There is a common type of argument in favor of crossdressing that I think is rather unsophisticated and false. We can boil those arguments down to statements like this –
“They are just clothes, what’s the big deal?”
“Every culture is different, clothing is neutral.”
“Wearing a dress here isn’t really a big deal since in other countries men wear kilts or kimonos or sarongs or robes.”
Or here are a few more from Robyn’s post – “Why People Struggle with Crossdressing.” (But I should point out that Robyn might not agree with my post here. I don’t know).
From her post – “If a woman can wear pants, then I should be able to wear a dress.”
“Men should be able to enjoy softer and more colorful fabrics.”
“It is not a sexual thing for me.”
Basically the argument goes, crossdressing is just about wearing different clothes, and it shouldn’t be a big deal. Clothing doesn’t matter. So crossdressing should be allowed and not thought of as wrong or strange. This kind of argument seems very persuasive. It makes a lot of sense at first glance. Yeah, what is technically wrong with me wearing fabric cut differently than has been traditionally done? What reason is there to think that scientifically or morally women can wear high heels but men can’t? What’s the big deal? They are just clothes, don’t make them out to be more significant than they are! There is nothing inherently feminine about a dress or skirt or high heels! They are not important. They should be allowed to be worn by men or women. Again, this line of thinking seems to make a lot of sense.
But if you think about it a little more carefully you realize that the grounds for this argument are not even truly agreed upon by crossdressers themselves. It’s a false argument, at least coming from the mouths of crossdressers. The argument states that the clothing is not important, it’s not a big deal. But if that were true, why are the crossdressers so consumed with crossdressing? You see, they are NOT “just clothes” to the crossdresser. They are far more special than that. It is highly significant that certain clothing is deemed “feminine” or “masculine.” Crossdressers probably more than all other people recognize the important differences between male and female clothing. In fact, they are so special that crossdressers are willing to do something that society thinks is utterly disturbing. They are willing to do something that most of them struggle to keep secret and live in fear of someone finding out.
If it is really true that crossdressers think that the clothes are no big deal, that it is just fabric and materials put together in a different way, then why not just go along with society and not make a big stink? Why put yourself at such risk? Why is crossdressing such an important “need” in your life? Why do it when so many people think it is unnatural and disturbing? Why do it when if affects so many people in your life and can even ruin relationships with children, cause a divorce, or make you lose your job? Robyn does a good job in her post, noted above, explaining why crossdressing seems so strange and unnatural to those who aren’t used to it.
Let’s not fool ourselves, even those of you who accept crossdressing as being okay. If you argue that crossdressing is good, fine, but please don’t throw around silly arguments like this. Of course they are not “just clothes.” In every culture there are distinctions between male and female dress, including our own. To just pretend that isn’t the case is naive. And of course we can’t ignore that the differences in gendered dress here are different from the differences in other cultures. And I highly doubt that most crossdressers are wearing traditionally female clothing “just because” they like the color or the feel of a fabric. Crossdressing whether it is sexually or not, fulfills a very important felt need in a crossdresser’s life, and to say it’s no big deal, that it is just neutral fabric, well that is playing games with the truth.