Posthuman Drag

Mainstream Drag: RuPaul's Drag Race, Anthropocentrism and Phallogocentrism

Nowadays drag has become mainstream in North America thanks to the show RuPaul's drag race. However, even if the show challenges gender binaries it is only showcasing drag queens, and most of them are portrayed by cis-gendered. Various polemics around RuPaul's point of view about drag were raised especially when he started making transphobic comments about how bodily transformations would prevent a transgender woman from performing on his show. Moreover "his opinion that “Drag loses its sense of danger and its sense of irony once it’s not men doing it, because at its core it’s a social statement and a big f-you to male-dominated culture. So for men to do it, it’s really punk rock, because it’s a real rejection of masculinity.” and ended up dismissing all that trans women, trans men, cis women, and have contributed to the complex, beautifully weird world of drag. Saying that drag should be only performed by men because it is 'a big f-you to male-dominated culture' doesn't make any sense to me, are men the only one who are supposed to be able to answer to men? Even if cis-gendered male drag queens have helped the gay community critique masculinity and accept their queerness, are they the only ones allowed to critique this? Doesn't it make our culture even more male-dominated? Women should be able to criticize this culture through the same means as men are without being excluded, moreover they can criticize through the same lens the expected femininity.

Drag Race is a challenge to phallogocentrism because it is a challenge to the taboo of feminine men by challenging binaries: "RPDR the body is of outmost importance but it is not opposed to reason. In the show body and experience are capital but language and reason are also essential for achieving social agreements about the significance of experiences taking place at other levels. Its potential goes far beyond undoing gender categories, as it might help to substitute a whole system of thought by a far more complex worldview."  

However, RuPaul's drag race is still conforming to a lot to gender binaries; the fact that people performing their own gender is often criticize puts some barriers on how defying drag is towards gender binaries because it would mean that the you are able to be a drag performer only if you perform the opposite gender (which means that genders would be opposite and includes generally that there are two). That is an extension of putting gender in binaries and boxes. Even though it challenges some points of view as the one of the nuclear family It can be said that drag is inherently anthropocentric nowadays, because it still doesn't consider non-humans as performing drag. Furthermore, mainstream drag hasn't even really accepted drag kings or simply drag queens that are non-gendered conforming, women or non cisgenderd men. I would like to try and break this image of drag that we have nowadays by presenting how objects and new technologies, should be considered as performing drag , but also how actual human drag redefines some notions as the notion of family or the self. 

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