in some way. I have noticed this in the past, particularly, for some reason, when I'm dressing more formally. I have rejected wearing a dress to a formal occasion, choosing instead a more traditionally masculine ensemble of shirt/tie, not because I thought I'd be more comfortable in those clothes but because I felt pressure to present the gender I had announced rather than the gender I had been assigned. This has only been the case since I've been more open in more places about my gender identity. I don't want to undermine myself.

On a more rational level, I don't believe wearing a dress (for example) detracts from my masculinity or my boy-ness one bit. And to that end, I am going to try and do those things more often. I've no doubt that this will confuse people, and maybe they will ask me questions about it, and maybe I will say, "You know what? Today I'm a boy in a dress".

*That sounds grammatically incorrect, but I mean it to encompass all the things I'm not allowed: to be femme, to wear femme things, to have femme traits, to walk, talk, feel, breathe femme. Perhaps that doesn't actually make my meaning any clearer. And perhaps it is feeding into a false narrative of what femme even is - perhaps there will have to be more thoughts on this later.

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