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17 May 2010 @ 10:10 pm
Ten random things: May 17  

Ten Misses USA:

  1. Mai Shanley, Miss USA 1984 (competed as Miss New Mexico)
  2. Bobbie Johnson, Miss USA 1964 (Miss District of Columbia)
  3. Kandace Krueger, Miss USA 2001 (Miss Texas)
  4. Brandi Sherwood, Miss USA 1997 (Miss Idaho)
  5. Eurlyne Howell, Miss USA 1958 (Miss Louisiana)
  6. Shawnae Jebbia, Miss USA 1998 (Miss Massachusetts)
  7. Rima Fakih, Miss USA 2010 (Miss Michigan)
  8. Jackie Loughery, Miss USA1952 (Miss New York)
  9. Michele McDonald, Miss USA 1971 (Miss Pennsylvania)
  10. Terri Utley, Miss USA 1982 (Miss Arkansas)

Those of you who do not pay attention to the paranoid fantasies of right-wing nutjobs may not be aware that Rima Fakih was crowned Miss USA as a result of an insidious pro-Muslim affirmative action campaign being waged by a shadowy cabal of beauty pageant judges. His proof: since 2005, a total of five other Muslim women in the United States, England, and France have won beauty pageants: Juliette Boubaaya, Miss Picardie 2009; Nora Ali, America's Junior Miss 2007; Hammasa Kohistani, Miss England 2006; Sarah Mendly, Miss Nottingham 2005; and Anisah Rasheed, Miss A&T 2005, who won wearing a hijab. Now, Pipes' claim is ridiculous on its face (on the faces of the winners, actually), but just for fun let's look at those numbers a little more closely. Between 2005 and today, approximately 960* women have competed for Miss USA, Miss England, Miss France, and America's Junior Miss, meaning Muslims accounted for 0.42% of the winners of those pageants. Of course, that doesn't take into account other major pageants, such as Miss America and Miss Great Britain, nor the thousands of regional pageants that feed into the majors. Some of those regional pageants may well have been won by Muslims—I think there's a reasonably good chance that Homairah Baqi, Miss Smyrna (Del.) USA 2010, is Muslim, for example, as might be Saddaf Yusuf, Miss Fletcher Hills (Calif.) USA 2009)—but we're still talking about a tiny, tiny percentage of Muslim winners.

The truth is that Muslim women were rather drastically under-represented in these pageants. Muslims make up 0.8% of the US population, so there should have been two Muslim Miss USA contestants since 2005. And there should have been seven Muslim Miss England contestants, and 11 Muslim Mlle France contestants, since Muslims account for 2.7% and 6% of the populations of those countries.

* Sometimes even I can't believe what I spend my time doing.

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