A Twitter thread by @radicalhag
A rumination on Men in Dresses, inspired by #PartTimePips
We are not supposed to say that transwomen are men in dresses, although when transgenderism embraces people who do not have or want to have surgery, and who cross-dress full or part time, that is, of course, exactly what they are: men in dresses.
Men in dresses are ridiculed and discriminated against. It’s wrong to call this misogyny. If Kate Manne’s model of misogyny is correct (I think it is), then misogyny polices and punishes women who deviate from acceptably feminine behaviour, aka gender roles.
But men in dresses are being policed as men who deviate from appropriately masculine behaviour. They are failing to express male power, which assaults the gender hierarchy; thus feminine attire is unacceptable for men.
It is unacceptable because it is *associated* with the subjugated female. The feminine is the marker of the subjugated female. The masculine is the marker of the dominant male.
Femininity is not intrinsically derided. It is derided as the marker of femaleness.
So for a man in a dress to claim that he is oppressed because of his femininity, and to simultaneously claim that his femininity makes him a woman, is to uphold the sexist patriarchal association of femininity with the subjugated female. Coming from a male it is #womanface.
There is nothing remotely transgressive about men in dresses claiming to be women. They’re ticking all the boxes for obedience to male domination. If you dress like that, you can’t be a male.
For a man in a dress to claim to be a man in a dress is a lot more transgressive. He is then violating the patriarchal association of femininity with the subjugated female, and masculinity with the dominant male, by saying males can be feminine. He’s transgressing male roles.
Feminism is about fighting the actual structural oppression of women by men, based on exploitation of reproductive resources. All the gender performance in the world, compliant or transgressive, is worthless if it has no effect on basic structural inequality.
Performative gender ‘transgression’ is just window-dressing. Patriarchy is impervious to mascara. What you need to know about Philip Bunce is a) that he has a dick and b) that he’s taken an award meant for a woman. That is sex inequality in action. #PatriarchyInDrag