Camp: the ultimate boys' club


I don't think that But I'm a Cheerleader necessarily feminized camp. While the storyline revolved around two women, many of the ideals of camp represented were still quite masculine.
Feel free to let me know if I'm not reading camp 100% accurately, but I saw aspects of camp throughout the film that return to mimicry and mockery of stereotypes of the gay man. There was the stereotypical "ex-gay" who was closeted and comes off as homophobic but is still quite clearly gay. There were the distinct "gay" personalities of the male members of the camp whereas the female personalities were downplayed as much as possible. There is the representation of the night club, "Cock Sucker," clearly mimicking the appeal to gay men. There is the representation of "homo recruiters," who, of course, are male characters. Overall, I saw much more masculine representations of camp in this film than feminized. I do not blame this on the director, however. There are simply far more stereotypes to mock in the context of male sexuality as female sexuality is still so hidden from the mass public due to its less threatening nature.


I think you're right in saying many of the ideals of camp represented were still quite masculine. This is demonstrated by all the great examples you gave such as the "ex-gay". However, I do think this film represented females in a campy fashion more than many other camp films have.

There are overtly stereotypical representations of lesbians such as extremely butch females and "goth" girls. The intervention scene near the beginning is very campy as the family and friends speak in hushed horror about the vaginal images in her posters and her lack of passion with her boyfriend. Much of the satire is female-centric.

This movie is a welcome change of pace in camp film because of its inclusion of females, yet it certainly isn't a purely female representation of camp, as say "Priscilla Queen of the Desert" is pretty much purely a representation of males in camp

I agree--in my notes, the examples of gay male parodying are prevalent. Thinking about your post, though, and manci029's comment to the contrary, perhaps they were more obvious because phallic imagery is SO pervasive? And playing it up, then, makes it even MORE pervasive, and obvious, and noteworthy? Don't blame Babbit; blame the hegemony of the phallus. Now who wants to plot a takedown of the Washington Monument?

I agree with @manci029, the images that you provided are all very valid, but I feel that since she went against traditional stereotypes of lesbian women, she was successful. She uses a style that I never seen before. Like Manci029 said, this movie is a welcome change of camp.

I agree with some of your points, for example the two male "homo recruiters," and the Cocksucker title. However, I disagree with the fact that there were no stereotypical representations of lesbians. There was Jan, who looked extremely butch (and even had a mustache) who confessed that she actually liked boys the entire time, there was the goth girl, and other butch varieties. There were many funny references to lesbian culture, such as Melissa Ethridge, and Georgia O'Keefesque paintings. I think this is totally successful camp.

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This page contains a single entry by Kelsey P. published on April 2, 2012 8:45 AM.

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