Op-Ed: Drag shows dehumanize women

Warning: Adult content.

See, that wasn’t that hard.

I never thought I’d have to say this, but drag shows aren’t something we should be celebrating, especially not with children present.


Because drag is offensive. It’s offensive to any man, child or especially woman who doesn’t want to be viewed or treated as a sexual object.

Let’s be honest. Drag shows are generally performed by men, dressed as heavily caricatured and sexualized women, performing sexually suggestive routines.

And “sexually suggestive” is an understatement.

I am a woman. I was born with a female body that I can’t – and don’t want to – get rid of. 

And I find the practice of male performers dressing as hyper-sexualized women, exposing artificial breasts and simulating sexual acts, deeply offensive. It completely misses the mark of anything that actually honors the beauty and power of the female body. 

Drag – and other adult content like strip shows and pornography – invites viewers to treat the performer as a sexual object, a medium through which they can receive some form of sexual gratification and pleasure.  

That was important so I’m going to say it again.  

Drag shows encourage audiences to view female bodies as cartooned sexual objects.  

How dehumanizing. 

I’m not a proponent of banning things simply because I disagree with them, but we need to stop pretending that moral good – in any sense of the word “good” – comes from such explicit displays of exploitation. 

In a more self-conscious era, drag shows were marketed as exactly what they were: adult entertainment. Now, they’re popping up in libraries, schools, and ostensibly kid-friendly community theaters 

I have to ask: When did men dressing up as overly sexual parodies of women become laudable, let alone family friendly? 

If feminism was ever about giving women dignity as a whole person and not just a baby-making housemaid, then feminism has failed miserably.  

The progressive movement – which used to decry the sexualization of women as a form of oppression – now flaunts the sexualization of everyone, even children, as a form of freedom.  

It’s time to say, “Enough.”