It’s a Strange State We Live In

So, the Hawkins County GOP had a drag show.  As a fund-raiser.

I feel, as one of the few feminist bloggers in the state, like I should have some cogient analysis of this, but, frankly, I am not smart enough.

So, let me just repeat that the Hawkins County GOP held a drag show as a fund-raiser and actual politicians went.

I feel like I should try to suss this perplexing thing out for you.  So, let’s just start with the whole “womanless x” part.  There have been, for ages, various “womanless” things.  My familiarity with them is with the “womanless weddings” that were/are held as fundraisers and community moral builders.  I don’t think I have to spell out for you the sorted history of folks dressing up like other folks and acting like those other folks for laughs in this country, but I will mention it in passing.  The roots of this thing in most places goes straight back to the ugliness you’d expect it to spring from.

The other tap-root of it, and the thing I imagine most people in the country are going to think of when they look at those pictures, is, of course, the drag show.

I also don’t think I have to point out to you, but I will, that the folks who perform in drag shows come from groups the GOP frowns upon (and by “frowns upon,” I mean “actively tries to oppress”)–straight, (even mildly) kinky dudes, gay guys, and mtf transexuals.

So, basically, what we have here is the situation in which the GOP doesn’t want “gay” people*to be able to adopt kids, they don’t want schools to even be able to teach children that gay people exist, and their state-wide pastime is protecting men from lying bitches AND, when they get together, they make fun of women and folks who appear to be women, by holding a fund-raiser that lets them laugh at men dressed like women.

And don’t get me wrong.  It is hilarious.  I mean, shoot, I’m still laughing about it.  See, if you’re a Republican Dude who wants to put on a dress and some lipstick or a Republican Dude who wants to look at dudes in dresses, as long as you do it in a space where only other Republicans are present, it’s all in good fun and great.  But, let you be caught putting on a dress and lipstick in your own home or at a local bar you might frequent, and your career is over.  See, you can be a little freaky, but only under the proper circumstances.

But what I find even more hilarious is that there were women there!  Who helped organize it!

I mean, how hard can you bump into feminism from behind before you are in bed with it?  “We realize that dressing like a woman is inherently kind of silly.  That there’s something worth mocking in getting all made up and throwing our tits around like the keys to the city.  That part of what we think of as being a ‘real woman’ is a performance and not actually that real.”  That’s a pretty hard bump up into feminist ideals.

“And yet, we all still do it anyway.”

Ha, ha, ha.  So close and yet so far away.


*I put gay in quotes because not all transexual people are gay, but they’re lumped in with gay people as if they are an obvious subset, when that’s not actually the case (see some of the fights we’ve had here).

8 thoughts on “It’s a Strange State We Live In

  1. “But, let you be caught putting on a dress and lipstick in your own home or at a local bar you might frequent, and your career is over.”

    But, let you be caught putting on a dress and lipstick in your own home or at a local bar you might frequent, and when you get assaulted it’s your own damn fault.

  2. I went to my small hometown in MS this weekend – pop 6500 – and as I was driving in, I spotted one of those blinking arrow signs out front of a Baptist Church (not First Baptist, the large prominent one) — the message: “Womanless Beauty Revue”

    Now, the Womanless Beauty Revue will not be held at the church, but the fact that their sign advertised it perplexed me nonetheless.

  3. Here I’d like to plug my colleague Craig Thompson Friend’s article “The Womanless Wedding: Masculinity, Cross-Dressing, and Gender Inversions in the Modern South” in his excellent edited collection titled *Southern Masculinity:Perspectives on Manhood in the South since Reconstruction* (University of Georgia 2009). While one can read a good chunk of the wedding essay on Google, the whole collection is worth buying.

  4. You know, when I first saw that it was a “womanless fashion show,” (and not being familiar with “womanless” other events as you seem to be), I thought, “Oh, cool, I bet all the old gentlemen got spiffed up. Maybe they’re even in hats!” The actual photos were kind of a disappointment. Silly me, I didn’t realize “womanless” meant “looking kind of a ridiculous in a way that reminds us of women.”

  5. Pingback: GOP Drag Show

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