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LETTER: ‘Drag scene’ blatantly mocks, stereotypes women

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DEVILS LAKE — Nearly all of us know that the United States has a troubling history of racism and that it has manifested as slavery, discrimination and segregation. There was a time when minstrel shows were quite popular, and comics in black face making fun of stereotyped mannerisms of black people were considered hilariously funny.

But today, anyone who dons black face and mocks the speech and body language of a black person is rightfully condemned as a racist.

Very recently and close to home, UND was forced to give up the Fighting Sioux name and the Indian-head logo. There are other sports teams that have American Indian “mascots.” In some places, they even do “war dances” for the fans.

There is much controversy over whether “mascots” and logos honor or disparage American Indian people and are racist. Most teams have gotten rid of them.

For anyone to be mocked is insulting and hurtful.

March is Women’s History Month. Saturday was International Women’s Day, celebrated around the world to increase awareness of women’s contributions and to increase awareness of the injustices heaped on women around the world.

The injustices come from religious and cultural beliefs, from denial of education, from exclusion from “good old boys” clubs, from discrimination in hiring, from abuse by males, from their families to their bosses.

On Sunday, the Herald ran a lengthy feature with photos on “the Drag Scene” in Grand Forks (“Drag: Another type of performance,” Page B1). The drag queens dress up as flamboyant females; some speak or sing in falsetto voices and try to amuse with exaggeration of their idea of female characteristics and sexual innuendo.

But how is mocking females different from mocking people for their race?

It is the same mocking insult as the no-longer-acceptable minstrel show or human “mascot,” except it is based in gender, not race.

Every one of those drag queens had a mother, the source of their life. Ancient civilization realized “Mother Earth” gave and sustained life. They honored the female form.

Drag queens make a mockery of the givers and sustainers of life.

As racism is not acceptable, sexism should not be acceptable. Does anyone at the Herald recognize the irony of the paper’s feature on drag queens during Women’s History Month?

Delcie Light

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