Black Women and Drag Queens
This week we focused on perception and in one of my other WGST classes we spoke about perception as well so I thought this would make for a great blog post. The perception of black women in terms of drag queens; I’ve noticed that black women cannot stand drag queens they do not want to associate with them or be around them. It has become more evident in recent times with the premiering of RuPauls drag race. I never understood why until I read the article “Is Paris Burning “-bell hooks. In the article she states that black women are not too keen on black drag queens because they feel that the black drag queens aid in the stereotyping and discrimination of black women. The glamorous beings in all their makeup and over exaggerated hair and costumes “give women a bad reputation.” Usually the black men depict black women as the object of ridicule and scorn. In popular culture Eddie Murphy as Raspushia, or Jamie Foxx as Wanda, even Tyler Perry as Madea. These images meant to be funny are disempowering to the black woman. In a world where black woman are the objects of abuse and ridicule black man aid in the reinforcement of everyone’s power over black women. I also came across an article concerning black women and Drag Race show. In October before the show premiered Loretta Devine was recruited to be on the show as a guest judge and she accepted well this caused a big frenzy because many prominent figures in the black church were outraged at her supporting the “gay lifestyle” and this type of behavior.
My thoughts used to be well let them be, allow those drag queens to do what they do best. I believed that what they did was an art and still do to some sense. I was once a huge fan of the Madea movies until I seen the more complex meaning behind them. Understandably Tyler’s inspiration comes from his grandmother but the media has screwed the meaning and understanding behind the movies. They all have a special and important message behind them but I hate the way the women are portrayed in the movies. For example Angela in Why did I get married; a smart woman who has a degree in college and started her own product line and owns her own salon. Well you would think that positive and shows a powerful woman. Wrong! Because on the other hand you have Angela the insane woman always insecure about her man arguing with his baby mama and acting all ghetto, she is also a heavy drinker. Then you have Dianne who is so career crazed she neglects her family. Last but not least there is Trina the typical whore who is willing to sleep with any man that has money and doesn’t think twice about stealing a man from his wife. This is just one movie if you actually took the time to watch a movie or a play and look at the deeper meaning it might change your mind about his films. I am far from a Tyler Perry Hater. I just want the public to take notice to these stereotypes portrayed in films. I admit his films have always been funny and I will occasionally pop one of the stage plays in and laugh but not as hard and I take notice to what is really going on in the media.
“Reel to Real: Race, Sex, and Class at the Movies”-bell hooks
“Drag Queens and Drag Kings: The Difference Gender Makes”– Leila J Rupp
“Gender Trouble“- Judith Butler