Can you change the gender paradigm?
When I was a boy of five I remember going to a fun fair. There were lots of people around, and it was crowded, loud and noisy. My father took me to the hall of mirrors, and I can remember my brothers and I going through it and laughing about how we looked.
I also remember that day for another reason. There was a little girl, I’d guess she was a couple of years
younger than I, and she was standing in front of a mirror that made her look squat and fat. She was a healthy child, normally proportioned and here she was, crying at the sight of her reflection. It wasn’t until her mother came along and picked her up and took her to the next mirror, which made her appear tall and stretched, that she perked up and started to enjoy herself. Perhaps, in the complex world of ‘hall of mirrors psychology’, someone should have thought of placing the stretch mirror first. That would have had all the patrons feeling better right from the start.
I found myself thinking of this the other day whilst walking down the street. I noticed the variations in advertising and street signage. Some signs were softer in their message than others. Doubtless some appealed to the gentle nature of some people, while others presented a more aggressive approach. I couldn’t help thinking that the environment with which we surround ourselves not only impacts us, but also influences us in ways that may surprise us. Just like the little girl in the hall of mirrors we see ourselves reflected in the world around us, and sometimes we might not like what we see.
I will give you a few examples, and perhaps you’ll see how insidious the effect is. Imagine the following words placed on cards on a table before you.
- Trump Tower
- A Japanese garden
- Silver Ghost
Regardless of their meaning, some of these words suggest more aggressive traits than others. Some suggest values associated with pride, power and strength. Others suggest calm, beauty and sophistication. For those who wish to get technical, four are the names of vehicles and two are more general. How would you divide these words and group them?
The things we surround ourselves with impact who we are. There’s little doubt that if you surround yourself with military memorabilia and only watch action movies you’ll become a very different person from one who immerses themselves in art, a variety of music and visits local community theaters. Neither is ‘wrong’, but a happier life is likely to result from bringing a certain amount of balance to ones existence.
As crossdressers we are allowing our feminine selves to
develop and emerge in healthy and positive ways. This goes far beyond what we wear. It goes to how we behave, and what we think — and the things we surround ourselves with. Allowing the feminine aspects of ourselves to emerge can be powerfully influenced by what we surround ourselves with. So, while I love listening to Bachman Turner Overdrive at times, today I’m listening to Clannad and Enya — providing myself with that softer balance that fosters the softer side of myself.
As an exercise I’d like you to think about what you surround yourself with, and look for ways to soften those surroundings. You’ll find that as you soften the things you surround yourself with, you yourself soften, and allow the gentle side of yourself to emerge.
You’ll notice than throughout this message I’ve avoided using the terms ‘weak’ and ‘strong’. I’ve seen such great strength from people exploring gender fluidity that the term simply doesn’t work. One such trans friend recently cycled across Canada — leaving from the west coast in late April and reaching the shining sea in the eastern seaboard three months and 4000 miles later. Oh, and they started on their 50th birthday. That’s a feat of such mental and physical power and stamina that no reasonable person could question this person’s strength. One can only marvel at their commitment.
And yet, that doesn’t stop the airport staff struggling in an insulting manner with the male/female paradigm society reflects and imposes on trans people. With this in mind watch the video below, and hopefully you’ll find ways in which to subtly influence the world around you, for yourself and for others. In the end that’s probably our greatest hope — to change things for those that follow us in years to come. Change doesn’t happen overnight — but it does happen.
I know this because the bravery and courage of LGBTQ activists who spoke out in the past. It’s their courage and tenacity that allows us today to do many things that were unthinkable a few years ago. We have members here who have stood up for their beliefs, often at great personal cost. You are in very good company.
Have a wonderful day,
Why we need gender neutral bathrooms.- Ivan Coyote.
If you’ve not already checked her out, I would like to introduce you to Mollie Blake, a wonderful writer from England’s west country. In this, her first piece for FionaDobson.com she’s going to lead you through a story telling the tantalizing crossdressing story of a date night to remember. You can find more of her stories at MollieBlake.com
The Dating Game — by Mollie Blake