What is “Cross-Dressing”?
Cross-dressing is the practice of wearing clothes and garments assigned to the sex opposite to that of the wearer’s. The purposes of cross-dressing span various reasons. It can be for entertainment (for example, a woman taking on a male role in a play or the opposite), disguising, or even as a form of self expression for some. Cross dressing does take in to account the wearer of the clothing’s chosen gender identity.
Etymology & Feminine Origin
The term cross-dressing is constantly interchanged with the Latinate transvestite”. However, the use of the latter term was controversial. It closely referred to psychiatric disorders such as transvestic fetishism and has fallen out of use. At present, transvestism is more openly used to refer to homosexuals.
In early times, cross-dressing was actually used more frequently by women. This allowed them to experience and live a more daring life away from the watchful eyes of patriarchal society. The patriarchy was much stronger and widespread historically and cultural advances have shifted the meaning.
Women had to pose as men in order for them to be able to enjoy the things and practices that were highly likely to be prohibited if they were to coexist and mingle in society as women. Cross-dressing for the women of the earlier generations was an outcry for freedom and equality, particularly in terms of power and social status.
Practicality/Do’s and Dont’s
Cross-dressing has several applications and purposes. It can be used for male and female actors and actresses to interchange roles. Drag is also a form of entertainment that exhibits exaggerated depictions of the opposite gender. It can also be a form of self expression.
There are also individuals who gain sexual gratification from cross-dressing. Some harbor erotic fantasies about wearing articles of clothing meant for the opposite gender and feel a sense of erotic euphoria when they get to wear clothes designed for the opposite sex.
With an increased focus on transgender issues, the practice of cross dressing has come under increased scrutiny. Many see it as a gateway to express gender dysmorphic tendencies. Though the well recognized fetishistic side of this practice has caused some debate. Without a doubt, there is much cross over and blurring of lines between crossdressers, transgender sexuality, and fetishism in the modern day.
Related Practices & Fetishes
Transvestic fetishism is a psychiatric diagnosis and a type of paraphilia that refers to individuals who are said to have extreme erotic obsession or inclinations towards cross-dressing. Not to be mistaken with the practice of cross-dressing for entertainment purposes, transvestic fetishism is more closely tied with sexual arousal and gratification.
See also sissyfication.
External links /References /See also