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Drag Queens, Nancy Pelosi & the Worst Stereotypes of Women

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 5:11 pm - November 20, 2006.
Filed under: Congress (110th),Liberals,Movies/Film & TV

One of the reasons I call drag potentially poisonous is that drag queens often act out the worst qualities of the women they impersonate. We see the vindictive, cruel Bette Davis of What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? rather than the strong, but sensitive character she portrayed in The Virgin Queen. To be sure, I think most gay men who do drag recognize that they are portraying a caricature of the feminine rather than probing the real meaning of that quality.

The potential for drag to be poisonous is that we might see these caricatures as embodying the essence of the feminine and lose sight of that quality’s appeal, particularly to men who seek romantic relationships with our own gender.

Nancy Pelosi seems to be providing another opportunity for us to see the worst aspects of the feminine embodied in a real woman. She seems determined to prevent Jane Harman, the only woman in line for a major committee chair, from taking charge of the House Intelligence Committee. (If Pelosi has her way, it seems New York’s Nydia Velazquez will be the only female chair of any House committee when she takes over Small Business.)

It seems with Pelosi that “everything is personal.” Incoming House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (whose candidacy Pelosi opposed) “acknowledged yesterday that he was seeking assurances from presumptive Speaker Nancy Pelosi that she would not retaliate against his supporters after he won the No. 2 House leadership post.” (Via Powerline.)

It says a lot that members of her own caucus fear Mrs. Pelosi might retaliate against Democrats who bucked her choice for Majority Leader. It’s striking that not only does she oppose making Harman chair of the Intelligence panel, but that she has also told her California colleague that “she will not be reappointed to the committee.” What incredible and “Petty Vindictiveness.”

Given the way Mrs. Pelosi has behaved since the Democrats won control of Congress, it seems that she is seeking to become a new model for her Castro Street constituents to caricature. Perhaps, like Bette Davis, she has qualities beyond her campy, over-the-top roles. But, in recent days, those more responsible qualities have not been readily apparent.

As long as we see drag merely as caricature and not reality, it does not become particularly poisonous. It shows in exaggerated form the darker aspects of the feminine. It’s important that we also recognize the other aspects of the feminine, qualities that we should strive to integrate inyo our own lives. Perhaps, Mrs. Pelosi will learn from her recent mistakes and provide the type of leadership that will make those qualities more manifest. And so show how a woman can lead and be a role model for men as well as women.

But, given her behavior these past few weeks, I wouldn’t count on it.

Democrats on W — Criticism without Substance

You know the MSM’s coverage of the Iraq war is biased when they fail to question war critics, like incoming House Ways and Means Committee chairman Charles Rangel who accuse the president of leading us to war on “flimsy evidence.” It has now become practically a mantra of the Left (repeated uncritically by the media) that the President misled us into war.

Yet, too often when these critics offer up their accusations, they fail to offer any specifics — that is, they provide no evidence the president knowingly deceived us — and misrepresent the actual reasons he outlined when, about four years ago, he made the case for liberating Iraq. He did not, as many on the left claim, focus entirely on Iraq’s WMD (Weapons of Mass Destruction) program. While that was a large part of his case, he also mentioned Iraq’s repeated violations of international law and, before the first troops crossed into Iraq, made the case for building democracy in that troubled land.

One of the great good things about a free society is that we can criticize our leaders. And I’m not discouraging those opposed to the president for taking issue with his policies. What is troubling, however, is that they are not faulting his record as it is — but as they wish it were. And in age when the president’s speeches and public comments from his entire term of office are easily accessible to any individual (with a computer and modem), it’s reprehensible that his adversaries continually misrepresent his record.

If Mr. Rangel believes the president’s rationale was flimsy, he should show why he believes that to be the case. If others claim the president “misled us into war,” then they need show that, as he made the case for war, he relied upon evidence that he knew to be false or otherwise inaccurate.

It’s important that we debate the president’s decision (approved by Congress) to liberate Iraq, especially as we consider how to complete the mission and how future military endeavors could advance our national security. But, let’s do so based on the record. It’s a sad commentary on the president’s critics that, in many cases, instead of making serious arguments against policies, they repeat tired mantras which they refuse to substantiate.

And it’s sadder still that the media doesn’t challenge those critics as they would were they conservative critics of a liberal Administration.

UPDATE: While at the gym, I watched Keith Olbermann on MSNBC and, thanks to the closed captioning, could read his rant. He accused the President of lying us into war, yet failed to specify a single lie the president made. Such angry rhetoric is the leftist mantra. And someone needs to call these people out on their harangues and demand their provide evidence to substantiate their attacks.