Barbara Kay: Jenna Talackova goes double dipping in the theatre of gender politics
National Post - Monday May 21st, 2012
If you are interested in the results of beauty pageants – and in this day and age, who is left that is? – you will be interested to know that Jenna Talackova failed in her bid to win the title of Miss Universe Canada. Whether you are glad or not of that outcome will depend on the station you occupy along the spectrum of gender politics.
The very attractive Ms Talackova, you will recall, is the surgically transgendered woman who successfully challenged the rules of the Miss Universe Canada contest when she was rejected according to the rules disallowing transsexuals. Thus, her mere presence in the contest has been considered the real triumph for those in the LGBT community. As her lawyer Gloria Allred said, “She won an historic ‘herstory’ civil rights victory, and that I think is frankly more important than anything, any victory she would win, even representing Miss Canada.”
“Civil rights”? “Victory”? I wonder if anyone but a hard core of gender ideologues really sees it that way. I should think that amongst the diminishing coterie of non-ideologues for whom beauty contests still hold significance, Ms Talackova’s presence was a joke. A joke, mind you, they have been well trained in political correctness enough to understand they mustn’t laugh out loud at, but a joke nonetheless.
Leaving aside the fact that most thinking women today find the superannuated concept of beauty concepts an insult to women, and exactly the kind of event we present to our daughters as relics of our culture’s sexist past they should despise, the question must be asked:
Is Ms Talackova a woman or a transsexual? Are they one and the same thing? Because if they are one and the same, then how is it that Ms Talackova did not see a conflict of interest in taking part as well in The Miss International Queen pageant in Thailand before she took part in Miss Universe Canada?
The Miss International Queen event is open only to transsexuals. No women with XX chromosomes may apply. If Ms Talackova believes she is a real woman, as real as any woman born with the right chromosomes, then she would be appalled at the existence of such a pageant, because it implies – or rather affirms – that women and transsexuals are two distinct modes of womanhood.
When Ms Talackova was at first denied entry to the Miss Universe Canada pageant, she played the victim card, alleging that she had been “disqualified for being born.” I guess I too am disqualified for being born in that I was not graced with the necessary beauty of face or form to ever consider entering any beauty contest. But more important, isn’t that the exact argument any XX woman could make with regard to the Miss Queen International contest? Ms Talackova’s alleged victory in striking down the rule against transsexuals is strictly political theatre. There is neither logic nor ethics in her double standard and pageant double dipping.