Tuesday, March 22, 2011


pic from flickr user Teresia
For those of us still mostly "in the closet," painting our toenails is just one of those easy little body mods that can generate a warm little feeling of femininity as we drag through the day in male drab. My wife, who does not do her nails, whether toes (never) or fingers(seldom), laughs at me when she sees my pink/red/sparkly/etc toes, but in a nice way. On the other hand, some critics of transwomen see this as hyperfemininity, caricaturing "real" women, etc. This is a stupid criticism - just look at the millions of strong feminist women who happen to like many of the "trappings" of femininity. But also, the context for transwomen needs to be understood. We aren't trying to be hyper-anything, nor caricatures. We give ourselves these little secret cues of our true selves, our true genders, because unlike people who have been recognized as female all their lives, we don't get that identity reinforcement from anyone else. Is it silly to do the vacuuming in high heels? Sure, but it's fun, and unlike women (trans or otherwise) who are women in public, when else am I going to wear them?

1 comment:

  1. "secret cues of our true selves"

    I love it. Why didn't it ever occur to me in quite that way?

    Thanks Viv!