According to Merriam-Webster “cross-dressing” is,
“the wearing of clothes designed for the opposite sex.”
Apparently there is a difference with “transvestism” because that is,
“the act of cross-dressing.”
I don’t see the difference between the two, but I guess there is a lot of social baggage around the latter term, with the first one having more historical value. It all really doesn’t matter, when it basically describes the same thing: men dressing like women, and vice versa — though when women do it, it can also be called, in a very hypocritical way, “being fashionably emancipated.”
You see, when a woman dresses like a man, she’s being emancipated, strong, independent, she dares to go against form. Female rappers and urban songstresses dress like they were born into the wrong body all the time, but that’s considered “hip” and totally in the now. Well, in my book they were not only born into the wrong body, but also in the wrong household, since it’s apparently always laundry day where they live.
Opposite that hip woman-dresses-like-a-man, is the man-dresses-like-a-woman. What I left out of that definition of “transvestism” was the part where it says, “(typically a man)”. That one little thing basically says all I have been trying to say: “it’s okay for a woman, but for a man to do it — chilly goosebumps.”
Do you ever see someone staring, pointing, gazing, shouting at a short-haired woman in baggy jeans, hoodie and white, sport sneakers? No, but you do when it’s a wig-wearing man in skinny jeans, halter-top and black leather high-heeled pumps. Even though it’s the same thing, but in reverse, the first one is accepted and the other is frowned-upon.
Double standards are human, and I would even say it’s a fundamental part of society. What we tolerate in one situation, we don’t in another just because it’s not what we were brought up with. You can take it back to Roman enslavement — they wanted freedom and prosperity for themselves and neighbours, but failed to provide so for their own slaves because of double standards. Another example is one I have brought up many times — you should be tolerant against religion, but atheism or non-believe is frowned-upon.
I myself have never had the urge to wear a pretty black dress, and not because I think it’s wrong but mostly because I don’t have the legs for it. Adding to that is the fact that my knees look terrible from being bruised a million times. But I do like pumps. Black, high-heeled ten centimeter and up, leather, stiletto court shoes. The weird thing is, I can totally walk in them without that whole “straight guy who wears pumps and stumbles and falls all the time” routine. It’s not that hard to walk in high heels, I don’t even understand why some women can’t wear them. With the right spunk for the high-heeled walk, any height is possible!
Does this urge to wear pumps make me a cross-dresser, a transvestite (still not convinced there is a difference), a pervert? If it does, then bite me world! If a woman can wear the ugliest of man-shoes without being prosecuted for it, why shouldn’t I be allowed to wear the prettiest of girl-shoes? Double standards, to hell with them!