Social Standards – women vs men

While I certainly will not downplay the fact that there are social standards for women in our western world. I can’t get into all of it. This is afterall a site dedicated to casual crossdressing as one issue among many in our society. There are plenty of sites dedicated to womens issues and the feminist movement which will touch on things like being a stay at home mom or equal pay for women or other expectations that are social standards for women in our society.

But I can say one thing, when it comes to diversity of clothing, women certainly have it easier than men in the western world. I think I’ve already established that clearly in other articles. Now the question is, why?

When you read this keep in mind that this is not based on any scientific or social experiment. It is really just my opinion based on what I’ve seen, heard and read about, along with my own personal experiences that have lead me to this still evolving conclusion.

I think that at the heart of it evoltionary psychology may be onto something. Females are the gate keepers of sex. Especially in the western world where they are not held down so strictly by old religious patriarchal standards. It is far easier for a female to get sex whenever she pleases than it is for a male.  As a result women can get away with a lot more in terms of outer appearance without the risk of not being able to get sex and potentially procreate. The fact that females have also been the historically submissive of the two genders also plays into this.

If a man wants to get with a female, he has to stick to a strict set of guidelines. If he doesn’t stick to those guidelines he runs the risk of never being with a female and potentially never procreating. This risk is much higher for men than for women. If the mass majority of females are looking for butch men that act a certain way, then a man wearing a skirt and acting feminine is not going to have a lot of luck finding a female. On the other hand, a female who is tomboyish may appear at first intimadating to some men, but there will still be plenty of men out there who will see her for her sex and want to copulate with her. Some may even be extremely turned on by her aggressiveness, see it as competition and make a game of wanting to try and out dominate her.  Think of boy chansing girls in the schoolyard.

The fact that historically men have been the breadwinners and women the homemakers, means that we come saddled with a lot of historic baggage that we’re just beginning to sift through as a western society. Things don’t change over night and 50+ years of western progress is hardly a night in the span of all human history. As such many women are still looking for a man who can be the dominate family figure and breadwinner whom they can submit to. By submit I don’t mean the mousy little wife of the 1950’s who takes a backhand when she speaks up, but a woman who wants to know she is safe and protected by a man, physically, emotionally and financially should it come to it. Especially since biologically women are the one who get pregnant and during that pregnancy they are less physically able to perform certain tasks. So as a result many women are still looking for that classic breadwinning male that can be a pillar of stability and support, allowing the female to feel free to break down and cry when she needs to and be weak when she needs to be. They aren’t ready for a man in a skirt with lipstick and nailpolish ready for a good pegging in the bedroom. Otherwise they would seek out a female companion. So when they are seeking a male partner they are looking for more than just a penis they want a man, fully and completely.

The result is that if men want to get laid, they often have to resort to the classic male stereotype. Women will get laid either way so they have a greater range of freedom in how they present themselves.

This also shows us how men are mostly the observers and women the observed. One would think that with women holding the keys to sex that men would be the peacocks with the blazing colors. Men would be the ones with the variety of clothing choices from skirts to leggings trying to show off their bodies and their sexuality in order to attract picky females. Yet among humans it’s the reverse. Or is it?

Actually among humans it’s a balancing act. Females are the peacooks with the pretty colors because as said above, to female humans the more important aspect of the male is not his outward appearance so much as his social standing, stability, vitality and strength.  So females look for men who are successful, charming, funny, smart and physically fit. It matters not to female that men look good in a pink miniskirt. In fact the reverse tends to be true, that a man in a pink miniskirt is probably a social outcast and that is going to make their life rough if they get with him and have his offspring. So they cancel him out as a viable suiter right away.

However as men have historically held the breadwinning card they also have a horse in this race. The more successful and charming the man the pickier he can be about his potential female mates. As a result you get females being the colored peacocks with the variety of outwear they have available. They are attempting to show off the one thing they’ve always been able to historically rely upon, their sex appeal and appearance.

This is how we end up with males and female being how they are and how females have more variety in outwear in the modern world.

Will this ever change or is this just embedded in our gender makeup?
Honestly I don’t know. I think it’s mix of nature and nurture. Hopefully more of the latter. Even so I think it’s going to take many more progressive decades in the western world before men can branch out further. In order to do so it’s going to mean more independence for females in our society. A woman is going to need to feel like she doesn’t need a man at all even when pregnant before more women will begin to change their outlook on what they expect from a man.  There will always be women who want clasically manly men. But women may feel less of a need for that male stability if they themselves or society can provide that stability for them rather than an individual man.  We’re already starting to see that. But there is still a long way to go toward equal rights for women and support for them socially when they fall on hard times or become pregnant outside of a relationship.

Of course if you are a male who is not into women because you’re gay or even bisexual and can feel whole in relationships with just other men, then you have less to lose socially as a crossdresser. Which is why a lot of people associate crossdressers as gay to begin with. I think subconsciously people already understand what I said above about risks with the females. So they assume you have no risks because you must be gay. Of couse we know this isn’t true of most male crossdressers who do want a special female in their life. But if you find one that is accepting of you or just don’t care, you are already ahead of the game.

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  1. Possibly another exception would be a middle aged male, someone who has less to lose because he has aged out of the mating game. Actually, I’ve noticed this tendency in other forums, where most members are well into middle age-and are sick of a “trousers tyranny.”

    1. I think you make a very good point Tim. Once you get to a certain age the desire to procreate becomes less important. You may still ahve the desire to have a special lady in your life butby that point you’re a little more gelled in your thinking and won’t just accept anyone. If they aren’t right they aren’t right and you’re better off single with friends who can accept you.

  2. Your post gave me lots of feels.

    I tend to despise evo psych because it gets dragged out on the internet typically by men looking for science to justify their sexism, so I guess your analysis is refreshing in that sense, but I wanted to qualify your analysis of female experience with my own. I’m a woman who has dressed masculine since age 14 here, and I didn’t have a single romantic experience until I was 21 (at a time when I dressed hyperfeminine in a terrified counterreaction to my perceived romantic doomed-ness). Far from feeling desirable in high school, I had upperclassmen take secret pictures of me, the freak, with their camera phones and yell “are you a guy or girl?” at me in the cafeteria, and even call me “faggot” (wtf?). I attended a party where a boy I found hot looked past me and told his buddy, “I wish there were some hot girls at this party.” This had a massive impact on my self-esteem, but I recovered and eventually embraced my love of masculine fashion and my desire to look like Ewan MacGregor. This is the authentic me, and I don’t want to spend my life pretending to be someone else. But honestly, a big part of that was coming to be OK with the fact that I know most men wouldn’t date me–and a big part of that was finding a man (my boyfriend of four years) who would date me, even after I came out to him as a crossdresser.

    So my point is, other than a tremendous feeling of solidarity, is that rather than engaging in speculation about which flavor of crossdresser has more to lose in the bullshit mainstream heterosexual economy, we should reach out and build community with people who understand us, which can in some happy cases lead to hot, hot sex. If we can bypass the feeling that the world has rejected us sexually by helping each other realize that there are people who find us attractive because of, rather than in spite of, our gender expression, that would be cool.

    So I think although your analysis of what *many* women want from men is sadly true (I mean, I can go on Craigslist’s w4m board right now and see just how sadly true it is), I also want to shout out to and celebrate the women who don’t feel that way, who think male femininity is hot, who want to give a hot man a good pegging, who feel like they want to gag when they hear the words “pillar of stability”…I mean, after all, I am one of those women. 😉

    1. You make some very valid points. To be honest, I don’t often consider people like yourself when writing posts like this. I’m aware of the existence of people like you and I support you fully. I just have little experience with female crossdressers either in person or online. So often the points I make about women are more of the type of women I interact with everyday. Who are in many ways just like the guys who are unaccepting of anything outside the box. They just typically have a different way of showing it.

      That said you’re absolutely right. There isn’t a need to create a divide. Instead it should and can and will be a supportive relationship between men and women who break down the wall between gender specific fashion.

      I also know guys can be dicks to women who are eccentric. But I only really know it through stories like your own. So they are good to hear. Thank you for sharing. Hopefully as you’ve gotten older and out of the stupid immaturity that thrives in schools, you’ve found the broader world at least a tad more accepting or at least a little less negatively outspoken publically.

      1. Things have indeed gotten better for me as I settled into my mid-twenties, thank you! 🙂 I’m glad I could contribute a useful perspective. I’m looking forward to continuing to read your insightful posts.

  3. Mainstream social society is a no win situation for those with atypical gender expression. You can appear to conform, but that means a lifetime as a square peg in a round hole. So…either find your community, or build it. In the context of this forum, I believe that community will have to be built. In effect, creating an enclave, where people can be themselves.

  4. I’m thinking about a loose grouping…I don’t know how it might evolve. Initial contact on line, and then meeting face to face informally. (Probably like the dating scenarios where two people have their first face to face meeting in a public place).

  5. Not sure how to post a link for the following:

  6. Thinking about Camila’s post, and some comments posted to Skirt Cafe, I have to wonder if there could be a kind of chemistry between certain women and male free stylers.

  7. Occasionally someone will try to market skirts to men-completely ignoring the taboo-as if men are female customers. Occasionally I see a kilted man on the streets (kilts are a special case); but otherwise…..

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