The incredible importance of boxer shorts

The case of the trans woman who was stripped of his beauty queen title for the crime of wearing boxer shorts keeps making the rounds every once in a while. I’m sure you’ve seen this, but just to recap:

From the Telegraph:

“The winner of a national transgender beauty pageant has been stripped of her title amid accusations she was a drag queen and “not transgender enough”. Jai Dara Latto, 22, was named Miss Transgender UK in a glittering ceremony in London in last September. But six months on she has had her title removed after organiser Rachael Bailey claimed she was shown footage of the model in boxer shorts. The pageant runner branded Jai a ‘drag queen’ and accused her of not living full-time as a woman.”

She is set to give her crown to another beauty queen, Daisy Bell. The footage which made her change her mind showed Jai wearing a pair of boxer shorts. It also reportedly shows Jai working out at the gym in a T-shirt and shorts.”

This is so hilarious to me, a woman who wears boxer shorts, that a man was considered not woman enough because of wearing them. In our strange world, wearing boxer shorts is a sure sign of being a man. Also, why would working out in a T-shirt and shorts be something masculine? Doesn’t this person know that women work out in a T-shirt and shorts? What does he think women work out in, ballroom gowns? Bikinis, perhaps?

On a similar note, women who like to wear boxer shorts report that this means they are really men and should take hormones. This woman, for example, lists “wearing boxer shorts” as one of the reasons why she knew she was FtM. She believes it’s not normal for women to want a “masculine” presentation. It’s funny—she dresses the way I do and I’m not even that masculine. According to these genderists and their belief in the masculine power of boxers, I should apparently be a man, too.

The following section will be slightly TMI.

I don’t wear boxers during the day, but I wear them to bed. I buy them from the men’s section and they come in masculine colours like black, grey, and black-with-a-grey-waistband. That suits me just fine. I wear them because they are comfortable and appropriate sleep wear, and it baffles me that these garments are only sold to men. Why would clothing manufacturers assume that women don’t want to wear comfortable, loose cotton shorts to bed? Of course, if they made boxers for women, I’m sure they’d make them pink with cute patterns, and so I’d probably still buy the ones in the men’s section.

I don’t think it’s a particularly good idea to wear close-fitting underwear to bed. The Huffington Post agrees with me:

“I often tell my patients to sleep without underwear,” Dr. Alyssa Dweck, co-author of V is for Vagina, told Shape. “If [the area] is constantly covered — especially by a fabric that’s not moisture-wicking or absorbent — moisture collects, [creating the] perfect breeding ground for bacteria or yeast,” she continued.

This is especially true for women going through menopause. “The more you wear, the more you have to take off when you get night sweats,” Dr. Raquel B. Dardik, clinical associate professor, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at NYU Langone Medical Center told Grandparents.com.

And if you’re a lady who is prone to itching and irritation down there, gynecologist and blogger Dr. Kate really recommends skipping the underwear to let your nether regions breathe.”

Experts Explain Why It’s Better Not To Sleep In Your Underwear

It seems that not only are boxer shorts appealing to women, they are in fact better for our female anatomy than so-called “women’s” underwear. Wearing boxers either at night or during the day could prevent sweating and moisture buildup. In fact, even as I type this, I wonder if I shouldn’t consider wearing my boxers during the day. Why not?

When I shop in the women’s section, it’s always full of underwear I don’t understand and would never wear. First of all, why is any of it made with synthetic materials? No way am I smothering my vulva with polyester all day, that would be dreadful. And why does a lot of it look like fetish gear? I don’t need to go around all day dressed like I’m ready to spontaneously start doing a porn photo shoot.

But the organizer of Miss Transgender UK seems to think it’s really important to women to wear sexy underwear at all times.

“Rachael said: “When Jai entered the competition, she said she was full time and she is not — she is a drag queen. The documentary showed her living as a gay male in her boxer shorts. “Underwear is very important to transgender females — one of the first thing people do is change their underwear as it makes us feel like we are finally a woman.”

So basically, to be a trans woman, it’s of the ultimate importance to immediately start wearing the type of feminine underwear that plenty of actual women don’t even like wearing. Because it’s not about becoming a woman, it’s about becoming a stereotype. If boxer shorts are appealing to actual women and also good for our female bodies, then shouldn’t trans women want to wear boxers? (rhetorical question.)

As far as I’m concerned, trans women can have ALL the sexy underwear. I just want the comfortable kind. And that doesn’t make me a man—it makes me a completely normal and sensible woman.

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96 thoughts on “The incredible importance of boxer shorts

  1. My best undies ever were a pair of muslin bloomers I made for use in historic reenactment. They had a drawstring at the waist, did not close over the crotch (because getting drawers off and back on while wearing a corset? No. And historical women agreed. The drawers we’ve found were split crotch.) and came down to just above my knees. No chafing. Very little sweat. And er… Circulation.

    I have difficulty with boxers because they always seem to bind over my super muscular thighs. But I love plain old fashioned drawers from muslin – no chafing, no binding, just perfect.

    Liked by 6 people

      • I wonder if Mr. Beauty Queen would have been disqualified for wearing bloomers like mine? They look like plain muslin shorts with a kind of baggy bit over the butt.

        As for workout gear, I *know* they’d have had a conniption fit over what I wear to go lifting: plain cotton socks, unisex athletic shoes, black shorts (showing unshaven legs! The horror!), and a blue, green, black, or grey shirt of the kind everybody wears to the gym so as not to sweat to death in a tee shirt.

        And if I’m a guy now, can somebody provide documentation to my uterus, so it can knock it off with the whole shedding the endometrium thing?

        Liked by 6 people

    • Some of the vintage bloggers I follow have posted instructions on how to make vintage undergarments, since it’s usually a lot harder to find those than it is normal outerwear (or vintage-style outerwear). I particularly like the tap pants which were in fashion in the 1930s and 1940s. Since I’m no good with a sewing machine, though, I’d have to sew my tap pants by hand.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I have a vintage sewing machine – not old enough for the type of sewing I was doing, but I did French seams, finished the ends by hand, and refused to worry any further about it.

        I want a treadle machine, though, because sooner or later we will pay for all the fossil fuels we’ve been using.

        Liked by 2 people

        • Considering that there is a good chance this will be the first summer the Arctic ice melts completely, and the Himalayas are on fire, along with various and sundry parts of Canada and the Arctic circle at any given point; I would argue for sooner.

          Liked by 1 person

        • I used to know a guy whose volunteer work for a local charity thrift shop included throwing out the clothing donations. They would get about fifty garbage bags a week of clothing donations that were beyond what they could handle or were just too beat or too hideous to sell. So he would drive around town looking for dumpsters to illegally toss them in. Finally he found some Mexicans who were up for driving them across the border and into rural areas where people would use them.

          We used to go through the bags before he tossed them and laugh at what people donated and look for stuff we could use. This was how I discovered cargo shorts. I wound up with a good half dozen pairs with only a little wear on them. Wore them for years. Unbelievable how wasteful this culture is.

          Like

        • My home is largely furnished in the results of dumpster diving. Nice bookshelves, chairs, rugs… Literally from the dumpster.

          I’ve actually been able to be picky about it, too. No, that chair won’t go well with my table. Seriously, I could have decorated another place nicely with what gets thrown away.

          It’s obscene.

          Liked by 2 people

        • A great deal of this stuff was women’s clothing. Maybe 3/4. Some kids’ stuff, but not that much men’s clothing, which tells you something right there.

          So you’ve got some poor girl in a sweatshop somewhere making this stuff that winds up being bought by women who wear it a few times and then give it to the thrift shop, who then throw it out.

          Dumpster diving rocks, but they outlaw it in some places. It’s illegal here, though I used to do it all the time. I don’t know how well it’s enforced.

          I found my hand truck in a trash bin. Imagine throwing out a perfectly good hand truck. Once I found an entire tray of orchid corsages in plastic water slips (after the local high school prom). The grocery store used to toss hundreds of dozens of long-stem roses after Valentine’s Day. Then they took to paying someone to cut up the flowers (often clearly backstock and in quite good shape) before throwing them out. Later they bought a huge elevated dumpster so no one could trash pick anymore.

          I don’t feel particularly guilty when they undercharge me for stuff there. Long as it can’t be traced back to the cashier.

          Liked by 1 person

        • And mostly sturdy stuff. I’ve had one chair break in the last two years, and I admit it was one I pulled out because it was just so darned pretty (and I plan to fix it using wood glue and a C clamp.)

          Liked by 2 people

        • This was the guy I ran the bookstore with. The bookstore wasn’t too happening, so we’d knock off in the afternoons and go back to his house where the back yard was next to the grocery store dumpster alley and sit in the back yard and watch. We didn’t try to compete with the other trash pickers who would gather at specific times when the store tended to throw stuff out, but we caught a lot of unscheduled stuff. Overall it was quite a bit more profitable than the bookstore. People think it’s gross but if you watch them you can figure out what they’re doing in a lot of cases, and something at the top of the bin that was for sale five minutes ago is perfectly safe. Mostly I was in it for the flowers, though. Plus it was a great source of produce for compost.

          Liked by 2 people

  2. Silly bastards. Ha, love to see some woman spoof them by entering their trans lady beauty contest then claim she identifies as a transwoman.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. Boxer shorts an indicator of inherent maleness? … that’s a good one.

    I wear men’s pyjama pants to bed because they are soooo comfy. When the weather gets really warm I wear an old nightie or an extra-long sleeveless cotton t-shirt or nothing at all. Whatever’s comfiest.

    But then I’m a getting-to-be-old lady who frequently (with genuine gratitude) thanks her lucky stars that she was a young woman during the height of 2nd wave feminism.

    Liked by 9 people

  4. I mostly wear nothing to bed. If it’s cool enough I’ll have a long tee and if it’s really cold I’ll have pyjamas – both made for women and, amazingly enough, both made for comfort.

    I went through a phase of wearing men’s shoes a decade-odd back, does this mean I had male feet?

    Liked by 4 people

    • On my honeymoon, I had two pairs of shoes, neither of which was appropriate to the location and weather. (The responsible parties later apologized.)

      Due to the mishap, I had to go to a shoe store the first day of my honeymoon. The selection for females in my size was not much better than what I had. So I bought a few pairs of thick socks and a pair of boy’s brogans, which I proceeded to break in over the course of the next week. I wore those shoes for years! And still had to deal with my damned uterus being all uppity and not letting me forget I was female! Maybe I should have taped them to my belly…

      Liked by 7 people

    • I also love sleeping nude, if the weather allows it. Growing up, I knew my father often slept nude, and extolled its virtues (not in a creepy way). He said once you start sleeping nude, you’ll never go back, though nowadays, he wears pajamas. I started sleeping nude during my junior year of university, when I lived in a room with messed up heating. It was unbearably hot even in the dead of winter, and since it was a single, I slept without a stitch of clothing and didn’t even cover myself with a sheet. I managed to pull off nude sleeping a number of times during my senior year, when I had two different roommates.

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      • Wow, I could never sleep nude and am always cold. I can also not sleep without a heavy blanket. That is my signal that it is time to sleep.

        Like

  5. Wait a sec…

    “I don’t think it’s a particularly good idea to wear close-fitting underwear to bed. The Huffington Post agrees with me: ‘I often tell my patients to sleep without underwear…’

    What?? Underpants in bed? Is this the done thing?

    …you’ll have to excuse my ignorance – I don’t have kids so I am out of touch with the retrograde social expectations forced on young women these days – I get to read about them online 😦

    Back in the late 70s and 80s when I was a young woman, no woman I knew would think of wearing underwear to bed. We ordinarily wore comparatively loose-fitting pyjamas or baby dolls or a nightie or a long t-shirt or whatever – but underpants in bed?? Ugh, how uncomfortable and unnecessary. As strange as wearing a bra to bed.

    Are undies in bed considered pretty normal nowadays? Is it supposed to be a sanitary measure or something?

    Liked by 6 people

  6. I should look into boxer shorts. I haven’t worn underwear in decades as I used to be prone to yeast infections until they stopped with menopause (a pleasant and unexpected surprise). I wear sweatshorts around at home during the summer. Maybe boxer shorts would be even cooler and cheaper.

    As for wearing them as underwear, that doesn’t sound like a problem. If you stop you’ll have to wash your pants more often though, unless you don’t mind being especially laden with pheromonal scent.

    “Transgenderism isn’t about gender stereotypes” is such a huge flaming lie.

    Liked by 3 people

    • I’ll show you the type of thing I wear as underpants – 100% cotton and no horrible elastics to chafe my groin. I won’t link to a retailer, but you can google: “Underworks Womens 100% Cotton Cuff Leg 4-inch Inseam Bloomers”. Please note I have NOT tried this specific product. I’m just using this to illustrate the type of garment I’m referring to.

      Liked by 1 person

      • When womanhood gets reduced down to stereotypes

        A. All the womenfolk get told we’re not up to snuff and to get with the program. Old women, non compliant women, ugly women get told we never were women – but we never get the advantages of manhood either. Funny how that works.

        B. The men who want to colonize womanhood start to fussing and fighting because the images inside their heads are not identical.

        See how that works?

        Liked by 4 people

  7. I went to the link to the young woman explaining when she knew she was trans. Instead of watching her, I watched the Enbridge ad preceding. It completely undid me. It was at a seniors residence, and all these old women were talking about their children and how much they loved them and admired them. Enbridge flew these women’s families to see them for mothers day. I know it was manipulative and made to help us forget about the absolute devastation brought by resource extraction — but those women! So beautiful. The reunion scene was beautiful and exactly how my mom reacted when I would surprise her. Sigh. Totally off the topic, sorry. Mind you, these women are NOT what the m-t have in mind at all when they stay they are women….

    Liked by 3 people

  8. “Underwear is very important to transgender females — one of the first thing people do is change their underwear as it makes us feel like we are finally a woman.”

    I must have missed my transgender orientation then! First thing I changed was, like, the external clothes that are actually visible, and not to “feel like a woman” but to play around with presentation to see what looked good and what didn’t with my body type. I honestly still don’t even care about underwear. Like it doesn’t even matter what underwear you wear? No one can see it?? But maybe I’m not trans either!!

    Actually though, since a penis can be a woman’s sexual organ if the penis-haver identifies as a woman, why can’t a pair of boxers be women’s underwear if the person wearing the boxers identifies as a woman? PLOT HOLE

    Liked by 8 people

      • Ha ha! Thanks petunia cat. We have since moved to a place with a lovely log fire and a landlady who isn’t completely barmy. You’ve got me thinking, though…

        Pansexual surgery go fund me appeal:
        Items:
        1 x essential gender re-assignment appendage (bobble hat),
        2 x strong, waterproof body stockings (small), (hiking socks),
        1 x course of gender and socialisation therapy, with essential social media training (laptop and holiday in Canary Islands)

        Liked by 4 people

  9. I love pretty patterns and cute patterns and wear nightshirts and nightdresses – but all of them are about six sizes too big, to be super comfortable to sleep in and warm in the winter.

    I don’t sleep in PJs because I’ve never found pants comfortable.

    I wear PJ bottoms a lot for day wear. With Miffy and Hello Kitty and cupcakes on – but elasticated waist to cope with my stomach swelling up and down with my digestive problems, and long lasting soft material.

    Women like to be comfortable too, for sure, and to have practical stuff to wear.

    Liked by 3 people

  10. It’s a funny thing, back when I was in high school we did a lot of ordering from L.L. Bean (my lovely men’s plaid flannels I eventually wore out!) and at some point I got a couple pairs of men’s flannel boxers to sleep in. I don’t remember this being any kind of big deal, ordering or wearing men’s underwear. I wore them throughout Summers for years.

    Eventually I got other lighter-weight cropped pants or shorts and stopped wearing them, but a couple years ago all those things had started to fall apart and I thought, hmm, maybe some men’s boxers would be nice again. But this time – after coming out as a lesbian and getting super-self-conscious about my “gender presentation” or whatever, I was all nervous and weird about a single pair of cotton Tommy Hilfingers ordered from Amazon.

    They are super comfy, though, but falling apart now.

    I always wear basic cotton bikini-cut women’s Jockeys underneath everything, for as long as I can remember, but when I was going through the trans thing it *was* really important to me to get men’s underwear. I found these low-cut Hanes briefs in an awesome range of deep, saturated colors that I LOVED, and I was all HELL YEAH WEARING MEN’S UNDERWEAR NOW. They really did fit ok and were decently comfortable save for some bunching between the legs (I can’t wear boxers under clothes because I have that bunching around the thigh issue too). But it was a big deal, like the fact that I could wear men’s underwear did somehow make me more of a man.

    Yet one of the first things I did after coming around to femaleness again was throw them all out and go back to my women’s jockeys, pink and purple prints and all. And they did feel… More ‘womanly’ to me, like something I needed to embrace and reclaim. And it’s a weird thing but I still get all happy when I put them on and see myself in them, like I can finally celebrate my body as a woman’s body. It’s just interesting how “coded” and full of meaning a piece of cloth can become.

    Even if young me in high school thought nothing of it. If only I could have stayed so pure in my thinking. 😉

    As for exercising clothes, what the hell else is a person supposed to wear but a t-shirt and shorts??? I generally exercise in just a sports bra around the house but if I went to a gym I would definitely be wearing a t-shirt and shorts!

    Liked by 5 people

    • I do my exercise (walking or yoga) in tee shirt and jeans or leggings. No way would I wear a bra, I have trouble enough breathing without one of those things constricting my ribcage even more. OH NOES I AM NOT WOMANING RITE

      Liked by 2 people

      • Wow. You can do yoga in jeans?!

        For yoga, I wear a pair of super soft baggy linen pants that sit on my hip bones and don’t bind my movement. I wear a similarly baggy linen tank top that I sewed to go with them. I will be taking the pants apart soon to use as a pattern for my next pair.

        For swimming, I wear competitive racing practice suits – usually with a base suit and a drag suit.

        Like

        • Sorry, should have been clearer – leggings for yoga, leggings or jeans for walking. I’ve had jeans I probably could have done yoga in, but it would have been five minutes before they fell to bits …

          Liked by 1 person

        • I think any actual Indian person would likely give a snort of derision about the yoga classes I’ve done. For a very long time, I did yoga for people with disabilities. It was mostly stretching exercises that could be done while using a chair for support. I was by far the youngest person in the class. Then for awhile I attended a class taught by a woman with blonde dreads who was all about starting and ending with a brief meditation. I left because I found her meditation instructions profoundly annoying.

          As my core got stronger (largely from all the other exercise) my depression got worse (unrelated) so when I had difficulty leaving the house, I did yoga videos “for flexibility” and “for back health”. In summer, I go to “yoga in the park” which is highly generic, and a friend of mine is trying to talk me into trying hot yoga. I am more than a little resistant – not only does a heated room sound like a recipe for hot flashes, but said friend got her mat and outfit at lululemon which does not speak well to the reception I and my thrift store mat will find there.

          Like

        • I agree about hot yoga, it sounds a horrible idea, like turning yoga into bog-standard gym work. I like the place I go to – all the equipment is provided, everyone is very friendly, and the teacher is careful to tell people what to avoid if they have bad knees, backs, etc. It’s extraordinary, doing hard physical work that requires considerable concentration, but is mentally relaxing at the same time. And the only bloke there is Mr D. 😉

          Liked by 1 person

  11. Pingback: Small Cruelties, Healing Scars | This Soft Space

  12. I’m trying out regular men’s boxer shorts for now. Things without elastic tend to either not fit me or fall off, as I don’t have a lot in the way of hips. There is this thing where they insist one not go outside without pants, and this looks like maybe a minimalist way of accomplishing such.

    Like

  13. I’m a big fan of going commando, though boxers are by far preferable to so-called conventional women’s underwear. When I was with my ex, I started wearing a lot of underwear that just wasn’t who I really am, like thongs and G-strings. He thought all women are supposed to wear Victoria’s Secret-type lingerie, even if it’s not very comfortable or practical. I feel really embarrassed and ashamed I bought so many clothes (not just lingerie) which wasn’t right for my personality or body, all because he thought I’d be sexier and look younger if I wore tighter clothes. Now I’m left with a lot of ridiculous bras and underwear, and clothes which are too small for me.

    Many women in the 1930s and 1940s wore tap pants, flowy underwear which kind of looks like today’s boxers. Back then, women cared more about practical coverage and support, instead of squeezing into tiny little G-strings. I do a lot of my fashion research for my historical fiction at the website Vintage Dancer, and the woman who runs the site has a lot of good articles on what kinds of underwear people in past decades wore. People in bygone eras would’ve been shocked at how little undergarments modern folks wear.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Speaking of women’s undergarments in the 30s-40s … there’s a very funny restaurant scene in Bringing Up Baby, where Katharine Hepburn loses the back of her dress and Cary Grant has to provide “cover” for her.

      Check out her underwear — I think it looks quite comfy and practical!

      Like

    • for underpants that are ultra comfy, but don’t have excess fabric that bunches up under clothing, take a look at the style I suggested to Miep elsewhere on this page (I gave as an example: Cotton Cuff Leg 4-inch Inseam Bloomers)

      Like

  14. Whatever happened to French Knickers? They were supposed to be the sexiest panties in the 80s, and I think they looked pretty much like boxers, ha ha ha!

    Seriously, I wonder if they still sell them. As they were supposed to be so mega glam, according to my sister, I accepted her kind offer to order me some from her catalogue, and in due time a pair in peach satin trimmed with lace frills was given to me. But, I thought they were so uncomfortable, and that they also made me look and feel fat, so I went back to what were then called micro panties.

    I do like pretty knickers, when I buy them I imagine someone else seeing them for the first time, and my shapely bum and thighs around them, (blush) – but no way are they obligatory. I always thought the hottest girls didn’t actually wear knickers!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. If you take everything that some actual women don’t do away from transwomen, you end up with a guy like Danielle Muscato, who has a beard, wears a suit, and looks like a common man in every respect … but claims to be a woman.

    So, I can see where they are coming from.

    An actual woman will remain a woman even if she has a beard as full as that of Frida Kahlo, and wears suits. (However, I don’t think that kind of woman would win any beauty pageant either …except perhaps one for drag kings.)

    A transwoman, however, cannot afford to discard all the trappings of femininity, as those are the only thing that makes “her” “female” in the first place.

    Liked by 3 people

  16. Warning: Defenitely too much information! 😀 As I write this I’m sporting a spanking new pair of neon pink Bjørn Borg boxers. Since I was a young woman I’ve had a problem with huge, painful boils around the area where the elastic on the undies tears out hairs. Sometimes they’ve been so bad, they have had to be drained and lanced. Ouch! Since I started wearing men’s boxer shorts, there hasn’t been even one boil! I’m thankfully way past caring about the dreaded VPL (visible panty line).
    PS! I can’t sleep completely naked. I get such very, very weird and naughty dreams, they haunt me all day… 😀

    Liked by 1 person

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