Drag Queen Story Hours are becoming quite the rage in public libraries across the country. You’ve probably read about them or seem them on YouTube. The library staff sets aside time in the children’s section of the library for a man, extravagantly dressed as a female, to come in and read a story—often one promoting some sort of nontraditional sexuality—to young children. Many of these drag queens are quite animated and not shy about performing for the children as well.
These story hours have provoked a good deal of outcry for their goal of introducing children to diverse forms of gender identification—you can be whatever you want to be, boy or girl, and love whomever you want to.
But I wonder why I have not heard any one protesting these drag queen shows for a different reason. These men present a parody, a caricature, of a woman. With their spectacular wigs, exaggerated foam-filled figures, overdone mannerisms, and macabre make-up, they in no way resemble an actual woman.
What the drag queen is, in fact, is a mockery of a woman. How is this okay? I marvel that in our enlightened and careful age, men are allowed to parade themselves in this farcical way, to chuckles and applause. If the same man were to entertain the crowd wearing black face, he would be shouted down and socially ruined (as he should be). Yet, he is welcome to present an exaggerated and tasteless parody of women with impunity.
I am not one who is offended at every turn, but as a woman, drag queens offend me. If they perform in an adult theater where consenting adults buy a ticket, fine. But they have no place performing in a public library, where, in their massive pink wigs and fishnet stockings, they can mock everyone of my gender.
All people, including women, have enough opportunities to be made fun of in life without inviting someone into the local library to do just that.
Photo courtesy of iStock.
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