Ok, posting about As You Like It reminded me of this. Why the excitement over the crossdressing? I mean, sure, I get the whole thing with Shakespeare and boys playing girls pretending to be boys. I'm not talking about that. I'm talking about the response from the ladies who seem positively thrilled over it. I hope they don't mind my quoting them, but in the AYLI thread, Ren Girl says you "can't go wrong" with cross-dressing, and Angela is "all for any play that involves a pants-role for a female." But I've seen similar responses at other times which often come down to a near-giddy "Hooray, a girl gets to play a boy!" excitement.
What's up with that, exactly? Maybe I'm stupid but I would have thought the exact opposite, that the ladies in the audience would not be so supportive of strong female characters who have to play men for half the story. Lady Macbeth may say "unsex me here", but she stays a woman for the whole play.
Somebody want to enlighten me?