Edit 11-11-09: From “Still Standing,”
“Our bodies are temples of the Lord. We should earn respect and admiration for our hearts, not for showing skin to look sexy.”
Quote from Carrie Prejean in response to Meredith Viera, “I’m a model. I was in a beauty pageant. If people want to call me a hypocrite, that’s their prerogative. But I’ve learned from my mistakes. No one is perfect.”
Has she said that the beauty pageants and modeling were a mistake? It’s okay to show skin to look “sexy” if you’re a model, but not for regular people?
The hypocrisy doesn’t lie in her opposition of gay marriage, as my article clearly points out, it’s in her statements and in the statements by prominent Conservative figures/organizations.
Her free speech has not been violated. Our first amendment rights do not shield us from criticism. The media is overwhelmingly liberal, Miss USA is obviously liberal. If she had been in favor of gay marriage, as again I state in my piece below, she would not have been attacked. However, the first amendment doesn’t say that no one is allowed to criticize you. She was attacked with things she has done. If she didn’t want them to come out, she shouldnt’ have done them. I applaud her for standing up to the criticism, but she is not a victim. She has been scrutinized for her opinion the way I have, to a lesser extent, been highly scrutinized here.
In response to the comments, I’ll no longer be commenting back as I’ve learned that commenting to those who show such great disrespect and intolerance to diverging opinions is not only a waste of time, but indulging poor behavior.
I am Conservative, however, I am not lock step and do have an open mind. I’d encourage you all to think for yourselves and not parrot the views of others. For example, take a look at this clip by Keith Olbermann. I rarely ever agree with the man, but like it or not, he’s right here.
I’m surprised this is such a hot button issue. I find it an interesting cultural issue, which is why I wrote about it. You’ll notice that Redstate.com has a section for culture pieces, and as Prejean is being touted as a “Great Conservative Woman,” by CBLPI, it is a political issue.
I am a rock, I am an island, I am a Christian, Conservative Feminist. That’s right I said it, a Christian, Conservative Feminist. I am a woman who realizes that it hasn’t been long since women have been able to vote. I am a woman who realizes that I still don’t make the same amount of money as my male counterpart. I am a woman who realizes that I have the right to be a full time mother even if liberal feminists mock me for doing so. I am a woman that realizes that being a mother is a full time job and that if I choose to become a mother it is my duty to be the best one I can be, and that cannot be done part time. I am a woman that realizes that if I so choose I can work in the professional world and that I have the same right to be there as a man. I am a woman who believes that I am more than what I look like, that I do not have to sexualize myself to get where I want to go. That said, I’ve been very disappointed that Conservatives have chosen to champion former Miss California Carrie Prejean. Regnery Publishing, a Conservative book publisher, is even publishing a book by her called “Still Standing”.
Back in April when the story came out that a Miss USA contestant was asked about her opinion on gay marriage to which she voiced her belief that marriage is between a man and a woman I was surprised and even thought, “good for her.” When I heard the names Perez Hilton had called her I was disgusted and, well, not surprised. Unlike Ms. Prejean, who says that “being a 22-year-old college student not really into politics, or I wasn’t at the time. But now I have a new outlook. I am disgusted at the way some people can be so intolerant,” I am a 21 year old college student who follows politics closely and has been to bat time and time again in my personal life for my beliefs. I am not at all surprised by the backlash. I would never have assumed something like Miss USA or pageantry in general to be something that a Conservative would champion. Apparently I was wrong.
I as a conservative woman, applaud Ms. Prejean for stating her beliefs. I do not applaud her for objectifying herself and being rewarded for how she looks. Conservatives, and Conservative Christians especially, that hold her up as a representative for family values are actually doing a disservice to the Conservative movement. I cannot be the only Conservative, Christian female that sees the hypocrisy in Ms. Prejeans’ answer and subsequent championing by the Conservative movement. The following is the actual question and answer that took place at the 2009 Miss USA pageant.
Perez Hilton: “Vermont recently became the fourth state to legalize same-sex marriage. Do you think every state should follow suit? Why or why not?”
Carrie Prejean: “Well I think it’s great that Americans are able to choose one way or the other. We live in a land where you can choose same-sex marriage or opposite marriage. You know what, in my country, in my family, I think I believe that marriage should be between a man and a woman, no offense to anybody out there. But that’s how I was raised and I believe that it should be between a man and a woman.”
First of all, the answer Ms. Prejean gave was not a very eloquent one. Her opinion in fact was not necessary to the question. Even if she wanted to make it known that same-sex marriage is wrong, which I applaud, she could have also been diplomatic that it is an issue that each state should have the right to decide. She is after all called as Miss USA to be a representative right? Second, Ms. Prejean is competing in a pageant that requires her to walk on stage in a bikini that in no way can be called modest. I don’t think anyone would think that this would be a very Christian thing to do, call me old fashioned. If I say that though, I get labeled a hypocrite, a prude, etc. I make no claims to be perfect, but I think it’s problematic that Ms. Prejean is touting family values whilst competing in a pageant that overtly sexualizes the contestants. I think it’s also hypocritical when she has modeling photos taken that are overtly sexual yet claims, not that they were wrong, but that, “I am a Christian, and I am a model. Models pose for pictures, including lingerie and swimwear photos.” I don’t know about other women, but I don’t believe that lingerie modeling is targeted to us.
Conservative Christians should have taken issue with the fact that Perez Hilton, a judge at the event, called Prejean a “dumb b****” on Youtube.com following the event and subsequently on an appearance on Larry King said the following, “Yes. I do expect Miss USA to be politically correct.” If Ms. Prejean had lost because of the poor way she gave her answer, or because she wasn’t as diplomatic as she should have been, fine, but it is clear that at least according to one judge, had she said she believed in same-sex marriage, she would have won. Granted, Miss USA is a private organization and has every right to not want a Conservative to represent them, we all know that if a Conservative organization did the same thing there would be uproar.
Nowhere in this equation do Conservatives need to hold her up as the poster woman for family values. Nowhere in this equation do Conservatives need to reward her for being part of a pageant, and modeling career, that is anathema to the things she says she stands for. The issue should have been that this is another case of Liberal intolerance towards Conservatives.
Parading Ms. Prejean around not only makes conservatives look like hypocrites it reinforces the stereotype of the chauvinistic Conservative male. Here’s an excerpt from the book, “Still Standing,”
“I knew immediately that I would lose the competition because of my answer…. I didn’t want to offend anyone but it was more important to me to be biblically correct than politically correct.”
It sounds to me that while she was biblically correct that homosexuality, and it would follow, homosexual unions, are wrong, she missed the part in the Bible about modesty. I do not mean that antagonistically, however, I do feel that the hypocrisy is astounding.
In the months that followed I’ve watched the Conservative movement champion Ms. Prejean. I watched Liberty University offer her a scholarship and Clare Booth Luce policy institute honor her as a “Great Conservative Woman.” I’ve since sent emails to both organizations displaying my frustration, with no response. The release of her book today is the tip of the iceberg. I cannot be the only Conservative Christian woman that feels like an island. If I mention my frustration with the hypocrisy I’m deemed a Pharisee. If I mention that Ms. Prejeans’ chosen path as a model and pageant queen is less than morally sound I’m put aside by Conservatives, of which I am one, as a feminist (as if Conservative women cannot be femists as I have shown clearly at the beginning of this piece as false), as bitter, as jealous. Not as someone who believes that women should respect themselves and not take the easy way out by objectifying themselves and participating in activities that the world deems okay.
Ms. Prejean is allowed to have one foot in the world, and one foot in championing Christianity. The only way that she should be even remotely allowed to champion family values is if she were to come out and say that her previous actions as a model and pageant winner were in fact immoral. I myself have done things I’m not proud of, but I do not try and defend them as if they are okay.
In my 21 years on this earth I have had to defend my beliefs. Since I became legally able to vote I made it a part of my life to understand, follow and participate in politics. While I have not been on a national stage being applauded for my genetics, I have written, campaigned and debated my beliefs. I recognize full that our culture champions women’s rights and at the same time calls women objectifying themselves sexually as their “right” and as “liberating.” I wouldn’t expect Conservatives to buy into this and I’m painfully disappointed that Christians do. Prominent female Conservative Ann Coulter even skirted the issue in her article, “Liberal Taliban Issues Fatwa Against Miss California.” Coulter wrote the following, “Liberals believe abortion is a sacrament, but smoking, wearing short skirts and modeling lingerie are mortal sins.” While she makes a valid point, she too misses the hypocrisy. Not the hypocrisy claimed by the liberals that Christians aren’t allowed to make mistakes, but that Christians shouldn’t call the sin they commit okay, but another sin wrong. That is in fact hypocrisy. Coulter also wrote this, “Christians aren’t people who believe they are without sin; they’re people who know they’re sinners and are awestruck by God’s grace in sending his only Son to take the punishment they deserve.” Christians also have to acknowledge their sins and ask for forgiveness, not claim that it’s no big deal.
If I’m the only Conservative woman who feels alienated, fine, but I sincerely believe that I’m not alone. I am a Christian Conservative woman, and Carrie Prejean, you do not represent me.