Miss france may be a man


Personally the most intriguing thing about this I find is that people actually did something over a internet site. Is there any other accusation that would spark so much controversy with so little proof?:slight_smile:

Your link doesn’t work. I would have tried to look up the link for you and post a correction, but I have no clue what you are talking about, except your fiance might be a man. Hence you have not taken a position or proposed any view points, hence this does not belong in Great Debates. More MPSIMS. I’m still interested in what the link was.

Maxx, if you’d bothered to do a search of any of the online news outlets you probably would have found something. It was on Excite’s “News of the Weird” this afternoon - that Miss France, the winner of the French Beauty Contest (like Miss America, you know? :wink: ) may have been born a man, and therefore be transgendered.

This would disqualify her from competing in the Miss Universe contest.

My opinion on Beauty Contests aside, the big issue in this as far as I can tell is that the “news” was leaked on the internet, and the French are decrying it as just a “rumor”

Thanks for the info. I would not have gathered that from the OP. I don’t read the news from excite. ABC…Fox…sometimes NBC. I didn’t pick up on it in any of those. I’ll look at the article now that I know where its at. Thats all I was asking for.


I have a bad habit of not checking internet links. There somehow got a space in miss which translates into the %20
I guess it would belong in MPSIMS, except I did have something that I was going to say about it, only I forgot:)

Well, FWIW, the link does work, but it says, “Sorry, that page is no longer available”, and I notice on their home page that it’s already Thursday, April 26 in the UK. So I guess they don’t keep things up for very long.

Excite still has it listed, as “Is Miss France a man?” (Reuters), but the clickthrough just takes you to their My News Tracker page.
Reuters still has it up, under “Human Interest”,

http://www.reuters.com/news_article.jhtml?type=human&Repository=HUMAN_ REP&Repository StoryID=%2Fnews%2FIDS%2FHuman%2F2001-04-25T151710Z_01_L25453221_RTRIDST_0_ODD -BEAUTY-DC.XML

but I’ll be very much surprised if this link still works tomorrow. :rolleyes:

Hmm–rumor-mongers, pedophiles, prostitutes and criminals. Yep, sounds like Great Debates. :smiley:

Here’s the New York Daily News story.

So, are the wardrobe ladies supposed to do a strip search and body orifice probe, or what?

Prematurely? :wink:
So, whaddaya wanna debate, Asmodean? :smiley:

  1. Whether candidates for female beauty pageants should be genetically female?

  2. Whether “perfectly normal young ladies” compete in beauty pageants?

  3. Whether the Internet is indeed an uncontrolled medium where rumor-mongers, pedophiles, prostitutes and criminals can go about their business with impunity?

Note: hey, guys, ephemeral squibs like this don’t tend to stay up on news websites for very long, so don’t knock yourselves out looking for cites. That Reuters link gives me a “Sorry, that page is no longer available” like they always do. I don’t think they like being made into links. But it’s still on their News home page under Human Interest. (I added spaces to the link so it wouldn’t mess up the thread word wrap, so it won’t work as is, anyway. I just included the link to prove it really does exist out there, somewhere…)

And to address the OP (sort of), and get the discussion going, I think it’s silly to stipulate “must have been born a woman” for female beauty pageants, because otherwise we’re going to have to have DNA tests for all entries, which is silly.

IMHO. :smiley:

The link actually still works, its just something wrong in ubb code that adds a space, where a space should not be. Just delete the %20 that appears where the space is:)

What I wanted to debate was about very rigid definitions of gender don’t actually exist. The “natural born female” doesen’t state XX chromosones. Its trying to choose one scientific definition whereas there could be several.

Just goes to show that a man can do anything a woman can ;).

And since a beauty contest is, by definition, about “appearance”, about “superficiality”, about “skin deep”, then it shouldn’t matter which chromosomes are under the swimsuit.

A couple of comments on the cites provided so far:
If you are quoting a substantial portion of an article, then maybe you should consider paraphrasing instead of doing a copy and paste. As a matter of fact, IMHO paraphrasing is always a better choice, along with a link to the original article. At the SDMB we try to avoid copying someone else’s words too closely.

As far as Miss Universe in particular - at their website I was unable to find rules for participation. In their FAQ section (click on CORP. INFO at the top and then on FAQ’S at the top left) it is mentioned that cosmetic surgery is allowed, but discouraged; padding has been allowed since 1990 to help discourage cosmetic surgery. In another section of the webpage they say that competitors must have won their country’s national competition. There are also age restrictions. I didn’t see any rule saying “you must be a woman”, but I’m sure the rule exists.

My opinions:
[li]Beauty contests are shallow in the first place.[/li][li]A private organisation is of course allowed to make any rules they want for participation in a contest, but the rules you make reflect upon your organisation. Unreasonable discrimination should be avoided.[/li][li]If the rules state “natural born female” then I suppose they might have just cause to exclude a transgendered person. Of course, “natural born female” is not strictly equivalent to “born with a vagina and two X chromosomes.”[/li][li]I would suggest to the organisers that they have criteria similar to other widely recognized international organisations (e.g. the International Olympic Committee who, I’m sure, has rules to determine which persons can compete in gender-specific athletic events.) This would help them avoid controversy.[/li][li]Finally, I don’t see any reason for transgendered people to be excluded from the contest. Mentally (if that’s the right term to use), a transgendered person is female. Isn’t a beauty contest supposed to evaluate the mind as well as the body? The difficulty would be in determining what “transgendered” is and how to make that determination.[/li][/ul]

Duck Duck Goose - it looks like we used different criteria to arrive at the same conclusion! You say “it’s all superficial”, I say “the mind is supposed to be evaluated as well as the body”. The Miss Universe website says that, in the interview, the judges consider (click on “The Main Event”, “Judges”, “How the judges judge”) the candidate’s eloquence, sense of independence, self-confidence and understanding of today’s issues. One of the issues this year would presumably be, how should beauty contests treat transgendered contestants?

[“Miss Congeniality”]


[/“Miss Congeniality”]

In my opinion, if a person who happens to have been born male still manages to win a beauty contest, more power to him (or her). It’s bad enough that we have DNA testing at the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival (spit) and in the Olympics; now we have it at the Miss Universe pageant.

I wonder if they would also exclude cryptomales (persons born with XY chromosomes but with mostly female phenotypical expression) or other forms of intersexuality. Some intersexed individuals do not learn that they are intersexed until their late teens or early twenties.

I am reminded of the woman who covertly won a drag queen contest. Nobody revoked her prize even though the contest was supposed to only be open to crossdressers. It’s quite hard for a woman to do a good job of pretending to be a man pretending to be a woman.

KellyM, while I do agree with your statement that a man winning a beauty contest intended for woman has shown considerable ingenuity that should perhaps be rewarded, I don’t see how one could claim that it’s unreasonable on the part of the Miss Universe corporation to restrict their contest to a particular gender. In most if not all human societies, standards for beauty differ for a man vs a woman. The USA (the country that hosted the first Miss Universe competition) is an excellent example of a country where that difference in judging beauty standards for each sex is obvious. Allowing only women to be contenders does not contravene society’s general feeling on the subject. Is it discrimination? That’s a more difficult question. Most people seem to accept sex-separated athletic competitions with no qualms.

But that’s not what they’re doing. They’re restricting it based on chromosomes, or perhaps on an arbitrary decision made by a doctor at a point where it was too early to tell what that particular child’s gender actually was. Assuming, arguendo, that Miss France was born male, there is still no doubt in my mind whatsoever that she is a member of the female gender. Her chromosonal sex has nothing to do with that. Gender is a social construct, not a medical one.

Renee Richards’ participation in professional tennis after her reassignment in 1975 was controversial at the time (she was refused entry into the 1976 U.S. Open on the grounds that they felt that she was male). It took a lawsuit to get her into the 1977 competition. See this link.

According to the Odd News on Excite, the Miss Universe pageant has revamped it guidlines about this already. After a transvestite won a contest, they said you have to be a “female citizen” of your country. Then, man who had undergone a sex change won a contest, so they updated the language again. I believe it now reads “natural born female” or something similar.

Love it.

In the other thread on this subject, I actually addressed these specific points. I’m not going to quote them here, since both threads are short enough to scan over easily. The executive summary is that Olympic gender definition is done precisely wrong in all respects; it’s not a good example of how to determine these things. If your entire biological development has been female, you shouldn’t be disqualified simply because that biology is at odds with what your chromosomes should have determined.

If there really has to be a test for this sort of thing, simple visual inspection is the way to go.

Although this may prove surprising I am going to have to differ with KellyM here.

And chromosomes for the vast, indeed overwhelming majority of any given population determine sex and in fact gender. Nor is sex a non-important difference biologically. We do not need to adopt the bankrupt false dichotomies of the past — supposed differences devoid of good empirical support — to note that sex differences are fundamental to human biology on many important and non-trivial levels.

If an organization wishes for whatever reasons to dedicate its activities in an otherwise non- discriminatory manner in any ordinary sense to one sex, I see no problem. Above all if those activities, such as sport, are ones in which there are real fundamental differences in capacity. For a tiny genetic minority this may present issues which perhaps can be ressolved, but for the large part I suspect it serves most people well.

Well, I would disagree. While gender may be the social construction of identity it quite clearly is something based around medical/physical/genetic realities, which for the vast majority of humanity are generally quite clear and fundamental. That of course does not mean that all of it is immutable or that any particular society’s is necessarily correct per se. However, in the end I see this sort of observation as being as erroneous as the excessive restatement of the race observation, that is concluding because the classic races are essentially just social constructs that all such differences are just social constructs without grounding in biologically reality. That ain’t necessarily so.

While it is currently fashionable in humanities circles to deny gender differences have “real” — by which I mean hard, fixed roots — my understanding is that genetics is pointing in other directions. Of course that does not verify the simplistic ideas about gender differences but only suggests that the assertion that gender is a social construction and not a medical (by which we can read biological/genetic) construction is false. It may be both with varying roots in both.

I believe the point of the pageant is to display and celebrate women that stodgy, middle-aged, white guys would most like to score with, so that would leave out transgendered individuals.