In what ways did “Paris is Burning” (1) confirm your ideas about drag and (2) upset your ideas about drag? Do you think Butler is right that some drag performances subvert gender? Why or why not?
Drag performances (as Butler discusses them on pages 186-193) are often parody. Critics have interpreted them as parodies of women (when the performer is anatomically male and is dressed and comporting himself as a woman) and therefore as offensive, as a kind of ridicule of women. But Butler thinks they can in fact be parodies of something else, as she explains on page 188. What does Butler think drag performances parody, and why does she think this is subversive? Do you agree with her? Why or why not? If you’ve seen drag performances, describe them in relation to these ideas.