Essay on PHIL 1119 Assignment

Submitted By ghkerf
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Contemporary Feminist Theory and the Miss. Universe Pageant The Associated Press “LOS ANGELES — Donald Trump wished a transgender woman who wants to be Miss Universe good luck Tuesday as his organization said she can vie for Canada’s spot in the pageant. The Miss Universe Organization said it made the decision Monday to let 23-year-old Jenna Talackova compete in the 2012 competition to become Canada's contestant. Talackova and attorney Gloria Allred urged the organization to clarify its position and displayed a copy of Talackova's passport listing her as female, as do her birth certificate and driver’s license. Talackova, a Vancouver resident, underwent a sex change four years ago after being born a male. Her sex change initially led organizers in Canada to disqualify her from the 61st Miss Universe Canada pageant next month, citing a rule that she must be "naturally born" a woman.
Talackova pleaded with the pageant's leaders to drop the rule. “I am a woman,” Talackova said Tuesday. “I was devastated, and I felt that excluding me for the reason that they gave was unjust. I have never asked for any special consideration. I only wanted to compete.” Talackova and Allred urged Trump to state that she can vie to represent Canada in the Miss Universe contest if she wins the Canadian contest. They also called on him to eliminate the rule. “I do not want any other woman to suffer the discrimination that I have endured,” Talackova said.” Here is the ABC news interview with Barbara Walters http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wp5h_0puRCg Gender feminism is the essence of modern feminism or contemporary feminist theory. Judith Butler explains how gender is performed subconsciously, due to the social norms created. Essentially, society prevents us from choosing our gender. In the case of Jenna Talackova, she was born as a male, but associated herself as a female, and eventually made the transition to becoming a female. It is clear that Jenna Talackova displays the performative actions of a female. Therefore, she is undoubtedly a female. As a result of Jenna Talackova’s story, contemporary feminist theory should become a social norm in order to decrease discrimination among gender. Judith Butler argues that gender is performative. Meaning that we perform gender specific activities placed on us by society, but these normalities can be resisted. Butler even states “why don’t we think instead about standards for participation under gender categories that have the aim of being both egalitarian and inclusive?” (Wise Distinctions). Although in her article she is referring to the sex determination tests being used in sports, this statement also applies to Jenna Talackova’s case. Some critics disagree with this idea, Susan Haack “is highly critical of the view that there is a feminine perspective on logic and scientific truth. She holds that many feminist critiques of science and philosophy are overly concerned with “political correctness” (231). This statement may be true, that many feminist critiques can be very politically correct, but it is for good reason. Denying Talackova participation in the Miss. Universe pageant could fall under the Bona Fide Occupational Requirements and Bona Fide Justifications under the Canadian Human Rights Act. As the Miss. Universe pageant requires all participants to be born as a female, this discriminates against possible transgender participants. After this scandal broke, The Trump Organization stated that they had “modernized” the rules, to accommodate for this type of issue. This story can be directly related to Donna Haraway’s “The Cyborg Manifesto”. Haraway states that “There is not even such a state as ‘being’ female, itself a highly complex category constructed in contested sexual scientific discourses and other social practices. Gender, race, or class-consciousness is an achievement forced on us by the terrible historical experience of the contradictory social realities of patriarchy, colonialism, and…