Gay equivalents to blackface and minstrel shows

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Gay equivalents to blackface and minstrel shows

Postby Learning » Sat Mar 28, 2009 12:25 am

Analogies and metaphors never exactly resemble the things they describe, but how do drag shows and many of the spectacles in gay pride parades compare to performances in blackface and in minstrel shows?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blackface
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minstrel_show

Trying to fit the stereotypical effeminate gay style does not provide liberation but contributes to gay emasculation, oppression, and powerlessness. Gay power requires the freedom to act with strength, courage, and authority.
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Re: Gay equivalents to blackface and minstrel shows

Postby Cachasa » Sat Mar 28, 2009 1:19 am

Drag is not Blackface. Not even close.

Drag is a satire. Satire of Heterosexuality and homosexuality to some extent. It's part of something called "Gender Fu*k" It has nothing to do with women or men per say. It's just mocking gender norms.

But like Dame Edna Everage says, "If you have to explain satire to someone, you might as well give up."

And

"Never be afraid to laugh at yourself, after all, you could be missing out on the joke of the century."

besides a man wearing a dress in North American Society is pretty brave act. Considering that he's likely to be beaten and killed for it.


Learning wrote:Analogies and metaphors never exactly resemble the things they describe, but how do drag shows and many of the spectacles in gay pride parades compare to performances in blackface and in minstrel shows?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blackface
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minstrel_show

Trying to fit the stereotypical effeminate gay style does not provide liberation but contributes to gay emasculation, oppression, and powerlessness. Gay power requires the freedom to act with strength, courage, and authority.


You seem to think that "masculine" equals power and agency. That's stupid, all you're suggesting is that gay men trade one oppresive system for another. Who cares if some gay men choose to be "effeminate"?
If you had enough confidence and security in yourself as a "masculine" gay man you wouldn't feel the need to say such things about other gay men who choose to live differently than you.
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Consequences of portraying effeminate gay stereotypes

Postby Learning » Sat Mar 28, 2009 6:23 am

Thank you for your reply. Gender issues are complex and difficult to discuss, and comparisons of blackface and drag as public portrayals that reinforce stereotypes could be especially difficult.

Yes, Dame Edna provides many laughs and so do Kids in the Hall.
You are fortunate to be able to see differences between sexual orientation and gender expression and to recognize the diversity among gay men. Many people equate being gay with stereotyped effeminate gay style. Would you be willing to explain more about the differences between drag and blackface? Do you see any difficulties with blackface and minstrel shows?

What do you mean by "one oppressive system for another"? What are those systems?

The concern is not whether some people act effeminate. The issue is the stereotype and the accompanying expectations. How might acting to fit the gay effeminate stereotype provide "power and agency?"
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Postby Pazuzu P. Sasquatch » Sat Mar 28, 2009 7:07 am

I'm not a big fan of Pride Parades. I think there are better ways of celebrating diversity than dancing down the street in jockstraps handing out dick-shaped popsicles, and I don't feel compelled to cheer on a bunch of exhibitionists with unresolved anger issues.

All that said, I'm going to go over and check out the "tattooed hunks" thread. Y'all have a good one!
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Postby furface » Sat Mar 28, 2009 8:30 pm

Blackface = Andrew Dice Clay and Drag = Don Rickles. Both poke fun, but the later is in good humor while the former is just generally mean.
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Postby Odeh » Wed Apr 22, 2009 8:23 pm

Actually there was a gay white guy who did drag in black face..he would
do a character Shirley Q which was a black american urban ghetto
welfare queen character

It became controversial in that here was a white gay guy from mississippi
doing a black female stereotype..There would be calls to boycott his shows
from some segments of the gay community..
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Humor and Stereotypes-Corky Romano

Postby Learning » Tue Apr 28, 2009 3:31 pm

Doing humor that makes fun of another group by playing to stereotypes is risky.

The opposite extreme comes in the comedy movie "Corky Romano." Straight actor Chris Kattan plays Corky Romano. Kattan goes against stereotypes by playing the straight character Corky Romano as effeminate. Corky's character is contrasted by his straight acting, gay brother's character. Here is the trailer:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9p_6QZl5Rvw

Challenging stereotypes can be funny too.
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Postby DeckApe » Wed Apr 29, 2009 10:28 am

Gay equivalents to blackface and minstrel shows? Sean Hayes in 'Will and Grace.'
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"Another Gay [Stereotype]"

Postby Learning » Sun May 03, 2009 5:40 pm

Jack in "Will and Grace" does rely heavily on the effeminate gay stereotype. Do you consider Will to be "straight acting"?

"Another Gay Movie" and "Another Gay Sequel" include a range of characters, but many of them are stereotypical too. The sequel includes Perez Hilton and Ru Paul.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Another_Gay_Movie
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Postby DeckApe » Sun May 03, 2009 8:48 pm

I don't know if I'd count him as being especially 'straight acting' but at least he isn't insulting about the character.
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Jack and Will

Postby Learning » Tue May 05, 2009 3:56 pm

Yes. Will's character was never as flambouyant as Jack's. Will's character did change over the years. In the early shows, he had a casual appearance with longer hair, and in later shows he seemed more refined.

It's unfortunate if gay people have to be the butt of jokes to have parts on TV.

SNL did some early skits that included gay characters but made fun of homophobia rather than gay people. The joke comes from putting same sex attraction into a typically heterosexual context in their Schmitt's Gay Beer commercial:

http://brainflop.com/link/schmidts_gay_beer_snl.aspx
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Postby chidiver » Tue May 05, 2009 4:09 pm

The character of the Oscar, the accountant on "The Office" is gay and I'm happy that they play him straight acting.

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"Straight Acting" Gay Characters

Postby Learning » Wed May 06, 2009 8:20 pm

That's good to know about Oscar. It's hard to find "straight acting" gay characters in American TV, but it does happen. Paul Rudman was also "straight acting" in "Object of My Affection."

For a "straight acting" gay cop on TV, the French have Nicolas Gob's character in "Les bleus" which is now available with English subtitles. This guy likes "Bruce Willis types" and doesn't mind kissing his police partner.

http://www.afterelton.com/blog/snicks/l ... g-pleasure

http://les-bleus.serieslive.com/

It's a big contrast to Reno 911.
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"Bruno"

Postby Learning » Sun Jul 12, 2009 7:15 pm

Has anyone seen "Bruno"? Does Bruno add to gay stereotypes or does Bruno make a mockery of the gay stereotypes?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Br%C3%BCno_(character)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Br%C3%BCno_(film)
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Re: Gay equivalents to blackface and minstrel shows

Postby PhillyAgenda » Thu Jul 30, 2009 7:21 pm

I haven't seen the movie, but from what I understand the intention is that the movie makes a mockery of the stereotypes. Whether or not the audience is going to pick up on that, I don't know.
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Re: Gay equivalents to blackface and minstrel shows

Postby chidiver » Thu Jul 30, 2009 7:30 pm

PhillyAgenda wrote:I haven't seen the movie, but from what I understand the intention is that the movie makes a mockery of the stereotypes. Whether or not the audience is going to pick up on that, I don't know.


I think that the people who understand the "mockery" will be in a small minority.
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Re: Gay equivalents to blackface and minstrel shows

Postby mac » Sun Aug 02, 2009 7:59 am

[Hi, back after couple of years of absence due to work and snailnet at home... :( ]

The analogy escapes me here: wouldn't it only be the same if it were straight actors doing a drag show - or, the other way round, if black actors painted their faces black with an exaggerated white/red mouth and stuff?

And isn't the point of comedy to use stereotypical characters? The funny bit, as I understand it, is recognizing the stereotype (often with a little bad conscience) or being surprised by the stereotypical character acting like another (preferably the opposite) stereotype.
"This normal guy comes into a bar and behaves normally" is not very funny, right?
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Stereotypes in "Bruno"

Postby Learning » Sun Aug 02, 2009 11:05 am

chidiver wrote:I think that the people who understand the "mockery" will be in a small minority.


It looks like you might have some concerns about Bruno's portrayal of gay people. What stereotypical things does Bruno do that you think could cause trouble?
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Gay Army Scandinavia

Postby Learning » Sat Aug 22, 2009 10:46 am

The reality TV program "Gay Army Scandinavia" puts effeminate gay men into a military situation. Has anyone seen "Gay Army Scnadinavia"? Is it funny? Does it add to stereotypes or make the stereotypes seem ridiculous?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Tj4_L-9 ... =quicklist

The effeminate guys in "Gay Army Scandinavia" do not resemble the gay guys who actually were in the US military like Darren Manzella.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jz3bYPFujiE
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Re: Gay Army Scandinavia

Postby batty » Mon Oct 19, 2009 6:29 pm

Learning wrote:The reality TV program "Gay Army Scandinavia" puts effeminate gay men into a military situation. Has anyone seen "Gay Army Scnadinavia"? Is it funny? Does it add to stereotypes or make the stereotypes seem ridiculous?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Tj4_L-9 ... =quicklist

The effeminate guys in "Gay Army Scandinavia" do not resemble the gay guys who actually were in the US military like Darren Manzella.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jz3bYPFujiE



Yeah, that's quite bad, but I'm surprised that the concept of "flamer meets macho" is still popular. It may have been new back in the days of "Queer Eye for the Str8 guy", but hey, this is 2009..

But hey, being the butt of the joke is part of being a part of society. If anything this is progress, in the way of recognition that these people do exist.
Since time immemorial, caricature has been used as a means to entertain, even the word satire is derived from Ancient Greek.

Anyway, what I am getting at, is that this type of stereotyping is not specific and targeted towards homosexuals, but towards ANY group, and so long as it does not delve into hate speech and hate propaganda, you're going to have to deal with it. And because it's on TV, there's an easy solution, don't turn it on.

Take the "US southerner" stereotype with its Dean-esque Pickups and confederate flags, are southerners offended by this portrayal in the Simpsons?
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How about the french? in my 30+ trips to France, I could count on one hand the number of people I have seen wearing berets (save uniformed officers), none of which were carrying a baguette jammed under their armpit.
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Big Gay Musical

Postby Learning » Wed Oct 21, 2009 6:16 pm

But hey, being the butt of the joke is part of being a part of society. If anything this is progress, in the way of recognition that these people do exist.


It looks like you enjoy the humor, Batty. People openly discussing gay issues and having laughs while they do could have advantages.

Does anyone have comments about the new movie called "The Big Gay Musical"? How funny does it seem?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dBjMXfAn5gU
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Stereotype Based Humor

Postby Learning » Fri Mar 26, 2010 3:26 pm

David Beckham did a comedy skit playing one of two guys in an effeminate couple. This skit makes humor based on effeminate gay stereotypes. Coming from Beckham, this seems to be a friendly gesture, and the stereotypes are extreme enough to be silly.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rk8oMiq5cq4

Taking a different approach, "Sue's Corner" skit uses the existence of "straight acting" gays for humor, making a joke from the failure to fit stereotypes. She calls "straight acting" gays, "sneaky gays" because she has a hard time identifying them and knowing "who to judge."

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pFjWRGaV-Fs
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Re: Gay equivalents to blackface and minstrel shows

Postby olywaguy » Fri Mar 26, 2010 9:58 pm

I don't know...to see Beckham cuddling up to a big bear of a guy and as a bottom gives a guy hope. :P

Does that mean I have a chance? :D :P :mrgreen:
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Humor with Gender Stereotypes

Postby Learning » Sat Apr 24, 2010 5:44 am

Harvard Sailing Team did two funny videos by reversing stereotypical gender roles.

Here is their "Boys Will Be Girls."

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gspaoaec ... re=popular

And here is their "Girls Will Be Boys."

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=paNiEdFT ... re=channel
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Orangina Aftershave Commercial

Postby Learning » Thu Jun 24, 2010 9:24 am

Orangina gives this commercial a surprise, but not necessarily humorous, ending.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tKK37G-ZWvk
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