Sunday, August 19, 2012

Crossdresser as Selfish?


It has taken quite some time to formulate my thoughts about what Paula, from Paula's Place, commented on my wife's post, and then began a discussion on Crossdressers Forum, so I'm sorry for the tardiness of this post.  Anyways here is what she had to say:

"...I suspect that we cross dressers are a pretty selfish self absorbed bunch..." 

I believe that there is nothing about crossdressing that makes the act inherently selfish in and of itself.  What I think makes many of us think that it is a selfish act is that we have many people in our lives that do not want us to crossdress.  They express their desires to not have us do what we would like to do.  The people that ask us to not crossdress are often the most important people in our lives, our spouses.  We love, respect, and want to please these people, and yet we cannot rid ourselves of the desire to crossdress and so continue on with what many people consider to be an abomination.

It is this conflict that manifests itself as selfishness.  If there were no conflict, there would be no selfishness.  For example, if you told your spouse you wanted to crossdress and they said, 'oh my god, I was so hoping you would tell me that because I always thought you would look great in my favorite little black dress,' would it be considered selfish if you then began wearing that dress?  I don't think anybody would think that it was.

But that is generally not ever what happens when someone tells their spouse of their crossdressing desires.  What I assert happens is that their spouse tells them that it is wrong and tells them they do not want them to do it.  Isn't that the beginning of the selfish blame game?

They are the ones who begin the selfishness, by telling us they do not want us to do it, and further that they will not accept us if we do it.  If we tell them that we will continue we then become the selfish ones.  When they tell their friends of what we are doing, their friends tell them that indeed their spouse is being very selfish in continuing to do something that they hate.

If we do not acquiesce to their demands we are labeled as selfish.  Why are our desires any more selfish than their desires?  Could it be because we are the ones that are doing something that is seen as aberrant?

When we say that we love someone, what does that mean?  Will we only love someone as long as they will only do what we want them to do?  Or do we love the actual person?

Cartoon from - Mimi and Eunice

11 comments:

  1. Are you talking about any "they" in particular here or any particular circumstances? Because I can think of numerous cases in which cross-dressing might be regarded as "selfish", since it changes everything and not just for ourselves.

    For instance, with partners cross-dressing can be "selfish" if it's suddenly sprung upon them. If they always knew and are now demanding that we stop, that would indeed be selfish on their part. If they didn't know, then the situation is rather more complicated: the relationship would likely have been based on our being "masculine" in some sort of way. The appearance of "femininity" messes that up. We may still be "us", but we're not the "us" our partners know, or the sort of "us" to which they're attracted. To ask them to try and change themselves to adapt to a different "us" is quite selfish – and the same sort of selfish, especially as it may not be possible for them; i.e. their desire for "masculinity" may be as integral to them as our "femininity" is to us. In order to stay together, compromises on both sides will probably have to be made.

    With family and friends it's a bit different again. The asking may well be selfish, but it has some validity in that transphobia doesn't just affect us, it also affects them, especially if we live in the same house. Compromises may be necessary in this case too. On the other hand if they want us to stop cross-dressing simply because they don't like it, then they are just being selfish and they need to get over it. Although we may need to make them understand first that cross-dressing is integral to who we are; it can't and won't go away just because they'd like it to.

    I may be having these conversations myself very soon ;)

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    1. Good thoughts. I agree that placing demands upon someone else to accept something is selfish. Us demanding that someone else accept crossdressing is selfish just as anyone demanding that we not crossdress is selfish as well.

      As far as transphobia, maybe I have just been lucky for the last five or six years or so, but I really have not encountered it. I've heard of it, I've read about it, I know many others have experienced it first hand. But I personally have not ever. I mention this as this was a concern for my wife when I first wanted to go out dressed. But in reality we both have experienced the opposite. People seem to go out of their way to be polite to both of us.

      In my experience and readings most of the selfish blame game has come between partners and it makes me sad to see such hurtful infighting over what I personally consider to be a rather small issue. I don't see crossdressing to be this giant cosmic thing that so many others see it as. I kind of see it as as simply as some people like vanilla ice cream while others like chocolate. Should the vanilla lovers hate the chocolate lovers because they differ in opinions? I think not.

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    2. Oh and no I was not thinking of any particular incident or circumstance. I too can think of many ways that crossdressing can be selfish. I was really just responding more to the idea that crossdressers in and of themselves are selfish.

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  2. Thank you for taking the time and effor to consider my off the cuff comment! Certainly the whole relationship area is one in which either party can see the other as being selfish when they do not get thier own way, but there are otehr areas as well. for many of us the financial expense of our dressing is as hard to justify as it is to resist that pair of shoes! Then there is also the time spent preening, and then for many of us going out, on our own, rather than spending time with family.

    Of course I may just be judging by my own standards I have just come to accept that I am a bit of an attention seeker, so maybe the next stage is to accept that Paula is a whole character, faults and all.......

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    1. You are certainly welcome for considering your comments. I appreciate all comments and consider them closely. I too think of the financial aspects as I am dressing for two and it does concern me. Especially now as I am considering a new $800 wig. Wow, can I really justify that expense? Maybe, as I freely allow my wife to purchase whatever it is that she would like. Though we are a two income household, with each of us about equal in income.

      The time thing is also of concern and has frequently made me feel selfish as now that I allow myself to crossdress I do at times spend more time on myself than I used to. But, is that I bad thing? I think it depends. If we take care of our partners needs as well as our own then I do not deem it to be selfish to care for ourselves. All too often people that do not care for themselves first are then unavailable to care for others.

      In discussing this post and comments with my wife she feels as though with me enjoying both aspects of my own gender she tends to get the best of both worlds. She gets to spend the majority of her time with me in a more masculine mode but gets to do fun girly things with her best friend, me, as well.

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  3. Nadine,

    This was a thoughtful and thought provoking post. It seems to me that the dynamic of selfishness is common in all relationships. We all face limited time and resources so no one gets to do all that they want all of the time. Starting from that point the rest is a series of compromises. Crossdressing, at its bare minimum, will take time and money that would find other uses in any relationship.

    Because crossdressing is 'out of the mainstream' and because it is often something that the husband likes and wants to do much more than his wife, and because going out and about with a 'man in a dress' can be a source of embarassment and because it is hard or impossible for a GG to feel the same need and desire to cross dress that many of us feel, etc., our dressing can come across as being a selfish act on our part.

    You have a special relationship with your wife. You also have the ability to get out and about and be passable or blendable in almost any set of circumstances. Your height, weight, body style, age, etc, combined with your exquisite ability to appropriately utilize your 'unordinary style' gives you options that may not be available to others.

    On my best days I do convince my wife that there are benefits to having a crossdressing husband but I suspect that on balance that if she could make this cup pass she would.

    Again, a great post.

    Pat

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    1. Pat, your commentsbare always very thought provoking as well. There is much in a relationship that is a series of compromoises. This topic of selfishness is one that my wife and I have returned to frequently. I wasndiscussing with her today about how many woodworkers (which is another hobby of mine) worry about how selfish they are. Woodworking takes lots of time away from the family as well as often costs lots of money. My wives response was to then question me if it is selfish of her to go get her nails done, which takes time and money. Maybe there are many things in a relationship that are selfish, but is that a bad thing? I think many crossdressers feel that our hobby is a selfish one. I think it is important to make sure that things are balanced out. Personally I am aware that I need to be mindful of my hobbies because at times they can become all consuming.

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    2. Gosh my typos in that last comment were horrendous, sorry! Damn ipad!

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  4. Nadine,
    To relate the subject to woodworking I think you hit the nail on the head in your original post. All of us do things for ourselves that we like to do. By and large that is a good and healthy thing. Each individual needs some space for themselves but that takes time and resources away from other things...often your spouse.

    I like to golf and ski. Both are time consuming and costly. My wife has other things that she likes. We often find things that we like to do together.

    Woodworking, golfing, skiing, etc. are common universally understood hobbies. There would never be a problem for anyone to talk to my wife and be told that I was out golfing. It would be a problem if I was out and about in a dress and heels. My wife is a brutally honest person...she just does not lie. Is it selfish for me to go out and put her into a situation where if people were to ask where I was she would feel the need to lie about it. What makes our 'hobby' seem selfish when we spend time and resources dressing and going out while dressed is that this activity or behavior is still not socially accepted and in many cases is incongruent with our regular lives as the male person that people have come to know.

    Regards,
    Pat

    PS: Do not sweat the typos, etc. Be thankful that you are communicating with me and not my wife. Many years ago she was a professional copy editor for a major publisher. She has much more tolerance for having a husband in a dress than she does for typos, spelling and grammar errors. She is on a one woman crusade to save the proper use of an apostrophe.

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  5. Being selfish, is not a sin. But is damage for the wellbeing of others around you, so that is the importants of telling, but one might wonder if this telling thing has to only inlcude woman but what about mens that have never crossdressed?

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    1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

      Do I need to bear the responsibility for the well-being of others around me? To some extent, but certainly not entirely. We all need to be responsible for ourselves. Now I do not think that gives me a right to be a jerk to anyone, but at the same time do I need to hide who I am because it offends someone else? I don't think so.

      Oh and yes I have told non-cross dressing men about what I do and it has been received quite well.

      Thanks again!

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