The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the LORD thy God. (Deuteronomy 22:5)
I want to zero in on a massive blind spot for conservative Christians; feminist envy and rebellion. Specifically, feminists have worked tirelessly to remove the stigma from women dressing like men. Feminists have been so successful here that the very idea of a woman “dressing like a man” is foreign to our current thinking.
Deut 22:5 tells us that men dressing like women, and women dressing like men is an abomination to God.
The problem is, for decades we have been taught that there is nothing shameful about a woman dressing like and acting like a man. This is so much the case that it is really difficult to conceive of what would be considered cross-dressing for a woman in our culture, including modern conservative Christian culture. Which of the following would cause a modern woman to be shamed for being a cross dresser?
- Wearing jeans instead of dresses and skirts? Nope.
- Wearing boxer shorts? Nope.
- Joining the army and driving a tank, eating field rations, and wearing combat boots? Nope.
- Dressing up like a lumberjack? Nope.
- Wearing a man’s haircut? Nope.
A woman today who dresses like a man might be chided for her questionable fashion sense, but she wouldn’t seen as cross dressing. For a woman to be considered a cross dresser, she would have to go to the greatest extremes. Not only would she have to make herself look like a man in every way, she would have to actually claim to be a man for us to consider her a cross dresser.
Contrast this with a man who does any of the below. Is he seen as a cross dresser?
- Wears women’s underwear? Yes.
- Wears women’s dresses or skirts (excluding kilts)? Yes.
- Wears women’s shoes? Yes.
We have in our culture two kinds of clothing/styles:
- Clothing and styles everyone can wear.
- Clothing and styles men must not wear.
From a practical perspective, it is all but impossible for a woman to cross dress in our culture. We have great difficulty even conceiving of the idea. Cross dressing in our culture is something that almost exclusively pertains to men, because a woman cross dressing is simply normal. From this perspective, we were already half way to accepting cross dressing as far back as the 1980s. We’ve lived for decades rejecting the idea that something God detests is even possible. Even worse, we have denied that our perspective on the issue has changed. We forgot it, and then we forgot that we forgot it.
— Dalrock (I’m a happily married man living with my sexy wife and our two wonderful kids in the Dallas/Forth Worth area), Cross Dressing Snuck Up in Our Blind Spot, November 29, 2017
The Bible is rather inconsistent on clothing. For example Adam & Eve know they are naked so they cover up. So God creates us naked and comfortable being naked. So it would seem to be up to an individual (and not God) to decide what clothing to wear if any at all. Later in the Bible not only what kind of clothing, how much clothing, modesty etc. all make their mark. But God doesn’t endow us with clothing, clothing is entirely the product of human industry, so it makes the entire edicts on clothing questionable as to their divine authenticity.
I agree with Troy, clothing is a human construct with styles varying with era and culture. Jesus and Mary pretty much wore the same type of clothing – a robe – so we’re they cross deessers? And who cares? It seems that it’s predominantly ultra conservative religious groups that make a big deal about clothing to set themselves apart from general culture, to make themselves easily identifiable to members of their tribes (orthodox Jews, Amish, conservative Muslims, conservative Christians). If a deity cares more about what its followers wear rather than healing the sick, averting natural disasters, and providing for the poor, it’s a petty deity unworthy of worship.
So the faithful have to be warned of yet another new sin invented by a guy who needs to be in control. Anderson ranted recently against the sin of watching or playing sport. These fundies are running out of things to be bigotted against (I fervently hope) so have to invent new ones to be tribal markers. They’ve told their sheeple often enough to be homophobic and anti-abortion and realise they have nothing new to say, so rather than keep on and on with their tired old messages, have to find new ones! Which are always as bad.
Incidentally, all over the UK we have Christmas Pantomimes performed everywhere from village halls to London theatres. Google ‘Pantomime Dames’, cross-dressers and an indispensible part of the performances and have been for centuries. Many many schools and churches take parties there, and no one I know of has ever refused to attend these traditional entertainments because of the Dames! Pantos are part of our christmas here in the UK.
I know of a woman who changed churches due to another woman wearing pants to church.
Oh, yes. How utterly ignorant to suggest women are “rebellious crossdressers” when we dress how we like. They are the same as the Taliban or the Modesty Police and would enforce it the same as the aforementioned if they could.
Sick of these fools dragging on society.
I guess Katharine Hepburn is a step too far for these people. She told Barbara Walters in an interview once that she only had one skirt and she would wear it to her[walters] funeral.
Sometimes, when people learn that I’m transgender, they ask whether I used to cross-dress.
“Every day,” I tell them. I explain that I was female even before I made my “transition.” But I was forced to live as male and, therefore, wear male clothes.
Whenever I’m asked what I’m doing for Halloween, I say, “I’m going out in drag”, and let the asker make what he or she will of it.