Monday, April 2, 2012

Leave Jenna Talackova alone

I'm a little late to the show on this, but last week there was a story about the refusal by Miss Universe Canada to allow a transsexual Canadian woman to compete:
Beach shots depict her as every inch a curvaceous beauty queen.
But 23-year-old Jenna Talackova was born male, and that led the Miss Universe Canada organizers to disqualify her last week as a finalist in the 61st Miss Universe Canada pageant in May.

The rules of the contest run by the Donald Trump organization say entrants must be “naturally born” females.
The Vancouver woman underwent a sex change four years ago.
“She did not meet the requirements to compete despite having stated otherwise on her entry form,” said a statement from Miss Universe Canada. “We do, however, respect her goals, determination and wish her the best.”
The pageant’s New York-based parent backed the decision.
“After review, organizers discovered that Jenna Talackova falsified her application and did not meet the necessary requirements to compete in the 2012 Miss Universe Canada pageant,” a statement said.
The disqualification has won Talackova widespread sympathy and raised the question of whether the pageant has the right to decide who is female.

Talackova is obtaining legal counsel and is expected to make a statement next week, said her spokesman, Rory Richards.
Her change of gender was hardly a secret before the event because she had competed in the 2010 Tiffany Miss International Queen Competition for transgendered and transsexual women in Pattaya, Thailand. In a video interview for that pageant, she said she had lived her life as a female since age 4, began hormone therapy at 14 and changed sex at 19.
“I regard myself as a woman with a history,” she said.
Connie McNaughton, Miss World Canada in 1984 and first runner-up for the world crown, called the decision outdated and discriminatory.
Some countries have their candidates undergo cosmetic surgery, she said, so what’s wrong with sex-change surgery “because in your heart and soul you believe yourself to be a woman?”
A Vancouver transgendered activist, Jamie Lee Hamilton, said Talackova could sue for violation of her human rights.
“She was born with male genitalia and is being treated as a second-class citizen,” Hamilton said. “Under the eyes of the law and the medical profession, she’s a legal female.”
Prof. Patrizia Gentile of Ottawa’s Carleton University, who did a dissertation on beauty pageants, equated the ban with the exclusion of blacks and Jews from pageants in earlier times. “We’re seeing more and more transgendered women wanting to be beauty contestants,” she said. “The rule is incongruent with the culture.”
Besides, she said, “Your genitalia have nothing to do with how you perform femininity.”
I can't say that I necessarily agree with the decision by Miss Universe Canada, but I can understand it and believe they had a legal basis for doing so. Many viewers of the beauty pageant might find "Ick Factor" of a transsexual contestant, no matter how beautiful she may be, a bit much. I can't support Ms. Talackova in any legal action to be allowed to compete.

That said, Ms. Talackova is certainly within her rights to have her sex changed and to live her life as a woman. It makes her happy and she's not hurting anyone.

So why all the hatred from John Hawkins over at Hot Air?
Who has the right to decide “who is female?” That would be God and, yes, your genitalia have EVERYTHING to do with how you “perform femininity,” even if you make the terrible mistake of having them cut off.
If Jenna Talackova wants to pretend to be a woman, that’s his right. He can “feel” like a woman, have female hormones pumped into him, and have extensive surgery that makes him look like a woman. However, all of that doesn’t change the fact that he’s still a man and men don’t want to see a man competing in a beauty pageant. This isn’t a civil rights issue or an arbitrary decision to be mean to anyone; it’s just a basic statement of fact. If plastic surgeons could add horns to a man’s head and surgically attach an udder and hooves, it wouldn’t make him into a cow, no matter how much he feels like a cow. It’s no different with your gender. If people want to pretend otherwise, that’s their choice, but it’s wrong to try to force everyone else to deny reality for the sake of political correctness.
Mr. Hawkins believes that Ms. Talackova should still be addressed as a male. Why? That is hurtful to her and only serves to exacerbate her obvious case of gender dysphoria, of which sexual reassignment surgery is an effective treatment (perhaps the only effective treatment), and reminder of something that may be painful and uncomfortable. What harm has she done? She at most has overstepped, nothing more. She has a right to live her life as she sees fit. What John Hawkins wants to do is put her in a box (remember, they're not allowed here) not of her own choosing. What gives him that right?

God decides who is female, huh? Didn't God also decide to give humanity the ability to change that decision in extreme circumstances?

Wouldn't God deciding who is female also mean God decides who is disabled from birth and who is not? Does that mean we should not try to cure birth defects since God decided these babies should have them? Because that is the natural progression of Mr. Hawkins' logic.

And as bad as Mr. Hawkins' post is, many of the comments to his post are worse.

This is the major reason why, though I am a security conservative, I cannot identify with conservatism overall, especisally social conservatism. SoCons are just as bad as leftists are at trying to impose their will over everyone. The only difference is whose ox is being gored.

As for Jenna Talackova, I cannot say I agree you should be allowed to compete in the Miss Universe pageant against their wishes, but on everything else, you go, girl! You've showed amazing strength to get even this far against incredible and incredibly personal bigotry. That's a strength of character few, if any, of your detractors can match.

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