Ditch Those Jeans, Girls, They Make You Crazy

No, really, I am trying to stop posting about this stuff, but some of it is too weird to ignore.

Remember the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders? That’s the catalog of mental disorders used by the American Psychiatric Association, which is currently undergoing revision. I have said before now that this is less a medical diagnostic tool, and more a tool for social control. Well, it gets worse.

The current plans for DSM V neatly split on political lines. Psychiatrists who are sympathetic to trans people are allowed to diagnose Gender Incongruence, which can be cured by gender transition. But those who are opposed to trans people could diagnose Transvestic Disorder and Autogynephilia, suggesting that the patients are abnormally erotically aroused by wearing women’s clothes, and possibly even sexually obsessed with images of themselves dressed as women.

One of the ways in which the trans community tried to challenge this was to point out how odd it was that this diagnosis could only be applied to male-bodied people wearing “women’s clothes”. It was a classic case of “women who want to be like men are admirably ambitious, but men who want to be like women are crazy.”

So what have the proponents of this daft idea done? You guessed, it, they have extended the definition to women wearing men’s clothes, and have invented another new disorder: Autoandrophilia. And if this is officially adopted into the DSM, it will be possible for a woman to be diagnosed as mentally ill for wearing jeans.

And Julie Bindel says that it is trans people who try to enforce gendered behavior. Sheesh!

Also, you know, even if people do have a clothing fetish, what’s so weird about that? What I find weird is that some people are so obsessed with what sort of clothing other people are wearing. I’m not suggesting that people should be locked up or hospitalized simply for being transphobic. But I do think that they shouldn’t be put in charge of other people’s mental health.

7 thoughts on “Ditch Those Jeans, Girls, They Make You Crazy

  1. Exactly, as you say, if someone has a particular desire or passion for particular clothes or styles then so what? That’s individual taste, not a psychological disorder. And given the number of senior shrinks who delight in wearing large bow ties with old jackets they are in no position to be judging anyone else about clothing 🙂

    If I were a cynical person I might think they invent more classifications of mental ‘illness’ in order to have more illusory afflications which they can earn huge fees for attempting to ‘cure’ for patients (or often patient’s families) who are made to feel guilty and ashamed for having such an ‘affliction’. Send ’em to Sydney and let these shrinks tell their findings to some of the Dykes on Bikes, see what happens 🙂

  2. But… that would make me sane, which I know not to be the case (I have the medical records to prove it, too). But what do I know? Apparently my clothing obsessions define me.
    Looks down at skirt and ponders….

  3. FWIW, it is my understanding that most of the issues in the DSMMS are appended with “…and this interferes with the patients’ life” or something similar.

    I’ve been doing some reading on several “disorders” recently and all of the symptom lists end that way. Generally speaking – if _you_ don’t think you have a problem, then it’s not a disorder. With the acknowledgement that if you’re regularly sent to jail or are homeless because of it you might be encouraged (euphamism) to rethink whether it’s a problem.

    And I’m unaware of any place in the U.S. outside jail where you can be forced into medical or psychiatric treatment, barring threat to life and a court order.

    I’m by no means belittling your feelings or interpretation, but the “interferes with life” portion _is_ rather important. Along with the whole “sexual arousal” bit, which you drop from your argument at the end there.

    Women can wear jeans all they like, EVEN if it sexually arouses them and the APA doesn’t care. But if a woman finds that wearing them interferes with getting or keeping a job/family/whatever, then (and only then) is it a disorder.

    And being the the DSMMS might get insurance to pay for treatment.

    1. Unfortunately “interfering with life” can include “upsetting your parents”. Zucker and Blanchard get a lot of their business from parents afraid that their kids might “grow up gay”. I think it entirely likely that they’ll use the same scare tactics to persuade gullible parents that a girl who likes to wear jeans rather than skirts is in need of psychiatric treatment.

      1. So, what do these esteemed academics make of hairy legged Scotsman in a nicely pleated kilt, I wonder? 🙂

  4. Yee GAWDS and little fishes – am I in trouble! I don’t remember the last time I wore a skirt. Thanks be to the Goddess we don’t have psychiatrists in Estonia – or at least not very many of them.

  5. Jeans…are…male clothes?

    Okay, there are tens of thousands of sorority girls who are going to be shocked out of their hiphuggers.

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