This week Mary Cheney launched a conversation on Facebook about whether drag was a valid form of entertainment, or something derogatory like blackface.
The former Vice President's daughter asked:
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?
Shouldn’t both be okay or neither? Why does society treat these activities so differently?
Cheney, 45, said the question was inspired by an ad for the upcoming season of RuPaul’s Drag Race.
This evening, World of Wonder responded to Cheney's question with a video posted on YouTube. In it, RuPaul recalls the many drag pioneers who have used the art form as self-expression, as a tool of cultural and political change, and, yes, as a celebration of womanhood.