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Will there come a day when Drag Acts will be seen in the same way as Black and White Minstrel shows are today?

(40 Posts)
lolaflores Tue 13-Mar-18 15:47:48

Frankly, I am getting a bit sick of them. The more I watch of Drag Race etc. the more convinced I am that they are a puerile cover for hating women, degrading them and not in anyway a vehicle for celebrating womanhood.
All drag is is a man showing women he can be a better, more perfect woman than could ever be.
Using words like fishy, fish sauce, cunty, etc. Bitch this, bitch that. So on.
Bit over it now.

OvaHere Tue 13-Mar-18 16:01:18

I'm a bit on the fence with drag. I agree it can be misogynistic in nature but historically it's also part of gay cultural history.

I wouldn't care too much if it was consigned to history but if that happens it will be for the benefit of trans activists not women.

lolaflores Tue 13-Mar-18 16:08:17

Agree about the gay cultural history but but as women's movement expands and strengthens, won't Drag be left stranded by a shift in attitudes towards its cartoonish depiction of women?
It is great entertainment but I am feeling more and more distanced from it as I become more aware/sensitive to a back handed sneer.

CharlieParley Tue 13-Mar-18 16:13:42

I really hope not. Where I come from the public face of drag queens is more like Priscilla in the Desert. A popular form of entertainment, never crude, just cabaret, sometimes painfully astute observational comedy lovingly lampooning both sexes equally.

Although I don't remember the actual performances anymore, one of our most famous acts finished by taking off his makeup and wig and clothes and revealing the man underneath. Very deliberately reminding people he was a man no matter how well he performed as a woman. But that was more than a quarter of a century ago now. Who knows, it may have changed too...

Qvar Tue 13-Mar-18 16:16:38

I hope not, because expression though comedy is a tradition that goes back to court jesters, who were given more leeway to jeer and mock than anyone else around the court.

sillage Tue 13-Mar-18 16:17:02

Prostitution is a part of men's culture too. Sometimes harmful traditional practices need to cease for humanity to evolve.

lolaflores Tue 13-Mar-18 16:18:14

I see drag queens now who aren't really entertainers anymore. They look stunning and their costume, makeup takes hours.
Is it Japanese theatre where men play women's roles? I know it was very much an aspect of theatre in time gone by but some drag seems to be about out womaning women, if that makes any sense.

Kneedeepinunicorns Tue 13-Mar-18 16:18:47

I hope not, as that will mean joyless, po faced political correctness has reframed something that was originally about liberation from stereotypes, fun and an expression of freedom.

There was never any question of them 'identifying as women', it was an act, men feeling free to be the extremes of non masculine, non straight stereotypes in the days when being caught having sex with your boyfriend meant several years hard labour. I vividly remember the fun and the sense of freedom in the one single well hidden gay pub I first ventured into as a gay teen and the friday night drag act. The people there were lovely, friendly, welcoming and made it very much ok and a positive thing to be gay and different whether your were male or female. They celebrated it. There was nothing in there at all about stomping on women or appropriating their bodies or spaces.

The negativity and looking down the nose at it, sadly, has all been piled on top of it by straight men in the name of validating themselves and their personal agenda.

FissionChips Tue 13-Mar-18 16:19:43

I hope it dies a death tbh.

poorunfortunate Tue 13-Mar-18 16:20:17

What does fishy mean in this context?

lolaflores Tue 13-Mar-18 16:20:44

Drag queens arent prostitutes. Not last time I looked.

There is a tone in some drag acts that I feel uncomfortable with as I ask myself about the image of women it is focusing on.
Two dimensional, vain, vapid, blank dollies.

lolaflores Tue 13-Mar-18 16:22:38

poor it means, smelling fishy like a vagina.
Also cunty alludes to looking so female, you could have a cunt...vagina.
That language refers to the female body perhaps as the ideal but in such demeaning lterms.

AssassinatedBeauty Tue 13-Mar-18 16:23:42

Fishy is a delightful reference to the smell of female genitals. It's beyond insulting, and deeply misogynist.

lolaflores Tue 13-Mar-18 16:25:27

Knee, I don't think drag is the same thing anymore.
There isn't the same political, edgy quality to it there once was. Well, the santisied version that is on Rupauls Drag Race.

lolaflores Tue 13-Mar-18 16:27:51

Assasinate is this a new word in the world of Drag?
Or a new ideal, that the act is not so much about entertainment but being a woman or somehow being more of a woman.
When I was younger I loved drag shows and never thought for a moment that the Drag artist was there to undermine or insult women. As a PP said, they were warm and worldly. I don't see it that way anymore.
Have I changed or has Drag?

AssassinatedBeauty Tue 13-Mar-18 16:32:07

I'm absolutely not an expert but my understanding is that the term is not at all new.

sillage Tue 13-Mar-18 16:33:52

"Drag queens arent prostitutes. Not last time I looked."

My point wasn't a direct comparison but one of "harmful cultural tradition", however since you made me think of if there truly is a direct comparison you can look at, the hijras of India who are an entire caste of drag boy prostitutes.

www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1300/J082v11n03_03?journalCode=wjhm20

My best friend in high school was a gay boy who used to perform drag acts in New York City gay clubs. He used to use my middle name as his stage name and he, like most of his friends in that culture, was constantly solicited for and agreed to paid sex by men.

My best friend was a misogynistic shit of a teenage boy.

lolaflores Tue 13-Mar-18 16:38:39

sillage sorry. I see your point.
And I have seen documentaries about the hijras who seem to inhabit a sort of grey area between prostitute and entertainer. Outcastes on one hand but paid to attend weddings and bless new babies. It is a fascinating subject.
Your best friend sounds a treat. I hope you grew out of him.

sillage Tue 13-Mar-18 16:40:35

Is anyone a really good person as a teenager?

He did grow up, sadly he became an adult prostitute and died young from AIDS.

Elendon Tue 13-Mar-18 16:41:28

I think it will be seen more along the lines of Love thy Neighbour.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=B1dakp4FT0w

Elendon Tue 13-Mar-18 16:45:02

And of course Love Thy Neighbour was meant to be satirical and ironic, in hindsight.

lolaflores Tue 13-Mar-18 16:46:36

sillage that is so sad. Sorry to hear that.

Those clips from Love Thy Neighbour are just unwatchable and I remember it from my childhood. The white bloke even then struck me as a grumpy old sod. I couldn't understand why he didn't like the man next door...

lolaflores Tue 13-Mar-18 16:47:46

elendon my daughter tells me that Drag is a compliment to women. It seems less so to me the harder I look at it.

BertrandRussell Tue 13-Mar-18 16:49:00

"I hope not, as that will mean joyless, po faced political correctness has reframed something that was originally about liberation from stereotypes, fun and an expression of freedom."

So lovely when people join in the debate in a reasoned, thoughtful and respectful manner......

BertrandRussell Tue 13-Mar-18 16:51:37

But drag has always been profoundly misogynist. Gay men's culture has a streak of women hatred a mile wide-why wouldn't it? Gay men are still men!

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