Possibly of interest on a few levels.

S. Yaeger's picture

http://www.montrealgazette.com/health/Miss+Universe+Canada+disqualifies+transsexual+contestant/6355165/story.html

 

This morning, I stumbled accross the linked news story about a trans women being disqualified from Canada's Miss Universe Pageant for publicly acknowledging that she is trans.  I thought this topic might be of interest to our class for two reasons.  The first being that Jenna's disqualification illustrates how much tranphobia is a part of the cultural landsape of many western countries and how little understanding there seems to be about trans identities.  

The second is that beauty pageants have long been a hot bed issue for feminism as feminist activists protesting the Miss America pageant in 1968 recieved national news coverage.  In fact, I believe that it was that protest that led to the misconception that femnists burn their bras, as a threat to do so was made at the protest.  The women protesting the pageant in 1968 were protesting the way that women were viewed as objects and cut off from many potential careers.  Even though the protests drew a good deal of attention, it seems like little has changed in the world of pageantry since then, and I think that Jenna's story illustrates that.

Comments

MC's picture

Update

The pageant administration has decided to allow Ms. Talackova compete. Conisdering that she openly participated in Miss International Queen, which is a pageant for transgendered women, it seems difficult to think that the administration was not entirely aware.

dear.abby's picture

also saw this article

I was reading about this yesterday and was planning to comment about it tonight. What I found most interesting in the article was the Miss Universe Canada national director's role in the "controversy". (here is the article I read: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2119786/Jenna-Talackova-Transgender-beauty-queen-kicked-Miss-Universe-Canada-pageant.html. The video at the bottom of the article is also interesting because it portrays Miss Vancouver as very open regarding her birth as a boy and her gender reassignment surgery, while the pageant director makes it seem as though she tried to hide that she was not a "natural born female".)

Anyway, the director of the pageant, Denis Devila, was first the one who questioned Miss Vancouver's status created the issue. At the very end of the article she (or he?) says, "Just because she can't compete, doesn't mean we stopped loving her.". I simply do not understand this comment, or what "loving her" has to do with any part of the issue. It appears the organizatoin does not want to be the bad guy. I wish there was more information provided as to why certain women cannot compete, beyond "that is the rules". It sounds like the organization is implying that they'd love to have her compete, but their hands are tied by "the rules".  It kind of reminds me of this http://www.hulu.com/watch/340645/the-daily-show-with-jon-stewart-americas-problem-with-unesco-part-1#s-p1-sr-i1   

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