Friday, April 26, 2013

Beyond Gender

These men in drag are hot.  According to BuzzFeed's report, "Kurdish men are dressing in women's clothing in response to the punishment given to a convicted man earlier this month. He was paraded down the streets of Marivan in a woman’s dress in order to humiliate him."  

Because looking like a woman is humiliating, evidently.

These Kurdish men are dressing in drag because they disagree.  They think there is no shame in dressing like a woman.  And it's not just men.  Women in drag are hot too!  A few Iranian women are dressing up as men to protest too.  Here are some of my favorite photos of these brave humanitarians.

From the neck up, these two look like they could be my aunt and uncle.  I'm some white chick living clear across the planet and yet there is a familiarity to these two people's kind faces:  

Photo source: Facebook

Then there's this guy.  He looks like someone I'd like to have coffee with and talk about all those books he's got on the shelves behind him:

Photo source: Facebook

This guy kinda looks like my husband, Will.  Or, what I imagine Will would look like dressed up in the same outfit.  I wonder if this guy's a meticulous hippie, too?

Photo source: Facebook

I like the look on these people's faces.  They look like they're trying to look like they're thinking "Unite and take action!" or some such tepid progressive talk, but what they're actually thinking is, "This is bullshit!  When are these stupid people in power going to realize young people all over the world today are bored with this nonsense?  We have moved beyond gender.  Repressive Regimes, take note: It's time to catch up!  Come on, now, I'm tired of this bullshit.  I wanna go back to looking at pictures of cats on my phone."

Photo source: Facebook

I like the colors and composition of this photo.  Like Book Guy above, I'd totally have a coffee with this dude, out on this patio with all the lovely foliage.  He looks like he has interesting things to say:

Photo source: Facebook

We all have interesting stories to tell, no matter what our gender.  Here's one I heard on public radio the other day.  It's a touching story about a local woman, Stephanie Mott, who struggled with her gender identity until she found hope and love at a church in, of all places, the land of Fred Phelps' Westboro Baptist Church: Topeka.  It's an awesome story.

People should not have to struggle so hard to be true to themselves.

Gender is ambiguous whether you're transsexual or not.  What does a woman look like?  What does a man look like?  In American culture, gender roles used to state that women wear dresses and men wear pants, but that custom is no longer in fashion.

I wear men's shoes because I have wide-ass feet.  I wear pants or dresses, depending on my mood.  I do not wear high heels because I am a klutz, and, again, wide-ass feet.  It's impossible to find heels I can afford that are wide enough to fit my feet.  Professional drag queens must spend a fortune on their heels.  I hope they claim them as a tax deduction.  

I no longer wear makeup or put hair styling product into my hair because I've discovered I look and feel better without it.  I shave my legs because my husband likes me to just as I like him to shave his beard.  But I also know he loves me even when I have hairy legs, just as I dig him full-bearded.  My husband has always had longer hair than I have.  I do not let my finger nails grow out and I do not polish either my finger nails or my toe nails because I don't like the way it looks on me and I have a compulsive need to pick the polish off.  

Does my appearance make me a mannish woman or a hippie?  What does it matter if I'm not hurting anyone?

What does it mean to look like a woman?  What does it mean to look like a man?  The answer to those questions depends on the time and place you happen to find yourself living on our planet.  If the answer changes with the times and with the places, then whatever answer you give seems a bit arbitrary and irrelevant, doesn't it?