Arresting Dress

Arresting Dress focuses on San Francisco in the later half of the nineteenth century. Specifically, addressing cross-dressing laws and how people were treated for not wearing gender aligning clothes. The author points out that a lot of these laws were used as a way to control lesbians, gays, and trans people. These laws were sparked social and political unrest. It made me think about when the BLM protests were going on, the state issued a curfew. It was speculated that the curfew law was instated so the police had an excuse to control groups of people. That situation reminded me of this; as in both, indirect laws were put into place to police. I also noticed that the author identified some lesbians were “butch”, I’ve heard members of the LGBTQ community say that this is an offensive term to call someone and I feel like the author could have sounded more professional by using a different word. Clothes are a great way to express yourself; you can tell a lot about someone by the way they dress. These people who wanted to cross-dress were being stripped of their right to expression. That could feel pretty dehumanizing, why are we allowed to wear some things and not the other? Although we do have work to do, I feel that we have improved a lot since the nineteenth century. I love going to drag shows and seeing the queens express themselves on stage. They are able to be exactly who they want to be and it is so beautiful to watch.

1 Comment

  1. Make sure that your post demonstrates the nuances within the text. This book is more inclusive that the LGBTQ+ community. Partial credit.

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