Uniforms R Viral
Gender Role Masquerade
On the bus:
I heard she had a baby. Was it a . . .
On a soapbox:
So here it is again — you’re given a body — basic components — legs, eyes, opposable thumbs, genitalia, and a mouth to have an opinion with.
But way before you really get to use the latter two you’ve been consistently whispered the restrictions (align . . . align . . . present a calculated congruence of the assigned and the apparent), a demanding hand pointing you to a particular department in the clothing store, a particular bathroom.
Opinions are soon loudly expressed in selections from the following: Bra, belt, boxers, briefs, camisole, coat, corset, cummerbund, dress, gloves, hat, jeans, jewelry, kilt, lingerie, overalls, pajamas, robe, sarong, shawl, shirt, shoes, skirt, slippers, socks, suit, sweatshirt, thong, tie, tights, trousers, vest. Maternity, dress, designer, ethnic, sports, work, outdoors, footwear, vintage, kinky, casual, handmade. Roll out the roles.
On the newsstand:
Magazine article. How to achieve that Come-Hither-look. Splash on some Attitude® Aftershave, paint on some Maybelline® Eyes.
In a history book:
Early 1500s the codpiece would grow in size, be padded, slashed, decorated, and used by men to carry coins, keys, and tobacco.
In the late 1800s all children wore dresses, designated as androgynous, or as an inferior social class, like women. Here’s a picture of little Franklin D. in a dress.
In 1918 pink was interpreted as a stronger, more assertive color and was designated for boys; blue, more dainty and delicate, for girls.
Industrial revolution — large quantities of the same; easier to sell only two choices.
And what do you need pockets for anyway?
At the boutique and the zoo:
Last year the slogan was Comfortable is Sexy, this season’s fashion runway word is Calypigian.
Humans are mammals and this is our lordosis. Other species have feather displays, vocalization, strength exhibition, and presenting. And we all have dances. And phermones. The information that dogs get from turning face to tail. Aramis® for him, Chanel N°5® for her. Define and maintain the distinctions.
Turning to bounce a reflection off various angles in the mirror before heading out. But who are they for, these tight attention getting slacks. He or she on the bus distracted lizard-glancing at the contours. Reaction to being looked at: depends on the eyes of looker. Everybody has their oh-yes, well-maybe and no-way! Who is your handsome devil, your creepy guy — your fashion model, your unattractive skank.
On the street:
Here comes a school outing on their way to the museum, navy the color of long pants and short skirts. At home they can freely transform to princesses and superheros in pink and blue.
On the bench, colorful like male birds, batting eyelashes, swooning, suggesting surrender, eye on the prize.
I am not feminine his clothes yelled to them, silently speaking volumes about status, as if corporate was the only ladder and he was not gay.
Soundtrack (our mating vocalization):
Tempting words sliding through wires into receptive ears. Personal lovelust lubrication — Sinatra singing “The Girl Next Door”, Judy Garland “The Boy Next Door” and Christine Jorgensen sings “Crazy Little Men”. In the background an orchestra led by Billy Tipton, choreography by Claude Cahun.
A famous football player’s personal photo revealing him wearing toe nail polish goes viral.
A Jewish orthodox man dressed in his wife’s clothing, walking around his neighborhood, got beat up by three men. He should have considered a burqa.
She had been applauded years ago as the first women to wear pants to the formal awards. Twenty years later scandalous photos were circulating of her arm raised, pit unshaved.
On the sinking ship:
Men and seniors first.
Tomboy and Dandy. Fashion statements. Assigning a gender. Fur distribution. Casual Friday uniforms. High heels and foot binding.
Public Service announcement (from the soapbox):
Be the assigned. Or, as needed, borrow, blur, blend, or bend towards purple.
Published July 2017 as part of the “Two Stories Up!” Series (2016–2017).
Two Stories Up! was an ongoing project that had AleXander Hirka and Tammy Remington (The Anomalous Duo) each composing a new (extremely short) short story every two months which was then sent via postal mail to interested readers.