Powered by Blogger.

RuPaul's Drag Race She-Male She-Male Debate


So today something happened, something which I think shouldn't have happened. RuPaul's Drag Race recently had a mini challenge where you had to guess who was a cisgender woman or a past drag race contestant by guessing on a cropped image and presenting a female or "she-male" sign. Shortly after however some transgender people claimed it was offensive and even transphobic because of the use of "she-male". This is considered to be an offensive word amongst trans people. Both Carmen Carerra and Monica Beverly Hillz, former contestants who now identify as trans have made comments on the matter. Now Logo TV have announced that episode has been removed, that mini challenge won't be broadcast again and they've even gone to the extent of removing the "you've got she-male" bit at the beginning of a new day and a new challenge.

Now, while I can agree that the mini challenge that sparked this off shouldn't have been worded that way, I don't agree that the "she-male" bit that serves as the introduction of the new challenge should be removed. Why? Well, that is clearly a mockery of America's Next Top Model's Tyra Mail, right? We've had digs from RuPaul throughout 5 and a half seasons in regards to Tyra, all playful too. So that connection is there. And, if it were so offensive, how comes it's taken certain people 5 and a half seasons to speak up about it? I get that it is spoken the same way as "she-male" but there's many words like that. It's just a play on a word, with a comical twist making it their own. Just like many typically associated negative words, for example: queer, faggot, twink, bear, sissy and queen. They're offensive to some, myself included when used by the wrong people, but we as a community have claimed them back as our own and we shouldn't be using them as ammunition against ourselves.

My love for Carmen is endless, i've always liked her when she was on the show and how she's conducting herself now. But when she was on the show, she never once expressed her dislike to the term and she's even admitted on her social media she was ignorant to it and didn't express it, so why kick off now? She knows the context in which it's used; a symbol for an information broadcast to announce a game.

I don't know what to say really, I think the focus should be on the wording of the mini challenge and that's it. The fight is not with something that is playful and was seen to be playful by Carmen, Monica and Sonique in previous seasons. Pandora Boxx mentioned on her Facebook about how this has the potential to open up something much bigger, which we may not want open and I completely agree with her on that one. I think this was just a stupid mistake by whoever wrote the game and the "you've got she-male" would have been overlooked for another 5 and a half seasons. 

I can't help but think what could have happened if, instead of plastering it all over social media, Carmen and other trans people who were let down by it went direct to RuPaul and the producers and just spoke to them. I get equality, I definitely want it, but becoming equality can be done in two ways, silent and loud and I think in this case, loud wasn't the answer. 

Now I wonder how long it'll be until those classic RuPaul songs such as Ladyboy, Tranny Chaser and Responsitrannity get taken down from iTuned and are condemned.

Anyway, that's just my opinion. I am very interested in how this goes and what is done next. Personally, I think the removal of that episode is wrong, I think the removal of that challenge is perfectly acceptable and the permanent removal of the "you've got she-mail" is definitely stupid. End.