When looking at the costumes of human beings in sexually irrelevantistic cultures or subcultures, the thing which strikes the eye most is the exaggerated difference between clothes for males and for females. The marked difference between traditional androcentric costumes and traditional gynocentric costumes cannot, or merely partially, be explained in terms of the difference between male and female physique. (Something that also applies to andro- and gynoforms which are mistakenly labeled "uniforms".) The on the average much greater protrusion of women's breasts and men's genitals may make some kind of dress more comfortable for women with more or less large breasts, or for men with more or less large genitals, such reasonable considerations do not seem to underly sexist thought with respect to the clothes or pieces of material females are supposed or allowed to wear, and males are supposed or allowed to wear. When sexualist etiquette is concerned with the color of people's garments, it does not proscribe a color which does not blend (or perhaps does not contrast) with the color of their skin or their hair but with that of their genitals, that is, a color which is said not to suit their gender (such as rose or bright colors for males). And when sexualist etiquette is concerned with the parts of the human body which have to be covered, it does not prescribe garments which vary with the temperature of the place of convention, but garments which are believed to match the temperament of women and the temper of men (like those exposing the legs of women and the faces of men, while hiding those of the other sex). Naturally, on the inclusive model good taste in conduct and appearance is not some sexualist taste in conduct and appearance.

In a transitional society the sexualism with respect to what human beings wear or can wear, which may once have arrived under the cloak of propriety, is eventually to be uncovered to the (male or female) bone. This issue is not merely a matter of symbolic importance but a fundamental issue of gender-neutral inclusivity. (However, this fundamental says nothing about its relative importance when compared with other nonsymbolic issues.) The rejection of vestiary sexism applies both to its standard manifestation and to its inversion, like when girls or women (want to) wear so-called 'boys' or men's clothes', or vice versa. Such (desire for) transvestism is the inevitable byproduct of sexualist cultures; it is impossible in a gender-transcending culture in which people have doffed their irrelevantist blindfolds. This is not to say that occasional transvestism could not be useful as an instance of dichotomous substitution, but solely so if it manages to break thru sexually exclusivistic fashions and expectations, rather than perpetuating and depending on them.

The question of what neutral-inclusivists could wear becomes a nonfundamental one when they want to put on a special, symbolistic garment at places or times which are significant from a denominational perspective. A suitable ancient article of clothing is then the tunic as this used to be worn by men and women alike. It is a simple slip-on garment, with or without sleeves, which can be decorated, painted or cut out in such a way as to represent a neutralistic or inclusivistic symbol. Figure S. shows some variants of a Catena garment, that is, a garment with the nanacatena on it. The front of such a garment should be the same as the back, if the nanacatena is to be symmetrical. Whatever the neutral tunic or other garment is decorated with, it should be long enough to cover both the breast and the genitals, unless other unisex clothes are worn which cover these parts of the body. This is to symbolize the equality of female and male, human beings. Apart from this the tunic or other garment can be less than hip-length, or so long as to cover the feet or to touch the ground. Since its design is the same for human beings of all ages, it symbolizes the etatic equality of human beings as well.

Instead of the nanacatena or another neutralistic symbol, the very diverse leaves of a tree or other plant, such as the sassafras could be used to express the ideal of inclusiveness on one's clothes. The symbolic message of this natural diversity is that one unitary system can comprise members of very different appearance, if even the leaves of an adult plant do not all have to possess the same shape. Obviously, a garment with sassafras leaves, or a similar inclusivistic symbol, does not have to cover parts of the body which are typically male or female. For on the inclusive account the existence of sexual differences is not denied; they are merely not regarded as relevant in some absolute, context-independent sense.

©MVVM, 41-67 ASWW

Model of Neutral-Inclusivity
Book of Symbols
Objects of Nonfundamental Symbolism
Symbolism in Art and Design