Wondering why I put a link to a transgender page? Sometimes society likes to group and label us to fix into their box. As we all know, there are women who fit the stereotypic role of "femme" or feminine (some are lesbian, some are not) and some that fit a type called "butch" or what our society labels masculine. As there are also men who do not fit society's preference for masculine, (big, bulky, strong, muscular). Some are gay and some are heterosexual. Where do they fit in? Our society really isn't that creative in our definitions. [Some people do not fit in either category. Some are refering to themselves as intersexed".] Really, we are quite rigid as a society in our definitions of gender. (Men shouldn't cry, etc.) We do not often accept people who stray to far outside societial boundaries of dress and behavior, and then we get mad or think it's weird when people try to figure out how they can Make themselves Fit into such a system! I am fascinated by the fact that women of a more repressive era could escape society's constraints by living the lives of men. Lesbians could live in a measure of exceptance, with a female partner or without a male partner. Women could practice skills when opportunites were not available to their gender at the time. The fact that some women (like Erauso), could fool even their friends and family makes me wonder how different we all really are? What intregues me also is that women, who lived as women, but dressed and acted in a way that our society labels masculine, could find ways to be accepted, even loved and cherish, despite people's prejudice. (Today women wearing pants is much more acceptable than it was at one time) Some communities are more oppressive then others, even now, in the 20th century. The time of "passing women" has not necessarily left us. Today women still dress as men, some pose as men. The reasons might be similar to the past. Perhaps they don't fit the "mold" (society's concept of what is masculine and what is feminine- I wonder why we get so attached to all that stuff?) Some find more advantages to living "as a man" such as safety on the streets, more opportunities in high paying jobs, more respect, ability to wear masculine clothes with acceptance, or freedom to live in a conservative area with a female partner and not fear violence and prejudice, etc. Today however, there is stricter attention payed to gender, without reference to dress. In order to be accepted in the true role and still marketable in a conservative job, the "game" is much more complicated and often embarrassing. Your gender is public knowledge and even if you move to another area it is still on your driver's license! To "pass" today, wo/men face many more, or perhaps just different, challenges than the passing women of yesterday. Some of the women on this page were lesbians, some not. Some were transgendered and some just wanted to live more comfortably. I wonder how many of us would wear one of those contraptions they called a dress and how comfortable We would have felt wearing one. Apparently through it's evolution it used to weigh several pounds and bulge out at the sides perhaps a foot. Dr. Mary Walker fought for dress reform because she considered the dress to be the cause of many health problems and impossible for a person to travel or move quickly if needed. Rosa Bonheur often painted outside in all kinds of weather and was licensed to wear pants for health reasons. Women dressing in pants used to be illegal- even in the United States! Later women were required to wear atleast 3 articles of feminine clothing or be arrested. (A sick way for officers to have an excuse for abusing lesbians' privacy) In short, (not really), Rosa Bonheur and Hannah Gluck were lesbians according to their biographies,and lived openly as such. Perhaps they gained more exceptance by fulfilling society's role of them as dressing and looking masculine? Perhaps they were transgendered. I think the next generation cares less about labels and perhaps has room for all different kinds of people.