The wonderful, radical Peruvian beauty pageant

Dear President Trump,

I missed an incredibly fantastic angle when I wrote you yesterday about the radical Peruvian beauty pageant contestants. It must have galled you as a former beauty pageant owner and unabashed misogynist that they used this venue where women are traditionally treated as so much eye candy for men and turned it on its head by calling out the horrific rates of violence against women there. Truly wonderful icing on an already awesome cake! I hope you were eating a slice of your most delicious chocolate cake when you watched the clips and that you choked on it. Just deserts, so to speak.

I read more about the pageant today because I was initially puzzled that the broadcaster allowed the program to continue after the first couple of women stated their “measurements.” Had it been a renegade sort of thing there’s no way the powers that be wouldn’t have frantically cut to a commercial or some other program. I learned that the pageant organizer came up with the idea several weeks ago and that all parties were in support (or at least didn’t block the effort). And all the contestants participated. Also, when each woman talked about her specific violence statistic, pictures of women and girls affected by that kind of violence were shown, reminding people of the real, individuals harmed or killed by domestic violence, sexual assault, rape, sex trafficking. We absolutely have to reckon with the reality that individual girls and women are suffering horrible assaults and losing their lives at the hands of men and that the world hasn’t seemed to give a crap and instead insisted on blaming the victims. Her skirt was too short. Her cleavage showed. She was drunk. She didn’t say “no” enough times. She flirted. She’s slept around. Then there’s the victim blaming and distancing women have done to try and kid ourselves we are immune to such violence: I’m strong, that could never happen to me; I’d never wear those heels; what was she thinking wearing that? All these tactics amount to lame bullshit the whole world needs to get past because we have to get down to business and stop the insanity of all forms of violence against women and girls.

May interpersonal safety become a given.
May we not settle for bits that are parsed out only when we tow the lines.
May everyone’s health be everyone’s concern.
May men figure out how to treat women with full respect so there can be peace in this world.

Tracy Simpson

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