Donald Trump’s Miss Universe Organization has overturned its decision to exclude woman Jenna Talackova from entering the Miss Universe pageant has led to a sea-change in the organization’s entrance rules.
In a joint statement this morning, Miss Universe and GLAAD (Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) announced that beginning next year, the pageant will allow women who are transgendered to compete in the internationally-acclaimed contest.
(A contest which, as we all know, rewards women above all for their physical beauty, thus perpetuating the phallo-logo-centric hegemony which has for millennia excluded women from the – phallic – nexus of discursive, social, political and economic power.)
"For more than two weeks, the Miss Universe Organization and Mr. Trump made it clear to GLAAD that they were open to making a policy change to include women who are transgender," said GLAAD spokesperson Herndon Graddick.
“We appreciate that he and his team responded swiftly and appropriately. The Miss Universe Organization today follows institutions that have taken a stand against discrimination of transgender women including the Olympics, NCAA, the Girl Scouts of America and The CW's America's Next Top Model.
GLAAD and Miss Universe point out – with some vehemence – that their negotiations and final decision had nothing to do with celeb attorney to the stars Gloria Allred’s grandstanding on behalf of Jenna.
(Though it must be said that Allred did utter a choice morsel with this diss on Trump: “the world does not revolve around his penis.”)
, “We want to give credit where credit is due, and the decision to include transgender women in our beauty competitions is a result of our ongoing discussions with GLAAD and not Jenna's legal representation, which if anything delayed the process," Paula Shugart, president of the Miss Universe Organization, says.
"We have a long history of supporting equality for all women, and this was something we took very seriously."
How will the new rule define “transgender women”? What types of persons quality as transgender? Can male-to-female cross-dressers enter the context? Can both pre- and post-operative transgender women?
A GLAAD rep says Miss Universe has yet to work out those details.
See Trump discuss the issue on ABC News.