Miss USA

Head on over to the Huffington Post and check out my piece on the Miss USA pageant. I’d love to hear your comments here or over there.

And this would probably be a good time to announce that I’ll be blogging fairly regularly over at HuffPo. Feministe will remain my primary blog, and I won’t be cutting down on my posts here, but I should have something up over there about once a week.


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21 comments for “Miss USA

  1. evil fizz
    March 23, 2007 at 10:14 pm

    Well, I have attempted to comment over there (cursed registration!), so we’ll see if it shows up. I love how the “women use their feminine wiles!” canard makes an appearance by the third comment.

  2. zuzu
    March 23, 2007 at 10:34 pm

    Aaaand I see that the same high-quality commenters inhabit HuffPo as do TPM Cafe.

  3. March 23, 2007 at 10:36 pm

    I thought your post was really good, making several important points clearly, succinctly and persuasively. I don’t know how feminism-savvy HuffPo (shudder) readers are, but I thought it was great. Of course, it only took three comments for someone to miss the point more or less completely.

  4. March 23, 2007 at 11:34 pm

    Wow, wait to go, Huffpost. Just when you thought the evopsych argument couldn’t be made any dumber…

  5. March 23, 2007 at 11:38 pm

    D’oh. “Way to go.”

  6. Radalan
    March 23, 2007 at 11:45 pm

    Congratulations on the HuffPo gig, Jill.

    I’ve read HuffPo on and off since Arianna started it. There’s little moderating, so the reich-wing, short-penis crowd is noticeably present. They’re not as bad now as they used to be in the early days when there was no moderating at all, but they’re still present.

  7. jojo
    March 24, 2007 at 12:44 am

    Yeah! Fuck pageants! They should be outlawed as cruel and inhumane. But so should sororities and fashion magazines.

  8. March 24, 2007 at 12:45 am

    Mazel Tov, Jill. You keep on moving further up, further in…

    Don’t worry. We don’t expect the book until you finish law school.

  9. Aman
    March 24, 2007 at 2:29 am

    Kind of nitpicking here, but the first two paragraphs seem sort of dissonant to the point that I read them over like three times, but maybe it’s just me. Great post, though. Also, it’s pretty creepy how some of those dissenting comments – mostly those with strangely defensive tones – actually reinforce some of your what you say (Tara Connor’s an idiot, but she’s hawt).

  10. Thlayli
    March 24, 2007 at 6:16 am

    Go you!

    I second Zuzu’s impression of the commenters over there.

  11. Julie
    March 24, 2007 at 7:20 am

    I loved the post and agree whole heartedly. The commenters over there are ridiculous though, geez. If you ever needed a more clear demonstration of your point that women are considered public property, there you go.

  12. March 24, 2007 at 7:56 am

    I just left a comment over there. I love that commenters just ignore Jill’s entire discussion addressing the fact that women indeed participate in these beauty contests and why.

    Miss America drives me batty far more than Miss USA. Miss USA is far more honest about the fact that it’s about T & A.

    Miss America, however, stresses that it’s all about being the largest scholarship program for women in the United States (which, indeed, it is). It pretends that the swimsuit competition is about judging the contestants’ “physical fitness” rather than sex appeal. But the fact remains that young women (often teenagers) have to parade around in a bathing suit to have their physical attributes rated in order to qualify for Miss America’s funding for higher education. It’s disgusting.

  13. Cate
    March 24, 2007 at 9:57 am

    Nice work, Jill! I’ve been reading HuffPo for a while and I’ll be glad to see your work added to the lot. I come here for discussions of feminist issues, and I go there for breaking news. It’ll be interesting reading, as you’ll be writing for a different audience over there, I assume you’ll structure your posts a little differently to present to a more diverse audience. Sometimes I forget that the world-at-large doesn’t know there’s a size 13 boot on my neck. It’s helpful for me to be reminded that I need to take a step back and explain the basics when I talk to people outside my insular feminist-progressive world.

    I’ve always skipped the comments on HuffPo, and after reading the first few dozen comments to your post, I think I’ll continue the tradition. I’m glad you’re in there raising consciousness, so I can take a pass!

  14. March 24, 2007 at 11:10 am

    Yeah! Fuck pageants! They should be outlawed as cruel and inhumane. But so should sororities and fashion magazines.

    Yes, that’s exactly what I said.

  15. Sally
    March 24, 2007 at 11:48 am

    Miss America drives me batty far more than Miss USA. Miss USA is far more honest about the fact that it’s about T & A.

    Miss America, however, stresses that it’s all about being the largest scholarship program for women in the United States (which, indeed, it is). It pretends that the swimsuit competition is about judging the contestants’ “physical fitness” rather than sex appeal. But the fact remains that young women (often teenagers) have to parade around in a bathing suit to have their physical attributes rated in order to qualify for Miss America’s funding for higher education. It’s disgusting.

    I think it’s interesting, though, that Miss America seems to be in far more trouble than Miss USA. Miss America isn’t even shown on network T.V. anymore. My sense is that Miss America is hopelessly retrograde and won’t be able to survive, but I’m not so sure about Miss USA. I think that it would be possible for a savvy marketer to adapt it to a reality show paradigm.

  16. March 24, 2007 at 1:16 pm

    I think Miss America is in trouble because it is trying to have its cake and eat it too. On the one hand, it tries to cast itself as a serious scholarship program that’s all about women’s talents and accomplishments. On the other hand, it is clinging to the bathing suit and evening gown competitions for dear life. So the audience interested in sex appeal isn’t interested and neither is the audience who would care about honoring young women’s achievements.

    If there were a competition to choose the most talented, well-rounded American student (male or female) based on intellectual, athletic, and artistic talents, I would watch it. But Miss America can’t draw an audience like me as it stands now, notwithstanding the changes they have made to modernize their program.

  17. March 24, 2007 at 1:43 pm

    Oh, and far too many of the comments over at HuffPo seem to be along the lines of, “Why do you hate beautiful women?”

  18. March 24, 2007 at 1:47 pm

    I’m curious why Dwayne’s line is your least favorite in the movie.

  19. March 24, 2007 at 9:08 pm

    I’m curious why Dwayne’s line is your least favorite in the movie.

    I just hated the way it was delivered. It didn’t feel very genuine or interesting.

  20. March 25, 2007 at 9:16 pm

    Jill — enjoyed your post, and blogged about it recently. I don’t think you need to apologize about being a “fun feminist” as you did in the “confessions” post you linked to. For most, the difference between living the pageant lifestyle and enjoying the occasional pair of high heels while pursuing something more substantive is pretty clear.

    If femininity were something we did only because of patriarchal dictates, how do you explain a penchant for fashion? We all know straight guys could give a rip about it. Why do some women care about handbags or hats, when guys in the main couldn’t care less?

    And since when is wanting to look attractive to members of the opposite gender problematic, feminism-wise? Why can’t we trust ourselves to keep within limits men put on this? If you took for example a typical attractive man’s weight-lifting, workout, shaving, clothes-buying schedule, a woman could have a substantial amount of femininity for equivalent time, money and comfort.

    It’s not necessary to take the “Twisty is right, I’m so weak” position here.

  21. BAC
    March 27, 2007 at 12:52 am

    Great post. I was traveling this weekend, and as I flipped around the TV channels, there it was! I only watched the last few minutes, but it was enough to realize the contestant from KS was anti-abortion. Her answer about whether or not people deserve a second chance was interesting, given that the outgoing winner had received a second chance from Trump. In case you weren’t sitting in a hotel room bored, her answer was “no” … not if they commit “murder” or something like that. James Dobson would have been so proud.

    BAC

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