Anything For A Moped

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I am reading the story in Crystal's Story Site "Anything For A Moped", by Dawn De Winter, and I find it very confusing. First of all, Kyle makes a deal with his mother that he can buy guy looking clothes in the girl's department, and nobody would know the difference. Then his mother adds to the deal, that Kyle wear a sports bra, and panties, but that he should watch his movemets or the bra would ride up. Then he gets to playing hoops with his friend Jason, who immediately says he is playing like a girl, and yet, Kyle is watching his movements so he is not discovered. The sales girls immediately start teasing him, and he gets propositioned in a restroom.

Let's take this one item at a time then.

1. First of all, the deal is Kyle dresses in unisex clothing bought in the girl's department. His mother takes him shopping to buy the clothes at Macy's department store in Des Moines, Iowa. The one exception is that Kyle has to wear girls panties, and a bra. The salesgirls, immediately start teasing Kyle. Let's stop here.

I have been to Macy's in both Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and Chicago, Illinois, and not one of the salesgirls were the least embarrassed by me shopping for women's clothes for myself. They even let me try everything on. In the lingerie section, I never had a salesgirl approach me to ask if she could help me. And, never once was I ever teased for buying my own clothes. The only reason a sales person would ask if you needed help is, if you look undecided or unsure. With his mother there, there was no reason for a sales person to even aproach Kyle and his mother. I know this is fiction, but I have to take issue with it anyway.

2. Kyle takes the panties and bra across the hall to the men's room, where he is propositioned by a perverted man, who likes young boys. The security guard finds him hiding in a satll, and immediately jumps to the conclusion that Kyle had been soliciting.

A deaprtment store security guard woud not jump to these conclusions, without asking why he was there and getting an inprobable explanantion. In this instance, the security guard had no reason to think that Kyle was selling himself in the men's room.

3. While Kyle thinks that there are girl's clothing that can be worn by boys, he obviously didn't investigate enough to know that, even though there are Jeans for girl's and boys, the cut for a girls jeans is so that it fits her curves. Even if the jeans are straight legged, it is the waist that would give it away. Now while most boys wouldn't see the difference, the girls would.

4. Kyle didn't have to worry about his bra riding up, because it was a sports bra, and would look like a muscle man t-shirt inder his regular shirt. So the advice his mother gave him was not correct.

5. And...all Kyle would have to do is tell his friends he had made the deal to get a moped, and they could even ask his mother. Like I said, I know this is only fiction, but it is very unrealistic, because nothing like this is even possible, because Kyle, or any boy would not be able to attend school in girls clothing. That is for the security of the school, and his personal safety too. How easy would it be for one of his friends to bring a gun to school and shoot him?

This story is very confusing to read, because there is subplot after subplot on top of the main plot. I may know the fallacies of this story, but I will continue to read it since I already am at Chapter 8. But it is not a story, that most boys, macho or not, would dare to delve into. I know women that wear men's jeans and shirts, but if a boy were to wear girls jeans and shirts, the other girls would know right away, and in a high school he would be teased, beaten, and almsot killed, if not killed out right. But also, even at a school in dry Iowa, he would not be permitted to attend school attired in girls clothing, unisx looking or not, because the first female teacher he had would notice this and send him straight away to the office to be dismissed for the day. Even though we have a right to wear whatever we want, the schools have a right to maintain security, and allowing an obvious boy to dress as a girl, just isn't done...not in Des Moines, Iowa, or anywhere else that I know of.

Story is all it is!

Barbara: I think your looking for to much of what real life is, this just a story that some one wrote and it is not real life and like most stories here and especially on Story Site they are fiction only nothing more unless the author says so. Richard

Richard

Odd story...

It's a farce, essentially a bedroom farce, in which wildly improbable events are part of the fun. It's quite literate, although the editing is sometimes indiferent.

Think of it as an extended skit on the original Monty Python show and I think the point may become clear.

Cheers,

Puddin'
-------------------------
The animals that depend on instinct
have an inherent knowledge of the laws
of economics and of how to apply them;
Man, with his powers of reason, has
reduced economics to the level of a
farce which is at once funnier and
more tragic than Tobacco Road.
--- James Thurber

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Cheers,

Puddin'

A tender heart is an asset to an editor: it helps us be ruthless in a tactful way.
--- The Chicago Manual of Style

Barbara : On your point 5 ...

You're wrong, it does happen. I don't know for sure, but I've been told that California is the only state that has laws prohibiting schools from denying a child who professes to be the opposite gender from not only dressing in clothing of the opposite gender, but using the rest rooms of the gender opposite their visually apparent gender. If California is, then we are way ahead of other states, as shown below in laws passed inn 200, 2007, & 2008.
But even the law in 2000 would have allowed Kyle's conduct and forced the schools to allow such cross dressing under fairly unlimited circumstances. California protect the rights of transgendered children form an early age.
Kyle would not have been allowed to cross dress on just his say so, but parental approval, especially with medical approval would force the schools to allow it and protect him. ( I use 'him' because that is the way he was portrayed early in the story.

"California has laws protecting students from harassment and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity and expression in schools. The California Student Safety and Violence Prevention Act was enacted in 2000,
http://www.cde.ca.gov/re/lr/sv/

and further strengthened through the passage of AB 394 (The Safe Place to Learn Act)
http://www.commondreams.org/news2008/0214-14.htm
http://www.eqca.org/site/apps/nlnet/content2.aspx?c=kuLRJ9MR...

and SB 777 (The CA Student Civil Rights Act), which went into effect on January 1, 2008."
http://info.sen.ca.gov/pub/07-08/bill/sen/sb_0751-0800/sb_77...

http://www.transgenderlawcenter.org/pdf/Safe%20Schools%20--%...
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
However, you are unfortunately correct, that someone else could bring a gun to school and shoot them.
Early this year that happened to a child who, though professing to be a girl and wanting SRS, professed to be gay, and began wearing girl's clothing, and makeup to school See Leticia King in the 2008 TDOR list at
http://tgdor.org/the_list.shtml.

Newsweek did a disservice, in their extensive article, constantly referring to 'he', 'him', and 'gay', rather than 'her', 'she' or 'transgendered'
http://www.newsweek.com/id/147790/output/print

It’s not given to anyone to have no regrets; only to decide, through the choices we make, which regrets we’ll have,
David Weber – In Fury Born

Holly

It's nice to be important, but it's more important to be nice.

Holly

Regardless

The "victim", in that case, was certainly the result of bad decisions by the school. She or he, take your pick, was certainly harassing the student who ended up doing the shooting. Had this behaviour been reined in right away, this senseless incident might not have happened. Both the shooter and his target were victims, in one way or another.

KJT

Karen J.

* * *

Ever accidentally throw something away and then later realize you actually needed it?

I did that with my life.

It appears also, that Leticia got bad advice, and ...

was not just pushing the limits, but went way past them, teasing the boy who shot her, who had made it clear he did not like her, that she wanted to be his Valentine, interrupting a basketball game the boy was inn with friends.
The bad advice may, repeat, may, as nobody is confirming or denying pending trial, just what sort of advice Joy Epstein, a counselor gave Leticia.

Laws are one thing, there to protect in cases like this, but they are not a wall to prevent violence, nor a license to go too far beyond accepted social limits

One of the most difficult things to give away is kindness.
It usually comes back to you.

Holly

One of the most difficult things to give away is kindness.
It usually comes back to you.

Holly

>> using the rest rooms of the gender opposite

California actually has no laws prohibiting anyone from using any bathroom other than "disorderly conduct" "sexual harassment," "peeping," or the like. Some municipalities, or other subdivisions of authority, *may* have such laws on the books, but the general "rule" is that we depend on common courtesy, for the most part, to prevent the odd scandal.

On the supply side, there are plumbing and employment code requirements to *provide* separate facilities, but the codes don't specify the sort of signs one fixes to the doors and have no criminal consequences.

There is a requirement to provide toilet and changing facilities for gender-variant students, but this requirement can be provided through access to staff facilities. Single-occupancy facilities where the door can be locked from the inside are *also* legal and are fairly common for other reasons, because such facilities are quite often already available for disabled persons.

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Cheers,

Puddin'

A tender heart is an asset to an editor: it helps us be ruthless in a tactful way.
--- The Chicago Manual of Style

Out of Order

This is not about a story on this site; the author does not even post on this site; so by what right do you slag the story off on this site?

If you have something to say about the story, post on Crystal's site, or directly to the author.

To make these comments behind the author's back is offensive, and on Christmas Eve, as well!

No offense intended

I don't think anybody's intention was to "slag" the story. Mostly I believe it was intended as a discussion of the points and subplot used by the author. It wasn't an unprovoked attack or criticism, it was recommended by a member here who has a fair amount of respect from most of us, so naturally a number of people looked it up, thus triggering the discussion.

If there are specific points you feel are unfair to the author, I would suggest dropping Erin a note detailing them. However, she is a bit under the weather right now, so don't expect an immediate response.

Merry Christmas!
Karen J.

Karen J.

* * *

Ever accidentally throw something away and then later realize you actually needed it?

I did that with my life.

Erin's picture

Personally

I don't like public "laundry list" criticism like this. If it had been attached to a story here, I would have unpubbed the comment and asked Barbara to send it privately to the author. As a blog, it's allowed but I don't think it's effective or polite. Especially since the story is on another site and I'm not sure Dawn even comes here or is still posting.

I'm also sure Barbara had no intent to offend. :)

Hugs,
Erin

= Give everyone the benefit of the doubt because certainty is a fragile thing that can be shattered by one overlooked fact.

= Give everyone the benefit of the doubt because certainty is a fragile thing that can be shattered by one overlooked fact.

What criticism there was...

...was fairly even-handed, and I, at least, made it clear that I *liked* the story, and believed the "criticism" to be more of a plea for explanation than a "slag," although I don't actually know exactly what that means other than that it sounds disapproving.

The story is fairly subtle, and uses literary techniques not commonly seen in "free" stories in which many might "bog down" or become confused. Explanation seemed more appropriate to me than vicarious dudgeon.

If Dawn *happens* to come across the site, I'd like to assure her that many think the story hilarious, including at least one of the best authors on *this* site. Farce is very difficult to pull off without sounding smug and/or pretentious, but Dawn de Winter has done so very well indeed.

I'm so impressed that I hereby offer to edit it for her, both promptly and well, putting it into better shape for others to appreciate its many virtues.

Cheers,

Puddin'

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Cheers,

Puddin'

A tender heart is an asset to an editor: it helps us be ruthless in a tactful way.
--- The Chicago Manual of Style

Point by point responses...

1. It's quite clear that the clerks in the department store are being mean, and they are careful to maintain plausible deniability. Although Macy's stores usually have separate changing cubicles, the doors are usually, at least in California, Washington, and Oregon, slatted shutters with ample space at the top and bottom to permit observation and to discourage shoplifting and other pilferage.

It's also true that many women aren't terribly careful about arranging their garments when they walk out into the hall to show their friends the proposed purchase, and some don't bother to claose the door. That's why the changing facilities for men and women are typically strictly segregated in every department store, and some stores, many bridal outlets, for example, allow *no* men into the changing area, which is often open to allow many visitors and the proper sweep of gown and veil. *No* men. Period. Many women would be highly uncomfortable if an obvious man walked through the changing area in most stores, even if his object was *only* to try things on.

It's likewise clear that in whatever alternate reality the story is set, Iowa has a strong anti-discrimination law in place, as the Principal of the school was *very* worried about it. In the present day, Iowa has anti-discrimination legislation on the books, although it was only enacted last year, in 2007.

2. The guard is part of a whole family or gang of sexually-abusive or complicit individuals who uses the accusation to attempt his own little extortion racket. If one reads the story carefully, all these grotty men know each other or are directly related. The grotty coach is related to the man waiting behind the peephole, the guard who accosts the protagonist knows that another guard is both a pedophile and a blackmailer, yet does nothing, and on and on.

3. Well, he's depicted from the start as a reckless young man who often says and does things he later regrets, and this claim is particularly "off the top of his head" as he attempts to lie his way out of his embarrassment. We note that his mother doesn't actually *believe* his "tall tales" for a moment, but allows him to "dig his own grave" in what amounts to perplexed astonishment.

4. Sports bras do not, as a general rule, look like muscleman tee-shirts. The angle of the bra straps, especially at the back, and the close fit of the armholes (to avoid revealing too much of the breast when viewed from the side) is completely wrong. Whilst some *men* might not notice, most women will, and quite a few will be able to identify the brand and model from a random glimpse, just as many men can identify the make and year of a sports car by the fleeting image of a tail light or bonnet in heavy traffic. It's also true that *any* bra will be visible, at least as odd "bra lines," especially the band, in almost any garment other than a space suit, because the eye picks up the tiniest clues about people as they shift and move. He will be hard-pressed to find female clothes with fabric as thick or stiff as a lot of men's clothing, which will make successful concealment of his deception still more difficult. It may be that his mother "laid it on a little thick," but she was also trying to discourage him from continuing with his profoundly silly plan to justify his rash boast *and* get his moped. All in all, I think both her advice and purpose were apropos.

5. His embarassment and foolish tangle of outright lies upon fibs, wild folly upon mere misapprehension, is part of the plot. Almost every misunderstanding can be cleared up with a simple explanation, but people *will* go on without. Looking at the work of acknowledged masters of the farce, there are few which *don't* depend on the characters keeping secrets from each other.

Take, for example, at *AN IDEAL HUSBAND*, or *THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST*, both by Oscar Wilde (a closeted gay man), or almost any story by Wodehouse, and they could all be cleared up in a few words, if only the characters weren't twits.

Likewise, the intricate intertwining of plots and subplots is a tradition in this genre, much appreciated by Victorian audiences, who had much more time on their hands to think about literary works, not having had the opportunity to destroy their brains through exessive indulgence in television programmes whose paragons of wit are largely modeled on The Three Stooges and every plot point explained by the next commercial break.

Victorian audiences *expected* to be set to dificult puzzles, where modern audiences expect to be *entertained* and to have the punchlines to all the jokes both telegraphed and then rehashed, so as not to leave anyone behind.

As I said, I liked the story, and in this context the story is astonishing. I suspect that Oscar Wilde would be amused.

Cheers,

Puddin'
------------------
I married the first man I ever kissed.
When I tell this to my children, they
just about throw up.
--- Barbara Bush

To understand a man, you should walk
a mile in his shoes. If what he says
still bothers you, that's ok, because
you'll be a mile away from him and
you'll still have his shoes.
--- Anonymous

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Cheers,

Puddin'

A tender heart is an asset to an editor: it helps us be ruthless in a tactful way.
--- The Chicago Manual of Style

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