Is Mr. Wildcat sexist?

Mr. Wildcat is advertised as a fun way to decide who the top male senior is; however, the exclusion of a female contest reveals a double standard.

When Miss America was introduced to the public on TV in 1954, it drew 27 million viewers, basically imprinting the idea of a beauty pageant into pop culture. Pageants for girls and women are still broadcast internationally and occur at lower levels throughout the country. It’s almost natural to have some sort of a pageant for women to compete in.

What’s not usually as natural is a male pageant. For Mr. Wildcat, the students entered will have to perform a talent, get rated in a fashion show, and do a lip sync battle. None of these acts are particularly male oriented, yet there is no talk of Miss Wildcat.

The fact that no one is up in arms about objectifying men shows how differently men and women are treated.

Men aren’t assumed to take the contest too seriously, no one really cares that they have to compete. The question comes up of why we treat men and women differently. Why is it that boys are seen as self-deprecating comedians in a pageant, but a girl would be seen as a narcissistic overly serious competitor?

After the debacle that was the wrongfully announced Miss Universe in 2015, some people might think a Miss Wildcat contest will end in tears for the losers. The stereotype that girls are uptight crybabies that won’t take losing well might have been a deciding factor. Mr. Wildcat is not marketed as a serious competition, boys are seen as more carefree, more willing to make a fool of themselves doing what’s considered a girly pageant. If girls did the pageant, that’s what they are expected to do, so they would take it too seriously and ruin the fun. Or at least that’s how it comes off.

Do you think the Mr. Wildcat competition is sexist?

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Realistically, boys and girls individually can take pageants as seriously or as jokingly as they want. Mr. Wildcat looks like a joke, a way to raise money for WeGo Drama which is very open about accepting people for their differences, their motto being “character counts”. The winner probably won’t get much more than bragging rights for a week before people forget. So why exclude an entire gender?

Surely, many girls would be willing to play along and work for a fundraiser. There’s no point strengthening a stereotype about women by not including them to save women’s delicate feelings, because it shouldn’t be a concern.  

Mr. Wildcat seems to satirize pageants. If the point of the competition is to have a night of entertainment without getting too serious, girls should have a chance to make fools of themselves too.