Sarah Tucker Jenkins deposited Hegemonic “Realness”? An Intersectional Feminist Analysis of RuPaul’s Drag Race in the group LGBTQ Studies on Humanities Commons 2 years, 5 months ago
RuPaul’s Drag Race is one of the few reality television shows focusing on QLGBT (queer, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) identified individuals that has made it into mainstream consciousness. Drag Race provides a unique perspective on the ways that gender identity, sexuality, size, class, race, and ethnicity intersect and interact in people’s lives.The television show augments many of these intersections and the challenges related to these identities while still reflecting the daily struggles that people experience.The show works to promote messages of self-love and acceptance ; however, it also promotes many problematic and damaging stereotypes. This thesis conducts a feminist analysis in order to answer the question: How does RuPaul’s Drag Race relate to hegemonic and oppressive stereotypes and roles associated with gender identity, sexual orientation, size, class, race and ethnicity? Does it challenge or reinforce such hegemonies? In order to answer these questions, this thesis examines visual imagery, narrative, and dialogue in the show, utilizes theories from cultural and women’s studies, English and communications. It concludes that although Drag Race does engage in some subversive behavior, it ultimately reinforces harmful hegemonic stereotypes.