January 27, 2009

Here she comes

Today I was obsessed with two articles on Jezebel (I live there).
The first topic was pageantry - the article is called Miss America: Empowering or Embarassing? I've always struggled to figure out why exactly it was that pageants made me feel so uncomfortable. What I love most about Jezebel is that I can go there with an unformed opinion yet a vague leaning, read the discussions and come away with a more informed view. The commenters have many different viewpoints, experiences and histories, which makes for awesome debates.
On the pageantry topic, I do find it demeaning. Pageants these days are often rewarded with scholarships and contestants not only have to look pretty, but also be involved in community work and choose a charity to volunteer for. That's lovely.
The fact is, in the end, this isn't a Nice Person contest. The modern portrayal of pageants as a platform of volunteering, intelligence, and further education does seem like a total lie. Because the judging criteria is not based on that.
Two comments that particularly stuck with me:
"If this were a high status, desirable thing to do, men would be doing it and trying to prevent women from doing it. They aren't."
"There's nothing feminist about taking part in a contest that privileges conventionally attractive women over those who are not."

Next, the What Do Women Want? article! Man, were all my favourite blogs totally ripping this apart today. Instead of trying to say anything new, which I would fail at anyway, I'm just going to link to a whole bunch of great pieces regarding it.
Jezebel's post
Feministe (very awesome)
Violet Blue (I love Violet Blue)

So go at it, read them all, from professional awesome-bloggers, instead of little old me.

In other news, tomorrow night I'm going to a talk called Wired Women, at the State Library. It's about where the diversification of the gaming industry might take future game play. I'm pretty excited about that. Thursday I will be having my first singing lesson and I have no idea what to expect and I'm kind of nervous because, let's face it, it's been a while and my voice sucks. But I guess that's the point of taking lessons.

Anyway...good afternoon, good evening and goodnight.


  1. Pageants make me picture people flipping cards rating a woman on a scale of 1 to 10 based on her breasts, ass, hair, make-up...everything but her mind. Empowering? Who is stupid enough to see them as empowering in any way? Ranking women based on appearance is disgusting and degrading.

  2. I totally agree - the article had examples of the contestants saying it was a feminist act and empowering. Empowering in the way that that girl is selling her virginity for millions of dollars. Definitely.


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