I have nothing against Jenna Talackova; she seems like an absolutely lovely Human being; and I further acknowledge that her initial disqualification from the Miss Universe pageant was a grossly unjust and discriminatory. That said, I am getting rather annoyed by just how much attention that this story is getting in the popular press. In an age where even the most progressive, forward-thinking democracies in the world still have debates among mainstream political leaders as to whether transpeople are even deserving of fundamental Human Rights coverage; in an era when trans people are still suffering murder rates higher than those of any other minority group (in the USA at least); in an age where the only trans people who show up on mainstream television are murdered prostitutes, jokes, or Chaz Bono, why is this the only transsexual story that can arouse the media’s interest?
I mean, Minerva’s sake people, it’s a beauty contest! This is what we’re trumpeting as our great civil rights struggle? The right to be oggled by a bunch of misogynistic greaseballs by serving as their patriarchal eye candy? Why do you think she was banned in the first place? I’ll give you a hint: it’s because the contest is run by the same sort of knuckle-dragging, mouth-breathing, Two and a Half Men-loving paleolithic morons who constitute the broadest part of its target demographic. You think that it’s a coincidence that Donald Trump owns this thing?
Moreover, do you suppose that interest in this case will translate into greater attention to the conditions endured by transsexual people who aren’t wealthy, beautiful and able to transition before puberty? Or do you suppose (as I rather suspect) that it will serve only to fill out the roster of cheap punchlines in the trashier sort of sitcom for the next year or so?
Understand, once again, I’m not saying anything against Miss Talackova; if this is her dream than that is her own business, and I wish her well; for the first time in my entire life, I can actually be arsed to care about the outcome of a beauty contest (although I suspect that she’s not going to win if for no other reason than that all of the judges are also skeazy greaseballs). But it would be very nice if the media started treating this like it wasn’t the be-all-and-end-all of the transsexual rights struggle–or, indeed, anything more than anything more than a particularly minor footnote.