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How is drag different from blackface?

Tim Wellington | February 4, 2015

Last week, Mary Cheney, the lesbian and married daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, took to Facebook and asked what the difference between drag and blackface was:

“Why is it socially acceptable — as a form of entertainment — for men to put on dresses, make up and high heels and act out every offensive stereotype of women (bitchy, catty, dumb, slutty, etc.) — but it is not socially acceptable — as a form of entertainment — for a white person to put on blackface and act out offensive stereotypes of African Americans?”

Cheney’s made some interesting points – drag and blackface are both exaggerated stereotypes reinforcing a number of negative images associated with either gender or race – and she’s not alone in the fight against drag performer’s representation of women, but making the comparison to blackface might be a bit of a jump.

To help break this down,  Matt Baume of the American Foundation for Equal Rights (and a number of other production and writer circles) made this pretty solid and informative video.