Gender and Subversion

In highlighting difference, incongruity becomes another way of suggesting that things are not as they seem. Cross-dressing disguises one’s sexual identity and presents an outer appearance that does not match the inner reality of one’s sexual self.

By the 1920s the facade of femininity had cracked under the weight of bejeweled androgyny and yet a shadow of doubt still hovered over any women wearing ‘masculine’ styles for anything other than sport and certain work activities. After all, women surely dressed to attract men and how could they possibly do that in trousers?

Trousers symbolized male authority and any woman adopting them was therefore viewed as over-assertive and unfeminine.

Of course, if women could subvert so called masculine traits by adapting and adopting masculine fashions, then it was also possible for men to procure feminine styles for themselves, and, as the century progressed, the cries of ‘gender confusions’ by media and academic commenters became increasingly loud.

 

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Art 302. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s