Everyone seems to have an opinion on transgender culture. But hardly anyone asks the real question: what is gender anyway? Well that’s a broad-ass topic, so we’re going to split it into parts, starting with the more specific question of: what the fuck are gender norms?
Does being a man mean wearing pants and flat shoes – and definitely not wearing makeup – while being a woman means wearing makeup and heels? If that’s the case, then our perception of gender norms is a pretty recent construct.
The Scottish have worn kilts (they get triggered if you call them skirts) since the 16th century. In Asian cultures, men were wearing makeup as early as 3000 BCE, and even later in 18th Century England, men wore makeup and fancy powdered wigs (though for sexier reasons).
Men first started wearing high heels in the 9th Century by Persian horsemen as a practical means of keeping their feet from slipping off the stirrups (similar to cowboy boots today, which keep men from slipping out of a different stallion). The style later became common among men in England in the 1600s.
Heels became a status symbol, likely originating from the fact that mostly horsemen wore them, meaning that wearing them indicated that the wearer owned horses, and therefore was likely wealthy. However practical they may have started, heels started being worn by regular ol’ rich men and soon became steeper so that the man wearing them would appear taller, thus accentuating his boyish figure. In fact, French King Louis XIV wore some ridiculously high heels because he was short.
Later in the 1600s, women in Europe started wearing heels to appear more manly! Not long after, heels began becoming more affordable so that even the lower class was wearing them, so the upper class made their heels higher and more fabulous! to differentiate themselves from the peasants until the style eventually phased out altogether by the early 1800s.
In other words, gender norms are based solely on the time period and culture. But apparently few people regard history, instead insisting on judging others based on sets of arbitrarily defined rules that hardly govern anything practical about the world.
A Side Note For Your Consideration
Now here’s what really gets my panties hard. So I’m just an ordinary trans girl. I positively LOVE wearing skirts and makeup. So now I have to wonder, would I have been more comfortable living as a man in 16th Century Scotland or 3000 BC Asia?
I can be a girly girl, for sure. But if I had been born much earlier in a masculine feminist Amazon warrior tribe, would I still feel like a girl? (Like my interpretation of what it means to be a girl, that is).
I suppose my question is: is my gender dysphoria more a misalignment with my own biology? or with my time period’s interpretation of gender roles?