Wednesday, January 29, 2014

womanless wedding

I could fill a book just with pictures of cross-dressing in Catahoula through the years. Men dressed as women for Mardi Gras. Women dressed as men for the Christmas parade. Children cross-dressing for Halloween. Womanless weddings. Why so much cross-dressing?

The other side of the coin, and what is so plainly evident in the old photographs as well, is a strict observance of segregation by gender. For example, I see a lot of class photographs where the pupils are arranged for a "girls only" photo, then a "boys only" photo, then together as a whole class. And vestiges of this gender segregation are evident even today.

A couple of years ago, we went to a potluck at my Aunt Sis's house. The whole Theriot gang was there. Aunt Sis called for the men to come and serve themselves. Then when they had sat down with their plates, she called for the women to do the same. Andrew was so intrigued by this. He said, "What is this, the 19th century?" I guess I'd never really noticed. Does anybody else still do it this way, or is this peculiar to Louisiana?

Anyway, Cajuns are notoriously fun-loving and mischievous, so I guess it's not surprising that they would subvert these traditional gender roles in the spirit of celebration, and for the sake of a good laugh.