Achilles among the Daughters of Lycomedes

Gender and clothing

This piece depicts one of the best known cases of a person of one gender dressing and performing the role and attributes corresponding to the opposite gender: Achilles, who is dressed as a woman and hidden by his mother to prevent him from taking part in the Trojan War.

The fact of using clothing to adopt an image which society identifies with the opposite gender does not affect the identity or the sexual orientation of the person wearing it. Achilles is presented as a man, a warrior, although in this case he is dressed and behaves like a woman, which ensures that he will not participate in an activity deemed exclusive to the male gender: war.