Beauty pageants are a thinly disguised form of prostitution–a degrading reinforcement of women’s subordinate role in society–aside from being incredibly boring. Imagine a news item like this:
Muslim fundamentalists in Saudi Arabia are increasing enforcement of Sharia laws requiring women and girls as young as five years old to appear in large televised gatherings called “Beauty Ceremonies” where they must perform rituals in front of a panel of imams which judges their sexual attractiveness.
The laws, supposedly based on the teachings of the Qur’an, permit the women to wear only certain clothing; one-piece bathing suits, bikinis, ball gowns and high heels. Hair must be styled in prescribed ways.
Saudi men roam the streets looking for women to participate in these events. Women who are considered “uncooperative” or “ugly” are humiliated with whistles and foul language.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has spoken out publicly against the practice, saying recently, “This is not the way women or girls are treated in civilized countries…like the United States.”