Skepchick Quickies, 4.22


Jen is a writer and web designer/developer in Columbus, Ohio. She spends too much time on Twitter at @antiheroine.

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  1. You know, I’m not saying that its discrimination, whatever your personal feelings are towards gay marriage are your personal feelings, and I really don’t agree with first of all, the question being asked. IMHO, there are more important things to worry about. Secondly, just because you don’t agree with the statement doesn’t mean you should penalize them for their opinions. I actually respect her more for standing up for what she believes in, even if I do disagree with it, and I think Perez was out of line for evan asking the question.

  2. Beauty pageants are so stupid, it’s no surprise that the contestants can sometimes also be that stupid.

    Remember that Edgar Mitchell also claims that remote healing really works and that ESP is real (he tested this theory on Apollo 14, with inconclusive results apparently). Mitchell is a strange one.

  3. What I don’t get is that Miss California said something like “we live in a country where we can choose same sex marriage or opposite marriage.” What the hell was she referring to? In most states in USA you can’t, you have only the choice of straight marriage (or as she put it opposite marriage)

    And Perez said later on that she could have answered his question in so many different ways without saying if she was for or against same sex marriage. I agree.

  4. That was a bad question to ask Miss California. Airheadedness notwithstanding, she would have “lost” whatever response was (yes/no) because it would have pissed off SOMEBODY. She was just unlucky that the judges disagreed with her- if they had personal anti gay-marriage beliefs you can bet she would have gotten the crown.

    Dammned if you do dammned if you don’t.

    I need to go soak my head now for trying to mentally put myself in the position of a beauty pageant contestant and see this from their perspective. I feel somehow tainted…

  5. I might add that atleast she actually answered the question directly. It was a bad move but I like a direct answer to any question better than a wishy washy response that says nothing at all and does not answer fully. I may disagree with it and the capacity to put the response more diplomatically may have been beyond her, but I can respect direct answers more so than the kind of non-answers that politicians know all too well.

  6. Yes, yes. Beauty pageants should stick to the topic of world peace because no one should expect anything of substance from Miss America. She certainly doesn’t need to be articulate or interesting. Just nix the whole interview bit. Too much yammering and not enough bouncing of breasts. Why consider personality when they don’t even know what congeniality means, right?

    Seriously though, I know it’s the lamest thing ever, but does it have to be?

  7. Agreed,

    “substance from Miss America”? I’m still rolling from the “answers” Miss Virgina (?) gave.

    Besides, as Miss Kalyfornia, she should have seen that question coming. It’s a biggy round these parts.

    “…I know it’s the lamest thing ever, but does it have to be?”

    Agreed again but I don’t know.

    It would certainly be beyond my imagination to make it un-lame.

    But can we change the damn song? Might be a small start…


  8. @Eliza: I agree. If someone is willing and wanting to put herself in the public eye as a representative – of young women, no less – there is no reason why she can’t be able to speak coherently and be held accountable for her opinions. Her right to have her own opinion does not negate mine, and my opinion is that she expressed an unfortunate opinion in a very poor way.

    I’m surprised at the defense of her “personal opinion” here. What if the question had been, “Do you believe the earth was created in six days and that legislation should not prevent the teaching of it in public schools?” I can only assume she was also raised to believe that as well. If you read the article at the link, her religious upbringing was the basis for her response. Do we applaud her brave stance for her beliefs and say, “Well, it’s her personal belief, so I’m not allowed to have an opinion on it?” What’s the difference between taking someone to task for religious-based discrimination on creationist teachings and religious-based discrimination on same-sex marriage? Besides, you know, teh gays.

  9. I am gay myself and I am not offended by “personal opinions,” especially ones stated so stupidly, because in those cases personal opinions are all they are and ever will be- facts or truth have little to do with their personal opinions. The whole stance of religion in regards to gay marriage is fucking stupid, and yet I prefer it when people say what they believe instead of hiding behind a facade incase somebody might be offended or disagree with what they say,

    Say what you mean and mean what you say, or don’t say anything at all. The more we know about each person’s beliefs on this issue the more tools we have to attempt to change it.

  10. @Jen: To the contrary, its her opinion that lets me have mine! I’m a full suppporter of gay marriage, but how can I justify bashing her over the head with my beliefs when I don’t want her to bash me over the head with her beliefs. Its the people like Prejean that make room for Hilton. You can’t justify censoring one without justifying censoring the other. GLBT and Atheists should understand this. Just because we say something that isn’t popular, like “I like kissing other boys”, or “There is no god”, respectively, doesn’t mean we can’t say them. And how can we justify saying these things without allowing Fundies to say “Boys should only kiss girls” and “God created the earth in six days”?

  11. @Finch: I agree with wanting people to say what they think rather than what they feel they should, and I’m also not personally offended by her. But how is this change you’re talking about going to happen – either with the marriage issue at hand, or the idea of expecting women to be more than pretty dolls, or resisting creationism in classrooms – if we don’t challenge all these honest opinions after they’ve been put out there, however silly the way they emerged might seem?

  12. @infinitemonkey:

    She should be, and is, allowed to say whatever she wants about gay marriage.

    But voicing that opinion opens her up to criticism…. just like everything I say does.

    She can say whatever she wants – gays shouldn’t marry, white people shouldn’t share seats with black people, arabs aren’t people, lesbians love golf…. whatever. It doesn’t make it okay just because it’s her opinion and she’s standing up for it.

    It’s straight up bigotry.

    Imagine if the question was, “How do you think we should address the lack of funding in urban public schools?” And her answer was, “We shouldn’t fund them. Black people don’t want to get out of the ghetto. They just want crack and bling. Let’s put the money in suburban and rural schools with white kids, because those people want educations. I know I’m going to take a lot of heat for this opinion, but it’s how I was raised. White people are superior.”

    Then, after the pageant, she insists she really is the winner because she “stood up for what she believes.”

  13. I’m sure we’re not alone in the universe, but it seems rather unlikely that we’ve actually been visited by any other civilizations.

    Logistics of interstellar space travel aside, I simply don’t think the government is capable of covering up something of this magnitude for this long.

  14. @ Jen: I agree, and yet I think that in this case her opinion was challenged in the strongest manner possible. I mean, it may have been a factor in her loosing the crown! It sends a message that holding such a discriminatory opinion is not an appropriate for the title holder of Miss America. In addition it has prompted multiple discussions on the topic all over the country.

    I can support her right to say her honest opinions, but that is just a preliminary to the challenge to follow. I never claimed that a challenge was not called for, only that whatever her personal opinion was in this case, stating it would burn her somehow. Yet we need more direct answers in this world today. The problem here is that stating a direct answer to a controversial question is not desirable. One side will cheer them on and the other will want to shut them up.
    But if we don’t support them when they make an honest opinion we will have missed out on an opportunity to challenge it.

  15. @infinitemonkey: When she says gay marriage should not be allowed, she’s making a judgment call not for herself, but for everyone else. That’s what I’m objecting to, and that’s what opens her up to criticism. Not necessarily because of her beliefs, but because her belief that her beliefs should apply to the population at large.

  16. @ Jen: That is a issue that cannot be avoided whenever somebody speaks against gay marriage, because by the belief’s very nature it applies to everyone else. That it is her belief and that her belief applies to everyone else in this case go hand in hand, they cannot be separated. Is it offensive? I find it to be. But I have never heard of a way of saying “gays should not marry” that does not by default apply it to the population as a whole.

  17. Yeah Poor Miss California bah. Ya know this crap pageant came on after the hockey game (Go Pens) and I got like 15 mins into the show watching this train wreck.

    None of these fake, makeup encased dipsticks does a thing for my libido but more than that is the complete pointlessness of the whole affair.

    I got to the point where the drag out last years “winner” and they go over the biggest trama in her life.

    Was it a horrible car accident? Cancer? The loss of a loved one? No it was something far more life shaking. It was the time where she tripped on her own foot wear during last years pageant. MY GOD THE HUMANITY!

    How could she go on? How would she make it? How fast could I change the channel?

  18. You know I seem to recall a time when all the beauty pageant contestants were put in a soundproof box and everybody was asked the same question. Maybe they should go back to that because one thing that doesn’t seem fair is that Miss North Carolina wasn’t judged on the same criteria.

    I mean, I’ve met some very liberal southeners before and even some liberal North Carolinians (is that the right term?) but I think it’s safe to say that the odds are Miss USA would agree with Miss California.

  19. @Jen: While I agree with the fact that she’s open to criticism, I don’t believe her opinion should open her up to chastizement.

    Also, @Elyse: , had she said that while the nation had the mindset of 1910, it would have ruffled a few feathers, but nothing like today, where that belief is held by a fringe minority. Additionally, that scenerio involves taking away rights which are currently enjoyed, and it falls prey to a stereotype. For things to be equal, she would have had to say “Since gays are all pedophiles, not only should we not allow them to marry, we shouldn’t allow them to be teachers, or have any contact with the children. I stand behind that, because I’m thinking of our future.”

    However, noting that no bill banning gay marriage that has gone to the public at large has been voted down, I would wager that she represents a pretty large area of the populus. Therefore, since she actually holds the populus opinion, should she be dismissed because the judge was a dissenter? What if Hilton was replaced by Rick Warren and she had been in favor of gay marriage. I would like to think that you’d be up in arms about how unfair that was, as would I, for the same reason I defend her now.

  20. @infinitemonkey:

    That the opinion is held by a majority doesn’t mean it’s not disgusting bigotry that should be condemned.

    But then, pageants are also disgusting bigotry that should be condemned. Remember, they’re not about being hot anymore, they’re about being smart and talented. Smart and talented is what’s most important in a pageant… even if those traits bear little weight on the outcome.

  21. @Elyse: I will agree with you on that, however, the question asked has little bearing on actual “smartness”. Debates on gay marriage are rarely fought intellectually, and usually fought mostly on religous grounds. (The belief that god has sactioned marriage for one man and one woman vs. the belief that marriage is a legal rite and should be allowed to all people)

    I also don’t disagree with you about the bigotry of the pageant in and of itself, but that’s neither here nor there.

  22. Anti-miscegenation laws were based on religious grounds too. So if at a pageant in the 60s Miss Virginia was asked her feelings about miscegenation and she said she felt that people who love each other should have the right to marry regardless of race, but Judge Leon Bazile disagreed and not getting points from him cost her the crown, that would be unfair and awful because he is a bigot and she is not.

    It has very little to do with pageant contestants being entitled to their own opinions (they are), and everything to do with bigotry not being accepted and rewarded.

  23. And the point I’m trying to drive home is if you aren’t willing to stand up for those with whom you disagree, then what gives you the the right to stand up for those with whom you do? I don’t agree with her. I think she should change her name to Wrongi McWrongksi, however, I don’t think she should be chastized for sharing them on a loaded question. I firmly believe that in your scenerio, @Eliza: , that question would have set off a firestorm. I think it proves his own feelings. I feel he’s inclusive of everyone-who shares his opinion.

  24. @Finch: Yeah, that was my stance. It wasn’t that she doesn’t like gay marriage, it’s that she tried to imply *no* one does, by saying “the country she was raised in.” She would’ve gotten further if she’d just said something like “I personally do not feel it is right…but it’s not my place to tell others how to live their lives.”

  25. “If the Higgs boson begins creating mass in your esophagus or stomach before you reach a hospital, you will need to perform an immediate bosonectomy on yourself….” “…Be sensible—do not wait for the outcome in which you successfully remove the boson and win the lottery and grow wings.”

    But I WANT wings! And what about my tail?

  26. @Elyse:
    If being smart and talented is what is most important, I expect we’ll be seeing a winner who does not meet the currently prescribed definitions of beauty (i.e. walking skeleton with pneumatic breasts) any year, no make that decade, now.
    Let’s see a Beth Ditto or a Nicky Blonsky (Hairspray) up there and then I’ll believe it’s about brains and talent.

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