There is no red line in our society that matches the one drawn to highlight the seperation of gender roles. Men and women, simple binary entities that simplifies all the diversity of humans nature into two templates. Only two that are hard to fit by many. It is even worse when it comes to the classification of these simple two templates; one is superior than the other. Men enjoy the upper hand. They ought to emphasize on different superior attributes (strength, intelligence, education, …etc) in order to fill their gender role.
So what happens when someone’s nature fail to fit with those guidlines? What happens when someone blurs the lines between between gender roles and mess up with one of the major parts of which we define our gender identities – our clothes?
Hell break loose! no?
What really happens is that most people fail to realize the natural diverse aspect of human beings and lump it under mental disorder category.
It is worth noting that I am not talking here about homosexuals who blur gender roles in a different way. I am emphasizing on another group of people who blur the line of gender roles based on their choice of clothes rather than their sexual orientation.
I know that we tend to lump everything that we are unfamiliar with under the same category – queerness -. Many people – falsely – percieve homosexuals as cross-dressers and cross dressers as homosexuals. In reality: The great majority of cross-dressers are biological males, most of whom are sexually attracted to women. (this is taken from the american psychological association website – read further here)
Now that we no that most cross-dressers are straight men, does that help in making them fit our unique men template?
Ofcourse not, they fail in one of the prerequisites.
While the american psychological association tells us as well that cross-dressing is not a mental disorder, a lot of people tend to maintain their constructed inherited structure of false rigidity of gender roles and judge cross dressers as mentally ill people.
We tend to play experts. It is no uncommon for us to judge any unfamiliar behaviour to be a mental illness. “He is sick, or she is sick” may be one of the most used Jordanian terms. People are sick – this is also common – in our own definition of equating sickness to weirdness.
Would we ever realize the diverse nature of human beings? and would we ever learn that being weird doesn’t necessary being bad? I know that the internet opened the door for us, we may find a hard time at the beginning to capture unfamiliar things, but we all know that with time weird things become normal.
Dude! Sorry but what applies to American men, doesn’t completely translate directly everywhere else as a given. There’s a certain vanity in this society that is an attribute of it’s existence. However it’s missing from many other societies.
I would be willing to bet money that the vast majority of cross dressers in the Arab world are either gay, or gayish. You will not find many cross dressing Arabs. And this is an attribute of the Society. And sorry, the APA are not representative of all societies or psychologies because these things follow the locale closely.
So the statement “The great majority of cross-dressers are biological males…etc”, comes with a very important clause “IN THE USA”, because that’s their domain.
But just as people are diverse in their sexual orientation. They are also diverse in their psychology. No one can claim (not even the almighty APA) that everyone follows their own templates of right, wrong and acceptable!
You’d be surprised to know that cross dressing here in the US is looked down upon socially. People look funny at people who do it. Because it’s weird.
Now on diversity, I agree that people are as colorful as the rainbow. However, the human rainbow appears to be saturated with Reds, and Violets. To put things in perspective, more than 97% of all humans fall in Red, or Violet. You can sprinkle the remaining on all other colors.
It’s funny that you should post this topic now because this episode of a show from the 80’s called “Golden Girls” that’s coming up is about when Dorothy’s cross dressing brother Phil dies. He is buried in a black lace teddy. But Phil wasn’t gay or anything like that. He had a wife and children. He just liked to wear women’s clothing. I guess the point that I’m trying to make is as long as it doesn’t hurt anybody, who cares what a person wears. What’s weird to one person is completely natural to another. It’s what’s on the inside that should count, but sadly that rarely happens. Great post by the way.
Qwaider, don’t you think that the APA is a little more credible of a source than you are? It is one of the most psychological associations of the world with members of thousands of professional pscyhologists. I would say that it is safe to assume that they are professional enough not to forget the part that ‘this is only applicable to the USA men’!
As for your last paragraph, I would say that human beings are far more complicated than this. Maybe what you said can be applied on a single characteristic, but when you combine all human features you would be having many colors that reflect the unlimited degrees of colors that form the rainbow
Tina, thank you so much. I find these words really wise “What’s weird to one person is completely natural to another” I will be quoting you in the future 🙂
Oh no, I didn’t mean that the APA is not a credible source. I said, they’re masters of their domain which is to say. They know what they’re talking about in their own local. They don’t (and can’t) be representatives of the other 95% population of this planet (300mil of 6bil = 1/20 ~ 95%). So what they say is valid and true (and mind you with a stretch) for 5% of the population of this planet
Do you think these 5% represent a comprehensive diverse sample of the population of the world?
This document also, doesn’t cite any methodology or how they came to these conclusions regarding transvestites and cross-dressers. It also fails to show if these ideas are “Opinions” or “statistical findings”. Judging by the grammatical and spelling mistakes in the document, it doesn’t appear to be have even been proof read by a scholar.
The minute you say “Safe to assume” is the minute that this whole thing loses every last ounce of credibility. Assumptions and guesses are not science. They’re not facts and that’s only little fadi, playing psycho-analysis when he has misread and misunderstood (and more severely generalized falsely).
APA are humans like you and me. The level of professionalism vary per person. It’s not an American psychologist personal attribute and should never be “a given”.
As for my last sentence, dude, we’re talking about a specific subject, not all human attributes. I suggest you read more on the APA under adhd!
Qwaider, you say first that they are masters of their domains and they are credible then you go on questioning their credibitlity! I really dont get your stand here.
My point is that they are professional enough to know and point out whether these findings are only applicable to American men or not. If yes, they would most definatly mention this.
How large is the American population? There is a large pool of diverse people who are enough representation of the population of the world. Culture does effect people’s behaviour but when it comes to psychological differences related to gender roles and identities, then culture would have a little effect. Cross-dressers have exist since the dawn of time in every time and every culture.
As for your last sentence, what’s the point of a specific attribute? Humans are a combination of many different ones. That is what create the human diversity.
“Culture does affect people’s behavior but when it comes to psychological differences related to gender roles and identities, then culture would have a little effect.”
Say what? How did you come to this conclusion? Do you know how much contradiction you have in this sentence?
Now AGAIN for people who didn’t get it the first time. APA is a credible and a reliable source HOWEVER when it comes to opinions, those usually represent the specific authors (and with a colorful list of authors, you will know that they are NOT impartial, and therefore biased and “invested”)
Now, when stating opinions, with all due respect to them, they are not scientific facts. They’re not like, Alcohol kills germs. They’re like I prefer Alcohol to Iodine. The first one is a fact, the second one is an opinion. Everyone is encouraged to formulate their own opinion but that doesn’t make it “a given” or “a fact”.
Then comes people like you, again with all due respect, and jump to the conclusion that this is an unequivocal fact that can’t be disputed (how could it be, it’s the APA!) But you see, it’s not even a fact! It’s someone’s opinion about a matter that isn’t backed by a single statistic! Or anything!
Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t mean to undermine you or put you down or anything. I am just encouraging you to take things with a grain of salt. Especially if it’s just an opinion, we can’t base scientific-fact on opinions.