I hadn't thought of it until I read your post, but I put so much effort into painting stereotypes in an effort to "justify" my gender identity. After being hit with the reality of male puberty, though, I ended up whitewashing my own identity. The lesson, I think, is that buying into stereotypes is not nearly as bad as whitewashing - which is just withdrawal and denial. Without stereotypes to define the binary opposites, like man/woman, love/hate, and war/peace, how would we ever figure out who we are? Besides, what could be more boring than a whitewashed world?
Thanks Connie! I guess I shouldn't have taken a few of the book shortcuts I took with Cliff's Notes. I did however know of at least one of Twain's references to a cross dressing character. I positively loved your response. In my case I vividly remember a comic strip detective catching his "prey" by tossing "her" an item. She was wearing a long skirt and spread her legs to catch it-not squeeze them together like a man would do.
Then there was the Ian Fleming attributed short story about 007 James Bond in drag which happened to turn up as reading material in a high school history class I took with a very gay (much certainly not out in those days) teacher. I have never seen it since and wonder if Ian Fleming really penned it all. Surely though, to a gender conflicted teen ager it was fascinating as I secretly read it.
There is much more to Connie's comment which we will look at in a future Cyrsti's Condo post!