Feminization of Camp

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After reflecting on this statement, I don't think Babbit was effective in reclaiming camp for queer women. I think camp is overtly associated with gay men and it would have been more effective if she would have create an all women cast. I thought some of the female characters were campy, but whenever the camera would cut to a male, the viewer would forget all about the female camp.

If the film were to portray an all female cast or masculine men, I think the women would have had more of a chance to reclaim camp.

I felt that the gender binary was reinforced by the simple representation of campy gay men in the film

4 Comments

Great points. I did think Babbit did a good job of showing female camp, but it's true that oftentimes the girls were overshadowed by the boys' antics. Like the scenes with Eddie Cibrian and all the guys at the camp gawking at him were campier than anything with the girls I would say. Your suggestion of an all-female cast is really interesting. It definitely would get rid of any male campiness. Now that I write about it more I can probably agree that the gender binary was enforced by all the traditional male campiness in the film. At the same time, I think Babbit made a good movie that is at least not really like anything else out there.

I never really thought about the ways in which the gay characters in the film took away from the "camp" aspect of the female characters. Reflecting back on the film I would totally agree with your statement. I also wonder if the fact that I am a male contributed to this blindness? Am I just subconsciously unaware? Damn it, now I'm gonna be thinking about this shit all day.

I think that your identifying as male contributes to your blindness in this issue, but I also think that no one can blame you for that. Most people tend to look for representations of themselves when viewing media and anything else is an afterthought. Unless you went into this screening specifically looking for female representation versus male representation, it is understandable that you would focus more heavily on those characters that align with your identity.
This is similar to racialized content. Two individuals of different racial or ethnic backgrounds can watch the same film and experience it very differently based on what each was looking for, i.e. trying to see.

Those are valid points, but I think if Babbit had used an entirely female cast she would have likely been contributing to the binary more, by asserting that she needs only females, like male camp needs only males. I think there was a ton of interesting female camp in this film, and didn't forget about it in the male scenes. However, I do agree that there were many parts between Ru Paul and the other male counselor that were not shown in a female variety, and the boys had those men to drool over, while the girls had nothing, and so that was a bit unequal.

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This page contains a single entry by prest225 published on April 2, 2012 7:35 AM.

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