West Texas A&M University (WTAMU) President Walter Wendler canceled a student-organized drag show intended to be performed later this month because the content is offensive to women, MyHighPlains.com reported.
The LGBTQ student organization Spectrum planned to host the drag show, titled “A Fool’s Drag Race,” on March 31 alongside “F1RSTGEN” and other student groups, according to its Instagram. Wendler put a pin in the plan and canceled the performance in a Monday letter obtained by MyHighPlains.com in which he wrote drag shows mocks women. (RELATED: College To Host ‘Family Friendly’ Drag Show This Spring)
“Does a drag show preserve a single thread of human dignity? I think not,” Wendler wrote, according to MyHighPlains.com. “As a performance exaggerating aspects of womanhood (sexuality, femininity, gender), drag shows stereotype women in cartoon-like extremes for the amusement of others and discriminate against womanhood. Any event which diminishes an individual or group through such representation is wrong.”
The show was supposed to raise money for The Trevor Project, a nonprofit dedicated to preventing suicide among LGBTQ youth. Spectrum released a statement on Tuesday rejecting Wendler’s concerns.
“Drag is not a mockery — it is a celebration. Drag is a celebration of many things; queerness, gender, acceptance, love, and especially femininity,” the statement read. “To call it a mockery misogynistic is to miss the entire point of what drag is, and what drag means.”
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Wendler would also not support “blackface performances” on campus, he wrote in the letter. He will not support any performance that “denigrates others.”
“Mocking or objectifying in any way members of any group based on appearance, bias or predisposition is unacceptable. Forward-thinking women and men have worked together for nearly two centuries to eliminate sexism,” he continued. “Women have fought valiantly, seeking equality in the voting booth, marketplace and court of public opinion. No one should claim a right to contribute to women’s suffering via a slapstick sideshow that erodes the worth of women.”
Wendler recommended that the students “skip the show and send the dough” to support the Trevor Project, according to the letter.
Spectrum intends to support protests planned this week to oppose Wendler’s order, it confirmed in its statement. It clarified it is not directly affiliated with the protests.
A petition titled “Save the WTAMU Drag Show” amassed more than 3,000 signatures at the time of publication.
WTAMU did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment. Spectrum could not be reached for comment.
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