The Technologies of Male Femme | Jasper at ArtMurmur in Oakland

Posted: September 3, 2010 in 2010

Jasper_in_front_of_farleys_in_

I have been iterating on this public gender for about a month, during my transition into my new home in West Oakland. It is kind of a Unisex Femme. Paradoxically, the clothing was designed and manufactured to fulfill Female genderbending from the 1960’s onward. This is an Androgyny for females only. Where it once was transgressive, it is now thoroughly reabsorbed into the Mass-Mediated fashion public.  These are “culturally femme” and anatomically unisex items of clothing.

When I first started violating sartorial customs through public genderbending, I was fashion illiterate. I had only the barest idea of the semiotics. I could not clearly separate the Artifice of Femme fashion technology from anatomical femaleness. I have written elsewhere about how significant it is that Hegemonic masculinity roles do not provide males with the tools to understand and deconstruct the semiotics of gender. It took a huge amount of trial and error to separate out Femme Magic from the effect of estrogen on Female anatomy. Many new male genderbenders focus on anatomically female fashion, on female impersonation. They focus on Female rather than Femme. They take June Cleaver as their model rather than David Bowie. I think that is partly due their lack of access to the “trade secrets” of the Femme Communities of Practice.  

For example, I have learned how to create “spellbinding eyes” through the use of eyeliner and color. Before I had the experience of casting this particular spell, I always associated it with a vague Femaleness. I biologized it and essentialized the Male/Female. I had no other mental model to hang it on. This restricted default male Point Of View cannot truly deconstruct gender.

What is the phrase? “A sufficiently advanced technology will be seen as magic.” Male Point of View is doomed to see Femme and gender as Magic. Because the Default Male has no experience of organizing his own gender. Those who think fashion is a superficial subject do not even see the technologies of gender. Most likely they take project realness upon male fashion and feel that this is the model that Liberated Females should follow.

 

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