Culture

Eliminating Gender Norms from Clothing Styles Is Actually Transphobic

Jaden Smith

Louis Vuitton has announced that Jaden Smith, Will Smith’s son, will be the new model for its womenswear section — and, apparently, that’s somehow oppressive to trans people. 

Yes, seriously. 

According to a piece by Katie Glover in the Independent, promoting the idea that individuals can wear whatever kind of clothing they want may seem progressive, but it’s actually transphobic because if cisgender men start wearing clothes typically associated with the other gender, then no one will be able to tell transgender people are transgender based on the clothing they wear. 

Um. 

First of all, I thought progressives believed that gender was a spectrum and you could be transfeminine without actually considering yourself a woman. How “feminine” do you have to consider yourself to be in order to be allowed to wear women’s clothing?

Second, as Elizabeth Nolan Brown of Reason points out, this is really no different from telling a trans person they should “stick to dressing as the sex they were assigned at birth.” After all, Glover’s line of thinking demands that you limit what you wear based on your gender or gender identity — and I thought gender norms were supposed to be seen as oppressive and in need of annihilation. 

#share#Does Glover also think that only transgender children should be allowed to get “feminine” toys for Christmas because otherwise how are people going to know that they’re transgender children? Does she wish Target would have — instead of eliminating gender labels from its toy aisles — changed them to “Girls and Male-to-Female Transgender Toys” and “Boys and Female-To-Male-Transgender Toys”? 

Glover continues that although “women have been wearing trousers for decades,” they’re “usually a femme version of the male equivalent.” 

So, let me get this straight — I’m allowed to wear jeans and not be transphobic as long as they are traditionally “feminine” jeans. And that’s somehow progressive, despite the fact that I thought labeling certain things as “feminine” was supposed to be something only archaic, oppressive conservatives were still doing. 

#related#But apparently I’m totally wrong, and the fact that I’m so wrong is a very big deal. After all, Glover insists that cis men wearing traditionally “feminine” clothes is not just kind of offensive, but actually “could be a serious problem” — yes, serious problem — for trans people, and that they must be concerned about the potential consequences. 

“Trans people should be aware that well-known faces like Jaden Smith are starting to encroach on our territory,” she writes. “They’re starting to wear the trans uniform without actually stating that they are transgender, and they’re claiming it for themselves under the guise of gender-neutral fashion.” 

Ugh. Damn that Louis Vuitton and its “guise” of inclusivity that is really nothing more than an anti-trans conspiracy! What on Earth is this world coming to? 

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