Posthuman Drag

Drag: Etymology, Use and Meaning

The word drag can be used either a a verb or a noun. As a verb it usually meant to draw, to pull. There is a sense of attraction, of dragging something or someone to oneself or on the ground, to draw. Another meaning could be "'to take a puff' on a cigarette". It is interesting for me that every use of the verb involves something or someone else, even in the terms like drag-out which means a violent fight, there is a concept that you need an other involved, and often this other involved is an object or part of a body 'to drag one's feet'. There is a theory involving the idea that drag comes from the fact that it was about objects dragging in the floor which is very interesting because this would give an object its own agency and attributed to the Object. 

As a noun we can trace the origins of drag back to "dragnet", used in 1300 as a grapnel, which is literally an object used to drag other things, so it is an object performing the action of dragging. It would again be possible to decenter the human from the action and see the object as a performer, even though it is a play with words and language that was created by humans for humans and is therefore anthropocentric and humanist in and out of itself.

Drag, in talking about gender performance and crossdressing, has first been used in the end of the 19th century in theatres to talk about men wearing women's clothes because women couldn't be actresses at the time so men would usually play women's roles. It is believed, as it is said in the video, that it comes from how dresses would drag on the floor. This puts, again the object as a agent and as the originator of the word which I think is a really interesting point of view to take for the rest of my project. Drag as in drag queen however has been used for the first time around 1940s. Drag as in drag race has started being used around the same time, drag here is believed to be slang for automobile because in the time wagons would be dragged by horses. This is now used as a pun in RuPaul's Drag Race, which has made drag queens part of the mainstream culture in the West and especially in North America.

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