“The Coalescence of Dichotomy in Drag Aesthetics” is the subject that greeted my curious mind in a small classroom of Anderson Hall this past Friday.
By all means, I could have been considered uninformed on this topic due to the fact that I saw dressing in drag simply as men who dressed themselves as women.
However, Bassam Romaya had every intention of informing those in attendance of the philosophical nature of drag.
Romaya wrote a 5,000-word paper concerning the issue, and I must admit the content was overflowing with intellectual vocabulary and strong ideas.
He argued that drag performance is a valid form of artistic expression, and contains legitimate visual and cognitive components.
He discussed the paradoxical topics of ugliness versus beauty and gentleness versus power.
While I respect and admire Romaya’s standpoint, I believe that there are many forms of expression other than drag that does not degrade men and women alike.
Romaya pointed out the arduous tasks performers undergo in order to obtain artistic value.
He stressed that tremendous thought and effort is put into the underlying meaning of a performance, as well as the painstaking activities to simply “become” a female; including shaving of body hair, makeup application, and in some cases, even hormone use.
These actions left my mind riddled with questions.
Even though Romaya argued that drag queens want to express the difficult role of female beauty, I, to say the least, was shocked that men wanted to reveal the sentiments of womanhood.
Why on earth would a man dare to express the position of a woman when there are many females who would be more than willing to express it themselves?
I believe that gender groups, as well as cultural and ethnic groups have the right to express themselves without being tainted by an outside party.
The beauty of a woman can be respected and admired by all, however their tenderness and splendor can only be exemplified by females themselves.
The same can be said for any other race or ethnic background.
For example, African Americans find certain pride in their contributions to song, art and dance.
It would be a travesty if I would try to express or recreate that unique form of culture, being that I am neither African American, nor have I experienced the discrimination and social issues African Americans have overcome.
I believe this same mockery is taking place every time a drag queen tries to recreate female beauty.
There are countless forms of expression that can be taken advantage of by males who consider themselves drag queens.
If someone wants to respect and admire females, perhaps actions should be taken to stop domestic abuse, sexual harassment, or any of the other countless issues females face on a daily basis.
What a male should not do is throw on a dress, sing on stage, and feel as if they can completely identify with a woman.
This is degrading to women and it cheapens the beauty every true female possesses.
What a man should do is support a woman, not become one.
Brandon Lausch can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org