Letter 8
from Patricia S.

Dear Susan,

I am writing to share what I think was a very worthwhile experience for my nephew, although there is a slight twist that I'll explain later. Anyway, I'm sure others may disagree with me on this, but that's ok. I do know that the world will have one less conceited and self-centred male in its midst, and, if for no other reason than this, it was worth it.

Some background first, and mostly just a few words about my sister and me for a little context. We grew up tomboys. In fact as children, we grew up on a farm with no boys to do the things that generally only boys do. My father, out of necessity, insisted on it, and that pretty much was that.

But we also grew up as girlish girls, and for that, I adore my father because he always made sure that we looked like girls when we were not doing chores. Dinner was a dress-up affair and Mom's skills at a sewing machine allowed us more than enough reasons to want to dress up. As far as we were concerned we had the best of both worlds, but we discovered that it was a world which has little room for tomboys. It's been a lifetime's worth of struggle, for both of us, making sure that the world around us gives us our due. It has also left us very intolerant of any form of prejudgment of women.

Which left me very angry over a comment my nephew made one day, when I called my daughter in to hem a dress I was making. Actually he's made several over the way my daughter behaves, only because she's as much a tomboy as I was. Nothing serious, and most times my daughter ignores such things but this one justified my wrath.

"So if you want to be a boy so badly, then how come you are still wearing dresses?" He said and this was said in front of a group of boys. My daughter beats my nephew at a number of things and I'm sure that this had a lot to do with it, but that aside, it was his "public" humiliation of her that rose my hackles. It was also his attitude when he came in at my call. There was a cockiness about him as he stood there that left me even angrier.

So I struck a deal.

He would take my daughter's place while I fixed the hem of that dress, or when he returned to those boys I was simply going to call out to him (loud enough for those boys to hear) that he needed to come in so I could fix the hem on "his" dress. I added that I'd leave it up to him to explain to those boys what I meant - suggesting, as well, that him denying there was even such a dress might still not work with boys like that. And I got that idea from a certain site that I had seen on the net!

To be honest with you I took great pleasure in that look on his face when the realization sank in on what that would do to his current status with his friends. I also said that if his cousin was such a tomboy and should be wearing pants, according to him, then it might be better if he became a "Janegirl" and wore the dresses for a time.

That's when I expanded the deal a little, adding that, once the dress was done, and I was only an hour or so away from that, it would be his dress for this weekend. His dress and whatever else he would need as a Janegirl. Same consequences as before if he said no. His apology, I noted, would be in that form of a penance, and I would accept nothing less.

I also knew that he had no choice and so did he. I did allow him to save face with those boys by giving him a moment to go tell them he'd been grounded for the rest of that weekend for his remarks. He did that, and ten minutes later was taking his first bubble bath, which was my daughter's suggestion.

I also left what he'd wear up to her as well, so she felt that she had a hand in his "punishment" and to keep this on a decent enough level, all I'll say of that is that his panties had Saturday on them. We also decided that since he was a Janegirl, and she was a tomboy, then it would be appropriate for their roles to be fully reversed.

That meant that she got control over his video game, and he got her dolls. I also was quick about basting that hem so I could get him into something more suitable for helping with dinner. He'd wear that fancier dress for dinner and did. What did happen was predictable for the most part, because he was very humiliated when he returned to the living room in her slip and panties. What I couldn't have fully predicted was that he got a "feel" for what it was like to dress as a girl. I don't think my daughter noted the change as much as I did but by the time bed time rolled around there was definitely a change in him.

I noticed it when he returned in her Barbie nightgown and robe, and of course, the doll she'd chosen. At first, in those dresses, he clearly looked like a boy being punished, but by bed time he didn't. I mean it was clear that those things he had been made to wear, and those girlish tasks he'd been given, had had an effect. His face, for lack of a better description, had grown softer, more pensive and far less angry.

On Sunday morning, when he dressed in another play dress there was no anger to be found, and by dinner that following evening he was actually playing with those dolls. He'd stop when he thought we were looking, but picked right back up again when he also thought we weren't. By Monday however, he seemed to be his old self again.

I'm writing because of the irony of this. As it happens he returned a few weeks after that incident to help with some new additions to our calving. Actually what shocked me to my very core was his embarrassed "Maybe," when my daughter asked if he'd like to be a Janegirl again. They were on the porch and I wanted Cindy to help with a pie I was baking, thinking John would be happy to go and nurse the new calves.

That's when Cindy asked if it was ok with him if she went to the barn and he went to the kitchen. She was wearing jeans, and she told him directly that he would have to wear a dress and an apron. When he said "Sure", I was more than a little surprised, although the real shock came when she said that he'd have to be a Janegirl again, and he looked downcast but gave a shy, blushing smile.

He came into the kitchen a few minutes later in one of Cindy's play dresses, with Cindy calling back as she left the house that I would have to put him in an apron. He looked pained over it but I knew, without a doubt, he secretly wasn't. What I didn't know, and wanted desperately to ask about, was what he wore under that dress. I didn't ask a single question that afternoon, nor that night when he wore the same nightgown. In fact I was struck dumb by the whole affair till he went home on Monday.

I still am, and some of it because of Cindy's comments, when I asked what that was all about, as she answered in the most simplest of ways that John really likes being a Janegirl. I'm not even sure there is such a thing, and if there is then I suppose I know of at least one. Anyway, that last part of this wasn't my intent by any stretch of the imagination, but there it is anyway. When John comes over, he and his cousin simply switch roles and clothes and that's pretty much that. What to make of this I'll leave up to you and your readers.

Cindy took a photo with an old camera, and she has hand-coloured it, which is one of her hobbies. My apologies if it's a bit overdone.

Oh, and as a side note, his mother believes, after we talked of this, that it's most likely a bit of nature and nurturing. Same as it was in our case growing up. Although, in any case, and as I noted in the beginning, there is going to be at least one very submissive and biddable male in this world, and of that you can be sure.
Yours truly,

Patricia S.

It's a pity that cousins can't get married; what an ideal marriage it would be! The photo is beautiful; it reminds me of those garishly hand-coloured postcards that holiday places used to sell when I was a girl. Girls growing up on farms do tend to combine 'tomboy' traits because of the farm work, with sweet femininity, because of the natural conservatism of the countryside. In that sense they can make perfect partners for domesticated and petticoated husbands. The thought has never struck me before.

It sounds like John thoroughly enjoyed his sissy Janegirl role from the very beginning.

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Letter 9