Saturday, April 25, 2009

Miss CA USA. My take.

Ok, by nature of my involvement in pageants, and additionally my platform, I have been receiving lots of emails, questions, etc. about the Miss California USA saga. So here are my thoughts -- and in the most raw way possible, copied from daily emails to my mom as I think more and more about the situation:
_______________________ e-mail #1

JoJo, (yeah, that's what I call my mom, Jo Ellen)
I've been receiving lots of notes and comments about the Miss CA USA ordeal.  I'm going to blog about it.  I'm also going to write Miss CA about it.  Although I think she poorly delivered her opinion, as did most of the contestants, at least she stated it.  I would be hypocritical to slam her for stating an opinion because what I stress to people is the importance staying true to yourself and your opinions.  I do NOT however respect the judge Perez Hilton calling her a "dumb b***h" for answering as she did.

There has been major press about the fact that the question should NEVER have been asked because it's too controversial. Katie talked about it on Fox & Friends yesterday and they asked her, "Would a question like that ever be allowed in Miss America?"  I hope so!   I don't think there was anything wrong with asking the question.....people have just as strong of feelings on this topic as the war or the bail out, and this is one of the top stories in every form of media.

_______________________ e-mail #2

I am disappointed in a few things here. This was a step in the wrong direction for equality. I found this NY Times article, and I agree completely with the fact that this whole issue forced two steps backward and only one step forward (and not for a good reason.)

<-- public statement against marriage equality (obvi.)
<-- the gay backlash (led by Perez Hilton) of indecency doesn't reflect well on supporters! It's reverse discrimination!
--> put Miss USA back on the map, in the media....brought attention, that's for sure! And Katie was able to speak on the news to set the record straight of the difference between Miss USA and Miss America.

Highlights from the NY Times article:

All of us have a belief system, whether it is informed by our faith or a secular world view. The freedom to share those even unpopular positions is what makes this nation great.
The crime here is not that people have opinions we disagree with. The crime is treating those who disagree with us with the same incivility that they treated us to.
He also said Miss USA ought to be someone who represents all the people and views of America — and that personally opposing gay marriage disqualifies her on that measure. What Mr. Hilton doesn’t seem to grasp is that if she were in favor of gay marriage, her views still wouldn’t “represent all Americans.”
Miss California’s answer to the political question asked of her by a judge was moving to the audience and the millions of new fans she now has for a simple reason: Her words were marked by genuineness, decency, a clear effort at civility, and great personal courage. The ugly response of her critics, especially Perez Hilton, is demeaning — but not to Carrie Prejean.

So the bottom line is that no matter what your opinion, if you are able to present it with respect of opposing views, express it! The key is the respect (and appropriate grammar and public speaking skills will only help validate you). This whole ordeal presents an opportunity. It is a chance to open the discussion about gay rights, but also to break the stereotype of pageant girls who only want world peace and live perched on the fence in the middle, crown shining on her head. I'll soon post proof that the question IS asked in MAO and it can be embraced when presented with integrity.

But for now -- I need some sleep because.... MISS NY ORIENTATION IS TOMORROW!! yipeeee!!!


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