In 2002, the Atlantic published an article by Amy Bloom entitled "Conservative Men in Conservative Dresses" about crossdressers and their wives.
When I read the article at the time, I remember thinking that Amy Bloom was very critical of the crossdressers she profiled. She uses the small sample of people she interacts with to portray crossdressers in general as very selfish men whose long suffering wives barely tolerate their obsession. She writes about how the crossdressers she interviews are not at all interested in being feminine in the sense of those attributes she sees as truly representative of women. A telling quote "here is no innate grasp of female friendship, of the female insistence on relatedness, of the female tradition of support and accommodation for one's partner and giving precedence to the relationship overall. If there were that kind of understanding, rather than shopping for accessories and watching tapes on how to walk in heels, these guys would be unable to ask their wives to go through this cross-dressing life with them—and everyone, husbands and wives, knows it."
I recently reread the article. It's interesting to read a piece a long time after you first did, especially if you have a strong memory of it.
I still find Amy Bloom condescending and believe she generalizes way too much based on the group she interacts with. Having said that, I was surprised to find that the article is more sympathetic than I remembered. It does have interesting observations about how the crossdressers and wives she met have very "traditional" relationships in many ways and how the wives of these crossdressers have made many compromises and sacrifices to make their marriages work. Something to keep in mind when we forget how selfish sometimes when concentrating too much on expressing ourselves.
Here's a link to the article. It's very long but a worthwhile read, not just for the observations made but also as a window into how a mildly sympathetic "civilian" views us. The link also links to various responses from our community. I'd be interested in your reaction.