Vantiy and the autogynephilic transgender woman

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Vantiy and the autogynephilic transgender woman

Joined: 16 Nov 2015, 19:24

04 Feb 2018, 11:49 #1

Natalie Parrot's new video on "autogynephilia" brings up the old idea that all women are vain and self obsessed, and therefore emotionally stunted. She points to the tradition in European art called vanity, where women are depicted looking at themselves in mirrors. In this context vanity is not a good thing morally, I can assure you, even though the predominantly male painters may have been driven by some unconscious crossdreamer fantasies while painting these pictures. 

Parrot believes the autogynephilia theory and the idea that male to female crossdreamers and trans women are sexual perverts is based on a combination of homophobia (gay men seen as hyperssexual perverts) and misogyny (women as vain, self-absorbed, autoerotic perverts). Yes, she does know that Blanchard & Co think of "the homosexual transsexual" and the "autogynephile" as two distinct categories. But in this context Parrot is interested in the underlying prejudices that drives the theory, not in whether these researchers are able to make a coherent narrative that fits these prejudices perfectly.

I have gathered some vanity pictures here, spanning half a century. 

Titian's Woman with a mirror:

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Giovanni Bellini (1430-1516) Naked Young Woman in Front of the Mirror


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 Auguste Toulmouche, Vanity. 1890.

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The Mirror, Auguste Jules Marie Leroux 


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Vanity by Pino 

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Nicolas Regnier - Vanity - circa 1626 



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“Vanity” Abbey Altson 

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Vanity - Gustave Leonard de Jonghe

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Antonio Tamburro Enchanting Woman

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Pablo Picasso Girl before a mirro

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Joined: 14 May 2017, 21:32

04 Feb 2018, 15:48 #2

Don't trust them, Steven.
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Joined: 16 Nov 2015, 19:24

05 Feb 2018, 09:46 #3

Yes, this is a highly relevant video. Thank you for this one.

I am sure some would argue that the vanity of women is not autoerotic in any way, and that the time they spend in front of the mirror ultimately is to attract men.

Sure, they also dress up for meeting other women, but that might be the pressure of social acceptance speaking. Women police each other actively and ruthlessly.

Still, I cannot help thinking that that look in the mirror may also have an erotic component. She may truly enjoy seeing her own beauty, not only as a sight for men (even though seeing herself through the eyes of men might also be erotic) but as a sight for herself. 

Some of the mirror vanity paintings do not depict the woman as a passive image to be seen by men (as noted in the video). They do not look at the male spectator (that is you). Instead they are actively looking at themselves. 

In real life this would be a scene without a spectator, and I suspect the painters consciously or subconsciously knew that this is a scene where the woman can be "naked" for herself and not "nude" for others. In other words: This act could be an act where she is true to herself. In the paintings she is not, but in real life she could be.
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Joined: 17 Nov 2015, 16:32

05 Feb 2018, 16:17 #4

I do believe that this exists, but I am wondering how much of it is related to cultural gender expectations. Women are allowed to engage in this type of behavior but it is frowned upon for males. I remember that when I reached puberty, I started paying close attention to my looks, especially my hair. I would spend a lot of time trying to get things to look just right. I also recall that I enjoyed looking at myself in mirror when I thought I was looking exceptionally good. My mother would see me doing this sort of thing, and would make very negative comments. That was first time I ever heard the word "effeminate".   
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