International Journal of European Studies

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Gender on Stage: Drag Queens and Performative Femininity

Received: 30 October 2022    Accepted: 24 November 2022    Published: 29 May 2023
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Abstract

This article examines how the performative nature of gender is (re)produced by drag queens and analyses drag culture in Euro-American socio-cultural and political space. In this study, I provide an outline of a historical tradition of portraying femininity on stage starting from ancient Greece and until nowadays. The aim of this research is to investigate the evolution of female roles in European and American societies and the influence of these transformations on drag culture as well as to define the position of drag performative femininity within the framework of modern feminist and queer theories. The research methodology is based on a systematic approach to the study of socio-political and socio-cultural phenomena in their development and mutual relations grounded on the principle of scientific objectivity. In the course of writing of this work, I have applied comparative-historical, critical and chronological methods as well as feminist and gender approaches, based on the theory of gender performativity first articulated by Judith Butler – all of which allowed to conduct a comprehensive and detailed analysis of the phenomenon of drag culture. Conclusions of my study offer an overview of the development tendencies of drag cultures in the USA, Germany and Ukraine providing a new perspective on “staged” femininity, which appears as a result of intertwining gender, race, class and national identities and subverts gender roles imposed by society.

DOI 10.11648/j.ijes.20230701.12
Published in International Journal of European Studies (Volume 7, Issue 1, June 2023)
Page(s) 8-14
Creative Commons

This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, provided the original work is properly cited.

Copyright

Copyright © The Author(s), 2024. Published by Science Publishing Group

Keywords

Femininity, Drag, Drag Culture, Gender, Gender Performativity

References
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[3] Bordo S. (1999). “Gay Men's Revenge”. The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, January 10. http://www.jstor.org/stable/432061.
[4] Butler J. (2006). Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity. New York: Routledge.
[5] Case E-S. (1985). “Classic Drag: The Greek Creation of Female Parts”. Theatre Journal, January 3. http://www.jstor.org/stable/3206851.
[6] Coles C. (2007). “The Question of Power and Authority in Gender Performance: Judith Butler’s Drag Strategy”. eSharp, January 15. https://www.gla.ac.uk/media/Media_41211_smxx.pdf.
[7] Davy K. (1994). Female Impersonation: the Discourse of Camp. Hove: Psychology Press.
[8] Edgar E-A. (2011). “Xtravaganza!”: Drag Representation and Articulation in “RuPaul's Drag Race”. Studies in Popular Culture, January 5. http://www.jstor.org/stable/.
[9] Hamamra B. T. (2018). “The Convention of the Boy Actor in Early Modern Tragedies”. ANQ: A Quarterly Journal of Short Articles, Notes and Reviews, February 7. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/0895769X.2018.1491284.
[10] Harris D. (1995). “The Aesthetic of Drag”. Salmagundi, January 5. http://www.jstor.org/stable/40548841.
[11] Hekma G. (2020). “A Female Soul in a Male Body: Sexual Inversion as Gender Inversion in Nine-teenth-Century Sexology.” Third Sex, Third Gender: Beyond Sexual Dimorphism in Culture and History, ed. by Gilbert Herdt, 213-240. New York: Zone.
[12] Horowitz K. R. (2013). “The Trouble with “Queerness”: Drag and the Making of Two Cultures”. Signs, January 5. http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/667199.
[13] Kaiser Ch. (1997). The Gay Metropolis 1940-1996. New York: Houghton Mifrlin Company.
[14] Kis O. (2005). “Choosing without Choice: Predominant Models of Femininity in Contemporary Ukraine.” Gender Transitions in Russia and Eastern Europe, ed. by Madeleine Hurd, Helen Carlback and Sara Rastback. Stockholm: Gondolin Publishers, 2005, p. 105-136.
[15] Maddison S. (2015). “Is the Queen Dead? Effeminacy, Homosociality and the Post-Homophobic Queer”. A Journal of Cultural Materialism, January 4. https://www.jstor.org/stable/26920383.
[16] McNeal K. E. (1999). “Behind the Make-Up: Gender Ambivalence and the Double-Bind of Gay Selfhood in DragPerformance”. Ethos, January 3. http://www.jstor.org/stable/640593.
[17] Muñoz J. E. (1999). Disidentifications: Queers of Color and the Performance of Politics. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.
[18] Newton E. (1979). Mother camp: female impersonators in America. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
[19] Ormand K. (2003). “Oedipus the Queen: Cross-Gendering without Drag”. Theatre Journal, January 11. http://www.jstor.org/stable/25069177.
[20] Raeside J. (2011), “Six to watch: memorable Eurovision moments”, the Guardian, https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/tvandradioblog/2011/may/10/six-to-watch-eurovision-song-contest, February 9.
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    Galyna Kotliuk. (2023). Gender on Stage: Drag Queens and Performative Femininity. International Journal of European Studies, 7(1), 8-14. https://doi.org/10.11648/j.ijes.20230701.12

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    ACS Style

    Galyna Kotliuk. Gender on Stage: Drag Queens and Performative Femininity. Int. J. Eur. Stud. 2023, 7(1), 8-14. doi: 10.11648/j.ijes.20230701.12

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    AMA Style

    Galyna Kotliuk. Gender on Stage: Drag Queens and Performative Femininity. Int J Eur Stud. 2023;7(1):8-14. doi: 10.11648/j.ijes.20230701.12

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  • @article{10.11648/j.ijes.20230701.12,
      author = {Galyna Kotliuk},
      title = {Gender on Stage: Drag Queens and Performative Femininity},
      journal = {International Journal of European Studies},
      volume = {7},
      number = {1},
      pages = {8-14},
      doi = {10.11648/j.ijes.20230701.12},
      url = {https://doi.org/10.11648/j.ijes.20230701.12},
      eprint = {https://article.sciencepublishinggroup.com/pdf/10.11648.j.ijes.20230701.12},
      abstract = {This article examines how the performative nature of gender is (re)produced by drag queens and analyses drag culture in Euro-American socio-cultural and political space. In this study, I provide an outline of a historical tradition of portraying femininity on stage starting from ancient Greece and until nowadays. The aim of this research is to investigate the evolution of female roles in European and American societies and the influence of these transformations on drag culture as well as to define the position of drag performative femininity within the framework of modern feminist and queer theories. The research methodology is based on a systematic approach to the study of socio-political and socio-cultural phenomena in their development and mutual relations grounded on the principle of scientific objectivity. In the course of writing of this work, I have applied comparative-historical, critical and chronological methods as well as feminist and gender approaches, based on the theory of gender performativity first articulated by Judith Butler – all of which allowed to conduct a comprehensive and detailed analysis of the phenomenon of drag culture. Conclusions of my study offer an overview of the development tendencies of drag cultures in the USA, Germany and Ukraine providing a new perspective on “staged” femininity, which appears as a result of intertwining gender, race, class and national identities and subverts gender roles imposed by society.},
     year = {2023}
    }
    

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    Y1  - 2023/05/29
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    N1  - https://doi.org/10.11648/j.ijes.20230701.12
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    T2  - International Journal of European Studies
    JF  - International Journal of European Studies
    JO  - International Journal of European Studies
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    UR  - https://doi.org/10.11648/j.ijes.20230701.12
    AB  - This article examines how the performative nature of gender is (re)produced by drag queens and analyses drag culture in Euro-American socio-cultural and political space. In this study, I provide an outline of a historical tradition of portraying femininity on stage starting from ancient Greece and until nowadays. The aim of this research is to investigate the evolution of female roles in European and American societies and the influence of these transformations on drag culture as well as to define the position of drag performative femininity within the framework of modern feminist and queer theories. The research methodology is based on a systematic approach to the study of socio-political and socio-cultural phenomena in their development and mutual relations grounded on the principle of scientific objectivity. In the course of writing of this work, I have applied comparative-historical, critical and chronological methods as well as feminist and gender approaches, based on the theory of gender performativity first articulated by Judith Butler – all of which allowed to conduct a comprehensive and detailed analysis of the phenomenon of drag culture. Conclusions of my study offer an overview of the development tendencies of drag cultures in the USA, Germany and Ukraine providing a new perspective on “staged” femininity, which appears as a result of intertwining gender, race, class and national identities and subverts gender roles imposed by society.
    VL  - 7
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Author Information
  • British Studies, University of Regensburg, Regensburg, Germany; English Philology, Lesia Ukrainka University in Volyn, Lutsk, Ukraine

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