Should Transgender Women be Allowed to Compete in Miss Universe or Miss America Beauty Contests – No

Transgender women should not be allowed to compete for the Miss America crown. I have no intention to offend, however this would simply be impermissible for a variety of reasons. The easiest principle to appeal to is the principle of fairness. A transgender woman who was allowed to compete in the Miss America pageant would receive a level of pre-competition publicity that would be nearly impossible to rival by any competitor. This increased media attention would put judges between a rock and a hard place, who must realize that low scores for this woman would result in media backlash and accusations of homophobia; and that high scores would result in claims of unfairness and jeopardize the reputation of the entire competition. It is unfortunate that this is the case, but we must not fool ourselves into think this is not the case just because we believe it shouldn’t be. An argument that transgender competitors would receive no increased media attention and place no added pressure from outside activist groups on the competition is asinine. It is a lose/lose for the competition. If one cannot see the problem on an individual or small scale level, perhaps a Kantian maxim will aid in demonstrating reasons why it should not happen. 

If one transgender woman enters and this is deemed “okay”, there theoretically should be no reason why the competition should not be allowed to be all transgender women. One must ask themselves, is this really the same competition? Where would women go to compete? Would it not be necessary, if no woman could make it past the preliminary stage because societal standards of beauty shifted to transgender women, to create a separate female-only competition? Granted this is a hyperbole, but if one is going to argue that it should be allowed on the small scale, they are going to have to be able to defend the position that it is also acceptable on the large scale.

I’m not opposed to transgender women having their own nationally televised competition, but it cannot be overstated that they are, granted through no fault of their own, different than other women in the competition. These differences may offer some undue advantages not realized by other contestants, making other contestants by their nature “disadvantaged”. I’ll grant that the disadvantages could fall on the transgender woman as well, but it is a fact that both sides are a possibility and the results could not be known without first allowing a transgender woman into the competition say to me that it’s a risk that cannot be justified. This is why I oppose transgender women competing in Miss America.