Arresting Dress Reflection Blog

“Arresting Dress” by Clare Sears spoke about how cross-dressing laws not only did not allow the identities of individuals who were apart of the LGTBQ+ community to express themselves, but it also speaks about how the cross-dressing laws affected mostly Chinese immigration, specifically when it came to female stowaways dressed in male clothing. It also brought up the ideas of how the cross-dressing laws were not cut in stone as the laws were open to interpretation on what is considered “hiding your identity” and how much material made it a “masculine” garment compared to a “feminine garment.

Reading this book made me realize how much luckier we are in today’s society when it comes to cross-dressing. Not only are drag queens now considered celebrities instead of criminals or prostitutes in 19th century San Francisco, but it is also less likely to be arrested for wearing clothing that is considered to be for the “other gender”. For example, in Harry Style’s vogue magazine cover where he is wearing a dress, back when the cross-dressing laws had more of an effect on our lives, Harry Styles would have been arrested for wearing that dress openly. Even with the Harry Styles example, we see something that Sears says towards the end of her book. Sears speaks about how even though we do not have those cross-dressing laws in place like how they used to be, their effects on society are impacting us to this day. The idea of gendered clothing is still important to certain people and we saw this when there were a lot of people saying “Harry Styles is not a man because he wore a dress”.

1 Comment

  1. Make sure that you spend a little more of your blog post on the content of the reading as well as the reflection.

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