What is it about slacks, or vests, or suits and ties that make them created for men? I don’t know. I’ve never known. Now I’m not completely oblivious. I’ve had a lifetime, like all women, of watching men pull off a look they probably don’t think twice about. But…the queer (and by this I mean strange) act of calling it a men’s’ suit, and conversely a woman’s pant suit, is comparable to celebrating an “african-american” writer as opposed to just a writer or a “female” athlete as opposed to just an athlete. There’s nothing inherent about looping fabric around your neck with a triangular core at the top and remaining pieces dangling below that screams male.
Like so many of our learned patterns in life, a woman wearing a tie is the effect of conflict and compromise.
My father taught me how to tie a neck-tie I think. Maybe because he thought I would tie a husband’s or a boyfriend’s, but I’ve since made selfish use of the skill. I don’t even wear it that often or even consider myself the type who would; a tomboy, butch, queer, dapper. Those words are not part of my personal constitution. If we were even using words, I would more often liken myself to a teenage boy (in dress alone thankfully…and perhaps in regard to the necessity of sleep and things on computers)…but only if I have to.
There is this line that I observe getting drawn between the spaces (literal and figurative) of what people think you can and cannot be. What’s interesting, surprisingly, is not that there is a line, but how often people feel compelled to re-draw it. Conflict and compromise. These are things that queers know. Deeply. Sometimes its dapper. Sometimes its deadly. But never. ever. inherent.