Watch: The Perfect Explanation of How Drag is Different from Blackface

In January, conservative politician, daughter of Dick Cheney and open lesbian Mary Cheney took to Facebook to express what she feels are similarities between drag and blackface:

Mary-Cheney conservative politician
Mary Cheney – Image Credit: LGBTQ Nation

[quote]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?”[/quote]

I have been looking, since the day the news of this comment broke, for the perfect way to explain the differences between drag and blackface. I even posed the question in the Dragaholic Facebook discussion group, asking for opinions: “Drag is parodying the external elements seen to ‘make’ a woman,” commented Guillotina Munter, “which in fact it does not. It’s a commentary on the social construct of gender roles, not actual women. It’s nothing to do with having a uterus or XX chromosome. Blackface undermines an entire race.”

In the video above, Matt Baume breaks down the differences perfectly and in great depth. He does take a few shots at Mary Cheney that aren’t crucial to the argument, but those are more for humor than anything else.

Do you have something you want to add to the discussion? Leave a comment below and let us know what you think!