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A Matter of Respect

A Significant Other View
by Julie Freeman

This article is reprinted here with permission from DEVIL WOMAN, the Diablo Valley Girls' newsletter. Ms Freeman is the wife of a crossdresser. She can be reached at Julie39@comcast.net

A Matter of Respect

I have always wondered why crossdressers want to be like women. Haven't they observed how women are treated in our culture? It is acceptable for men to be forceful and even demanding - it is called being assertive. For women, if they are forceful, it is called being aggressive and is considered unsatisfactory. This double standard is accepted not only by men, but also by women.

Have you ever watched a news show such as Inside Washington or the McLaughlin Report? Perhaps you noticed that the women are interrupted frequently by the male panel members, not allowed to finish their thoughts when allowed to speak, and are generally ignored when trying to make their viewpoint known. Sometimes they are even laughed at, almost like they are "cute children" not adults.

Women have always complained that their ideas are not considered. Their opinions are overlooked while those of their male counterparts are taken seriously and thoughtfully. Most irritating is when other women exhibit this behavior. Female executives, for example, have been known to allow their male staff members to voice criticisms and commit indiscretions that women would be chastised for.

In our community, transsexuals report that once they transitioned on the job their status changed dramatically. They no longer were listened to as they had been and were more likely to be ignored than before their change. This must be particularly disconcerting to individuals who once were in leadership positions and now find themselves relegated to positions of lesser power and consideration.

Even within the gender community, you will find this bias. As a participant in an on-line service for both crossdressers and significant others, I find it interesting that the crossdressers chat easily with other crossdressers, but don't always react to posts by significant others. It may just be the barrier that always exist between the sexes, but it does seem at times that opinions by women are not taken as seriously or as importantly as opinions stated by men. Occasionally, a crossdresser will even ask for opinions specifically from significant others, but then continue to address his remarks to other crossdressers, not to the significant others who responded.

I have also met wives and partners who ignore the other wives and concentrate their attentions on crossdressers. This behavior certainly can be annoying, but it is not surprising considering the value we place on the male sex.

If crosssdressers complain about the lack of participation of significant others, they need to remember that women are not going to participate or join in activities where they are ignored or not taken seriously. They do not want to be relegated to "kitchen" duties. They do not want to attend conferences where there is an obvious lack of events for wives.

It has also been a bone of contention among the wives as to whether they wish to be called "gg's", a cute but slightly condescending designation, or "gw's", now preferred. Has anyone, by the way, ever heard a crossdresser referred to as a "genetic boy"?

We all know why this attitude exists. It is our culture. It is our conditioning. All of us have grown up in a society that expects the male to be dominant and the female not. - a society where a doctor or a nurse can be heard saying to a geriatric patient, "How's our girl today?" Yes, this attitude is changing but not rapidly.

In the meantime it is up to all of us - crossdressers and significant others - to try to change this attitude particularly in our community. All must learn to treat women, genetic or otherwise, with respect and consideration. If we do not show respect for the other gender within our own community, how can we expect society at large to!

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