Now, I'm not a huge fan of beauty pageants in general. The swimsuit portion alone is enough to make me gag. Overall, I have a problem with giving women scholarships just for being pretty and feminine. But I have noticed one thing about the Miss America pageant that I actually like:
The question portion has become political.
No more "what's your favorite book?" stuff, no more vague questions that can be easily answered with "world peace" or "help feed the starving orphans." This year's questions focused on specific political issues, and were actually a little tough to answer. Our new Miss America came out in support of medicinal marijuana, and didn't outright oppose recreational use - she said she didn't know whether she supported it because it is addictive and causes problems for some families, which is fair enough, but the fact is she did not say something blatantly anti-drug. Last year's Miss America said birth control should be free and available to all women. I've been happy to see that at least one part of the pageant makes women use their brains rather than just their tits and smiles to win over the judges.
Of course, I would probably get really pissed off if, in the future, they crown a girl who rails against gay marriage or abortion. But in the past two years they've crowned women who have expressed liberal sentiments, and that's saying something. I'm also glad that, in the past, the question portion has helped to expose and draw negative attention to the ignorant, and often downright moronic answers some of the girls have given, which shows that we do, in fact, want a Miss America with a brain as well as beauty. Now if only her intellect was more important than her appearance.