"Why would we want to do things that don’t require explanation, that are obvious, impervious to critique because no one even notices we’re doing them?"
Well, to fit in, of course. I've always had such a strong desire to be understood and to avoid misunderstanding. Confusing people on purpose is something that hasn't really occurred to me. Although...I like the idea of it. Don't get me wrong, understanding is an incredible thing. But it isn't always going to happen, and it's heartening to know that there might be some value in the alternative.
Spade also talks about "resistant aesthetics", which I think is a helpful term. I do want to resist, through my appearance, the sexual and gender norms of our culture. But I don't think anyone is going to figure this out just by looking at me. For women and those read as such, dressing "entirely outside of the sexual dimension" is virtually impossible. (Either we're sexy...or the absence of sexy.) I recently read a post called "Femme Visibility". The writer says that "femme presentations are often done to queer the idea of women as objects of men’s desire. It can be done to parody traditional ideas of women’s gender roles and dress." While these femmes are coming from a place of aesthetic resistance, they're often not perceived as queer or transgressive by society at large. I can relate to that dissonance, because I keep trying to dress outside of sexuality and gender. Spade seems to maintain that there's importance to these efforts, as imperfect as they may be. In some ways, my style does require explanation, even though it isn't unusual enough to draw much questioning.