Aug 24, 2009

Politics and Cross Dressing. Red Dress States. Blue Skirt States.

Keep the topics of religion and politics away from the dinner table if you know what’s good for you, goes the ancient wisdom. Well, this isn’t the dinner table. More of a private lounge really. And here, lost amongst the mirrors and a little dazzled by spritzes of fragrance, I will confess to not really knowing our etiquette in these matters dear friends.

So bravely forward we go, and again at the risk of boring the pants back on to you.

I polled this past week hoping to find out what the political leanings of the average Voyages en Rose visitors are. I do want to know more about you all after all. Additionally, I am keen to better understand how different we as a group are from, well, people who are merely juggling work, family life and just one puny wardrobe.

And here is the news – we are not much different than the country at large. We self-identify (arguably) pretty much the same way that our votes count up in national elections – “left” and “right” in pretty equal measure. Within the margin of error of course. The margins are pretty big here because very few of you did participate in this snap, unscientific survey. With that said, I think I have learned enough from the exercise to come to a really happy conclusion that I want to share with you.

E Dressibus Unum. Out of many dresses, one. (ed. sorry, I really cannot help myself)

I would like to think that 2 great American philosophical traditions are represented in our small numbers and voiced views.

Conservative philosophical impulses were at the very heart of the revolutionary labor pains that just predated this country’s birth. Ascetic wild men like Thoreau later sang the virtues of solitary, self sufficient success. “Mind your own business” is more than a slogan here. It is a way of life. This libertarian strain lives well with us today and does help inoculate us all from undue meddling with our private lives.

At the same time, and with very close roots, our Liberal traditions may stem, in part, from the collective realizations of a small population facing daunting challenges. The work of taming and claiming a life from a vast land might be more easily achieved and enjoyed by people with common purpose. A realization that our lives might be enriched if we do love our neighbors. That while we have a responsibility to provide a leg up on the future to our children, we surely owe a debt of respect and care to those who gave us our advantages.

I was surprised as I was watching these very even results trickle (whisper? limp?) in last week. I was absolutely expecting a landslide of blue sentiments. So even were the results though, and to me, so entirely unexpected. With reflection, and my morning coffee, they now make perfect sense, and give me a lot of encouraging thoughts about America in general.

I can now better appreciate how cross dressers, and the transgendered can see their path, make progress, and find peace on a foundation of conservative self-reliance.

I have always appreciated how people with common experiences and issues can share resources to get along better, more easily and perhaps go further and more happily than they might have done alone. That thinking is at the heart of my liberal sense of community.

And I am proud to see both traditions represented so attractively here on Voyages en Rose.

Comments welcomed. More lightweight stuff next time I promise.


chrissie said...

Um. I can't help but wonder if the liberal tradition in the US also stems from the fact that many of the early settlers were non-conformist in their religious and social outlooks.

I do agree that there is a dgree of "conservative2 criss dressign, but certainly in the UK that strand tends to be covert and hypocritical in nature.

As the great Arnold J Rimmer once put it, they are often "hurly-burly macho-marines in public, but at home they're dressing up in taffeta ballgowns, sipping mint juleps and whipping the houseboy".


Petra Bellejambes said...

Quite likely so Chrissie. I suspect that both traditions stem from a goulash of ingredients that can scarce be guessed at by this point. Its all a big jumble like the place itself.

More taffeta, less hypocrisy I always say ....

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