A "JERSY SHORE SYSTEM" Download

        You have just spent hours shaving, putting on makeup, slipping into
     your nicest conservative daytime outfit. You have primped and plucked
     and powdered. You top it of with your sexy new lipstick, take a
     final look in the mirror at the gorgeous, passable woman there and
     climb into your car. As you drive to your objective for the day,
     perhaps a trip to a friendly store, a walk through a distant mall
     or dinner with a friend, you feel confident and feminine. The
     jangled nerves of getting to the car and out of your neighborhood
     are beginning to settle down.

        Then, as you wait at a red light with your hands on the wheel in
     your most graceful pose, you hear an ominous sound. A strange
     cackling and hooting is coming from the car next to you or behind
     you or across the intersection. Yes, you've just been read. At this
     point, most of us are more than a little red at being read. No one
     likes to feel that she wasted the two or three hours of preparation
     time spent that day, not to mention the hours and hours of
     perfecting her feminine ways in the past years just to be read by
     the first carload of cretins to drive by. How do you deal with
     being read? What should you do and what shouldn't you do. You
     should not try to hide. Get away from the area certainly, but don't
     hide. That only draws more attention to yourself. Lying down on the
     car seat or jumping behind a bush may seem like the only thing to
     do, but it is not something a woman would do. The act of hiding
     will only confirm your readers assessment of your gender. Move
     away from them with dignity. As for their derision, take it
     until you can move away.

        The words" Take It" really sums up what your attitude must be.
     If a group of immature jerks were  laughing and pointing at a
     woman, she might wonder what they were so excited about, but she
     would not do anything other than ignore them. There is nothing you
     can do to convince your tormentors that you are a real woman or
     that they should pick up a dictionary and learn the meaning of the
     word tolerance. If they decide you are a man in drag, all you can
     do is not react and hope to leave them with some doubts. Try to
     appear as if you don't know that they even exist. Look straight
     ahead, play with the radio or study your manicure. Don't get
     aggressive yourself. Don't make obscene gestures or tell them what
     you think of their manners or parentage. That type of response
     could make you a candidate for plastic surgery, even if you didn't
     need it before. Of course, you could adopt a belligerent attitude
     if you packed a .357 in your purse, but we get enough bad image
     stuff from TV-killers in the movies. Besides, it isn't ladylike!

        To some, it may sound sexist to insist on your acting passive.
     Passive worked for Gandhi. Give it a try. Granted, there are women
     who would not take the kind of harassment you might be subjected
     to, but one of them is not there to help you out. Violent
     responses will not help you or change your tormentor's attitude.
     It's a lot more embarrassing to be in the emergency room with a
     ripped dress, torn stockings and a fat lip than it is to take a
     little abuse while remaining dignified and demure.

        What does it mean to be read? Not all reads are as raucous as the
     example I've just used. Sometimes you will be in a public place and
     you will see someone's lips move in the, "It's a man" pattern. What
     do you do about that? Well, you're most likely not facing any
     physical danger so what's the big deal? You've just entertained a
     bored housewife or an accountant whose idea of excitement is a new
     calculator. Ignore them. Go on about your business and continue to
     act like a woman. You will stop being a novelty if you just
     continue to do what you're doing. If they absolutely won't stop
     staring, try staring back and smile! Most likely they will turn
     away and try to ignore you.

        If you're going to be read at all, the nicest way is to hear
     someone whisper, "That's a man?". The question in their voice lets
     you know that all though they suspect you're not exactly what you
     appear to be, your beauty and poise have left large doubts in their mind.

        Of course, any read, even the nice one, can be a pain. What
     should you do afterwards? Do you drive home, rip off your wig, wash
     off your makeup and vow never to indulge in this humiliating
     behavior again? Of course not. That impulse, like the urge to hide,
     will get you nowhere. For every read you detect, there are a few
     you are not aware of at all.  There are also hundreds of people who
     see you on your public outings and have no idea that you are
     anything but what you appear to be.  Don't let being read
     discourage you. No one passes all the time. As long as we only
     cross the gender line a few times each month, there will always be
     something masculine about us that, from the right angle, in the
     right place, to the wrong person, will give us away.

        What's important is your attitude. You have as much right to be
     where you are, dressed as you choose, as anyone else in the place.
     Ninety percent of the time, if you look and act relaxed, as if you
     belong there, you will pass.  Don't worry about the other ten
     percent. As long as people who notice don't think it's their duty
     to rearrange your body parts, then don't let their attention bother

        Another component of passing that is hard to gauge is the
     "Getting away with it factor". Many members of the general public are
     perceptive enough to notice that there is something wrong with this
     picture, but they have manners, breeding, style, or they're just
     too apathetic to care. The point is, don't worry about what they
     think. Project the image you want to the best of your ability and
     enjoy yourself in whatever activities you want to try. Use
     discretion about where you go and how you dress. Look appropriate
     and stay relaxed. It's up to you to make your outings into the
     public arena a fun time that can help you grow personally. Try to
     remove the anxiety from the experience and enjoy!

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