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such a nasty woman | by maryann johanson

question of the day: Should transgendered women be allowed to compete in beauty pageants?

Jenna Talackova

I’m surprised this hasn’t been an issue before now. You may have heard that Miss Universe Canada recently kicked out contestant Jenna Talackova when pageant officials discovered that she had been born male because pageant rules require that contestants be “naturally born genetic females.” Perhaps the fact that such a rule is in place means that other transgendered women have attempted to enter before. Or perhaps pageant officials were attempting to forestall precisely this situation.

Anyway, now the pageant has relented… slightly. From The Vancouver Sun:

Transgender beauty queen Jenna Talackova, who was kicked out of the Miss Universe Canada competition last month, will be allowed to compete after all – provided she meets certain conditions, the organization announced Monday.

She can take part if she can prove she meets Canadian “legal gender recognition requirements” and the standards of other international competitions.

Gender recognition requirements vary by province in Canada and can include obtaining medical certificates and legal affidavits from doctors. But meeting standards established by other international competitions could be more difficult…

The Miss Universe organization had said she “did not meet the requirements to compete despite having stated otherwise on her entry form.”

Should transgendered women be allowed to compete in beauty pageants?

I don’t see any reason why not… though I can certainly see why some people would be uncomfortable with the idea. I’m sure there are lots of men who enjoy oogling beauty queens who might enjoy it somewhat less if they couldn’t be sure those beauty queens weren’t once guys.

(Of course, the problematic nature of beauty pageants is another issue entirely. I don’t know why any woman would want to parade around and be judged so blatantly on her appearance.)

What do you think?
(If you have a suggestion for a QOTD, feel free to email me. Responses to this QOTD sent by email will be ignored; please post your responses here.)

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