Wednesday, April 4, 2012
Is Jenna Pushing Too Far?
In the highly visible case of Jenn Talackova -- the transsexual beauty contestant in the Canadian Miss Universe pageant that was first booted from the competition, and then after a public outcry has since been told she could compete --, should she be just focused on competing, as Donald Trump suggests, or take this opportunity to press for a change in the pageant rules -- rather than simply accepting a stand-alone acceptance for her case?
The rules of the Miss Universe pageant are clearly worded; requiring a contestant to be a "naturally born female." Moreover, they're a private organization, receiving no federal funding of any kind, so don't they have the right to set the rules to their private enterprise contest? At the same time, Jenna is legally acknowledged as a woman, and therein lies the dilemma the Pageant faces.
IS their rule discriminatory? While the lines of gender variance are becoming more blurred everyday within society, do private competitions have an obligation to be fully-inclusive?
Looking at Mr. Trump's knack for marketing brilliance, it is not a stretch to think that though he might be a bit miffed that Jenna has disrupted his pageant (he is the owner of both the Miss Universe and Miss America pageants), he is also savvy enough to see a publicity opportunity to increase the pageants viewership by staying the Pageant rules and allowing her to compete.
Is it just a marketing ploy? Mr. Trump told Katy Couric on the Today Show that he and the Pageant staff recognize a need to "open out" the pageant. When listening to him, he certainly gives the impression that the reversal to allow Jenna to compete was based on U.S. and Canadian law, and the Pageant itself may change its rules to be openly inclusive.
While there are rules in the U.S. and Canada as to what requirements have to be met to be legally recognized as a women, Katy pointed out that some countries around the world may not have the same laws. Donald noted that that would be unfair to transsexual women from countries that did not recognize them, so the Pageant may "open up" the rules.
Even Bill O'Reilly, who has not been known for his support of gender-variance in the past, seemed to be surprisingly lining up on Jenn'a side of the issue. What's your view? Discuss it at TGLIFE.com in the forum.