While the Miss America Pageant has long promoted chauvinism, the recent release of emails between the organization’s chief executive and head writer that contained sexist and derogatory remarks about its female participants proves the pageant should come to an end, writes Jennifer Weiner in the New York Times. It’s not surprising that an outdated contest that objectifies women has allowed such misogynism to percolate among its male leadership, but in the #MeToo era, there’s no room or excuse for this behavior. It’s time to look beyond the beauty pageant to celebrate women.
Despite the suspension of Miss America Organization’s CEO Sam Haskell for offensive and disturbing emails demeaning its participants, the annual pageant should continue, albeit with a different leadership that has a more positive and respectful view of women. The crude behavior of Haskell should not distract from the fact that the pageant has empowered young women through millions of dollars in scholarships and tuition waves for decades. Many of its past participants hail the pageant as their ticket out of poverty, providing educational opportunities they would otherwise never get.