Anyway, here's Perez Hilton's take on the situation. I get the same feeling watching Perez Hilton calling Miss California a "dumb bitch" for her answer to that question as I do when Republicans try to decide who's the least corrupt.
Well, color me surprised, someone went to a beauty pageant, asked a political question of one of the contestants, and then called her a dumb bitch when she didn't produce the Correct Answer to a policy question. It's almost as if Miss USA is misogynist.
I haven't watched one of these pageants in a long time because the idea is so dumb to begin with. They take a bunch of young women who've arranged their lives around living under the male gaze and satisfying men with their bodies, judge them harshly based on the most idiotic criteria ever developed, and give out awards based on breast size, nose shape, and ability to never display any emotion through a constant, creepy-ass smile. It's like a dog show with human beings as the contestants.
They do this in front of the entire world to make sure that the message is sent loud and clear to other young women and girls out there. To ensure that everyone knows that there's no way for a woman to escape being judged based only on her body, they make it a competition for college students. Because you don't want women who try to excel in other aspects of their lives to think that they'll ever be judged on anything else but outside beauty, right?
But then they put in these really, really stupid questions. Oh my god the questions are dumb. Does anyone really care what they think about these topics? I sure as hell don't, because if it weren't for YouTube I probably wouldn't have even known that this competition happened. Carrie Prejean's opinion on same-sex marriage is only relevant because of the platform they give her, but if she says what she actually thinks on the topic, look what happens.
There is just no way for anyone to be enlightened by any of the contestants' answers. And they don't ask factual questions, so this isn't Jeopardy! where their answers directly and objectively affect the outcome of the competition.
No, these questions are a mere extension of parading around in a bathing suit and getting docked points for having a visible scar: to judge the women based on how much what's in their heads please the judges and to make sure that everyone at home gets the message that the male gaze requires women to have appropriate and fashionable opinions.
That's what Perez Hilton was saying in that video before the jump. His suggested answer for Prejean is patently idiotic. States' rights. Wow. I would have been mesmerized if she had used a states' rights answer! It's not like anyone has ever used that answer to dodge the question of same-sex marriage before!
Oh, wait, what's that? John Kerry, Hillary Clinton, and a panoply of Republican and Democratic politicians use it all the time to avoid the question so that they can ignore the issue, all as states put constitutional amendments on their ballots to write bans on same-sex marriage into their constitutions? And it doesn't really make sense as long as DOMA is in place? This is really not a new idea at all but really a process argument to cover up the fact that someone is homophobic? And it's actually a lot older when you think about how it's been used to promote racism, both before the Civil War and during the Jim Crow era all the way through Reagan's presidential run? And it doesn't really answer the original question ("Do you think every state should follow [Vermont's lead in legalizing same-sex marriage]?") anyway?
Well, that would almost make Perez Hilton seem like the dumb bitch in the situation. But we know that he can't be a dumb bitch, because he's not a woman!
Because that's the extra layer of misogyny that he added to the entire competition with his comment there in the video. He's saying that she's already acting like a bitch by centering her entire life around a competition against other women for the prize based on how well they please the male gaze.
But she's not even a smart bitch, she's a dumb bitch. Jeez, she's a whore who didn't know how to make others happy, that's why she lost the competition. Couldn't she be smart like the other whores on stage and answer the question in with a respectable, mainstream answer that doesn't alienate people because it doesn't express her opinion?
It's not like a bitch is entitled to an opinion anyway. If I wanted to know her opinion, I'd give it to her! Haw, haw, haw.
But that's the point of these questions: to show that nothing from these women, absolutely nothing, escapes judgment, and, therefore, should be faked. Their opinions don't matter, it's their ability to articulate what they think will please others that matters.
Imagine Prejean gave an answer along these lines:
That's an interesting question. I absolutely do not think that other states should follow suit after Vermont's expansion of the oppressive institution of marriage. Marriage has long been used to buy and sell women as chattel and should be dismantled instead of strengthened. There are many great solutions for opening up the rights of marriage to all couples that protect many types of families -- including those headed by single parents, same-sex couples, and polyamorous people -- instead of just families that oppress women. So I believe that Vermont's example is rather terrible.
Even if you don't agree with that statement (it's not where I am either), just think about what would have happened if she said that. Would she have won? It isn't homophobic, and if she really did believe it, she could very well have said that. Then again, it's not like the point of these questions is to hear what she has to say on a topic.
Ultimately, the Miss USA 2009 title went to Miss North Carolina, Kristen Dalton. Kristen Dalton's final question came from soap opera actress Kelly Monaco, who asked whether she thought taxpayer money should be used for corporate bailouts. Miss North Carolina's pageant title winning answer? "That's a tough one--no--I don't think U.S. taxpayer's money should be used to bailout companies," she responded and then gazed glassily into the audience as she basked in the applause.
Wow. She must have been a genius to figure out where to jump on that one considering how popular bailouts are. And her answer to that question probably got a lot more viewers than anything Elizabeth Warren has said about the bailouts....
And, to be clear, I think that Prejean's answer to the question was bad. I don't agree with her position at all. But the entire spectacle would make me projectile vomit if I ever sat through it, so I can't just take one stupid statement out of context and pretend like everything else that's offensive and stupid doesn't exist.
A male judge calling one of the contestants a "dumb bitch" for not answering a political question incorrectly in the right way says more about pageant culture than Prejean's answer did.