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Lingering sense of unease

(25 Posts)
user1464552773 Fri 18-Sep-20 12:20:48

I've just started watching Ru Paul's Drag Race and binged on a few series back to back. I love how over the top it is, as well as the ridiculous drama and the lip syncs.

However I've noticed that the really feminine performers are often referred to as "fishy", which makes me feel a bit uncomfortable. Obviously there is a lot of strong language and I was wondering if I should be viewing "fishy" as just part of this, or if other women also see it as problematic?

(Apologies if this has been brought up before, I'm new around here).

OP’s posts: |
Eketahuna Fri 18-Sep-20 13:07:52

I find it offensive.

Dreeple Fri 18-Sep-20 13:12:04

Just one of many reasons it’s not a show for me.

FranklyImCringeing Fri 18-Sep-20 13:14:37

I find the basic premise of men in drag characterising women the way they do deeply offensive.

Winesalot Fri 18-Sep-20 13:43:47

It is deeply offensive and why I cannot believe that people continue to support this style of entertainment. They don't even bother to disguise how much they hate women.

ArabellaScott Fri 18-Sep-20 13:44:30

Yes, it's highly offensive. But nobody cares about misogyny, it's all just a laugh and you'd be a Karen if you complained.

RobertSmithsWig Fri 18-Sep-20 13:45:29

Yeah, it's really offensive. I can't fathom why women enjoy drag.

Escapeplanning Fri 18-Sep-20 13:47:42

If women called gay men a comparable name it would not be presented as prime time family viewing. Insulting women is funny and children should learn to laugh at these insults alongside the females in the family.

ArabellaScott Fri 18-Sep-20 13:54:19

White people dressing up as black people is (rightly) beyond the pale. Not sure about black people dressing as white, does that ever happen?

But men dressing up as garishly caricatured women with names that mock disabilities or reference sex acts are just tickety-boo and should definitely invited into schools.

HoneysuckIejasmine Fri 18-Sep-20 13:54:45

I found this is much more a problem in the earlier series. Later on in the show run it is spoken about less and the focus is more on performance art. A number of competitors are either trans at the time or later transition.

I am constantly conflicted by RPDR. I absolutely see the mysogynistic undertones in some of the performances and language, but I also admire the artistry in make up and costume. I like Glow Up on BBC too, but can't help thinking their make up is pretty poor compared to what the competitors throw on in RPDG. Some of them are completely unrecognisable out of drag.

I am not a fan of people like Gia Gunn who was a mysogynist and irritating right from their first episode, or anyone who thrives on drama and calls themselves a "whore" or a "slut", but I love Bendelacreme who used his drag persona to deal with his depression, or Sasha Velour who refuses to wear wigs in honour of his late mother who lost her hair battling cancer.

Thinking about it, I suppose I enjoy the costume and artistry, and the performances of things like comedy challenges.

TyroSaysMeow Fri 18-Sep-20 14:20:14

Definitely problematic. Comes from the practice of referring to actual females as 'fish' in reference to negative stereotypes about the smell of our vaginas.

A male considered in some way more woman-like than his peers being labelled fishy relies upon unquestioning acceptance of a misogynistic synonym for 'female', hence it's problematic. And offensive. And misogynistic. And handwaved as being just part of a subset of male culture, which as we all know cannot be challenged unless it's negatively impacting on other males.

The fact women are supposed to celebrate a misogynistic male subculture, and derided as intolerant or phobic if we note the misogyny, is more of a problem, to my mind. They're entitled to use offensive language, because freedom of speech etc, but equally we're entitled to find it offensive and talk about it and pick it apart, because again, freedom of speech.

BrassicaRabbit Fri 18-Sep-20 14:36:25

Fishy is horribly misogynist (as PP said that means it's fabulously culturally acceptable and anyone saying otherwise should probably just cancel themselves).

I, personally, do not find drag - men in ott make up and outfits - offensive. I think that's because I view that kind of dressing as drag when women do it too. I'm sure it was Rupaul who said something like "we're all born naked; everything else is drag", which resonated. However I absolutely take on board that many women do find it offensive. And I can't see it as neutral. It is all drag, but males can take it on and off like a costume and be celebrated, whereas in some areas of society a woman's employment depends upon it.

BraveBananaBadge Fri 18-Sep-20 14:36:30

I think the message has got through somewhat and it is used less these days. In some cases, likeable queens who don’t go in for shock value now refer to it as a desire to channel ‘mermaid goddesses’ (Shangela in the Uptown Fish video), I guess trying to steer it into less offensive waters.

I’ve spoken to queens like Panti Bliss who have basically said they wanted be a performer but men’s clothes are so boring they got into drag to have more wardrobe options. And why not, if they can be bothered?

Shea Coulee’s drag definitely comes from a place of reverence to the women in their life.

In the recent Canadian series I thought Ilona Varley would really piss me off but actually enjoyed hearing their POV as a ‘two spirit’ (whatever you may think of that)

It’s a fascinating art form in many ways.

Lottapianos Fri 18-Sep-20 14:43:25

Thinking about it, I suppose I enjoy the costume and artistry'

Same here. Theres no getting away from the misogyny though, and 'fishy' is just plain vile

CaraDuneRedux Fri 18-Sep-20 14:59:29

I find drag deeply offensive, and "fishy" so far beyond offensive it's into the territory of establishing those who use it as the most ghastly misogynists imagineable (I would be more blunt, but I'd get deleted) as far as I'm concerned.

Dreeple Sat 19-Sep-20 17:39:12

If women called gay men a comparable name it would not be presented as prime time family viewing. Insulting women is funny and children should learn to laugh at these insults alongside the females in the family

Is “knobcheesy” a comparable nickname for men?

user1464552773 Sat 19-Sep-20 21:03:40

Dreeple, I have often wondered why there is no word for the sour, unwashed penis smell.

OP’s posts: |
AsTreesWalking Sat 19-Sep-20 21:11:22

I have often wondered why there is no word for the sour, unwashed penis smell
You mean apart from 'Yuck' ?

CornflakeMum Sat 19-Sep-20 21:14:50

user1464552773

Dreeple, I have often wondered why there is no word for the sour, unwashed penis smell.

I thought that was related to smegma?

"Smeggy" then?

Fairybatman Sat 19-Sep-20 21:18:03

I used to watch it and enjoy it. Fishy made me a bit uncomfortable, as did all the over-egged “bitch” type remarks.

Coming on here and seeing the companies to black face was the last straw for me. I can’t see it as anything other than “woman face” now.

Fairybatman Sat 19-Sep-20 21:18:40

*comaprison... when are we getting a bloody edit button!

Babdoc Sun 20-Sep-20 16:21:54

To my mind, describing a particularly convincing parody of female stereotypes as “fishy”, is comparable to describing a white man in blackface as the N word.
Both are equally insulting and unacceptable to the people who are the target of the abusive “humour”, ie women and black people respectively.
I will never understand why blackface is rightly vilified, but misogynistic mockery of women is considered cool and woke.

thinkingaboutLangCleg Sun 20-Sep-20 18:39:25

I’ve spoken to queens like Panti Bliss who have basically said they wanted be a performer but men’s clothes are so boring they got into drag to have more wardrobe options

That sounds like nonsense to me. History and world cultures offer endless dazzling examples of resplendent male dress. Carnival in Rio? Tudor courtiers? Chinese opera singers? 1960s hippies? 70s New Romantics? Or just use imagination?

IHeartSusanDey Sun 20-Sep-20 18:47:21

Babdoc, probably because blackface affects men. And so many women say they like drag and have no problem with the term 'fishy'.confused I would love to see men say they have no problem with Drag Kings being called Cheesy! Would never happen.

IHeartSusanDey Sun 20-Sep-20 18:49:04

user1464552773

Dreeple, I have often wondered why there is no word for the sour, unwashed penis smell.



Having flashbacks from years back to boking over an ex boyfriend.🤢

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