The most feminine people I know are men who dress up and call themselves drag queens. The fact they can do that so convincingly, calls into question the notion of femininity and masculinity.
According to Judith Butler in her book, Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity, gender is constructed by repeated performance of behaviors that belong stereotypically to men or women. Girls play with dolls; boys shoot each other with guns. Women wear dresses; men only wear pants. Women use makeup; men seem unconcerned with how they look. Women flounce; men hulk. Women lilt; men proclaim, when they are not grunting or mumbling. When a man, despite being a man flouts convention and presents himself as a woman, he exposes gender as a performance, not as anything real. When drag queens take femininity to an extreme and parody the feminine, they ridicule our cultural norms and expose them as lies.
I’m not here to debate or affirm Butler’s ideas, but to take them into an area I know well, the feelings. When you have a feeling long enough, or often enough, that feeling will become part of your identity. Stomp around a lot and people will say you’re an angry person. Cry, and they’ll say you’re sad. Have fears, and you’ll be a scaredy cat. If you’re always happy, you might be the most annoying person they know. Continue reading