Why Cis Female Drag Queens Are A Form Of Cultural Appropriation

Why Cis Female Drag Queens Are A Form Of Cultural Appropriation

Cis women are dressing up in something called "extreme femininity" and calling themselves drag queens. Why is this such a bad thing?
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Across the globe, men, women and non-binary individuals practice cross-dressing and drag as a form of expression. The encyclopedia Britannica identifies individuals in drag as performers dressing as the opposite sex or rather, outside of their assigned gender. It is a way of experimenting with the aspect of “the other” in terms of identity.

This practice can be seen in a myriad of settings, including the television show, Ru Paul’s drag race. Individuals who practice drag and cross-dressing have often been persecuted throughout history, resulting in violent discrimination that can even lead to death. Although it has become more socially acceptable over the years, the stigma against it persists. Drag performers have been associated with the LGBTQA community, as it gives individuals the freedom to explore gender identities outside of the norm.

One recent event I found out about was that of cis women dressing in “drag” by wearing dresses and excessive makeup while identifying as drag queens.

They sum it up as a form of experimenting with “extreme femininity”. I was confused as to why cis women would choose to identify as drag queens when all they are doing is putting on dresses and makeup, which is something within their gender norm. I discussed this odd occurrence with some non-binary individuals and one of them quickly pointed out that this can even be considered homophobic.

But why is that?

The Cambridge Dictionary indicates that cultural appropriation is the act of using things from another culture, especially without showing understanding or respect for said culture. One example is using cultural appropriation as a “learning experience” (white non-muslims wearing a hijab).

When cis women perform as drag queens, they are dipping their feet into the performance of it, this being the positive experience, without receiving any of the backlash of stepping out of their gender norms and being discriminated against for it.

In addition, cis women are justifying this action by claiming they do it out of admiration for drag performers. So again, why is this act to be considered homophobic?

Because appropriation is a form of discrimination. Essentially, individuals outside of that culture, conveniently steal certain aspects of it, for their own use, without receiving the prejudice and discrimination individuals from that culture are faced with. It's the same as Katy Perry wearing cornrows and sporting the gelled baby hair look.

The LGBT community, as many other social groups, has formed their own culture, meaning they have their own social symbols, histories, traditions, and movements that are iconic and exclusive of the group in itself. Drag plays an active role in the movement, as it again, allows individuals to experiment with different aspects of other forms of gender.

Drag gives individuals the freedom to experiment, roleplay and shatter gender norms. Not only that, but drag performances are usually a safe haven for LGBT people, not only for the audience but for the performer as well. It is a sort of symbiotic relationship, where each individual is able to receive support from the other, in a world that does not always accept them as normal members of society.

To clarify, everyone should have the freedom to explore their gender, meaning they can practice their own gender roles, as well as “the other” as much as they want. But, cis women in dresses and costume makeup should not be labeled “drag queen,” as they are simply practicing things within their own gender norms. Drag is supposed to shatter gender norms and cis women calling themselves “drag queens” can have a damaging effect on the legitimacy of the movement.

Drag could be reduced to fun dress-up, while individuals who continue to be treated with prejudice and discrimination will go ignored. Additionally, the history, the traditions and the culture of drag will be reduced to a mere afterthought, along with the true meaning of dressing in drag.

Cover Image Credit: Vice

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Signs You're An INFJ, The World's Rarest Personality Type

INFJ, from the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator instrument, is believed to be the rarest personality type, and to make up less than 2% of the population. Oh, and I am one.
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INFJ, referring to one of the 16 Myers-Briggs personality types, has become a bit of a buzzword in the media over the past several years. The reason behind it? INFJ is considered to be the rarest personality type, making up less than 2% of the world's entire population. They are labeled as "The Advocate," and have been described as "mysterious," "intuitive," and "emotionally intelligent," yet the type as a whole is often misunderstood.

Oh, and I am one. Perhaps you are, as well.

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator test, created in the 1940s by mother and daughter, Isabel Myers and Katharine Briggs, originally stems from the typological theories of Carl Jung, a prominent psychoanalyst. The test assesses an individual in four categories: Extroversion vs. Introversion, Sensing vs. Intuition, Thinking vs. Feeling, and Judging vs. Perceiving, and using these criteria, determines which category one's personality most tilts toward. INFJs would be those individuals whose personalities favor the sides of Introverted, Intuitive, Feeling, and Judging.

INFJs can be difficult to spot due to the fact that they are not prevalent in society and tend to be reserved individuals. However, INFJs make fiercely loyal friends, empathetic and organized workers, and exceptional leaders for causes they deem worthy and for the greater good of humanity.

INFJs often report feeling lonely and "different," and for good reason. INFJs are low in numbers so they tend to have trouble finding others who see the world in the same realm as they do. Most people who are this type have admitted feeling different from their peers since they were a very young child.

INFJs take an all-or-nothing approach to life. INFJs, a curious mix of emotional and logical, do not like to waste their time on anything inauthentic. Although they may dabble with playing the field, INFJs are truly about quality over quantity and will become disinterested in anyone or anything they perceive as being fraudulent, scheming, or wishy-washy.

INFJs exude warmness, and others immediately feel comfortable in their presence. It is not uncommon for a stranger to sit down next to an INFJ and within minutes, disclose their most personal secrets, fears, and dreams. In fact, this happens frequently to INFJs with seemingly no rhyme or reason. This personality type has a knack for making others immediately feel at ease, and they are great listeners and trusted confidants who speak in human terms and meet others where they are.

INFJs are somewhat empathic, and they tend to "just know" things. One of my favorite one-liners from Game of Thrones is by the character, Tyrion Lannister, "I drink and I know things," and this can often be said of an INFJ, with maybe fewer libations. INFJs have a highly-accurate sense of intuition that they have been sharpening for all of their lives. Without understanding exactly why or how, an INFJ will see, within minutes of meeting an individual, their true character. As a result, they tend to be more forgiving of their friends who exhibit unruly behavior because they can identify the true root of the behavior, such as insecurities or past trauma.

INFJs ultimately seek genuine truth and meaning. This personality type does not care one iota about grandiose tales or extravagant gestures if there is not a true and genuine motive behind them. An INFJ's calling in life is to seek insight and understanding, and as they develop, they often can spot a lie or half-truth in a moment's notice. If they believe an individual to be a phony or a manipulator, they will have no trouble writing them off. Likewise, this type often enjoys traveling, adventures and experiences that heighten their understanding of the intricacies of life and promote self-reflection.

INFJs are true introverts, yet people not very close to them believe them to be extroverts. This happens because INFJs can be social chameleons and have an innate ability to blend in in any social setting. The INFJ can be the life of the party for a night or two, showcasing their inviting nature and vivaciousness. However, this is never prolonged because, in introverted fashion, they lose energy from others. Those close to an INFJ know that this type prefers bars over clubs and barbecues over balls, and can give a speech to thousands of people but cringes at the idea of mingling with the crowd afterward. Eventually, this type will need to retreat home for some quiet time to "recharge their batteries," or they will become very on-edge and exhausted.

INFJs have intense, unwavering convictions, sometimes to a fault. An INFJ has certain ideas about the world and a need to foster change in society. These are deep-seated and intense beliefs that they will never abandon. If a career, relationship, or law does not align with their moral compass, an INFJ will have no qualms about ignoring it or leaving it in the dust.

INFJs tend to keep a small circle of friends and prefer to work alone. Although an INFJ may have hundreds of acquaintances, if they call you a "friend," you can be sure that they mean it for life. This type can count their close friends on a set of fingers and they will be loyal and devoted to these prized individuals no matter how much time passes between their interactions. An INFJ can be a great team player but the idea of group projects and collaboration meetings naturally make them sink down in their seat. These are people who enjoy working from home or in a quaint office with a handful of like-minded coworkers.

INFJs cannot stand small talk. This trait aligns with the need to pursue truth and all things bonafide. To an INFJ, small talk not only takes energy but has little purpose as it is merely speaking to fill silence without revealing any deeper layers of the individuals involved. Do not talk to an INFJ about the weather unless you want to see a glazed-over look. Instead, tell them about the causes you are promoting, the wish-list of your soul, or the way you smile every time you smell lavender because it reminds you of your great-grandmother.

INFJs are typically high-achievers and people-pleasers. If you want a task done right the first time, hand it over to an INFJ. They will plan every detail down to the minute and will always deliver a glowing finished product. However, when delivering criticism to this type, do it gently, as they take every word to heart and are always striving for perfection. This type is a unique blend of a dreamer and a doer, but they can easily fall prey to extreme bouts of anxiety or depression centered on feelings of inadequacy or failure.

INFJs are gifted in language and are often creative writers. In accordance with their introverted nature, INFJs prefer to spend time alone and develop enriched inner-lives with many hobbies and skills. This type has trouble conveying their emotions verbally, so they turn to pen and paper. This, combined with their creative nature, leaves no surprise that the majority of successful writers are, in fact, INFJs.

INFJs make decisions based off of emotion and insight. An INFJ judges the world around them and the people in it based off of how they make them feel. This type does not care about track records and performance history, instead, they look for the heart of the matter and how a person or company treats them personally. This type will trust their "gut feeling" about a situation and go with that, which has almost always proven to be accurate.

INFJs like to reflect on deep thoughts about their purpose and the world around them. This type is a thinker. INFJs are old-souls who spend a lot of time in their own minds reflecting on their purpose and the meaning behind everything that happens to them. They are often readers, researchers and intellectuals who truly enjoy learning. Although this is a noble endeavor, it is essential that the INFJ has friends, typically of the extroverted type, who can help them to be less serious and relax every now and then.

INFJs are visionaries who always see the big picture. This type tends to always operate about 10 steps ahead. They are skilled planners and focus their sights on the end goal and what is needed to propel them there. However, while INFJs are off in dreamland about their futures, they can sometimes forget to be present in the world that is happening now. As a result, they do well with other more grounded types who can remind them to live in the moment.

INFJs are "fixers," and they gravitate towards people who need help. This type loves a good fixer-upper and with their ability to see the "good bones" of another person, their true motives and intentions, and to readily provide comfort and compassion, they fall victim to the Broken Wing Theory, or the idea that they can rescue others who have a "broken wing," or who have been dealt a poor hand. This can be rewarding for the hopeful INFJ but also frustrating and depleting when boundaries are overstepped.

INFJs seek lifelong, true-blue relationships. This type usually finds themselves with intuitive extroverts, such as the ENTPs, ENFPs, and ENFJs. These types connect with the INFJ on the deeper plane of intuition, yet also will get the INFJ out of their own heads and out on the town on a Saturday night.

Think you might be an INFJ? Find out which type you are here: https://www.mbtionline.com/.

Cover Image Credit: www.pexels.com

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The Power Of The Butterfly

"There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity" - Ecclesiastes 3:1

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April, coined as a rather "bipolar" month, in which the weather in London is either cold or warm. It is a time of transition where summer slowly but surely encapsulates winter. As a result, rain is the norm and may be viewed as a byproduct of the seasonal passage. One might be lucky to witness a rainbow with its arches passing above each side of the River Thames. A jaw-dropping display of multi-colored flowers blooms all throughout London's parks. Out of all things London has to offer in April my favorite would be the entrance of the butterfly.

When I was a little girl I lived minutes walk from Primrose Hill Park, a grassy hill with terrific views of London. I enjoyed dog walks, picnics, and trips to the playground at this park, but nothing made me more excited than the sight of the butterfly. This intricate creature had a certain charm to it which fascinated me! In fact, I was so awe-struck by it that upon my eighth birthday I was gifted a butterfly catching kit. I recall spending numerous hours whether it be on my street or at Primrose Hill trying to catch these speedy critters. However, I never quite could so eventually I gave up and found another form of entertainment.

All in all, as the transition from winter to spring, individuals will start to notice the arrival of the butterfly. Although as a child, I never was able to catch one of these magnificent creatures I am now reminded that their sense of lightness and joy represents freedom. Their free spirit and individualism is a reminder to not take life too seriously; and that one should, ultimately, embrace the changes thrown at them. Ultimately, the butterfly flourishes with transformation metamorphosing from a caterpillar to a beautiful winged species. And yes I recognize humans cannot go through metamorphosis, but the butterfly should inspire us to ensure growth in our own lives by accepting change. So go forth and remember it is ok to feel vulnerable as all good things come with time and perseverance.

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