Good news: The president of Ecuador Rafael Correa stated in his weekly address that Beauty Pageants organized in public schools will no longer be authorized. He directed the Minister of Education Gloria Vidal to bring an end to these events which he qualified as sexist. He added: "Which educational values does it transmit? That physical beauty counts more than generosity, intelligence, effort and dedication?"
Bonus: In the US, a number of rightwing fundamentalist religious political crackpots were beauty queens in their youth: Sarah Palin, Michele Bachman and Anita Bryant for example.
Bad news: Correa deigned to lecture feminists about the evils of Beauty Pageants and wondered why they hadn't denounced these events.
Perhaps they're just too busy dealing with more urgent matters, such as helping women who have been subjected to savage violence and are seeking refuge or medical help.
In fact, feminists admire intelligent and dedicated beauty that's deployed judiciously to draw media attention and secure support for their community projects.
Some of the women in the centre, run by the Women´s Federation of Sucumbíos, told harrowing tales of beatings, incest and other forms of sexual and gender-based violence. Some women even have to resort to "survival sex" to get lodging to feed their children. Others fall prey to sexual exploitation.
Correa might concentrate instead on preaching to the men who abuse women and children, physically, sexually, emotionally and politically, as well as to the men who don't speak up against this violence.