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Murali

Murali did his undergraduate degree in molecular biology with a minor in biophysics from the National University of Singapore (NUS). He then changed direction and did his Masters in Philosophy also at NUS. Now, he is currently pursuing a PhD in Philosophy at the University of Warwick.

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119 Responses

  1. Avatar Burt Likko says:

    What do I do if I already don’t watch pageants?Report

  2. Avatar Will H. says:

    I think Ms. Talackova has already drawn enough attention to win some endorsement deals.
    Do a video for Whitesnake or something.

    I more or less put this story in the “Russian Olympic Women’s Swim Team” category.

    That said, I really don’t see the charm behind a “beauty” pageant.
    I think of it more as a “bimbo pageant” where they pick the Queen Bimbo.
    I’m not real keen on media events, and especially so where the event is contrived especially for the media.Report

  3. Avatar Tod Kelly says:

    Done. I officially announce here, in public, that I will no longer compete for either the Miss America or Universe crown; nor will I agree to date winners of either competition should they ask.

    Sometimes you have to make a stand.Report

  4. Avatar Kazzy says:

    From the article:

    “They also must not be married, pregnant, and have to fill out a more comprehensive form if they meet the basic requirements.”

    Does anyone find that a little creepy?  Can’t be married?  I understand it is the “*MISS* Whatever” pageant but I didn’t realize they actually enforced that by rule…Report

    • Avatar Plinko says:

      Apparently there are “Mrs.” pageants as well, though they’re less popular.Report

      • Avatar Kazzy says:

        I guess I just struggle to see the need to separate.  I understand if there are different age brackets or if you want a separate pageant for moms.  If anything, being married/older/pregnant would probably be a detriment; if a woman wanted to compete in spite of this, why not?

        Just seems like a bunch of old dude want to stare at a bunch of young girls untainted by marriage or pregnancy.

        I could be entirely wrong though.  I know little about the purpose or organization of such events.  But that is the gut reaction from this individual.Report

        • Avatar Kimmi says:

          original purpose included advertising, but also funds for college (miss america, specifically).

          And I think it was more about men minding their wives showing off for other men.Report

        • Avatar Plinko says:

          I cringe at the notion of either type of pageant myself.

          There is a very nice woman on my staff that is massively involved in the local/state pageant circuit, she’s very enthusiastic about them. To an extent that makes me temper saying that they’re just purposed for said leering, but it hasn’t changed my mind yet.Report

          • Avatar Tod Kelly says:

            One of my partners here was, 10 years ago, second runner up for the Mr. Oregon competition.  He is hands down that favorite partner of every single female staff member.

            I think the Mr. competitions are far more honest than the Miss.  It’s just straight up and down, “Here’s what my body looks like.  Compare it to all the other bodies.  Which do you prefer?”  No one asks them what if questions that require answers that center around “The children!,” or “World peace!”Report

            • During the whole Vanessa Williams scandal (Kids!  Did you know that Vanessa Williams existed before “Ugly Betty”? It’s true!), Bloom County did a whole parody plotline about Steve Dallas entering the Mr. America pageant.  (Naked pictures of him were eventually printed in “National Geographic.”)  Among the contestants’ talents were break-belching and target spitting.Report

              • Avatar Murali says:

                Kids!  Did you know that Vanessa Williams existed before “Ugly Betty”? It’s true

                I was torn between  saying either

                a) Yeah, she sung that pocahontas  song right?

                b) No Way!!!Report

              • Avatar Tod Kelly says:

                I remember that!

                Also, since you brought it up… looking back, wasn’t the Vanessa WIlliams the weirdest sex scandal ever?  She wins this competition that’s really kind of a harmless male sexual fantasy on stage, and has it stripped away because she did this harmless male sexual fantasy thing in a photo studio.  It speaks to a kind of weird compartmentalizing of male sexual fantasies: “OK ladies, we’re short on time so I need you to listen up.  I need the women I want to bang because of how they look in a bikini in this line.  Women I want to bang because they’re naked with other hot chicks, I need you to get in this line!  Remember, you can only pick one line!”Report

              • Avatar Kazzy says:

                It is ALMOST AS IF women have their choices in life curtailed as a function of them being women.  Almost.  Not quite.  BUT ALMOST….Report

              • Avatar Kimmi says:

                this comment? def. female. 😉 not that I read it before commenting on the other board.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy says:

                Can’t I just be a guy who sort of “gets it”?Report

              • Avatar Patrick Cahalan says:

                “OK ladies, we’re short on time so I need you to listen up.  I need the women I want to bang because of how they look in a bikini in this line.  Women I want to bang because they’re naked with other hot chicks, I need you to get in this line!  Remember, you can only pick one line!”

                This is the best comment of the week.  I pictured Tom Cruise’s character from Tropic Thunder delivering the line.Report

              • Avatar Kolohe says:

                That’s the thing.  I don’t think pageants have really anything to do with (straight) males anymore, which is reflected in the TV ratingsReport

              • Avatar Kolohe says:

                And that npr also says similar things about the coginitive dissonance over Vannessa Williams.Report

              • Avatar MikeSchilling says:

                She was the best thing in the Elmo movie.Report

              • Avatar boegiboe says:

                Vanessa Williams blows the sexiest raspberry ever in that movie.

                Mandy Patinkin was THE best thing in that Elmo movie, though.Report

              • Avatar MikeSchilling says:

                Patinkin was good, but he was no Iniguo Montoya.Report

              • Avatar Tod Kelly says:

                It probably says something profoundly unhealthy about me that despite being a straight red-blooded male, my first thought whenever I see Vanessa Williams is “Hey! There’s that woman who married Rick Fox! … sigh … I wish Rick Fox was still playing.”Report

              • Avatar Will says:

                I believe that in that plot line questionable photos of Steve Dallas also appeared in “Dog World.” (“Arf! He’s Nude!” was the sub-head)

                God, I love Bloom County.Report

              • You are correct.  I couldn’t remember the exact title of the other magazine, so I choose to elide it.  I do remember that one of the other articles on the cover was “Breed your Basset,”

                And I, too, love Bloom County.Report

    • Avatar Mike Schilling says:

      “They also must not be married, pregnant, and have to fill out a more comprehensive form if they meet the basic requirements.”

      That may be the worst-written sentence I’ve seen all year.Report

  5. Avatar Scott says:

    Why not start a Miss Tranny Canada pageant?Report

    • I will bet you a shiny, shiny nickel that one already exists.  Different corporate sponsors, though.Report

    • Avatar James Vonder Haar says:

      The Negro leagues were pretty sweet, but that didn’t make Jackie Robinson any less momentus.Report

      • Avatar Scott says:

        The only difference with Robinson was skin deep unlike “Jenna.”Report

        • Why the scare quotes, “Scott”?Report

        • Avatar Murali says:

          The only difference with Robinson was skin deep

          The difference is about the same. With Jackie Robinson, it is about a whole bunch of alleles being different. It is also a matter of a number of alleles with Ms Talackova. All that is different is that the allelic differences in question lie on the sex chromosome.

          unlike “Jenna.”

          I would appreciate it if you showed people the proper respect by referring to them by the name that they would desire to be referred by.

          i.e. the fact that you put the scare quotes arround her name says something about you which is not very flattering.Report

          • Avatar Scott says:

            No, Robinson didnt need any surgery or change the color of his skin to make him a great baseball player.Report

            • Avatar Murali says:

              Talackova was also always a woman. She has identified as female since she was 4. And has beenn on hormones since she was 14.

              Why would the fact of having had surgery to invert her penis and remove her testicles count? Lots of beauty contestants have had nose jobs, breast augmentation etc done. For a lot of transexuals their male equipment often counts as deformities. I know it weirds us guys out that our pride and joy would count as a deformity, but what counts as a defority is relative to our preferences. For example, gynecomastia on a male would count as a deformity for the guy (if such were unwanted) even though lots of girls have breasts.Report

              • Avatar James K says:

                This is just a bit of a nitpick, but she won’t have been on hormones since she was 14.  She would have been taking lupron instead, which just arrests puberty.  It would have kept her from developing male characteristics until she was old enough to make the decision to transition.

                Not that this affects your point in any way.Report

              • Avatar Murali says:

                The national post article says she started hormone therapy. Does hormone therapy include androgen blockers?Report

              • Avatar James K says:

                It’s probably just a case of loose language.Report

            • Avatar Kimmi says:

              Okay “scott”, then the next time they run an Idol Singer show, you’re okay with disallowing all gay folks, because they aren’t the same gender as men.

              And you’re likewise okay with disallowing all women whose actual mental gender is male, despite the fact that they’re quite a bit harder to tell than gay men? [n.b.: not lesbians — that’s a different kettle of fish, and not correlated with the research I’m referring to but not citing]Report

              • Avatar boegiboe says:

                Glad you’re supportive, Kimmi, but the way you wrote that, it looks like you think gay men are not fully male-gendered. Is that what you think? Please clarify.Report

              • Avatar Kimmi says:

                Okay, there’s a couple of confounds here:

                1) the construct of gender is social. people are free to think whatever they want to think…

                2) some people’s brains are wired differently than others — and some people’s brains are wired comparatively more similarly than others.

                It’s this second part that I’m getting to (whether it’s biologically innate or a product of environment is rather immaterial). And yes, that was some seriously odd research! (not my crew what did it either).Report

              • Avatar boegiboe says:

                Of course you can think what you want, and I didn’t say otherwise.

                If what you’re thinking of is the study that said gay men’s brains are wired somewhat more like straight women’s brains than like straight men’s brains, I think I understand a bit better. But, if we’re talking about the gender that any given person identifies with, being gay is orthogonal to being male or female. Some trans-people are gay and some are straight.

                If you’re talking about those folks who understand their gender expression and sexual orientation to be inextricably tied, bully for them, too. Some folks who identify as gender-queer feel that way. I say identify with people according to the gender they express, whether male, female, or something else. In the absence of detailed knowledge, it’s safe to assume a person expressing as male feels 100% male, and the same for someone expressing as female. Your comment implied it’s safe to assume gay men are not male-gendered, and this is simply not the case.Report

              • Avatar Kimmi says:

                whatever study i’m thinking of, it’s probably safe to say that it’snot the one you’re thinking of. it studied heavily the women whose brains were like men, for example. they still liked men, actually.

                Yeah, I know, i stated what Iw as saying really poorly. my bad.Report

        • Avatar James Vonder Haar says:

          Skin color is at least phenotypically expressed. A trans individual has secondary sex characteristics, primary sex characteristics, and hormone levels identical to those of their transitioned gender (or can; in particular not all trans individuals opt for genital surgery for a variety of reasons.

          The only thing to indicate their previous gender is a few inert strands of genetic code that are no longer expressing themselves. As Burt says, if it walks like a duck…Report

  6. Avatar James Vonder Haar says:

    My apologies. I am literally sitting in the lobby of my firet day of therapy for massive head trauma I sustained in an accident on St. Party’s Day. If my short term momory’s off for a few months, thats’s why 😛Report

    • Avatar Murali says:

      No problem. As I said, this is not my usual beat so its easy to get confused. Also, get well soon.Report

    • Avatar James Vonder Haar says:

      Aaaaand that was a reply derp. I am off to a flying start today.Report

      • Avatar North says:

        Don’t sweat it dude; focus on getting well. If fumbling in the comment thread a bit helps you pass the time recovering more easily that’s a price I have no doubt the League will be willing to collectively pay.Report

    • Avatar James Hanley says:

      Holy cow, James, I’m sorry to hear that.  Here’s wishing you all the best for a full and speedy recovery.

      Maybe the League could issue hard-hat bowlers to its regulars?Report

      • Avatar James Vonder Haar says:

        That would be wonderful. Massive brain swelling required a craniotomy. I’m literally missing half my skull right now, so a helmet is a requirement. (they’ll be able to put it back in a few months when the swellin goes down). The one that I have is a little utilitarian; a bowlder hard hat would do nicely, I think. I was also contemplating getting it painted like Magneto’s 😛Report

      • Avatar James K says:

        As the proud owner of a bowler I suspect it would work OK as a helmet for at least light blows to the head, they’re quite sturdily constructed.Report

    • Avatar Tod Kelly says:

      Ouch!  I want to add my best wishes for a speedy recovery to everyone else’s.Report

    • Avatar boegiboe says:

      James, I hope all the king’s horses are nowhere near your hospital. Nor Hannibal Lector. Nor Sylar.

      Now I’m gonna have nightmares.

      Heal well; despite my jokes I know very well how serious a situation you’re in, so I’m sending magic happy thoughts your way.Report

  7. Avatar Damon says:

    Help me out here.  This is not a public service.  The contest has rules.  This individual misrepresented themselves, was discovered, and booted.  Why should I care?  As suggested above.  Create your own contestReport

    • Avatar boegiboe says:

      Trans-women don’t want to treated as not-quite-women. They feel like women 100%, and want to be treated that way. When a nation-wide contest for Canadian women says, essentially, that a trans-woman is not woman enough for the contest, it seems arbitrarily discriminatory. If this were, say, Miss Nabisco or Miss Exxon, that would be more like a completely private, self-defining affair, and maybe they could set whatever rules they want. But this contest is called Miss Universe Canada, implying it takes the best (in certain ways) of the women Canada has to offer. If Jenna was good enough to be a finalist, then isn’t she pretty clearly woman enough for the competition?Report

    • Avatar Murali says:

      That the contest counts being a transwoman as misrepresenting yourself is precisely the dickish thing going on here. We’re not disputing that as a private contest it has the right to set the rules. I’m just saying that the Miss Universe Canada organisation at the very least are being jerks.Report

      • Avatar Scott says:

        I guess “Jenna” should complain to the Canadian Human Rights Comm. They will listen to anything.Report

        • Avatar Murali says:

          Am I saying that her rights have been violated? No, I’m just saying that the way the rule was interpreted was a fairly crappy way to do so.Report

          • Avatar James Vonder Haar says:

            Are you absolutely certain there are no equal rights questions at play here? Equal treatment or equal protection seem implicated. Without running afoul of negative rights based strictures, I don’t think it’s controversial to say that black ball players had their liberty meaningfully constrained in the days before they were allowed in the big leagues. The refusal of white business owners to enter into voluntary contracts on the basis of race was a meaningful constriction of their liberty. This would seem to be a similar case.Report

        • Must…resist…urge to…edit comment… and add quotes… to “Scott”‘s …name.Report

          • Avatar Tod Kelly says:

            My temptation was to go in and add quotes to random words in the comments, like:

            No, Robinson “didn’t” need any “surgery” or “change” the color “of” his skin to “make” him “a” great “baseball” player”.”

            Thank goodness we are both far too mature for those kind of hijinks.Report

          • Avatar Scott says:

            Go ahead and add quotes if you wish. I admit the first time I used the quotes no malice was meant, it was a device to point out the artificiality of “Jenna” vs Robinson but since folks got their panties in a knot about it and thought it would be cute to put my name in quotes I thought I would continue with the quotes.Report

            • Not that it matters much, but my comment about adding quotes to your name was well after you used quotes around Jenna’s for the second third time.  So it doesn’t really hold that you were responding to me, no matter how cute I am trying to be or the state of my panties.

              [Edited to reflect that I had miscounted, and in fact the scare quotes had been used even more times than I first remembered.]Report

      • Avatar MikeSchilling says:

         the dickish thing

        Uh-huh.Report

      • Avatar Damon says:

        I really can’t get too worked up about this since it’s in Canada (aye) but meh…for the lulz….

        “Trans-women don’t want to treated as not-quite-women. They feel like women 100%, and want to be treated that way. ”

        Well, they ARE not quite women, regardless of whether or not they FEEL that way.  100% women have the capability to bear children.  I don’t think (given the quick amount of research that I did) that Trans women can bear children.  Secondly, genetically, they ain’t women. 

        Yeah, jerky move.  So what?  They acted when they found out she was in violation of the rules.  I’m all for public criticism of the pageant admins for their jerky move, but the dude got caught.  I’m kinda thinking that this individual opened himself up for this exposure/consequence by applying….Report

        • Avatar Murali says:

          Well, they ARE not quite women, regardless of whether or not they FEEL that way

          No, they are women. They are just not genetic females.

          100% women have the capability to bear children.

          No, many genetic women are infertile, have had hysterectomies and certainly most women will undergo menopause if they reach a certain age. None of this makes them any less women even though they are incapable of having children.

          Yeah, jerky move.  So what?

          So let’s call it out publicly. It seems that people (even if they don’t hate trans people) tend to overlook them in ways that disrepects their personhood simply because they don’t think that this will hurt their profits. i.e. most heterosexual males will not care one way or another and will continue to watch the pageant. Take away their core audience and they may becom more sensitive to others’ feelings.

          That’s what the OP is about: public criticism and boycotts. Or didnt you get that I wasn’t avocating for legislation, only various kinds of social approbrium

           I’m all for public criticism of the pageant admins for their jerky move, but the dude got caught.  I’m kinda thinking that this individual opened himself up for this exposure/consequence by applying….

          This is not about being PC, but about showing basic respect: we should respect people’s self definition. Please use a female pronoun and stop referring to ehr as a dude.Report

          • Avatar Damon says:

            No, they aren’t women.  The genetics rule here.  Folks can FEEL they are a dump truck, don’t make them one.  As to my comments about all women can bear kids and your comments, well duh.  My point still is valid.  Do I really need to clarify  that while SOME genetic women can’t bear children, I’m pretty damn sure 100% of transgender women can’t.  Feel free to link to a site showing that they can–cause that be real interesting reading.

            “That’s what the OP is about: public criticism and boycotts. Or didnt you get that I wasn’t avocating for legislation, only various kinds of social approbrium”  Sure, I got it.  I just don’t agree with it.  

            “This is not about being PC, but about showing basic respect: we should respect people’s self definition. Please use a female pronoun and stop referring to her as a dude.”  Wrong, your comments are all about PC.  “we should respect people’s self definition” is about as PC as you can get.  Respect is earned, not given.  Applying to a pageant under false pretenses isn’t respectful of the pageant or the viewers.  I’d have respect for the person if he’d have organized a protest rather than applying.

            And I reserve the “right” to call a dude a dude regardless of whether he’s altered his body to appear to be a woman-that and the fact that I’m just too damn lazy to care about the proper pronoun.Report

            • Avatar Murali says:

              No, they aren’t women.  The genetics rule here

              This is compoletely non-obvious. Why? Sex is about chromosomes Gender is a whole different ballgame. There is a whole range of gender expressions out there. This thoughtless insistence that one’s gender identity should match one’s sex is indicative that you are so steeped in your own cis-gendered privilege, that not only have you not struggled with gender issues, you in your wide ranging of the internet, have not encountered the idea that people’s gender identity may not necessarily match up to their sex and that they may struggle with this. Look, I m not saying that you have to be some varied gender to understand this, only tht you need to be somewhat self aware. I am a cis-gendered straight guy. I still have enough awareness that people’s genders don’t fall neatly into two categories nor do they match up with their biological sex. Its not like I have a transgendered friend or relative. All one has to do is keep one’s eyes open.

              As to my comments about all women can bear kids and your comments, well duh.  My point still is valid

              No its not. If lacking the ability to bear children is sufficient to disqualify someone from womanhood (and having said ability is sufficient to qualify someone for it) then the fact that some genetic females lack the ability (and in some cases never had it) is sufficient to disqualify them from womanhood as well.

              Wrong, your comments are all about PC.  “we should respect people’s self definition” is about as PC as you can get

              Look, if being PC is just about basic human decency and common courtesy then sure it’s PC. But if that is the case, do you know what kind of asshole that makes you for not being PC? Or, if PC is just about having some kind of bludgeon to attack one’s political enemies, then sure there is nothing wrong with not being PC. However, then respecting people’s self identity is not just about being PC, but also about basic human decency. Of course if some people lacked this basic decency, that would make a good political bludgeon, but that’s just a bonus.

              The reason why its about human decency? Try to place yourself in the other person’s shoes for the moment would you care if other people just ignored your situation and addressed you in whatever way they felt like?

               Respect is earned, not given.

              Not necessarily. We respect other people’s rights, their privacy, their personal space, their culture etc whether or not such things are earned. Certain things are just respected by default. There might be some things people may do such that we need not respect some of their rights, or their culture etc, but respect is still a default position on a great number of things and does not necessarily need to be earned. Like courtesy, it is just something we afford people in order to avoid being unnecessarily abrasive.

              Applying to a pageant under false pretenses isn’t respectful of the pageant or the viewers.

              It wasn’t under false pretenses. That’s the whole fishing point. The fact that she has a Y chromosome is not something that she has hidden. It was fairly well known when she applied.

               I’d have respect for the person if he’d have organized a protest rather than applying.

              There is no way to have known that the pageant would reject her if she had not applied first. I’m betting that if she had merely protested, someone would say that she is the real bigot for assuming that the pageant wouldn’t accept her.

              And I reserve the “right” to call a dude a dude regardless of whether he’s altered his body to appear to be a woman

              You know that you’re being a dick when you start insisting on your rights in a conversation which is patently not about your rights but merely a polite request to observe common courtesy.

              that and the fact that I’m just too damn lazy to care about the proper pronoun

              But not too lazy to write a full sized response defending your use of the wrong pronoun. Anyway, I’m glad that you concede that the female pronoun is the proper one.

               Report

              • Avatar Damon says:

                I’ll try to be clearer….

                How do we differentiate the two sexes?  Reproduction.  Men can’t bear children, women can.  That is the single most significant difference, notwithstanding your more nuanced differentiation between women who can’t have kids, are post menopausal, etc.  They are “women” because they could, did, could have, etc.  A male that’s “transformed” can’t have children.  Perhaps that’s clear enough.  The “plumbing” isn’t there.  Am I wrong about the ability of male who’s been “transgendered” to woman bearing children?  Please correct me if I’m mistaken here.

                Now, as to insensitivities and PC:  Frankly, your whole writing smacks of PC.  “is indicative that you are so steeped in your own cis-gendered privilege, “.  ANYTIME someone uses the term “privilege” I recognize I’m dealing with someone PC.  And yes, I’m familiar with “gender issues” through my extensive interweb browsing.  I make a distinction between gender and sex.  The sex is genetic, the gender is whatever you want it to be.  As to your comments:  “Try to place yourself in the other person’s shoes for the moment would you care if other people just ignored your situation and addressed you in whatever way they felt like?”.  If it was someone I didn’t know, or some random person in the street, then NO.  I don’t give a rat’s ass what other people think.  Screw them.  If this person was an acquaintance (work or social) I would most likely ask them to address me with my preferred label.  If they refused, then they aren’t worth anymore of my time, unless they provided a very compelling argument as to why not–that might then become the basis for some understanding, because I can respect someone with a well articulated counter point backed up by rational thought.

                Respect:  You’re confusing “proper acceptance or courtesy” with esteem for the person.  I can “respect” Rick Santorum’s or BOB’s personal space but still view them as lying scumbag politicians I wouldn’t want to spend 5 minutes with in an elevator.

                Pageant: Well, the pageant guys should have made their decision upon application and not have waited until the well into the pageant shouldn’t they?  THAT was a dick move in my opinion.

                “You know that you’re being a dick when you start insisting on your rights in a conversation which is patently not about your rights but merely a polite request to observe common courtesy.”  Perhaps “rights” is better replaced with “opinion”.   Meh, so what?  There’s a lot of crap in this world.  There’s too much whining in this world.  Man (or insert your appropriately selected PC approved gender reference label) up and cope.

                “But not too lazy to write a full sized response defending your use of the wrong pronoun. Anyway, I’m glad that you concede that the female pronoun is the proper one.”  I don’t concede that at all.  Frankly, I just got tired to trying to maintain a consistent gender reference in my writing.  The generic “he” was easier.    After all, I’m lazy.  And speaking of lazy, our “conversation” has been fun, but I’m going to move on and spread love and joy in other posts here Murali.   Enjoy.

                 Report

  8. Avatar Kazzy says:

    Murali-

    I am correct in my understanding that Singapore, like much of SE Asia, is far more progressive on issues relating to gender identity and related topics than America?Report

    • Avatar Murali says:

      Thailand is pretty much an exception. Singapore and the surrounding muslim countries are extremely regressive. In Singapore, trans-women are only legally recognised as female (and thus have the right to marry males) once they get the operation. Anti-sodomy laws are still in the books and things that don’t portray homosexuality in a negative light are seriously restricted. Part of my scepticism of democracy is based on polls which show that repealing such laws is opposed by more than 70% of the population.Report

    • Avatar Kazzy says:

      Bleh… I hate that word progressive… I suppose I meant open to abandoning the traditional gender binary and the presumption that sex and gender are one in the same.Report

  9. Avatar Patrick Cahalan says:

    Let’s assume that everyone on this thread knows me well enough that this is not intended to be a “gotcha” question.

    Should Jenna Talackova be allowed to participate in women’s powerlifting competitions in the Olympics?

    Is your intuition different from whether or not she should be allowed to participate in the Miss Universe pagent?  If so, is this because of your assessment of the pageant vs. the Olympics?  Is it a practical objection… you think Jenna competes on equal ground in the Miss Universe pageant but may have an unfair advantage in the Olympics… or is it just because you think pageants are a bunch of hooey, or something else entirely?

    I think she absolutely should be allowed to participate in the Miss Universe pageant, under their own premise for contestants (from their history page):

    These women are savvy, goal-oriented and aware. The delegates who become part of the Miss Universe Organization display those characteristics in their everyday lives, both as individuals, who compete with hope of advancing their careers, personal and humanitarian goals, and as women who seek to improve the lives of others.

    If that’s what you’re trying to recognize, I fail to see how a transgendered person doesn’t qualify hands down as a legitimate candidate.

    On the other hand, I can hardly expect good taste from anything attached to the Trump label.Report

    • Avatar Kazzy says:

      PC-

      I say no.  The only objection would be if her hormones were out of whack in such a way to give her an advantage.  However, they would need to test each and every participant, set a treshold above which would be considered “too high” (even for cis women), and exclude everyone who surpasses it.

      I believe there was a situation in the Olympics where a woman was, after the fact, found to have an atypical sex chromosomal pairing.  Even before this, there was a big outcry because she did not fit a certain standard of feminitity, even by athletic standards.  I don’t remember the outcome and are having trouble googling the story (not sure what terms to use… she wasn’t transgender… I don’t know what country she was from… guh…).  I’ll see what I can uncover.Report

      • Avatar Kazzy says:

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caster_Semenya

        “The federation also explained that the motivation for the test was not suspected cheating but a desire to determine whether she had a “rare medical condition” giving her an unfair competitive advantage.[

        Don’t ALL athletes have rare medical conditions that give them unfair competitive advantage over the rest of us?  Isn’t that sort of the definition of being elite?

        I do think you get into a more gray area if, say, someone underwent the change very recently and had the hormones and physical make-up of the other gender absent the genitalia.

        And, of course, this all brings up the question of the genders (or, really, sexes) competing separately in the first place…Report

        • Avatar Patrick Cahalan says:

          Don’t ALL athletes have rare medical conditions that give them unfair competitive advantage over the rest of us?  Isn’t that sort of the definition of being elite?

          This is one of the counter-objections, sure.

          And, of course, this all brings up the question of the genders (or, really, sexes) competing separately in the first place…

          Yes, you can go down that rabbit hole as well.  Things can get ugly down there.Report

          • Avatar Kazzy says:

            That is an interesting rabbit hole to explore.  However, it may be one increasingly worthy of genuine, honest exploration as we become more of intersex individuals, transgender folks, and other issues that demonstrate the instability of the traditional gender/sex binary.Report

            • Avatar Patrick Cahalan says:

              There’s two justifiable things in conflict, there.

              If a woman can compete with men, a default segregated sports environment will make it extremely difficult for her to cross the border.  There’s no particular reason why a woman, for example, can’t compete with men in a number of different sports, and yet there is very much a real difficulty for them to get acknowledgement and acceptance.

              On the other hand, I can see the value of a WMLS or WNBA league.

              In the middle we have these folks that don’t fit either mold.Report

      • Avatar Murali says:

        She was a genetic male who had Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome.

        Here is the Time articleReport

      • Avatar Scott says:

        K:

        She was a south African runner/sprinter.Report

    • Avatar Murali says:

      There doesnt seem to be any reason why she would have an advantage in sports. Without the testosterone, her muscular and skeletal development would have been typical of women. I am not a doctor, but I doubt that she would have a phusical advantage in weight lifting especially since she went through a female puberty rather than a male.Report

    • Avatar Mopey Duns says:

      Interesting question.

      If she commits a crime, to which jail do you send Jenna?Report

    • Avatar MikeSchilling says:

      Absolutely not.  Look at how skinny she is — she’d hurt herself.Report

  10. Avatar Tom Van Dyke says:

    hubba hubba

    Report

  11. Avatar Tom Van Dyke says:

    I guess nobody recognized Charlene [formerly Charles] Barkley.Report