Taking as a springboard Mary Cheney’s comparison between drag and blackface, Miz Cracker posts on Slate’s Outward Bound with a discussion of the two subjects. Miz Cracker notes that, at base, Cheney objected to drag because she saw it as a mockery of an oppressed group [women] created by a powerful group [men] for degrading purposes. Miz Cracker wonders if drag is inherently misogynist.
Miz Cracker basically argues that drag is not like blackface because blackface is inherently racist, while drag is not inherently misogynist. The comparison between blackface and drag breaks down because blackface and minstrelsy used to be ubiquitous idioms with great cultural influence, but drag has never achieved such a pervasive high profile. That’s because blackface was performed by the oppressors in positions of power, whereas drag has been performed by oppressed people in positions of marginalization. I’m not sure how this is relevant to the presence or absence of misogyny in drag.
In fact, I think Miz Cracker’s contrast between blackface and drag breaks down because it does not recognize multiple axes of oppression. When she argues that drag has been performed by oppressed people who are marginalized, she’s referring to gay/queer men marginalized by their sexuality. However, though gay men may be marginalized on the axis of sexuality, they do have the privilege of being men in a misogynist society. Therefore, when men do drag, no matter what their sexual orientations, they may also be seen as performers in positions of power [as men] compared to the people that they are portraying [women]. Miz Cracker’s insistence that it’s just a few individually misogynist queens who mess up the whole art form entirely ignores the complex structure of drag and its location at the intersection of mutiple axes of power and oppression.
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Excuse me while I sit here drooling over the way the man dramatically wipes his lipstick, making it trail across his face like an exposure of his secret skin and the way the woman discloses her bound breasts with a fluid movement, shucking her shirt as if it’s petals of a flower. Found at Sociological Images.
Well, not really, but look we now at some gay ads, fa la la la la, la la la la. Radar’s feature, Gay for Pay, provides proof positive that gay-targeted ads rely heavily on stereotypes of effeminacy/drag, phallic symbols and the assumption that lesbians don’t exist. Part of me is offended by the clumsy use of trite gay characterizations, while part of me is offended that there’s only one ad explicitly targeted at women [the beer ad], although I suppose you could make a case for the Subaru ad [suits/sparkly dress] being for a woman as well.
Continue reading Don we now our gay apparel…
Okay, for all that he kinda whines in his earlier albums, I still think Marilyn Manson is cool because he’s really smart and thoughtful and coherent and also, more to the point here, I greatly admire his sense of style. He does rock-star drag oh so very well, and he applies his makeup with a trowel. In this sense, he reminds me of a Ziggy-era David Bowie, only less of a fashion plate and more of a flamboyant costume-jewelry type. Check out, for example, the teeth this this cover of Tainted Love.
Some genius developed an application called CrossDresser, which allows you to reconform any clothing for any 3-D model to any other 3-D model. So you can reconform clothing for Victoria 3 to clothing for Michael 3, which allows me to make 3-D Will wear 3-D Anneka’s clothes, which saves the trouble of me finding dresses specifically for him.