30 Comments

Brilliant! Thank you! Another misogynist aspect of drag is that women aren't allowed to exaggerate and flaunt *our own* sexual power that way without social rejection (slut shaming) and the threat of rape. Women don't get to tell men what to do or overtly seduce them. Drag ridicules women to subvert our power.

Expand full comment

I don’t understand why he still wants a “gay story hour”. Why have any story hour for children framed by the adult reader’s sexual lifestyle at all - straight, gay or anything else. Why not have a *children’s story hour* where it doesn’t matter who reads so long as they aren’t bringing their sex life into it at all. Children don’t need all this adult projection of sex and children don’t exist to validate and be an audience to adult sexual desire.

Expand full comment

Thank you so much for this prompt rebuttal to the New York Times editorial. I want to underscore this, in particular: “If people supporting the practice really care only about de-pathologizing same-sex relationships and challenging gender norms, then let’s create Lesbian Story Hour and Gay Story Hour. Let lesbians and gay men read to children without costumes that caricature women. That has the potential to be truly transformative.” And I say amen.

Expand full comment
founding

I forget who made this point -- maybe it was Lisa -- but it’s worth looking at drag story hour or other drag performance for an audience of minors and asking, if a woman were dressed in the same way, wearing the same makeup, performing and speaking the exact same -- would this feel ok, be ok? In many cases, no.

Expand full comment

For most people, when they think of Drag, they think of (gay) men playing Cher or Charo or Barbra or Marilyn, or other iconic woman, & having the mannerisms and the way of singing & the look.

OG Drag is not porny or semi nude. Drag is not trans ID males with fake boobs and g strings. The 'old school' version of a drag show would not be a problem. Most people hear "drag" and do not understand how sleazy these shows are.

Expand full comment
founding

Excellent piece!

Expand full comment

Another fantastic piece.

Linda Hatch, Phd, CSAT

Expand full comment

"Drag story hour" is an attempt to normalize a deviant sexual culture. I don't like drag, but adults should not be restricted, as long as they are consenting, even if the shows are perverted.

Children should not be allowed in drag shows.

And drag performers should not be reading to children. This normalizes the perverts. Many drag performers are on the sex-offender list, and should have no contact with children.

Expand full comment

Great piece, it lays out the arguments against woman face very clearly and convincingly.

Expand full comment

I have loved Robert Jensen's always trenchant analyses since the late 90s, and I'm delighted to find his words here. It's an excellent essay, however he missed one pertinent facet of the issue: why do drag queens want to perform to children? It's not *just* the womanface aspect - it's the sexualizing of children aspect that bothers me even more.

Expand full comment

100%

Expand full comment

Excellent! Thoughtful and well-articulated.

Expand full comment

Excellent! Thoughtful and well-articulated. I'll be referring people to this when the topic of womanface comes up.

Expand full comment

Learnt a lot. Make a lot if sense

Expand full comment

I found myself agreeing with everything you said about drag. Really annoying how the entire history of drag has now been subverted by the Wokes so that it now represents some kind of generic gender diversity message that people can teach their children rather than a form of adult entertainment that parodies women. Or even that drag is some kind of gender identity! Though what isn't a gender identity these days?

Oddly enough, I no longer parse the word 'freshman' as containing 'man.' It reads as a neutral term to me. I was once a freshman, though I am female. I don't like replacing an easy and traditional word with a cumbersome phrase 'first year student.' I'd rather change the meaning to incorporate women.

Expand full comment

Terrific piece.

Expand full comment