Women are never accused of crossdressing, or why transgender people are good for feminism
Ever hear anyone complain about a crossdressing woman?
Women regularly wear “men’s” clothing – jeans, t-shirts, sweatshirts – no one cares.
A woman dressed in a man’s suit wearing men’s dress shoes, shirt and tie would likely be labeled gay or dyke or butch, but she likely would not be accused of crossdressing.
I have never heard of or spoken to a transgender man who has been accused of crossdressing.
I do know a transgender man who was fired when he came out at work as transgender. When his employer thought he was a butch/dyke lesbian, it was no problem.
After a name and gender change revealed that he is transgender – no job.
Still, he was accepted as transgender and not looked at as a crossdresser.
Enter a transgender woman
We often hear transgender women referred to as “men in dresses.” This is especially true when a naysayer brings up the “bathroom issue,” which has, numerous times, been debunked. See page 12 Legislative Gazette.
But even when transgender women are not in segregated women’s spaces, they are very often not acknowledged as women.
Some of the misunderstanding or lack of acceptance of transgender women as women may come from a lack of understanding of what it means to be a drag queen.
Drag queens are performers. They are men who take on female personas in order to entertain audiences. They are not women or transgender women, and they don’t want to be women.
They are actors.
Just as Anthony Hopkins isn’t a cannibal simply because he played the part of one, drag queens are not transgender women simply because they were assigned male at birth and dress as women to entertain.
Another woman in top job or the women’s movement fell short
While traveling recently, I picked up the Delta Sky Magazine. The cover story is about Cathy Engelbert, the first woman to head one of the Big Four U.S. accounting firms.
The article provides these statistics: At last count there were just 25 female CEOs in the Fortune 500 and 51 in the Fortune 1000. I’m not a statistician, but the jump from 25 of 500 to 51 of 1000 does not seem statistically significant.
What is significant to me is that IT’S 2015, and it’s STILL A BIG DEAL when women take top positions.
This tells me the women’s movement has light years to go before we reach anything approaching equality.
The fact that magazine covers celebrate a woman becoming a company leader highlights how far the women’s movement has to go.
The experiences of transgender women and transgender men also highlight where the women’s movement has fallen short.
Easy to forget because we’ve come so very far
Women are allowed to vote, own property, get no fault divorces, and have jobs.
And although women get paid less than men for the same job done the same way for the same number of work hours, women are basically doing pretty darn well compared to where we were before the women’s movement.
Transgender women’s experiences highlight where feminism has stalled
Enter Jon Stewart
The Daily Show’s Jon Stewart pointed out that the media, after welcoming Caitlyn Jenner, immediately began treating Caitlyn like a woman.
Comments such as “so sexy it hurts,” “she is hot” “sexy, boobs” abounded.
“Caitlyn,” said Stewart, “when you were a man, we could talk about your athleticism and business ability,” but now that you’re a woman, we have to talk about your body, and we have to compare you to other women and point out your physical flaws.