“Cross-dressing” is a dodgy concept

Drag face

“DRAG” supposedly means “dressing up as girls”. Is “dressing up as girls” also what pantomime dames are doing? Are they the same thing?

Are you thinking ‘oh come on, it’s obvious…?’ But what is? These performances we used to call night-club drag acts have spilled over into so many aspects of our lives. According to a definition Stonewall put out a while back, they come under “the trans umbrella”, along with “cross-dressers”. They seem to cover a heck of a lot of (mostly misogynistic, often pornographic) ground, but “dressing up as girls?” I honestly don’t know any girls that dress like they do.

… I suspect the reason all this can happen is that people have forgotten what “cross-dressing” means. It used to be a judgemental term, when gay men were persecuted for dressing in a “feminine” way. And as for “drag” — dressing up as — girls? Or women? We need to be wary of men who claim not to know the difference between girls and women.

When I was a kid, kids mainly wore stripey teeshirts, jeans and plimsolls (or wellies, if the weather involved puddles). It would not be possible for kids to “cross-dress” – brothers and sisters received hand-me-down clothes from each other, and it didn’t make any difference to anything.

If you believe the labels in the shops, I mostly wear blokes’ clothes. Eddie Izzard once said about his kit, “these aren’t women’s clothes, they’re my clothes.” My goodness, I don’t often agree with Eddie Izzard, but…

I am wearing my clothes

That is precisely the point. I am walking around in the cheapest, most comfortable, most practical clothes I could find in the shops. And yes, that means the ones with decent-sized pockets. It is no co-incidence that almost always, the cheapest, best made, most practical and comfortable clothes in the shops are all labelled as being for men. My hair is relatively short because it’s easier to look after, and less bother when weather happens. I don’t wear make-up because I’m not in a performance (if I were, no doubt I would but I don’t see my daily life as a performance).

So why am I just me, but a man wearing make-up and a dress is some kind of woman? Because you’ve been conned into thinking those clown outfits they are wearing are “women’s clothes”?

It’s okay if men want to look like this…

Or even like this…

Drag face 2

But when I was a kid, that didn’t make anyone think they were “dressing as girls”. These are men who like dressing up…

When people realise that, will they will begin to see that the whole idea of “drag” relies on sexism? Will they see that panto dames are one huge misogynistic joke, that the whole men-dressed-as-women thing has always presented an opportunity for men to have a load of fun at women’s expense?

I wouldn’t want to stop them –- it’s supposed to be a free country, and people do need to express their insecurities — but why do they pretend they are acting like women? and why oh why are people taking their kids to see this stuff in libraries? Someone told me it was supposed to be a way to help kids accept “transwomen are women” — quite honestly, I think that’s a blatant insult to transwomen, to the kids — to pretty much everyone, so I hope it’s not true.

Women don’t dress that way, and women don’t behave like that! Why do drag acts say they are women?

Dear Librarians,

Please leave drag in the nightclubs where it belongs – it’s not for kids, and distracts from the books. Get some proper story-tellers in the library, ones who don’t see themselves as the stars of the show. Ones who know how to make a story come alive when they read a book, not exhibitionist entertainers who use a book as a prop for something else.


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2 responses to ““Cross-dressing” is a dodgy concept”

  1. Hi Kay I think you were right to headline your recent report with cross-dressers, as these are one of the twin sinister forces behind the push for self-ID (basically, that’s what their hobby is – temporarily identifying as the opposite sex). They are rousing transsexuals by calling on their fears and frustrations, and then rousing the woke brigade by claiming to represent the fears of transsexuals. Cross-dressers are usually straight men who get a sexual thrill from wearing feminine clothes. Along with their allies the misogynists, who think that women have no right to boundaries of any kind, they are using the fallback male device – threat of violence – to attack the safe areas that women have had to fight for centuries to create. I take some comfort from the apparent rejection of their campaign by more sensible groups, but I fear for my own safety in a backlash that could follow.

    As for the other group you mentioned, in my experience, drag queens are no threat to women. On the contrary, they may be considered friends. Drag queens are gay men who parody their sexuality by dressing as showgirls, often with amazing results. There is an extreme fringe who take the art into clown territory (including the recent trend for ‘bearded lady’ drag) but as long as they are gay men, I don’t think women need to feel threatened by them. Pantomime dames are an anomaly, an art form that (as you said in your report) goes back to a time when women were not allowed to act in the theatre. Nobody takes them seriously.

    Keep up the good work. Love, Elizabeth x PS: I have deleted my Farcebook account – I got tired of the drama.


    • Thanks Liz! I know what you mean about getting tired of the drama — Hope you’re doing okay. As to the gay culture thing yes, I got into a lot of debates about that – I didn’t mean there’s anything wrong with what they do — just with the affect that it has, in the wrong arena. I question librarians, that they think this is a good choice, at this time. Here’s Kitty Demure on that… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fMSZdI2KVko


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