Miss England protest, London

// 24 July 2009

Outside Hilton

Reports on Monday evening’s protest against the Miss England beauty pageant are now up at Mind the Gap: London Student Feminists and Soloman’s Mindfield.

Many people stopped to talk and join in. Got some really good contacts from young angry women who were just passing by. ‘Damn straight it’s sexist’ said one. Loads of men also stuck around. A lovely old woman in hijab chanted with us too. A car full of teenage girls with their mum hooted and waved.

Here’s another a picture on the Evening Standard website.

Meanwhile, U.S. based Bitch Magazine blogger Mandy asked, Is This Feminism at work?

See, the winner is twenty-year-old Rachel Christie, a heptathlon competitor who’s goal is to win the 2012 Olympic Games in London. She happens to also be the first Black woman to win the competition.

Photo from solomonsmfield shared under creative commons license

Comments From You

Jennifer Drew // Posted 24 July 2009 at 12:09 pm

Yes a black woman won this latest round of Mis-ogyny but claims feminists challenging Mis-ogyny are only focused on white women is a deliberate tactic of ‘divde and conquer.’ If US Bitch magazine blogger Mandy had cared to read Mind the Gap’s website she would have seen the organisers are challenging the dehumanisation of all women not just white women. Mis-ogyny is designed to make women compete against each other and this includes white and non-white women. Who benefits from the ‘divide and conquer regime’ not women but certainly the male organiser and corporate sponsers are profiting. A Cosmetic Surgery company was one of the sponsors and doubtless was on hand to provide advice to women on how to achieve that mythical male-defined ideal of feminine beauty by having their bodies mutilated by invasive unnecessary surgery. Cosmetic surgery is expensive but the pressure on all women and girls to conform to a mythical male ideal of beauty ensures it is not women but corporate businesses predominantly owned by men who are the ones profiting.

The male organiser of Mis-ogyny has already earned a huge profit and he now plans to have a student Miss World contest. Are universities places of learning for female and male students or are they simply ideal places where clever men can exploit female students.

The concept of ‘beauty’ continues to be male-defined and it is this concept which reinforces the view that women can only achieve ‘the beauty ideal if they adhere to patriarchal and racist concepts.’

Yes Rachel Christie is a successful black athlete but all women irrespective of how successful or intelligent are constantly subjected to a barrage of minute examination and criticism of their bodies because they do not meet the mythical male-defined ‘beauty standard.’

Read Mind The Gap’s and Object’s website for a very succinct analysis of how and why beauty pageants are not ’empowering to any woman irrespective of ethncity or colour’ but certainly enable male entrepreneurs and corporate businesses to earn huge profits.

eleanargh // Posted 24 July 2009 at 3:36 pm

I didn’t think the Bitch writer was saying Object/Mind The Gap are only challenging white women’s objectification – rather she’s asking whether a Black woman winning meant that the contest was becoming less racist, challenging the statement that the pageant promotes a racist ideal of beauty. But I think it obvious that although a Black woman winning is progressive it doesn’t absolve the pageant from accusations of racism – Black women are still held to white ideals; light-skinned, relaxed hair, etc. Maybe that’s something that needs to be elaborated when we’re saying “pageants are racist”, if the average observer doesn’t realise that those standards are ethnocentric.

nick // Posted 28 July 2009 at 10:25 am

I happened to work a Miss Wales contest this year ….I work at a venue which it is held ….do I a lot of work there..not just that ….

Anyway ….not only was there a Miss Wales …but a Mr Wales contest too …

I’m guessing the England contest would be the same ..

There were 28 young white men hoping to win that prize ….one of the rounds for them …and not the girls …was a swimwear section …..the guys paraded in swimming shorts etc …….the screams from the mainly female audience was loud ……

as for the ladies , I think only 3 out of 50 were non white …no black or oriental ladies ….and only one had short hair …….the rest looked all the same ……..

I’d like to know when people are protesting against Miss England contest

they are also protesting against Mr England contest ……….or does the

Masculinist community need to gets its act together and protest against

male objectification ??

As far as I am aware there were no protests at the Wales contest ….

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