Mary Cheney: Why is drag ‘socially acceptable’ and blackface isn’t?

I’m not a fan of Mary Cheney.  We are both lesbian but  I can’t think of much else we share in common.

One of the major short comings of identity politics is the questionable thinking that leads people to believe that sexuality, race, sex,  or core gender identity means you share anything beyond that with other people who have that same trait.

But Mary Cheney raises a valid point even if she does so in questionably broad terms.

“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?

Shouldn’t both be ok or neither? Why does society treat these two so differently?”

For example I find it offensive for non-trans male actors to portray trans-women yet at the same time I have far less trouble with non-trans female actors portraying trans-women.  At the same time I think the roles should go to trans-women.

Not all Drag Acts are created equal.  Some performers are actually transgender, some later come out as transgender.  Many of the acts are celebrity impersonations, homages to various female stars. These too tend to be recreations of performances by those stars.

But then there are the patently offensive such as Shirley Q Liquor, whose act manages to include both drag and blackface.  What about Tyler Perry’s often nasty portrayals of African American women?

For the record the person Mary Cheney found offensive was RuPaul.

On top of that there is little love lost between transgender/transsexual women and gay male drag queens. That goes double for RuPaul.

One has only to look at the controversy of recent years regarding the now forbidden word “trannie”, a word used for nearly half a century or so in the drag and trans communities.

For the record I personally believe that like Charlie Hebdo, drag performances can be and often are offensive affairs and the targets of their offensiveness are often women, the humor often misogynistic in the extreme.

People have the right to be offended, others have the right to laugh at both the performance and at those offended.  In a world where people are free to think for themselves we are all free to be offended or laugh at nasty offensive humor. Better freedom than dictatorial rule by politically correct puritanical prudes.

Here is where the overly broad transgender umbrella comes into conflict with the social reality of gay male drag queen.  We tend to hold the other groups in contempt.  Drag queens don’t much like transgender/transsexual women and vis versa.

Remember this from the movie “Better Than Chocolate” that was popular some 20 years ago?

One of the great things about being post-transsexual is not having to participate in the Trans-wars that will surely erupt from Mary Cheney’s Facebook comments.  I’d sure hate having to defend her right to say what she said because then I would have to sort through my own mixed feelings on drag and drag queens.

For the drag queen response:

Huffington Post: Mary Cheney, Here’s Why Drag and Blackface Are Different

Raw Story: Drag queens respond to Mary Cheney’s question of why drag is acceptable if blackface isn’t

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Survivors return to Auschwitz 70 years later, warn against growing anti-Semitism

From Raw Story:  http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2015/01/survivors-return-to-auschwitz-70-years-later-warn-against-growing-anti-semitism/

Agence France-Presse
27 Jan 2015

Seventy years after the liberation of Auschwitz, aging survivors and dignitaries gather at the site synonymous with the Holocaust on Tuesday to honor victims and sound the alarm over a fresh wave of anti-Semitism.

On the eve of the landmark event, which is expected to draw several heads of state, a leading Jewish organization was echoed by German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Hollywood mogul Steven Spielberg in highlighting violence against Jews in modern-day Europe.

Europe is “close to” a new exodus of Jews, European Jewish Congress chief Moshe Kantor warned at a Holocaust forum in the Czech capital Prague.

“Jihadism is very close to Nazism. One could even say that they are two faces of the same evil,” he added.

Merkel said it was a “disgrace” that Jews in Germany faced insults, threats or violence, as she joined survivors Monday in Berlin observing 70 years since the liberation of Auschwitz by the Soviet Red Army.

Spielberg pointed to what he termed “the growing effort to banish Jews from Europe” amid a rise in anti-Semitism on the continent underscored by the deadly Islamist attack on a Jewish kosher grocery in Paris earlier this month.

Underscoring the trend, France’s main Jewish agency CRIF released figures on Tuesday that showed anti-Semitic acts in the country, home to Europe’s largest Jewish population, doubling in 2014 to 851, compared to 423 the previous year.

Ahead of Tuesday’s ceremonies, Spielberg — who won an Oscar for the Holocaust drama “Schindler’s List” and who has also videotaped the testimony of 58,000 survivors — met with hundreds of them, mostly in their nineties, in Krakow, southern Poland.

Continue reading at:  http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2015/01/survivors-return-to-auschwitz-70-years-later-warn-against-growing-anti-semitism/

See Also Times of Israel: In Poland, Spielberg raises alarm on growing anti-Semitism

 

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Transgender Kids Identify With Their Gender As Completely As Non-Transgender Kids

New Years resolution I will wean myself away from the Transgender Borg Speak term “cis-gender”, a term that is multilevel stupid as it assumes  gender is something other than a culturally and time based concept of how people are supposed to behave based on the shape of their genitals.

“Core gender” is a more appropriate descriptor for the sense of self as male or female.

From Think Progress:  http://thinkprogress.org/lgbt/2015/01/30/3617395/transgender-children-study/


January 30, 2015

A new study finds that transgender children, young people who assert a gender different from what was assigned at birth, identity as consistently and innately with that gender identity as other kids their age who are not trans.

Kristina Olson, a psychology professor at the University of Washington, conducted an in-depth study of 32 transgender children and compared the way they relate to their gender with their siblings as well as with other similarly aged cisgender (not transgender) peers. The kids were all living full-time as the gender they identify with and living in supportive home environments, and none of them had reached puberty yet.

The study used an Implicit Association Test to measure the speed with which participants associated aspects of gender with their own identity. People commonly respond faster during such a test to items associated with their own memory, allowing it to measure their implicit attitudes, which may be more automatic and subconscious. It found no significant difference among any of the kids; transgender and cisgender children identified with their gender identity at exactly the same rates. Transgender girls and cisgender girls identified with being a girl at the same rates; transgender boys and cisgender boys identified was being a boy at the same rates.

 The consistency continued for explicit measures; for example, transgender girls liked to have girls as friends and liked the same toys and foods that other girls liked — just like cisgender girls.

In an interview with KUOW in Seattle, Olson clarified that this study was about kids who assert their gender at quite an early age. “Sometimes we hear from parents that the parent says, ‘Well, you could just be a boy who likes to wear dresses,’ and the kid says, ‘No, it’s not the dress. I am a girl,’” she explained. “That seems to be the crucial difference between a boy who likes a girly things and a boy who is saying, ‘I am a girl.’” In other words, not every kid who explores or experiments with gender is necessarily transgender, but when they do assert a gender identity, it’s a very authentic experience.

Olson urged parents to support their children’s gender identity and pointed out that many of the parents in her study started out with negative reactions when their kids asserted that they were a different gender. This led to some serious mental health consequences for their kids, including becoming withdrawn and even self-harm. The parents told her that they had other medical professionals indicate to them, “You’re either going to have a child who’s living and not the gender you thought they were, or you’re not going to have a living child.”

A study released last year found that there are no permanent consequences or side effects to children using hormones to delay — or ultimately block — the onset of puberty associated with the gender with which they do not identify. This process allows the young person to continue to explore and make sense of their identity before committing to a full transition and life as a transgender adult.

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