Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Judged

Written by Liza Beth

In the Miss USA pageant, which occured on Sunday April 19th, Miss California made it to the top 5 and was asked a question by blogger Perez Hilton. Watch the question and her response at this link.

This has created a firestorm from both Perez (who went on in interviews to call Miss Prejean a bitch as well as a c*nt which he later retracted) as well as the contestant (who has yet to accept Perez's invitation to meet for coffee just to chat but speaks in interviews about how she prays and feels sorry for him). In the days that have followed Perez has filled his twitter as well as his blog with links and articles related to this topic while also reminding people that Miss North Carolina won the pageant and deserves the praise her new title is due. Miss California has been seen on talk shows, Fox News, as well as in interviews where she stands by her comments, saying that she followed her heart and knew it would be an answer people would not like to hear.

Miss California was runner up for the crown and many from the pageant (organizers, other judges, former pageant queens and current representatives) said she lost the crown with her answer. The issue that has come to play is whether political correctness should trump personal ethics.

While many in the country may agree with the answer given, was it proper for Miss California to say something divisive when in a competition to become an ambassador for the country? Did the actions of this young woman show her as someone staying true to herself and following her heart, or did they show her as being narrow minded or discriminatory? What is your take on this issue? Was Miss California correct to answer how she did? How do you feel about Perez Hilton's response to her statements?

41 comments:

Liza Beth said...

To be totally honest, I agree with Miss California's sentiments. What I do not agree with is how she came across and the way she answered. Perez said in an interview that he had nothing against her opinion, just that she gave no option but marriage for only a man and a woman. That in turn alienated a lot of people (himself included) and may very well have cost her the crown.

In the end there is a right and a wrong way to say and do things. I think her heart was in the right place but saying that because of how she was raised she thinks she believes something is not an answer which merits praise. This is not because of her thoughts but because of how she came across. If she had said that she personally feels religious marriage should be between a man and a woman but respects the rights of others that would have been different. A simple "No offense" after offending a large people group is not appropriate.

I am surprised that I had this response to the situation since typically I would not consider myself on Perez Hilton's side, but in the end he had a fair point and Miss California has backed herself into a corner. In my opinion she offended a lot of people not because of following her beliefs, but because she answered in a way which burned bridges.

jace said...

This is probably at face value, one of the least important things going on in the world today but I am actually a little unsettled by it. I have a hard time thinking that Perez scored this girl solely on how she delivered her opinion. I think the fact that he didn't like her opinion factored a great deal into his giving her a zero for the interview. Just look at how he reacted and then unnecessarily bashed her. I think he's the one who comes off badly in this.

I absolutely think that you can present your opinion in a thoughtful way that is designed not to offended but let's face it, some people are offended just by that the fact that you may express an opinion different from theirs especially with this extremely polarizing political issue. Neither side is above reproach in how they have treated people with the opposing viewpoint.

I dislike that it came off as some sort of litmus test. I don't like the implications for intellectual honesty. Don't tell people what you believe, tell them what they want to hear? That starts down a very slippery slope.

MSR4891 said...

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Eileen said...

That was a tough question, she's young, she didn't handle it all that well, but I admire that she has the courage of her convictions and she's not afraid to voice it.
That being said, what Perez Hilton went on to do afterward, in my opinion, was more intolerant than anything this young contestant said. Perez called her a 'stupid bitch' and in a television interview he said that he really wanted to call her the 'C word'. He's speaking about her unkindly because he doesn't agree with her religious upbringing. Very nice, Perez. He's on national TV judging young women in a beauty contest and these are the terms he thinks in when he thinks of women, 'bitch' and the 'C word'. Way to go, Perez.

SamanthaNC said...

Yes, she is an ambassador for the country. The utlimate ambassador for our country- President Obama gave the same answer when asked that question by Rick Warren during a nationally televised Town Hall, where both he and John McCain spoke on many issues.

His answer was certainly more articulate, as it should have been, but the heart of the answer was the same. "I believe marriage should be between one man and one woman."

Wonder who Perez voted for?

She should've been judged based on the way she articulated her response- not by her beliefs. I do not believe the manner she responded would have mattered to Perez no matter how diplomatic she could have been. Unless she evaded the question or gave the answer he wanted to hear it would have effected her score negativley.

Jen said...

Perez Hilton is vile and only supports people who agree with his personal agenda. If anyone expresses an opinion different from his, he becomes downright venomous. On a daily basis he calls people 4-letters words, draws bodily fluid on pictures, and takes pleasure in embarrassing others. I cannot believe the public gives someone like this the time of day. Regardless of any pageant contestant's point of view, he spews the worst kind of hate and tries to destroy those who have morals. And the public eats it up! I don't understand why. Our society is truly screwed up. In my mind, the REAL controversy should be why PH is allowed to judge a beauty contest at all. Time and again he proves himself to be a very ugly, hateful person.

Jacelynn said...

Actually I agree with Miss California, however I really don't think that was the way for her to get her message across. I definitely think what Hilton did after is beyond wrong but he is justified to a point. The way she worded her response alienated a large group of people and when you want to be a public figure you need all the people you can get. Do I think she should have gave the answer he wanted? No, I don't think she should have to lie about her beliefs to get votes but I do think she could have been a little more tactful and respectful of others feelings.

Liza Beth said...

Eileen, I do agree with you that there were things Perez did after the fact which were in extremely poor taste. I guess in my mind I almost expect that from him (after seeing his site and what he does with pics, etc).

In an interview Perez was clear that it was NOT her opinion that offended him, but the way she presented it. I can see the point there and why so many would be put off in someone saying they think something because of how they were raised. It just comes across as extremely sheltered and blind to how many people out there think differently. Like I said in my earlier comment there are right and wrong ways to say and do things. I think Perez had an interesting question which was in line with others that were asked and which the pageant officials approved. I also think the contestant was caught off guard and (as some pageant contestants do) thought on her feet with a bad result.

I guess I feel like this is not a matter of being politically correct as it is just being sensitive to others who are around you. Miss California has since clarified her answer and I am sure she really did mean well and intend to share how she felt in her heart. At the same time she did so in a way that really offended a lot of people since her answer was closed minded in an industry and competition that is full of people who feel a completely different way. I do not at all believe someone should push aside their convictions but I do believe there is a way to say things where you can ensure they know your thoughts without hurting others.

Fanny said...

Our society is truly screwed up. In my mind, the REAL controversy should be why PH is allowed to judge a beauty contest at all. Time and again he proves himself to be a very ugly, hateful person.I totally agree. I think it was just the Pageant itsself trying to get away from the more conservative image it's gotten over the years. I'm sure it's pretty safe to say he won't be getting another invitation. I think in the end he came out looking much worse than she did. Bottom line, don't ask a question if you don't want to hear the answer.

Eileen said...

Liza Beth, I agree and it would be nice if Perez would follow that same advice. Find a way to say something that would ensure we knew his thoughts on the answer the contestant gave (like we wouldn't already know his feelings?) without hurting her and calling her names.
And if she felt that marriage is between a man and a woman I don't think she should have hid that (my feeling is Perez knew this about her already), I think in the long run she would be looked at as a liar or a phony if she didn't disclose that. And once you disclose that fact, there are a lot of people that are going to be hurt. It doesn't matter how much you sugar coat it. If two people feel they have a right to marry and you say they don't because of the very fact that they are the same sex, I don't care how nicely or how politically correct you try to state that, it's not going to be a welcome opinion.
People are not hated for that opinion (of marriage being reserved only between a man and woman) because they state that opinion in a 'stupid' way, they are hated for that opinion because others feel discriminated against. That's my opinion anyway.

SamanthaNC said...

I think she was really caught off guard and nervous- and I'm sure the fact that the question came from Perez didn't help.

Had she been more diplomatic in her answer it would have gone over better with the general public. I don't think it would have mattered to Perez no matter how she worded it though, I don't care what he says.

This guy is known for publicly outing celebs who wish to keep their sexual-orientation private- with no remorse. He has a lot of nerve preaching to anyonelse.

The way he has handled the situation is anything but professional, the things he has said about her are vindictive and petty. The fact that he of all people was a judge is laughable and further cheapens the already extremely questionable Trump franchise- at least in my opinion.

SamanthaNC said...

Eileen- I totally agree. You said it much better than I could!

GLO said...

If I were to judge her answer, I would giver her poor marks for being incoherent and not answering the question properly. Saying, "I was raised to believe marriage is between a man and a woman," does not show critical thinking or logical support for an answer to his question.

It's great she followed her beliefs, but she should really have supported her beliefs better than with such a non-thinking answer.

Yes, Perez Hilton is a rude little man with no class, but Miss CA did not come off well either.

Personally, I think states should get completely out of "marriage" and only issue civil union contracts to all people. Leave "marriage" to religious institutions, and give equal rights and access to benefits to everyone.

jace said...

This apparently is what Perez wanted to hear:

“Perez, that’s a great question and gay marriage is a very hot topic in our country right now. I think it’s a question that each state should answer for themselves because that’s our forefathers designed our government. The states rule themselves and then there are certain laws that are federal.”

More diplomatic? Maybe. But it also says nothing. It is watered down to the point of being useless. Sounds like politician talk to me. :)

Mom said...

She really didn't answer the question. Although I think Perez's suggested answer is a bit bland and a little too PC for me, she should have gone that route.

I don't agree with Perez's immediate video calling her a stupid b$tch, either.

WTF is Donald Trump doing having such a goofball panel of judges anyway?

I sat on a judges panel for a state Miss and Teen pageant several years ago. The girl who should have won did not because of political crap with several of the judges. I was happy to see the girl I was pushing for run the following year and made it to Miss USA.

I'm not much for pageant stuff, but I understand for some of these girls, it's a stepping stone to something bigger.

Liza Beth said...

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,517599,00.html

Donald Trump responds to the controversy and actually had something worth hearing for once :). He said what some here have said-- it was kind of an unlucky draw of a question in general and that she spoke what she felt which is not a bad thing. He also congratulates the new Miss USA for winning the crown.

Eileen said...

Glo, I agree completely with you about leaving marriage to religious institutions and have a legal union as far as the government is concerned. I got lambasted for that opinion by some gay acquaintances though who feel they have every right to get 'married' not 'unionized' as they put it. It did not matter that they would receive the same benefits as a married couple, they wanted the word 'marriage'. So that wouldn't end the debate either, that is no solution as far as some are concerned.
I don't know what the answer is and I'm glad I don't have to decide and I'm equally glad I don't have to be asked that question in front of millions of viewers!

Paulina said...

What happened to the days of beauty pageants when the questions were more along the lines of, "If you were running out of a burning house, what three objects would you grab and why"? I guess I'm not a fan of beauty pageants in general and have no idea why this type of question was even asked there. The level of cheese at pageants completely turns me off, and I don't understand the point of them. That being said, I agree with those of you who said that answering a question with, "That's the way I was raised," is a cop-out. I also think that if the contestant had thought out her answer and been more diplomatic that Perez would've bashed her anyhow. That's what he does.

Kuromi said...

I personally admire anyone who answers from the heart rather than by what's considered PC, even if I don't agree with them. I respected and understood Miss California explaining the way she was raised and her family's mores.

Her entire answer, however, deserved a markdown because of faulty logic: In part she stated that "my country" is against gay marriage. Clearly, what's recently happened in Iowa and parts of New England prove that "her country" by no means has a vast majority opinion against gay marriage. This shows she does not pay attention to national news, which would not bode well for her potential reign.

That said, I do think that Perez Hilton's response went way over the top, and probably confirmed ibn some minds that gays are indeed moral. Her answer spoke for itself, and didn't need this bitter bitchy queen to harp ad nauseum about it.

One more thing: Some people have talked about using the term "civil union" as a compromise between both sides. The problem with this, however, is that in practice "civil unions" have not afforded the same legal rights as does "marriage." For example, imagine that a gay couple is joined in civil union in one state that legalizes it, and then the couple has to move elsewhere (perhaps for a job during this economy) that doesn't recognize their civil union to be the same as marriage.

This is why proponents believe having marriage-for-all is the only solution. Of course, I've had gay friends tell me they would be very satisfied with "civil union" as long as it is defined with the exact same rights as marriage. It seems to me that people on both sides would not have a problem with this. I'd like to see someone coming from a religious standpoint saying that they object to the term "marriage" being used, but are totally OK with the term "civil union" giving gays everywhere the same rights.

Just my $.02 said...

While I agree both w/Miss California AND Perez Hilton (I'm basically neutral and whatever people decide to do or marry is up to them and I have no say in their sexual preference, same as I wouldnt want ANYONE telling me who to marry and who not to) But I believe a BIG part of pageants is etiquette and speech. These contestants get "schooled" on it....I truly believe Miss California's response was not one that an etiquette teacher would have advised and it could have been wayyyy better...as far as Perez Hilton, his demeanor is what has made him famous. Has anyone here seen his website? That's what his job is...I'm not sure but I'm willing to bet Miss America will be on his website (if not already) w/semen drawn on her face dripping from her mouth like he usually does. Her statement truly did have a lot to do w/her crowning and I dont blame the judges, Perez Hilton or not. Perez Hilton is just another story all on his own though LOL.

Nina Bell said...

Just my $.02.

I think most people are aware of who he is and have seen his website. I used to be a frequent visitor but I grew tired of it. Same with TMZ.

ThePaginator said...

Perez Hilton is vile and only supports people who agree with his personal agenda. If anyone expresses an opinion different from his, he becomes downright venomous.Isn't that the same rule at this and the other fan site? Only lovers need post.

I'm sorry you are all so closed minded not to realize that people who love each other have a right to get married.

Just my $.02 said...

Most people = Not all. Same thing that happened to you happened to me w/the Gosselins, but Hey!

Nina Bell said...

The Paginator

That comment was made by a person who never posts here and is not a regular here.

I think it would have been more close minded to not post it since I am actually for gay marriage.

Nina Bell said...

Just my .2 cents

I hear you.

SamanthaNC said...

Isn't that the same rule at this and the other fan site? Only lovers need post.

I'm sorry you are all so closed minded not to realize that people who love each other have a right to get married.
Hi Paginator

I'm not sure what other fan site you mean so I can't speak for them. Although, this isn't a fan site- it's just that the majority of us don't think the level of venom and malice that has been thrown at Jon and Kate (especially Kate) is necessary or even acceptable. If you read here, you see both sides- both for and "against" Jon and Kate, and the moderate group which I think most of us fall into.

I can't speak for everyone else but I haven't seen a close minded attitude here. Myself and many others feel that she shouldn't have been judged on her personal beliefs, just the way she articulated them (which I agree wasn't at all well spoken or diplomatic.

Saint said...

Isn't that the same rule at this and the other fan site? Only lovers need post.Then you must be a lover or you must be wrong. Which is it?

Eileen said...

I don't think anyone here thinks that Miss California did a 'top notch' job in answering Perez, I just think a lot of us feel she shouldn't be vilified for her religious beliefs, and right or wrong, I feel that she sounded a lot less hateful than Perez. I can agree that Miss California is held to a higher standard because her shtick is not to smear bodily fluids on photos of those she deems in some way inferior. But shtick or no shtick, Perez doesn't get a pass from me, he sounded hateful, something that I've always found to be intolerable on this blog when referencing the Gosselins.

My feeling is that it's discriminatory for gays not to have the same rights and not share in the same benefits as married couples when they have made the same commitment to a partner, but at the same time I try to be tolerant of the religious beliefs that others .

ThePaginator - I am far from a lover of Jon and Kate Gosselin. And I post here all the time.

Jacelynn said...

ThePaginator: Nope I don't think anybody here is closed minded. Like Samantha said she shouldn't have been judged on her opinion only in the way she conveyed her opinion. I think people of the same sex have every right to be together but I don't think they should be classified as a "marriage". Not that they aren't worthy of marriage just that marriage is a union of one man and one woman, same sex relationships should be classified as something else, something equal to marriage but with a different tittle. But thats JMO, I think same sex couples should have every right that married couples have but it is just a different thing. Anyways thats what I tried to convey with my first comment, it didn't come across well but I hope this is a bit clearer.

jace said...

Well said, Eileen and jacelynn.



For the sake of full disclosure, I am the same jace who has been posting here for awhile and have a couple of replies in this thread. Since jacelynn is also posting here, I thought I should (finally) reset my forgotten password so there is no confusion.

ThePaginator said...

The same but different.

Yes. That is equal.

Amazing.

Jacelynn said...

The Paginator: Its apparent you didn't read my full post, or perhaps you didn't understand it. Let me try one more time to make myself clear. Now remember this is all JUST MY OPINION. Same sex couples should have every right to the same benefits a married man and woman have. However I don't believe that same sex couples should be classified as marriage, to me marriage is between one man and one woman. However they should have something that is of the same value and meaning as marriage but a different word.

GLO said...

ThePaginator,

If you read my post, I clearly stated that I believe the state should completely get out of issuing marriage licenses, and only issue civil union contracts to all couples regardless of sexual orientation.

"Marriage" is a religious institution and should be left up to each religion to regulate for itself. That means if the religious organization agrees to marry both same-sex and opposite-sex couples, then they can, and the state would recognize all unions regardless.

This is the only way I can think of to circumvent the argument over the definition of marriage that is stymying this issue, and give equal rights to all while respecting religious freedom. If you could think of a better way, then please share.

Nina Bell said...

I understood what you were saying Jacelynn. It was clear and it was also clear that it was an opinion. Stated in a very respectful way.

Glo,

Very interesting and fair concept.

The Paginator,

Care to discuss? Or just tell us what terrible people we all are?

Isn't that the same rule at this and the other fan site? Only lovers need post. I am still waiting to hear your answer to Saint's question.

Jacelynn said...

Thanks Nina Bell. And GLO I like that idea, it would be fair, and still respectful.

GLO said...

Nina Bell and Jacelynn,

Thanks, but I cannot take credit for this idea. Currently in my home state of Iowa, there is major controversy since our supreme court recently declared a state law defining marriage as one man and one woman unconstitutional. This ruling has really angered some people, especially within organized religion.
This is just one of the many options that has been brought up to deal with this issue, but it is the only one that seems the most fair and fits the spirit of our country's ideals, IMO.

Eileen said...

That actually does sound the most fair, Glo, I'll be interested to see if that comes about, and if it will spread throughout the country. This way it doesn't step on religious freedom while at the same time it doesn't step on the rights of same sex couples. They may not be able to get 'married' inside some religious faiths but it wouldn't stop them from having a civil union that is as binding for same sex as it is opposite sex.

Anya said...

SamanthaNC Myself and many others feel that she shouldn't have been judged on her personal beliefs, just the way she articulated them (which I agree wasn't at all well spoken or diplomatic.

Samantha, I basically agree. I just really think this question was a no-win. Similar to abortion, people on each side of the aisle have very strong feelings and typically are not too willing to listen to another perspective. Even if her answer wasn't eloquent, I am not sure what she could have come up with that would have pleased the majority of either side.

On the plus side, she is getting a lot of exposure and support now, so 'losing' the title may not hurt her in the long run.

I agree with Glo that getting government out of the business of "marriage" and issuing civil contracts is the way to go, but I think it may take a couple of generations before the consensus is there to go in this direction.

jan said...

She answered the question honestly without critisism. Perez had no right to ask the question then condemn her for her answer. Our country is in such a sad state now. Everyone is required, by those that choose to live an alternate lifestyle, to not only agree but "celebrate" their choice. We are not allowed to pray in public and some want to remove the name of Jesus completely as offensive. Yet if some are offended by the language of others, sexual innuendos, and the barrage of offensive T.V shows and commercials they are labeled intolerant. People protest peacefully against the bail outs and are called stupid, red necks, bigoted by the press. I resent being labeled as an extremist because I oppose abortion or protest the bail outs. But their is nothing I or anyone can do about it. CNN has done nothing about the slur against us from Anderson Cooper, MSNBC has done nothing about the woman newswoman that not only argued with the protesters opinions but belittled them too.

It's so sad that only 8 years ago this nation was united in grief, compassion, brotherhood and patriotism and now it's like we are being torn apart...by people who are suppose to serve and protect and unite the people! Democracy is slowly being destroyed.

Sorry if this went off topic but I have been so depressed over the state of this country and the press and just wish we could go back to the simpler times.

Three Amazing Kids said...

I think they did not need to ask that question. There was a healthcare question that was asked, and the girl totally avoided it with nothing but fluff. I respect Miss CA even though I do not agree with her.

MoreCowbell said...

I flat out refuse to click on Perez Hilton's STD ridden site. It doesn't matter if I agree with Miss California, or not, what Hilton did afterward was disgusting and vile.

But what I really want to know if WHY Trump and the Miss Universe Organization gave a forum to a Z-list celebrity blogger who's claim to fame is drawing phallic symbols and semen droplets on pictures of celebs who don't kiss his ass? He's basically a extortionist. "Let me hang with you (and thus give me credibility by association) and I won't draw a penis in your mouth on my blog tomorrow." CLASSY.

Golf Clap to Donald for letting this walking, puss filled, semi-human ass boil on the judging panel in the first place.