Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Miss Mendocino contestants deserved more time on stage in their own event.

Four young ladies competed for the title of Miss Mendocino 2017 Saturday night in Ukiah, where they sang, danced and shared their thoughts on current events.

That was cool.

Unfortunately, after watching all two-plus hours of the pageant, I knew little more about the contestants than what was written in the program.
That’s because so much of the ceremony was devoted to the “celebrity guests,” one of whom had no ties to Mendocino County. In fact, the professional opera singer admitted she was visiting the area for the first time to attend the pageant held Feb. 4 at Ukiah High School.
No matter your opinion on what assets are being celebrated, the purpose of local pageants is to celebrate the attributes of local residents. And since there were only four contestants this year, the organizers had the perfect opportunity to give each young lady more time in the spotlight.
Instead, they seemed to focus on the visitors rather than the home team. I didn’t keep track with a stopwatch, but I’d bet each celebrity guest was given at least twice as much stage time as each contestant.
Chris Pugh - Ukiah Daily Journal
For example: instead of giving the professional opera singer, who spends her daily life on stage, at least twice as much time to sing than any of the contestants were given, I think each contestant should have been given more time to showcase her talent. And instead of shuffling the local girls off the stage as soon as they finished performing to give more time for “visitations” with the celebrities, why not ask each girl why she chose the skill she wanted to share, and perhaps let her explain how hard she worked to perfect it?
And when I consider how much money each of the girls’ families spent on multiple outfits, especially an evening gown, I can’t help but think that a few more minutes could have been spared to give each girl more time to wear those outfits with her family watching, providing the “Cinderella Moment” that was the theme of the event.
And while one family member is invited to escort each lady in her evening gown, there was also plenty of time to ask that family member what makes them the most proud of the contestant, and why they feel she should be representing Mendocino County.  
Again, in stark contrast to the life of the opera singer and the other celebrity guest, this might have been the last time some of the contestants get an opportunity to stand on stage at all, let alone with their families and their town cheering them on. Why not give them as much time up there as possible?
I mean, that’s the whole point of a local pageant. Right?

Friday, February 3, 2017

We don't need a woman president. We just need a president that respects women.

I didn’t march the day after Donald Trump’s inauguration, but millions of other women did.

That was cool.

I took great comfort and inspiration from their peaceful demonstrations of strength and courage, and saw their actions not as merely protesting the fact that Trump is our president, but communicating that it is not acceptable for any man, let alone the President of the United States, to say he can grab any woman’s crotch any time he wants. Period.
And to those who say Trump’s words were just “locker room” talk from more than a decade ago, I say I am still waiting for him to officially declare them as such in a sincerely apologetic manner that assures all women he does not fundamentally believe our greatest value to society is as sexual playthings. Unless, of course, we’re not attractive enough to be.
To those who say we should laugh those words off, just as men would laugh it off if Hillary bragged that she could grab the crotch of any man she chooses, I say that is not an apt comparison, and there can be no apt comparison. I don’t believe men can ever truly understand what it feels like to share half the earth with humans who are consistently bigger, stronger and can often do whatever they want with our bodies.
And even if you take all fear of sexual assault out of the equation, you can’t tell me that a man who believes he can grab my crotch without my permission also believes that what I think, feel or say is important, let alone anywhere near as important as what he thinks, feels or says.
And, lastly, to those who say that the women marching were just upset that a woman was not elected president, I say we don’t need a woman to be president. We just need a president who respects women.