This was distributed through the club during the contest.
Miss University London
Intelligence Test for the Contestants.
You have to fill this is in separately to the main competition, as it turns out there’s not enough time to judge your brains on stage. We decided that it was most important for the show to judge your capacities for abstract thought by the way you strut down the catwalk. But due to the negative press we have received from the jealous ugly feminists out there, we have to have a token gesture which makes our beauty pageant seem more appropriate to the context of university education.
Which Sex and the City character would you most relate to? (We mislaid your original answers to this question in your application forms. We just looked at the pictures you sent in)
Carrie, because she represents an impossible and unreal ideal of working 4 hours a week writing about her friends for a mainstream paper and nevertheless being able to afford a 150 square metre loft in Manhattan and go for dinners, parties or drinks 7 days a week, shopping everytime she feels like and never thinking about other issues rather than her friend’s sex lives, even though in her own country poverty levels are the highest rates, suffering serious failings in state, local and federal measures to address sexual violence against Native American women and where discrimination remains a concern in a variety of areas, including policing practices, the operation of the criminal justice system and housing rights.
Samantha, because she just wants to get laid and doesn´t give a shit about anything else other than that, so she can feel beautiful and desired and so forget the fact that she never felt pretty enough or good enough and was severely bullied at school for that.
Charlotte, because she’s obsessed with finding a husband, as if that’s the only thing that will make her feel okay about herself, and she judges men based on whether they can support her fancy lifestyle.
Miranda, because somehow she managed to have a baby and a career, despite the fact that the newspapers tell me I’m kidding myself if I think I can do that without having a nervous breakdown.
None of those, I am between 18 and 21 years and studing in a London university, so I can’t see how could I identify myself with TV series that happens in New York, where the main characters are 4 women that spend their fictional lives bitching about other women and using men for their money, living the so-called high life without one of them having a job that could pay for that lifestyle.
None of those. I find Sex and The City a quite insulting representantion and give a very wrong idea women’s aspirations. Even though this TV series might have helped out some women breaking with the taboo of talking about their sexual lives, it also perpetuates the idea that women’s first priority in life is finding a rich and handsome husband and all what comes before are a series of hard core selections to assure themselves that this men are rich, succesful and good enough in bed. I think women can do much more and much better than that.
None of those, i am a young woman living in the UK working lots for very little money and I spend my free time listening to music, reading books, making films, drawing, singing and playing guitar, chatting with my female and male friends, going to the pub, cooking nice meals to share with my friends, questioning hierarchy and power and gender roles in society, questioning government decisions on climate change and other very important issues, learning how to live a more sustainable life and reducing my dependence to big corporation’s products and thinking about different options other than capitalism, trying to be empathetic with other people’s sufferings, understanding that it’s up to all of us to change a situation in which 1 billion people in the world suffer from malnutrition, death from treatable desease, rape and other war related ilnesses, wars that are fought in order to maintain a status quo in which a tiny elite controls and consumes almost all natural ressources.
None of those. I think these TV series represent a totally wrong and distorted ideal of sexual freedom in a world were the right to sexual freedom has become the right for womens’ bodies to be sold in every lap dancing bar and on every magazine cover. The often degrading images of women, the sale of sex in its various manifestations on a scale undreamt of a generation ago, the widespread use of porn and sexual images on the internet and other media, all create an atmosphere where women´s sexuality is seen as something to be bought and sold and where women are regarded as sexual objects, and I think Sex and the City is actually a contribution to maintain that unequal and deranged gender status quo.
None of those, I don´t have a TV, I heard about the Sex and the City but I´ve never seen it really, have only seen one episode at a friend´s house and I felt totally disconnected from the world it portrayed. I couldn’t recognise myself or anyone I know in it, and I am baffled as to why it is portrayed in the media and popular culture as some sort of explanation of all women’s priorities.
None of those, I don´t watch TV, I am too busy living a real life.
What is feminism?
I don’t know. Is it a brand of perfume?
Something ugly; I think it means that you don’t like sex and you want to spoil people’s fun.
I read about it in history class; I don’t think it’s relevant now, I think we are ‘post-feminist’, despite the fact that the objectification of women contributes to their repression and misery in various explicit and subtle ways, as expressed through a myriad of different cultural and social dynamics. Despite the fact that a miniscule proportion of rape cases ever even go to trial, so slim is the possibility of a conviction, despite the fact that rape is used as a torture method by armies all over the world, despite the fact that many cultures systematically silence and undermine women whether it’s by stoning them for adultery or slagging them off in the press for being too fat, too thin, too much of a mother, too much of a worker, too much of a whore, not sexually available enough…Despite the fact that the men are paid more than women in practically every single profession. Despite the fact that according to the 2007 Equal Opportunities Commision at the current rate of progress it will take 60 years to reach an equal number of female directors in FTSE 100 boardrooms and another 40 general elections before women hold an equal number of parliamentary seats. Despite all these reasons and many more, I choose to honour the sacrifices made for me by women struggling for equality, by dressing up sexy and dying my eyelashes, by wearing high heels and manipulating male sexual desire to make me feel powerful in a world which doesn’t appreciate the realities of feminity, and which always judges me first as a sexual object before recognising me as a human being.
It’s a state of mind, and an everyday expression of my politics – I call myself a feminist because I appreciate having the right to vote, the right to control my own contraception and reproductive freedoms, that (at least on paper) I can enter and should be allowed to flourish in any job I choose, and because I recognise that these are rights that were fought for, not freely given. Because I can see that the problems highlighted by the suffragettes, the women’s liberation movement, and by women and men working together all over the world, are real and present in my daily life, and I am reminded of it everytime a man in the street comments on my body, looks me up and down and thinks it’s their right to proposition me, sleaze on me or insult me. I see that not only is feminism important to keep fighting for true equality, but that learning to share power is the most important way we can evolve to work together for a fairer and more sustainable society.
Can you spell MISOGYNY? Do you know what it means? What about MISANTHROPY? Can you see anyway that they are connected?
Please scan and send this form to firstname.lastname@example.org or download a PDF questionaire at www.smashmisscontest.wordpress.com before the 15 June 2009. Contestants passing to the finals will be contacted before the 22nd June 2009 for a second test. This process will repeat itself and continue until the end of January 2020, when you’ll be contacted by one of our public relation’s team who will then re-direct you to another department. Prizes include: higher selfesteem, information about what really is happening in the world, common knowledge about feminism, sense of being a part of something bigger that a fucking beauty contest, a broken fridge, Smash Miss Contest badges and T-shirts, a bike trip to Hackney (all expenses included) and exclusive invitations for tea and chats at alternative social centres across London.