Of all the reactions I expected to get from wearing my new wig,* I never anticipated the level of hostility I would face from passing many women in public. At the first couple of dirty glares, I just brushed it off as odd, but once I started noticing less-than-friendly looks from more than half of the women I passed, I had to remark about it to K. Surprisingly (to me), she didn’t seem shocked and instead shrugged it off, “that’s just how it is. Welcome to my day.”
I can’t deny it: women can be freaking terrifying to (those they perceive as) other women. Maybe be nicer to each other, everyone, okay?
And in case it sounded too weird to be true, here’s a before and after look of the wig in action:
(*I recently thought it would be a good idea to grow my hair out for the first time in 20 years, so we decided it would be a better idea to just buy a wig to see if I like the look in reality.)
In other news, it’s only been a week since our Patreon has been active and we’re already unbelievably close to complete and utter comic independence! In other words, we’re inching our way to the sort of financial stability that means ChaosLife & FindChaos can be our main projects, meaning more comics, more material, and faster production! Holy crap, we’re overwhelmed and so grateful to the outrageous generosity our Patrons have shown us. Thank you all so, so much!!
Edit: March 13, 2014
Thanks so much for all the comments on this particular comic — here, in e-mail and elsewhere! I’m afraid I don’t have time to answer every single one, so I’ll just sum up some basic answers for the most common questions!
- – “You made it all up/You were projecting your own insecurities onto women/Maybe you just imagined they were giving you dirty looks.”
I lumped those in together because they’re basically the same sentiments, condensed for presentation. To answer them: Considering that I went out several times in “femme” clothing and/or wig after presenting as typically “Masculine of Center” for years, I don’t think I’d make up an insecurity I don’t even have. I’m pretty comfortable with dressing up however. True Story: I once dressed up like an Oompa Loompa for 8 hours of a work shift (but I also got to stand beside a guy who was dressed as Willy Wonka and who also did the chocolates for the fricken’ Oscars, so at least we enjoyed that ridiculousness together). Simply put: I’m really not an insecure person.
Secondly, each time I went out, there was either one or more persons with me — different people noticed the phenomenon and commented on it. K, my grandma, my friends — without prompting on my part all remarked that women were treating me with subtle hostility.
Thirdly, seeing as the very first comment on the site was someone complaining that I looked “competitive” (an observation I haven’t heard since I played rugby and never imagined in this particular setting) because I wore a nice hair piece, it seems like the hostility isn’t all that uncommon. From the rest of the comments section, a lot of people — men, women, genderqueer folks, etc. — seem to be judged harshly by some people (women included) depending on their appearance. This was just my experience, but there are plenty of others that have popped up that are equally upsetting.
- – “Maybe it was Gender Policing?”
That’s entirely possible and even probable. Quite honestly, even though I might “pass” in photos, I’ve been addressed as “Sir” and especially “young man” quite frequently when in public. I’ve been told I have ‘masculine’ mannerisms and I often dress like a 12 year old skater. I’m not going to offer any explanation of my own for the glares I received but I will say that people judge trans* folks harshly and I’m not immune to that. If that was the case (even from **some** of the ladies) then I honestly can’t offer more than an “I’m sorry” to all of my trans* and otherwise social gender binary non-conforming followers out there — it’s hard to present as you’d like sometimes, but there are good people too. Which brings me to the next point…
- – “Not ALL women are like that!”
Nope! You’re right. I definitely know my wife isn’t like that. She loves women (and people in general) and often smiles at everyone we pass, no matter their gender, presentation, age, race, situation, etc. I’d like to point out that I didn’t say “all” in my blog post, and I made a point to keep my language very open as to “This is my experience, not all ladies did this, but it pretty much sucked anyway.”
- – “You look better as/with/presenting as X or Y!”
Thanks! I wasn’t fishing for compliments or critiques on my appearance in general, but I appreciate the sentiment that you don’t think my face is a total Alien-replica-head. On that note, I only posted the wig pictures as proof in the puddin’ — it’s a pretty neat wig that I’ll continue to wear from time to time.
- – “Don’t let the haters scare you from presenting as you see fit!”
Don’t worry, I won’t. As said above, I’m not a sensitive person and I don’t really care what hang-ups people have about me. Whatever I wear, wig or not, I’m pretty comfortable being me. 🙂
- – “Where did you get the wig? What brand is it? What’s it like?”
I ordered it online from VogueWigs.com, actually! It’s ‘Roll With It’ by the Forever Young brand. It’s synthetic, so it doesn’t feel quite real, but it looks very convincing, it’s lightweight and it has two adjustable bands inside so that you can secure it easily. VogueWigs also has the added benefit of having videos for most of their wigs, so you can see them in action. I highly recommend the site, everything went swimmingly for me!
- – “How did some men treat you when you presented that way?”
That’s the next ChaosLife comic! Stay tuned…