Miss Pennsylvania Complains About Trans Contestants

Miss Universe pageant officials received an e-mail from Miss Pennsylvania USA Sheena Monnin that read, in part:

I refuse to be part of a pageant system that has so far and so completely removed itself from its foundational principles as to allow and support natural born males to compete in it.This goes against ever moral fiber of my being.

ZJ is made curious, 

I’d love to hear an explanation for this. Is she concerned that transgender competitors are somehow at an advantage?

(ZJ also has a fine post on the separation of church and state up too.)

Your Thoughts?

About Daniel Fincke

Dr. Daniel Fincke  has his PhD in philosophy from Fordham University and spent 11 years teaching in college classrooms. He wrote his dissertation on Ethics and the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche. On Camels With Hammers, the careful philosophy blog he writes for a popular audience, Dan argues for atheism and develops a humanistic ethical theory he calls “Empowerment Ethics”. Dan also teaches affordable, non-matriculated, video-conferencing philosophy classes on ethics, Nietzsche, historical philosophy, and philosophy for atheists that anyone around the world can sign up for. (You can learn more about Dan’s online classes here.) Dan is an APPA  (American Philosophical Practitioners Association) certified philosophical counselor who offers philosophical advice services to help people work through the philosophical aspects of their practical problems or to work out their views on philosophical issues. (You can read examples of Dan’s advice here.) Through his blogging, his online teaching, and his philosophical advice services each, Dan specializes in helping people who have recently left a religious tradition work out their constructive answers to questions of ethics, metaphysics, the meaning of life, etc. as part of their process of radical worldview change.

  • eric

    I wasn’t aware of this. I thought her big complaint was that the competition was rigged; she claims to have seen a list* of the ‘final 5′ before the competition even started. (*Or another contestant did and told her about it, I didn’t pay enough attention to the story to figure out which.)

    Now I wonder whether the bigger accusation of rigging is just an excuse to convey her bigotry. I.e., give her a more socially acceptable reason to withdraw.

    • unbound

      Seems like her public explanation is the list. However, the organization denies the list and points to the e-mail they received where she is quitting due to transgender people being allowed to compete. Strong implications in the article that she is simply another religious bigot.

  • Brandon

    I was under the impression that pageants were basically an exercise in producing the most Stepford-type contestants possible; it shouldn’t be a big surprise if a significant chunk of the people involved are extremely religious.

    It’s definitely not going to be an original thought, but I do sort of wonder if fear of losing to someone she perceives as a man is part of it…

  • The Lorax

    Heh, that’s cute… she’s afraid of a guy being more beautiful than her.

    Incidentally, I’ve seen a few trans folk who are, in fact, more beautiful than her. In my opinion, at least. Oh well.

    • http://criticallyskeptic-dckitty.blogspot.com Katherine Lorraine, Chaton de la Mort

      Oy! Watch the transphobic language!

      She’s afraid of *women* being more attractive than her.

      Trans*women* are women, not “guys.”

    • Hercules Grytpype-Thynne

      @Katherine Lorraine:

      If the discussion is about what she’s afraid of, I submit that the term “guy” is appropriate because that’s clearly how she thinks of trans women. Note her own words: “natural born males”.

    • http://criticallyskeptic-dckitty.blogspot.com Katherine Lorraine, Chaton de la Mort


      There’s a difference between what Brandon said and what the Lorax said:

      Brandon: “I do sort of wonder if fear of losing to someone she perceives as a man is part of it…”

      The Lorax: “she’s afraid of a guy being more beautiful than her.”

      Brandon added the caveat of the contestant’s perception while Lorax did not. I do not imagine Lorax meant it in any sort of transphobic way (which is why I didn’t say they were a transphobe) but the words still caused me to feel maligned and upset.

  • http://www.facebook.com/gregm766 gregorymarshall

    Apparently she has no problem with women entering that are competing with unnatural (should I say enhanced?) body parts.

  • Robert B.

    By “foundational principles” she of course means traditional gender roles. I’m not surprised at all to hear this from a beauty pageant contestant/winner. It’s hard to imagine a group of people more committed in practice to traditional views of gender and sex. In fact, I’m impressed and pleased that there aren’t more like Ms. Monnin.