Victoria Scone Breaks Down Why 'Fishy' Is Such a Problematic Drag Term
It’s time to leave that outdated term in the past.
Language is ever-evolving, and thank gawd for that!
During the second episode of Canada’s Drag Race: Canada vs. the World, Victoria Scone had a respectful and very important conversation about the term “fishy” still being used by drag artists as it relates to creating a female illusion. The term had already been used by Stephanie Prince in the first episode of the series.
“As the only cis woman here, I can’t not say it. Did you use the word ‘fishy’ in your verse, out of curiosity?” Scone asked Prince, who did use the term in her lyrics for the girl group challenge. The UK queen added, “Would you understand why that might potentially be offensive to a cis woman, or anyone that owns a vagina?”
Prince alleged that the term “fishy” had been reclaimed among queens from the Philippines. As an AFAB (assigned female at birth) queen, however, Scone still pushed back on that notion – and rightfully so. “People say ‘I look like a biological woman, so I look fishy,’” Scone noted, “because that connects a woman’s vagina to smelling like a fish.”
The Chop Bloque re-posted a video of this interaction between Scone and Prince on Canada vs. the World, which you can watch below.
\u201cDrag has always been about pushing boundaries and sometimes that means pushing against the status quo and asking ourselves hard questions. \n\nThank you @VictoriaScone for speaking out and calling in and @stephaniesbutt_ for listening and learning\n\n#CanadaVsTheWorld\u201d— The Chop Bloque (@The Chop Bloque) 1669434981
Later in the episode, Scone acknowledged that not everyone would agree with her stance against the term “fishy,” but that it was still important to say something about it. From what we were able to see in the edit, Prince did take Scone’s comments well and understood what she meant.
Truth be told, “fishy” as a drag term has been going away for many years now. This is very clear from watching the more recent seasons of shows like RuPaul’s Drag Race and The Boulet Brothers’ Dragula, or even just following drag artists in real life and on social media.
Among other things, drag is a way of bending gender and poking fun at it, but that’s absolutely no excuse to correlate being a woman and smelling like fish. This incredibly outdated term was once common in the drag lexicon, but it hasn’t been appropriate or widely used for quite a few years now.
“I’m late to the fish fry but it seems most people coming for Victoria Scone don’t know that gay men have HISTORICALLY & w/DEROGATORY intentions, referred to queer cis women as ‘fish,’” Dragula season three winner Landon Cider wrote in a tweet. “Misogynistic gay men have long hated on lesbians in spaces they deemed as ‘theirs.’ This isn’t new.”
\u201cIm late to the fish fry but it seems most people coming for @VictoriaScone dont know that gay men have HISTORICALLY & w/DEROGATORY intentions, referred to Queer cis women as \u201cfish\u201d. \nMisogynistic Gay men have long hated on lesbians in spaces they deemed as \u201ctheirs\u201d\nThis isnt new.\u201d— LANDON CIDER (@LANDON CIDER) 1669565936
Thankfully, Scone used this massive platform to make an important statement that hopefully clarifies things for other members of the LGBTQ+ community.
Canada’s Drag Race: Canada vs. the World airs Fridays on WOW Presents Plus.