Ideas

Snapshot

Readers React: ‘Hey, dummy. Gender ain’t real!’

Yvie Oddly.
VH1
Yvie Oddly.

Last week, Rachel Slade wrote about “RuPaul’s Drag Race” — a television show that pits drag queens against each other in a series of challenges designed to showcase skills like style, dancing, and sass.

Slade watches “RuPaul” with her teenage daughter, and she wrote about her ambivalence around drag — a medium that, however empowering, can present a distorted view of femininity. An online commenter who goes by the name “Jake T” had a different view:

I think you “get it”. . . kinda. You said, “Historically, drag is entertainment by men for men, with queens coopting an exaggerated male view of femalehood to uproarious laughter.” But, drag isn’t about making fun of women. Rather, drag points out that gender is all a socially constructed farce . . . Gay men, historically, have been made fun of and ridiculed for effeminate behavior or affect. Drag was a way of exaggerating the natural femininity of these men and then turning it into a joke by implying, “Hey, dummy. Gender ain’t real! We are all playing dress up just by getting up each day and dressing.”