Sexism alive and well in Stormont

By Courtney Taylor,

Dolores Kelly MLA SDLP
Dolores Kelly MLA SDLP

Recently it was announced that beauty pageant, Miss Ulster 2013 would be held in Stormont, parliament buildings. The event was to be jointly hosted by Basil McCrea and John McCallister of NI21 and Dolores Kelly, SDLP. The same parties that are controlling women’s reproductive rights, thought that it would be okay to also tell women what’s beautiful and what isn’t!
Controversy quickly spread around the event and its rules that state that you must be a dress size 8-12, be at least 5ft 7ins tall and be between 18-24 years old.
Women are already under a constant bombardment of airbrushed pictures in the media and campaigns telling us what a ‘real woman’ is.
After the venue’s suitability of the event was questioned, it was moved to the Titanic building. But we still must ask the question why did politicians think it was okay to facilitate an event which discriminates against a lot of women and judge them on their appearance, reinforcing the attitude that women are simply sex objects. In the broader topic of beauty contests as a whole we must also ask, why is it that the contestants are all of a certain height, dress size and age? The reason for this is that multinational corporations sell their products and boost profits by telling women they don’t look good enough. “You must buy these diet plans and wear clothes like this because that’s what beautiful is.” Women’s insecurities are exploited in the name of profit.
True equality for women cannot be achieved under capitalism, a system which relies on the oppression of other groups of people to survive. Only when we break with this system can we defeat sexism!

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