25 thoughts on “Pant Stamp

    1. Alison

      Yawn. Same old crap from an author who hasn’t the foggiest about drag reducing it to mere “blackface”. Been done before dear and it’s a line beloved by the religious right. My heterosexual womanly-self knows that the whole point is the very the deliberate exaggeration which is a hallmark of the art meant to demonstrate the artifice of gender and how it is a by and large a construction. That’s Drag 101. I suspect the author instead of reading around the phenomenan and trying to understand it, simply let her own prejudices run wild based on casual and limted encounters. It might as well be Brenda Power or Breda O’Brien explaining drag (in lovely soothing Mammy-knows-best) terms – the devil they say, is in the drag!

      1. Alfred E. Neumann

        I liked the piece. You obviously know more about this than I do. I’d love to hear you respond to the author’s points, or maybe link to an opposing view.

        1. Alison

          @Alfred E Neumann The author of this article appears to present herself as reinventing the wheel, yet honest about her lack of experience with drag. Always a good start. There’s a deep feminist and academic literature base on this question, both making this argument and defending against it. Bell Hooks is an obvious example but Judith Butler and Peggy Phelan are two prominent examples of people that complicate the simplistic portrayal. Even RuPaul has talked about this. The cheap comparison to blackface is lazy and fundamentally erases the unique history of drag.

          There is nothing that is equivalent to blackface in drag. The history of that specific performance has no analogue. The closest is maybe the Native American costumes that some people wear, but even that doesn’t reach the same level of single-minded denigration as minstrel shows. The purpose of minstrel shows was to police color lines, and for white people to take pleasure in terrorizing black populations. It’s all to easy to make comparisons to the history of racial oppression, but racism and sexism don’t operate the same way or have the same dynamics. Blackface isn’t just a matter of white people putting on black makeup and pretending to be black. If it were just that, it would just be regular-old offensive, but not as traumatic as it is. Saidiya Hartman argues that blackface can’t be understood outside of the context of chattel slavery and the socially gratuitous violence against (and social death of) black bodies. Drag may be offensive for some femimists (though it’s probably not that simple) and may be motivated in some limited individuals by sexism, but the dynamics of gendered performance don’t have that same history. If they did, you wouldn’t have to make the analogy to blackface in the first place. Gendered performance is just that — inherently performative, which is why it’s so fluid and changing. Drag performances
          play on the markers of gendered performance, and much less on the materiality of women’s bodies. They occur within a context of shifting gender norms and while they may sometimes reinforce sexism, they also take place in a context of challenging patriarchal and heteronormative assumptions about sexuality.

          1. Alfred E. Neumann

            Thanks, Alison. Plenty to chase down there. I suspect you’re right, and the blackface analogy is probably less helpful than it initially appears.

  1. Spaghetti Hoop

    Ah here. I like him and all but a fupping stamp?
    If I went on a rant about dogs1t in our parks or the homeless dying on our streets would I get on a stamp – would I? Country’s gone mad.

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