Last week, Mary Cheney – daughter of former Vice-President Dick Cheney – publicly asked why it’s acceptable for men to dress up as women in drag, but white folk in “black face” is not.
It seemed like a simple question to answer, but the issue got batted around a bit with no one response seeming to be able to explain the difference.
Until now. Dependable smart guy Matt Baume shares his thoughts on why the two are completely different expressions. One is racist, one is not. Blackface makes blacks the butt of the joke, while drag doesn’t put women down – it explores rules about gender roles.
Watch Matt’s perfect deconstruction of the question below.
Mary, we’ll need to keep you after school to make sure you catch up.
Mary Cheney, daughter of Dick Cheney, recently commented after seeing a promo for RuPaul’s Drag Race that drag seemed to be another form of “black face.”
Cheney asked on her Facebook page, “Why is it socially acceptable — as a form of entertainment — for men to put on dresses, make up 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?”
RuPaul saw a teachable moment.
Check out this “Drag Herstory” lesson.
As Ru says at the end of the clip, “And the most important thing of all, drag never – ever – takes itself too seriously.”