Alex Blaze

Perez Hilton is a dumb bitch

Filed By Alex Blaze | April 21, 2009 11:00 AM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, Media
Tags: Carrie Prejean, LGBT, marriage, Miss California, Miss USA, pageant, standards of beauty, women

The YouTube moment from the Miss USA pageant is making its way around the internets. In case you didn't see it, Pam posted the video of Carrie Prejean, AKA Miss California, opposing same-sex marriage when asked about it by Perez Hilton. She lost the pageant to Miss North Carolina, and now she's blaming her loss on the Homosexual Agenda.

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.

</snark>

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.

Take the answer from the winner of the competition, which was about corporate bailouts:

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.


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Hilton handed the Christian Right a wonderful weapon, the "hate driven" pushing of the "homosexual agenda"

Who actually cared what she believed about same-sex marriage until Hilton raised the issue?

And then, his response to her answer is so very over the top as to put us in a very vulnerable position.

William Shakespeare could describe this event and its fall-out best "A tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing."

I personally believe that some people don't support gay marriages because they don't have marriage, and that's why we need to improve education in the Iraq and such as.

And the NBC interview where he recanted his apology, stood by his offensive depiction, and announced that he wanted to call her a "cunt"?

Gay men annoy me to no end in how they can be such patriarchal bastards. The fashion and pop culture crowd in particular is so viciously misogynistic.

I don't have much respect for pageant contestants or Perez Hilton. This episode proves why.

Perez' bad behavior is an implosion that will mean he probably won't eat lunch in Hollywood much longer.

Relieved at the thought of him gone.

Joseph Kowalski | April 21, 2009 5:52 PM

Who cares what a beauty pageant contestant thinks about gay marriage anyway? The question should have never been asked.

Perez Hilton is perhaps, the most embarrassing and least qualified representative anyone could come up with to represent gay people.

What angers me is that the religious right will quote this obnoxious Perez character and cast him as a representative of all gay people.

I thought her answer was not bad at all. She expressed a personal opinion but acknowledged that it may go against other people's ideas.

Brad Bailey | April 22, 2009 6:41 AM

This whole affair is sordid and tawdry. Who the hell elected Perez Hilton spokesman for the gay community? Thanks to him, Ms. Prejean now basks in the lime light of Fox News in her heroic new role as "victim of the homosexual agenda."

I'm going to step in it since no one else has...

I completely see Alex's meaning - especially behind the word "bitch." But let's remove that word and replace it with "ass." Let's say he called her a "dumbass" instead.

Would that change things for many of you pissed off that he opened his mouth? Would it make it better for those wondering "Who the hell elected Perez Hilton spokesman for the gay community?" Because we did.

And we also elected me, Alex, the commenter, and each and every single one of us who speaks up regularly or even once on behalf of our community. Do we all get it perfect each time? Nope. Neither did he.

But his point stands if you remove the sexist word. She was dumb for answering the question like that. She could easily have used any of the nice polite code words that the religious right have offered up like a Boy Scout's kit full of prejudice and bigotry. She could have given a non-answer that would have made the audience and judges feel the warm fuzzies for her.

Instead, she got basic facts wrong and used terminology that did nothing but irritate and anger half (or more) of the audience. When Perez says that Miss America is supposed to "unite," he's not incorrect. That answer is not uniting, it's dividing. (Witness Obama's stance which is the same as hers, but not taken as a divisive stance meant to piss off large segments of his target audience.)

And, yes, it was stupid to do that. If you're going to be a beauty pageant contestant, you already know that 99.9% of it is based on pleasing the judges and the audience. From preening and obsessing over their looks (including the swimsuit competition) to the talent portion and the Q&A (which, I might remind, was included this year again after viewers complained that the competition had gone too far in the "How pretty are you?" direction while neglecting that the winner might want to have at least 1/4 of a brain so she can answer media questions without sounding like a completely vapid airhead), Miss America is about nothing less than pleasing people.

You don't please people by pissing off large segments of them. That may not make her a "dumb bitch," but it surely makes her a "dumbass."

But let's remove that word and replace it with "ass." Let's say he called her a "dumbass" instead.

Good point. Just like if you take Prejean's statement:

In my country and in my family, I think that I believe that a marriage should be between a man and a woman.

and put the word "don't" in between "I" and "think," it becomes a lot better too.

I think this will become my standard response now to anyone who posts about how they disagree with anyone: just change around a couple words and what they said is alright.

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | April 22, 2009 9:11 AM

Alex, I certainly get the "Barbie Doll" connection and the objectification of women.

I certainly understand how Perez is a dumb ass.

However, Perez got 20 minutes on "Larry King Live" today where he continued to come off like a dumb ass who had gotten too many free samples out of the hotel's refrigerator.

He is now a particularly useful (for some) bad example of how short term stupidity can undo years of hard work by people in the trenches. Unfortunately media loves to watch people be dumb asses and he will continue to receive a number of free lunches. (sorry Fr. Tony, you can't stop gravity)

After all, why was Zsa Zsa Gabor a media darling from the 1950's to her death.