You Pretty Little Housewife

February 23, 2007 ·

“Mayor Pat Gerard says she doesn’t believe Stanton will have any problems when he walks in wearing a dress, lipstick and heels.” – Mike Deeson (Tampabays1o.com)

Call me a Marxist Radical Feminist Nazi, but I don’t think Ms. Stanton has to wear a dress, lipstick, and heels to present as a woman.  Why is it that when people think of transwomen they think of something close to a Stepford wife or June Cleaver?

Where’s my lighter, I have bra to burn.

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  1. I think that society needs to transisition and realize that there are many types of women and men and whatever, and not all of them fall into the dress, heels, make-up or suit and tie categories. Thank you for bringing it up. I love to wear sweats or jeans or slacks or…

  2. I think that society needs to transisition and realize that there are many types of women and men and whatever, and not all of them fall into the dress, heels, make-up or suit and tie categories. Thank you for bringing it up. I love to wear sweats or jeans or slacks or…

  3. Ugh. Yes, that’s an annoying comment.

    There does seem to be a stereotype that transwomen always dress in high-femme clothing and wear lots of makeup. I remember watching Transamerica and rolling my eyes because the main character was usually attired in this fashion. Sure, there are many women who do dress in this fashion and more power to them. However, this seems to be the only set of images that makes in into the mainstream’s portrayal of transwomen. For once, I’d like to see a portrayal of us that exists outside of the usual expectations.

    I’m mean heck, I prefer boots and blue jeans. Makeup? I think I have a bottle of clear nail polish… somewhere. Dresses and skirts? I wear them a few times a year. Occasionally, I feel like dressing in stereotypically feminine garb, but more often than not, I find it to be an uncomfortable inconvenience. Where are the media portrayals of transwomen like me?

    There’s an additional nuance in stereotypically feminine images of transwomen: transwomen are often portrayed as making great efforts toward fitting heteronormative images of womanhood, but in spite of all of their efforts, they fall short of the mark. This exists in contrast to the media’s usual portrayal of cisgender women as slim, attractive, perfectly coifed fashion models.

    Of course, no woman measures up to society’s ideals of perfect femininity: youthful, slim bodies, perfect skin, perfect faces, knockout wardrobes, etc. Most women—cisgender and transgender alike—have to endure these expectations. Most of us fall short of the mark and wind up feeling inadequate in some way. We feel that we need to loose weight, or we feel that we have bad skin or ugly hair, or we feel the need to invest tons of money in our clothing because we are never satisfied with our current style of dress. So much insecurity gets drummed into us through these expectations.

    For transwomen however, there is an additional twist: the ways in which we fall short of society’s ideal images of femininity are often used as evidence of being inferior carbon copies of women. We might have oddly shaped bodies, bad hair, bad makeup or perhaps, yesterday’s wardrobe… and on top of it all, our sad visages are evidence of being freakish imposters. Not only do we fall short of the requirements of beauty and femininity, we even fall short of being women.

    How much of a mindtrip is that?

  4. Ugh. Yes, that’s an annoying comment.

    There does seem to be a stereotype that transwomen always dress in high-femme clothing and wear lots of makeup. I remember watching Transamerica and rolling my eyes because the main character was usually attired in this fashion. Sure, there are many women who do dress in this fashion and more power to them. However, this seems to be the only set of images that makes in into the mainstream’s portrayal of transwomen. For once, I’d like to see a portrayal of us that exists outside of the usual expectations.

    I’m mean heck, I prefer boots and blue jeans. Makeup? I think I have a bottle of clear nail polish… somewhere. Dresses and skirts? I wear them a few times a year. Occasionally, I feel like dressing in stereotypically feminine garb, but more often than not, I find it to be an uncomfortable inconvenience. Where are the media portrayals of transwomen like me?

    There’s an additional nuance in stereotypically feminine images of transwomen: transwomen are often portrayed as making great efforts toward fitting heteronormative images of womanhood, but in spite of all of their efforts, they fall short of the mark. This exists in contrast to the media’s usual portrayal of cisgender women as slim, attractive, perfectly coifed fashion models.

    Of course, no woman measures up to society’s ideals of perfect femininity: youthful, slim bodies, perfect skin, perfect faces, knockout wardrobes, etc. Most women—cisgender and transgender alike—have to endure these expectations. Most of us fall short of the mark and wind up feeling inadequate in some way. We feel that we need to loose weight, or we feel that we have bad skin or ugly hair, or we feel the need to invest tons of money in our clothing because we are never satisfied with our current style of dress. So much insecurity gets drummed into us through these expectations.

    For transwomen however, there is an additional twist: the ways in which we fall short of society’s ideal images of femininity are often used as evidence of being inferior carbon copies of women. We might have oddly shaped bodies, bad hair, bad makeup or perhaps, yesterday’s wardrobe… and on top of it all, our sad visages are evidence of being freakish imposters. Not only do we fall short of the requirements of beauty and femininity, we even fall short of being women.

    How much of a mindtrip is that?