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When I was a Little Girl

I received the following from Ellie, expressing her feelings about her crossdressing boyfriend. I think she has an excellent outlook and offers some neat insight. Carol

“When I was little I was allowed to do much of the 'male gendered type things.'. I could do that as a girl and no one would bat an eye. Certainly it isn't 'just' about wearing clothes, but there certainly is an element of being socially accepted for doing atypical guy type things and that being okay. Basically I am saying "I don't NEED to have a penis to be able to play with trucks, climb trees, fix the car, walk around the house with a hammer, or do any of the typical male things." Now I remember my brother wanting to play with dolls when he was little--I wasn't actually 'there' because I'm younger, but Mom reports that he was smacked and the dolls were taken away from him. I DO remember he was allowed to have a teddy bear until eight years old, at which point that too disappeared. But clothing does signify identity, and even in today's world, by the time they get to 8 years old, it is STILL socially unacceptable for a boy to even play with girls, unless they are doing boy activities. In my son's class there are about 2 girls to 1 boy and the boys stick together. Some of the girls will play with the boys, but it has to be an activity in which the girls 'become' boyish to do this—i.e. hockey, and other 'boy games,' not girl games. He can't, for example, decide he is going to go and skip with the girls or play Barbies because in order for him to do that it would mean complete osterization from the gender club he is in. Therefore, if he wanted to do this--he would have to go and borrow his sisters babies and play with them alone in his room. A guy friend comes over and he'd have to do something totally boyish like break the Barbie or whatever--just to reclaim the fact that he IS a boy.

In our generation we are told regularly that its okay to be boyish--we even have a term for it--and that term carries with it all, or most of, the privlidges that the typical boy has. There are different kinds of comforts. Comfortable clothing can be male or female--I have worn shoes, high heels that totally hurt my feet, and then worn another pair of similar shoes that just 'felt' good--especially because they made me look so nice. I remember different skirts that I would like to put on that made me 'feel' sexy, makeup was fun to explore and the whole like. Certainly sometimes--most times--I prefer to be wearing those old jogging pants or sweats that come in female or male style--but at the same time I have to recognize that inside me there are typically male qualities AND female qualities and I am allowed to be comfortable with both--the inner comfort kind. Since I am not in a position where. if I'm bent over the car engine, dressed up in a 'masculine set of overalls' and getting grease all over me, people all go “OMG SHE’S dresseed like a man!" I honestly can't imagine what it must be like to have society tell me that my feminine qualities are just not acceptable. Perhaps for them, the wearing of clothes allows them to feel more connected to that part of themselves that I take for granted. All I can do is allow him to be who he is, be aware of my own comfort zones and still maintain my own sense of integrity with regards to which behaviors I can and can not tolerate.”


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Last modified: 02/09/09