Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Have You Ever Thought About Rules?

Accompanied by "Wake Up" by John Legend & The Roots (remake) and "Everyday People" by Sly & The Family Stone.

**Written a week ago...procrastination at its best**


So this morning I was chatting about the disqualification of the transgendered Miss Universe Canada pageant contestant with my mum. This contestant (Jenna Talackova) was disqualified for not being a "natural" born female which to me is ludicrous as she identifies her own self as being a woman and went through (at an early age I might add) the entire procedure to transform into the woman she has always identified being. She is also "legally" a female, with all personal documentation supporting that she is a female. It's discrimination at its best! When I asked my mum what she thought about the situation, she said "well there are rules." Ack!!! That word "rules". It makes me cringe and that statement made me rather angry. I instantly thought "rules can be changed!!! Especially ones that don't make sense!"  I read an article about this incident and it was mentioning the fact that "natural born females" in these pageants perform many other kinds of surgeries and procedures to alter their appearances - boob jobs, nose jobs, dying of hair.  Yes it's not changing an entire gender, but how is going under the knife to alter ones "natural" appearance, making that person any more of a natural born female than a transgendered person? Why is the rule so specific to "natural born females"? Why do transgendered pageants have to exist? Why can't there be one pageant and more acceptance? Clearly organizers thought she was female enough to have her go that far into the competition.

This whole situation got me thinking about the concept of rules. I understand there needs to be some boundaries and rules in our lives and in this world - rules to ensure there is safety, order, respect, and fairness. However, rules become outdated and some rules have been created based out of narrow-minded viewpoints of life or biased opinions and one's own value system! Society and the world is constantly evolving and is evolving even quicker it feels as of late. With this evolution and increased awareness within society, there are constant changes in viewpoints, ways of living, technology, consciousness, awareness, and acceptance. It would only be natural that with these changes rules also change - either dropped completely or revised to suit the times. If people don't challenge the existing rules that make NO sense any longer, change and evolution become stagnant until there is a revolt.  If rules weren't challenged, black people would still be sitting at the back of the bus or using "coloured" washrooms (although racism still does exist in many places). There would still be slaves. Smoking would still be in restaurants and bars and slowly killing children in cars!! Gay marriages would never have been legalized (a work in progress for sure, however some progress is better than no progress). I'm definitely not saying the examples above don't still happen in places around this world, however there have been major improvements in all these areas due to the challenge of rules and increased awareness of social injustice and inequality. This pageant situation was an opportunity to progress as an organization and become an example of acceptance (and make themselves look a little less superficial!). I suppose the organizers aren't quite ready for change and are more concerned about keeping up with their image and keeping the peace between other contestants that perhaps feel threatened by the transgendered contestant. Perhaps the contestant could have been upfront about their gender change, however if she is a legal female in all regards and has felt she was a female all her life, why does she have to justify her identity to anyone?

Anyways...this is only my own opinion and an oversimplified one at that. At least if anything, this pageant controversy has gotten people thinking, so that in itself is progression. Hopefully when things die down it is not forgotten.

UPDATE: Jenna is now allowed back in the competition, however she needs to meet the "gender recognition requirements of Canada, and the standards established by other international competitions." Ok. Clearly she did or, again, how did she get put through in the first place!!!!?! Ugh.

Lovely Lianne XOX

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