Are drags a cultural appropriation by Men?
Polemic subject? Maybe, but we need to talk about it.
First. What is Cultural Appropriation?
"It is the adoption of elements of one culture by members of another culture. This can be controversial when members of a dominant culture appropriate from disadvantaged minority cultures". — Wikipedia
We see it everywhere, especially in fashion, when all of the sudden, "it's fashion" to wear clothes "inspired" in african patterns, or when you dress as an indigenous as a costume for a costume party. Got it? You can read more here.
So, generally speaking, it's baaaad. It's generally speaking when white people use minorities for their own benefit. As something to laugh about, to be funny, disrespecting this particular culture they have no idea what's about.
Now about the Drag Queen scene. If you stop a moment to think, are MEN dressing as WOMEN and having fun with it. I love RuPaul's Drag Race and I don't really know much about this scene beyond Paris is Burning and this TV Show, but again, they're MEN using feminine elements to self-express themselves somehow: their queerness, their gender transformation, to fulfil their childhood dreams of being more woman-like, to fully express their sexual orientation (and options within it), so much stuff, to feel free from society norms, to feel, to feel, to feel, to feel... I don't even know how many things are expressed by using FEMININE elements. But again, IT IS men using women to achieve whatever they want.
But I don't feel offended, I believe women in general don't feel offended at all. So that made me think that cultural appropriation is not "equals bad". I believe cultural appropriation can be useful for the benefit of us all, as the drag scene has shown me. Women. Mothers. Sisters. Daughters. We are related to kindness, generosity, sensibility, empathy. Of course we are not perfect, many of us are still sexists/machists, but I see the feminine world as a kind world, that wants everybody to have equal rights to have more harmony and love after all. We don't feel offended by men that use our feminine universe to feel free, because, in the end, they use our qualities to also fight the toxic masculinity. This is the issue in the world right now. The male world are set by testosterone, "higher levels of circulating testosterone in men are associated with increases in male-typical behaviours, such as physical aggression and anger". It was necessary when we had to fight to eat, but know, it's applied in a society that aim to suppress the aggression, so the anger, comes in other forms, such as bullying, corruption, wars, hate etc. Men in general feel entitled to do whatever they want. And it also means to feel entitled to use female characteristics to be free. And we, women, are ok with that. I too want you to be free, to be loved, to be kind, to share the rainbow around.
So yes, Drag Queens are a cultural appropriation of us, women, but we are happy to share our characteristics with you. But please, don't come to teach us how to be a woman. :)
And please, let us also use your universe to set women free, as some of us want as well. It's a pity that lesbians still don't have the same rights as gay males have. But we are fighters.
We create and develop LIFE inside our ORGANS. No one can win this phenomenon. Women are powerful, women are responsible for all human lives since ever. Accept and deal with it.
You either entered in a vagina by semen or by birth. Vaginas are the portal of humanity. — I still don't know if I like to be part of this responsibility since world is going to a shithole. But it is what it is.
Love ya. xoxo
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After talking with some of my queer friends there’re a lot of debate about the theme. Gender is not a “cultural appropriation” some said, and I’m still not convinced to anything, I try to keep my mind opened. But what is true indeed is that the conversation always goes to the male side of the question. It’s so hard to keep considering that I’m proposing to look at it from the female perspective. And I hope that Drag Kings have the same space for freedom and visibility as the Queens have. But, while world is dominated by men, this is not gonna happen. I believe the world is gonna end first.