The Fairy Princess was sitting around this morning, a weekend morning, kind of relaxing, and then she read about an email that was sent by Mary Cheney.
Mary is of the Richard (insanely evil Vice President of the United States who got us into a War over WMDs that did not exist and then sold the war to Halliburton, authorized torture and rich people not paying taxes and left us in billions of debt) aka “Dick” Cheney clan, and in that email, she compared “Blackface”
What say you my Queens?
Mary Cheney posted her queries on her private Facebook page, a page which, of course, is meant to be just that – private. The first order of business, Ms. Cheney, would be, in TFP‘s opinion, is shut down your Facebook page – cuz you do NOT have a private Facebook page, or indeed any ‘safe’ place to write this:
“Why is it socially acceptable – as a form of entertainment – for men to put on dresses, makeup and high heels and act out every offensive stereotype of women (bitchy, catty, dumb, slutty, etc) – but it is not socially acceptable – as a form of entertainment – for a white person to put on blackface and act out offensive stereotypes of African Americans” – Mary Cheney
Usually, TFP stays out of politics, per se. She blogs about representation and visibility – however, she also blogs about LGBT issues as a huge supporter of the LGBT community, and she, in point of fact, was ‘raised’ as an adult by the LGBT community and so she is going to respond to this, and hope that Ms. Cheney, (who lives a life of exceeding white privilege while also being an “Out” Lesbian who has given birth to two children), was perhaps, just perhaps, was really asking.
It is totally possible.
She could ‘really’ not know, because perhaps, in the circle she runs with, there is a decided lack of empathy and knowledge about what Drag Queens mean to the LGBT community, and about the LGBT community in general – take a look:
Mary Cheney is a Republican, after all.
Ms. Cheney could have equally less knowledge about what constitutes “Blackface’ because, as a practice, it was generally ended in this country two decades ago, and to TFP’s knowledge, has only been used again once in a main stage, Broadway production, and that was The Scottsboro Boys.
A show, Ms. Cheney, which was about racism. In 1931. A show about racism towards black teenagers who are unjustly accused of a crime and most of them wound up dead.
But anyway, that show takes place in 1931. Ms. Cheney probably did not go see it.
So now, Ms. Cheney, TFP is going to ‘school’ you in what makes “Blackface” different from “Drag” and in one sentence it is this:
Blackface was used to denigrate, and Drag is used to celebrate.
Blackface, Ms. Cheney, was a socio-political tool wrapped in popular songs and comedy sketches that was used to justify white supremacy – it implied that Black Americans were slow, dull witted, unable in some sketches to read, and all in all, they were ‘creatures’ (not humans) to be laughed at.
If you never see someone as an actual person, it is much easier to dismiss their contributions, their humanity, and their worth as people, and as an Entertainer, TFP is horrified that performers had anything to do with it, let alone made money off of it, but they did.
And it was wrong.
Because those sketches and songs, and pseudo-co-ooption of Black American songs and imitations of Black Americans justified Jim Crow laws and people putting up signs like this:
It began in the early 1800’s in this country and it lasted, in popular performance until – wait for it – 1981. Yes, people, Blackface was ON TELEVISION in the UK until 1978 in The Black and White Minstrel Show.
Eventually it (mostly) died away in America with the Civil Rights Movement, as white performers began refusing to do it, both as a means to survive as a performer and because of personal ethics. Better late than never.
So that, Ms. Cheney, is “Blackface” – a degrading mockery of a proud people, whose long history with this Country has certainly had much sorrow and violence, in part because “blackface‘ performers allowed African Americans to be viewed as ‘less than’.
Let’s go on to Drag….
Drag is not just what you see on RuPaul’s Drag Race, there are varying forms.
What TFP likes about Drag and Drag Queens, is that Drag celebrates the many amazing facets about being a woman – the vulnerability to express feelings in public, the use of makeup to enhance nice features or hide self-perceived flaws, the art of sequins, the glamor of good fake hair, and of course, the fabulousness of a curvy body.
Drag says ‘be proud of who you are, no matter who you are’.
And of course:
The TFP has learned many things from Drag Queens over the years, and she is grateful for those lessons.
In general, Drag pays tribute to the women most women would like to be – beautiful and outrageous with an ability to charm and enthrall a crowd while delivering a message.
Not every Queen is ‘traditionally’ beautiful,
but they deliver ‘realness’,
the vulnerability of being a woman,
even if their drag is not “Pageant”.
Not every Drag happens on the stage in a nightclub, or on your television set, America has lived with Drag as a tradition for as long as Entertainment has been around.
There have been some amazing Actors who have given performances in Drag.
Take a look:
Have those performances compelled you, Ms. Cheney, to take to your Social Media page in outrage?
So, it’s not really Drag that upsets you, is it?
TFP thinks what you are ‘suffering’ from is something else entirely, she thinks it is “Sissyphobia”.
TFP believes that when you see Drag Queens ‘camp it up” on television, and call one another “Bitch” or “Girl”, you are not really seeing them ‘degrade women’ – there are no women there to degrade, in point of fact.
(Let’s be honest, if you have never used the terms ‘bitch, dumb, catty, and slutty‘ to describe ANYONE, you are better person than TFP.)
(TFP can also ‘vouch’ for that intense eye makeup appearing on ‘real’ women, she grew up, in part, on Lawn Guyland, also, she watches MOB WIVES)
What you seem to be having a reaction to is men who are acting effeminate both in and out of Drag, and you have a problem with it.
Or at least that is how TFP sees it. You do not seem to be a woman with a lot of humor.
Ms. Cheney, though our Society uses the label ‘sissy’ as a weakness, in the Drag Community it is a sought after illusion.
As someone who is a ‘Proud, Out, Lesbian with a married spouse and two children’, who enjoys remarkable privilege given by birthright, skin color, and education, as well as limitless capitol, you may feel that you do not want anyone to ‘confuse’ your kind of LGBT with a Drag Queen persona. You do not want to be seen as a ‘sissy’, aka ‘weak’ and so you are wary of effeminate performers. You think RuPaul’s Drag Race is ‘holding you down’ as a woman.
You think Drag Queens are weak. Drag Queens are the strongest there are.
IF IT WERE NOT FOR DRAG QUEENS THERE WOULD BE NO LGBT “MOVEMENT” WHICH EVENTUALLY LED TO MARRIAGE EQUALITY, AND IN POINT OF FACT YOU HAVE BENEFITED FROM THAT, AS YOU ARE LEGALLY MARRIED TO A WOMAN.
Or maybe you should just do an Internet search on the word, STONEWALL
Some people, even LGBT people, even Cis-gendered people, would prefer that LGBT people act ONE way only – and that is ‘straight’.
But, Ms. Cheney, there is no such thing as ‘straight acting’.
There is only ‘being’.
There are ‘only’ humans.
People of all shapes, colors, sizes, (as long as they do not hurt children or animals) have the right to live as out and as proud as possible – even if they are not Republicans.
Does TFP think that Drag is degrading to women?
(Though she does wish they would stop using the word “Fish” – which means, for those non Drag afficianados, aka “My Drag is so much like a woman that I smell like female parts” – shudder)
TFP thinks that Drag lifts you up, makes you laugh, makes you think, makes you feel ‘all the feelings‘, and allows people to be human, with all the flaws and missteps that we have. You can be any shape, any color, any ethnicity, any religion…
…and you would be welcome at a Drag Show.
Look, Ms. Cheney, we know your world is a bit…
But you should know the difference between Blackface and Drag – because NOT to know the difference is ignorant.
However, ignorance can be fixed – so now…..YOU ARE HEALED!
Mary Cheney – for confusing debilitating racism aka “Blackface” – which btw helped bestow upon you the privilege that your family continues to live with,
with men in glittery dresses who lip synch show tunes and embrace everyone,
TFP fines you 10 smacks of the wand and a month long education session with your local LGBT center, and honestly, volunteering at a Homeless Gay Youth Center would not hurt you either.
Audra McDonald….drop that mic and take us home…