Thursday, March 29

Queen wants to be a Queen without initiation

Life as a female has its ups and downs. Sure, the ups are wonderful, but I'm here to tell you as an authoritative source, the downs can hit rock bottom. Women are involuntarily initiated into the female club at birth. The estrogen downs smack us in the face before we can even drive a car.

Hazed by our own hormones, our teenage years are consumed by acne and tears. Tormented by an extra X chromosome, we're forced to face the challenges of menstruation, mascara and menopause. Who in their right mind would voluntarily join this club?

Jenna Talackova is one woman who seems to relish her membership in the female club. Talackova won the Miss Vancouver beauty pageant, qualifying her for the Miss Universe Canada pageant. The winner of Miss Universe Canada moves on to compete in Donald Trump's TV broadcast, Miss Universe pageant. Last week, Talackova was disqualified from the Miss Universe Canada competition. Apparently the stunning Miss Talackova is transgender.

She (he?) was born male and had "gender reassignment surgery" at age 19 to become a female. I had no idea one could be reassigned. I would like to be reassigned as a princess which would only be a matter of paperwork and not nearly as complicated as gender altering surgery. There would be no need for anesthesia and no potential medical malpractice suit. I try hard not to think about the details of Talackova's surgery for many reasons but I can't help it, my mind keeps returning to the operating room. The surgical procedure must be incredibly difficult for the doctor and patient. And what medication could possibly manage that level of pain?

Last week, the Miss Universe Canada organization issued a media release stating that Talackova was eliminated "because she did not meet the requirements to compete despite having stated otherwise on her entry form. We do, however, respect her goals " What are Talackova's goals? Does she want to be beautiful and compete in beauty pageants? She is already beautiful and has an eerie likeness to Ivanka Trump. Could she not be a model or perhaps participate in another Donald Trump TV show, such as "Celebrity Apprentice"?

Talackova was approached after pageant staff found evidence on her Facebook page that she was in fact transgender. How many times must it be proven that social media is the two-faced friend that will stab you in the back at any given moment?

The basic pageant rules on the pageant website state that a contestant must be a single female between the ages of 18 and 27. A spokesperson for the pageant organization also said that Talackova broke contestant rules which specify each contestant must be a "naturally born female" (a rule included in all Miss Universe pageants). Talackova wrote on her application that she was born female when in fact she was obviously born male. Talackova also objects to the wording "naturally born." I suppose it's fair to say that she was naturally born considering she didn't hatch from an egg. She is now 23 but technically was a man at age 18 and a woman at age 19.

According to a report on, not long after her surgery, Talackova competed in Miss International Queen in 2010, a competition for transgender and transsexual people. In an interview posted on YouTube, she said she knew she was a girl at age 4.
So what defines Talackova's gender? Her chromosomes are X and Y, making her biologically male. However, by appearance, she is female.

Meanwhile, Talackova has consulted an attorney and has used her Twitter account to express her belief that she was unfairly disqualified. Talackova tweeted, "I'm not going to let them just disqualify me over discrimination." It's illegal in Canada to discriminate against a person based on their gender identity. A movement to support Talackova has gained momentum. Almost 25,000 people have signed a petition to reinstate Talackova as a contestant in the pageant.

How about a petition that claims Talackova can't be reinstated as a contestant because she lied on her application? Talackova says she looks and feels like a woman. I think I look and feel like a princess but I wouldn't put that on a job application.

Should Talackova be allowed to compete in the Miss Universe Canada competition? I don't know. One thing I do know; in this undeniably male dominated society, I think it's totally unfair that men have figured out a way to join the female club without going through the initiation.

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