Sunday, September 11, 2011

What’s so funny about a straight man in a dress... ?

What’s so funny about a straight man in a dress in an era when transphobia can still be a deadly reality for people who choose to not live on the polar opposite ends of the gender binary?

Matt Mazur considers this question in his comprehensize PopMatters article titled "Connect the Dots: Transgender Narratives in Pop Culture."

You can read the article here. It is long, so get a cup of coffee before you sit down to read it.


  1. I have several ideas for future posts for my blog. One simply says "I am unsure how I feel about comic drag."

    It's been sitting in that state since May. I'm still unsure. Thank you for that link!

  2. I didn't get too far into the article before I felt the need to comment. I think these are two entirely different issues: transgendered people and "normal/straight" guys in dresses. I really do think they're two different issues. I think that out in the world there are "normal" people who have no problem with and are fully supportive of transgendered people, but still think a "straight" guy looks absurd in a dress. I think it's better for us if we support the idea that a "straight" guy in a dress is harmless silly fun. I would not be surprised if a hard-corp feminist might be offended by the straight-guy-in-a-dress bit as mocking and belittling women and femininity altogether. I don't think it's meant to mock women or transgendered people. I really think it's just on the idea of "wouldn't this be silly" and I think all the womanless beauty pageants you link to are predicated on that.

  3. I should also point out that I think there are plenty! of "normal" people in the world who think there's nothing wrong with a guy wearing women's clothes to be absurd, but think that being transgendered is a mortal sin. Those people need the acclimation.

  4. Hmmmm ... to me, "comic drag" representations often (not always, but often) harm us all by playing into the notion that a man wanting to be, or be like, a woman is absurd. Why would a man want to be, or be like, a woman, the reasoning goes. Women are inferior, subservient, and not to be taken seriously.

    Comic drag, which I generally adore, has a side that I don't: the one that ridicules women, exaggerating their supposed "bad" points. It asks a similarly destructive question: "Why would anybody want to be WITH a woman?"