Alicante Journal of English Studies / Revista Alicantina de Estudios Ingleses

This Is a Man's World: Drag Kings and the Female Embodiment of Masculinity

Asunción Aragón Varo

Abstract

Portrayals of non-heteronormative characters have been more and more present in the mass media since the last decades of the 20th century. Gay and lesbian characters are now part of mainstream media in films, sitcoms, drama series, talk shows, etc. Apparently, this could mean that non-heteronormative identities and desires are tolerated by the general audience but this might be just so as long as these characters behave according to heteronormative standards of normality or their bodies are easily readable. The presence of trans, drags or genderqueer characters is minimal and with it the potential subversion of the heteronormative matrix. However, not all drag is subversive and therefore an inappropriate reading or decoding could end up reinforcing the same normative gender identities they intend to subvert. To understand the potential subversion of non-heteronormative characters this paper aims to analyze briefly the re/conceptualization of performativity in the work of Judith Butler, the representation of drag as a parody of gender performance, the female embodiment of masculinity and its representation in popular culture.

Keywords

Non-heteronormative characters; Drags; Gender; Female embodiment of masculinity



DOI: https://doi.org/10.14198/raei.2013.26.10

Copyright (c) 2013 Asunción Aragón Varo

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