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Is drag blackface for women?

(103 Posts)
heateallthebuns Mon 06-Nov-17 16:01:59

I feel a bit like it is. I see Mary Cheney compared the two. As drag artists exaggerate negative female stereotypes in their performances. This view has been criticised as blackface was more widespread, and, white men were in the power position impersonating men while drag performers are a minority themselves.... but does one minority impersonating another make it ok? Would bkackface have been ok if it was more limited historically? I don't think so. I am beginning to feel uncomfortable with drag, as a woman.

busyboysmum Mon 06-Nov-17 16:27:25

I feel very offended when I see a man buy himself a pair of female breasts and then use them in a sexualized way. That's how I feel. I don't like it.

I was trawling Twitter last night and there are men who dress as women on there with breasts but still a penis. Posting pictures of themselves in the shower etc. Or in a dress posing in a sexy way with the penis hanging out.

GuardianLions Mon 06-Nov-17 16:32:18

I've always found it uncomfortable. It just feels like women are being mocked and I am supposed to laugh along with the joke. Except the joke is on me... sad

VivaLeBeaver Mon 06-Nov-17 16:36:53

Interestingly our local hospital refused some fundraising recently from two men who had gone out dressed in drag collecting donations for this reason.

LaurieFairyCake Mon 06-Nov-17 16:38:14

I don’t think the posting knobs out with a frock on is drag confused it’s porn

I think drag can be funny, sweet, charming - I’ve seen some drag acts (a long time ago) that didn’t make me think they were poking fun at women. I don’t really think of them as referencing real women though. I think of them as drag acts and think they’re not trying to be female.

I don’t think of it as black face, that’s a step too far for me.

busyboysmum Mon 06-Nov-17 16:38:16

I wonder if the hospital was offended on behalf of women or transwomen though Viva?

MissFlashpants Mon 06-Nov-17 16:38:16

The phrases ‘posing in a sexy way’ and ‘with the penis hanging out’ are very definitely mutually exclusive.

FizzyWaterAndElderflower Mon 06-Nov-17 16:38:42

The only experience I have is RuPaul's drag race, and I find it very much depends on the queen - most I don't find offensive, but yes, those with 'breast plates' (fake silicone chest pieces) I recoil from, and the attitudes towards women and language can be a bit over the line.

However, since it's (vast majority) gay men doing it, and talking amongst themselves for their own entertainment, I actually mind it a lot less than a lot of standup - in that the men participating and watching it aren't going to be the same men down the pub egging each other on to grope drunk women.

Basically, I see it very much as a men going their own way, done properly, and not something I have any reason to interact with, therefore have no reason to be offended by.

busyboysmum Mon 06-Nov-17 16:39:59

God yes I stepped away pretty quick. But can't unsee sadly 😄😅

Hoppinggreen Mon 06-Nov-17 16:40:16

I admire the effort that goes into the drag acts on the likes of RuPauls drag race etc but I hate it when some bloke sticks on a pair of fake boobs and smears lipstick on " for charidee "
A woman is not a fancy dress idea

hipsterfun Mon 06-Nov-17 16:40:24

Men aren’t a minority, but otherwise I agree.

FizzyWaterAndElderflower Mon 06-Nov-17 16:41:11

Interestingly our local hospital refused some fundraising recently from two men who had gone out dressed in drag collecting donations for this reason.

Oh, well, that's another thing again isn't it. That's men dressing up as women for a laugh, not actual Drag Queens doing it with all the performance and work that goes into it.

Like the difference between.. dunno.. me drawing on my arm with a biro and going to a proper tattoo parlour.

Sentimentallentil Mon 06-Nov-17 16:42:34

I think it depends on the act to be honest. I know that the drag queens I’m friends with see it as playing with gender norms and a lot of them have started to be more androgynous anyway, keeping their beards etc. When done well I think it’s a characture and push against rigid gender roles and can be great.

But it can also just be shit and offensive too.

VivaLeBeaver Mon 06-Nov-17 16:44:34

busyboysmum. Iirc they said women. That they were worried about women been offended and used as a point of laughter.

MrsUnderwood Mon 06-Nov-17 16:46:53

I don’t see drag as a type of female blackface- I see it as satirising the performance of gender and messing with gender norms.

GuardianLions Mon 06-Nov-17 16:53:56

I see it as satirising the performance of gender and messing with gender norms.

Isn't blackface similarly satirising the 'performance' of 'race' - complete with wide-eyed, grinning subservience that was once essential for appeasing the 'masters'? (and the opposite was the 'high fallutin'' Cakewalk, akin to the drag king posturing with dominant behaviour?)

heateallthebuns Mon 06-Nov-17 16:54:04

I think they meant it's often gay men who do drag, so gay men are a minority.

heateallthebuns Mon 06-Nov-17 16:57:47

Satirising gender by the sex in the power position though?

StoatofDisarray Mon 06-Nov-17 16:58:44

I don't like it, and the fact that it has a long history behind it doesn't make it any less unpleasant to me. The comparison to blackface is an accurate one, IMHO.

GuardianLions Mon 06-Nov-17 17:03:07

And it isn't just a gay thing. Think of the two Ronnies, Monty Python, Dick Emerie, David Walliams, etc, etc..

Alittlepotofrosie Mon 06-Nov-17 17:03:21

I dont like it either. My sister watches ru paul and i refuse to watch it. She doesnt get what's wrong with it.

MarthaArthur Mon 06-Nov-17 17:04:14

I thought drag queens were to take the piss out of homophobic men. So homophobic men recoiled at the thought/insinuation of a gay man fancying him so to take the piss they could dress as over the top pantomime women to mock them rather than mockimg women. Maybe i am wromg though thats just what i always thought.

GuardianLions Mon 06-Nov-17 17:08:02

Also, I think the moment a man stuffs a bra he is wearing, or puts on a corset, he is doing the womanface. He can put make up and dresses on and I don't care, (why shouldn't a bloke wear dresses and make-up?) but as soon as he pokes fun at women's actual bodies it is akin to putting on black paint to poke fun at actual dark skin.

midsomermurderess Mon 06-Nov-17 17:11:38

I have always seen it as a pastiche of woman: the hair, the garish makeup, the flouncing. I’ve never thought of it in those terms before though.

trevortrevorslattery Mon 06-Nov-17 17:12:55

Yes I think so

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