It is the “year of the woman” and you are almost guaranteed to be asked pageant questions about women’s rights, the women’s movement, Wonder Woman as a new icon of girl power, the book “Be Fierce” by Miss America chairperson Gretchen Carlson’s, the #MeToo movement, having the first female chairperson of the Board at Miss America, the ERA (Equal Right Amendment), and other questions related to women’s empowerment.
Here is how national pageant winners of the past handled such questions…
“Women make up 49% of the global workforce. What do you believe is the most important issue facing women in the workplace today, and why?”
“In some places, women get paid 75% of what men earn for doing the same job, working the same hours, and I do not believe that that is right. I think we should have equal work for equal pay for women all over the world.” — Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters, Miss Universe 2017
Questions about harassment of women
“I realized that this is something women go through all over the world and it’s a reality… violence against women, harassment, carjacking, robberies, are realities in our workplace, at home, or wherever you might go.” — Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters, Miss Universe 2017
On women’s empowerment…
“it is time for us as women to take our rightful place in society, to not step back and stand back for anything…to take the lead and to go for it and to follow our dreams.” — Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters, Miss Universe 2017
On women’s empowerment…
“If women take hands and stand together, we are unbreakable and we can say no to the things that are wrong in the world.” — Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters, Miss Universe 2017
Do you support the ERA (Equal Rights Amendment)?
“First of all, I think that the 14th amendment already gives us those protections that we need. If we were to have that 18-word amendment, which is vague, in and of itself, to me it would leave it wide open to ANY interpretation. And we don’t what KIND of interpretation.” — Sharlene Wells, Miss America
What do you see as the worse-case scenario if the ERA passed?
“It would make a neuter society – rather than one where I am a woman and you are a man. I prefer to be a woman and not part of a neuter society.” — Sharlene Wells, Miss America
How could an equal rights amendment make a neuter society?
“It could put us on the same level as all the men and vice versa. And I don’t want to be in that situation, with regards to the draft, with regards to…I was studying a little about this issue with the credit (social security). She would have to have be professional in her own right in order to have her own credit. She could not merely take it off her husband. A man could also have grounds for divorce on the basis that his wife did not provide 50% of the income. That, to me, is part of the interpretation that could come out of this vague amendment.”— Sharlene Wells, Miss America
There’s been a lot of talk about reverse discrimination among white males. What do you think about reverse discrimination as it relates to women, generally, jobs?
“You’re speaking about feminism and that it is getting to the point that women are getting the advantage rather than just equality? I don’t favor that at all. I think it should be completely equal, of course. I think that there may be some reverse discrimination in admitting, for example, Admitting more women into medicine or law school. I feel that perhaps women may be getting a better than equal chance right now. And I feel that there are enough intelligent women to be able to make it on their own and to make it on a completely equal basis.” — Susan Perkins, Miss America
Do you favor the ERA (Equal Rights Amendment)?
“Yes, I do. Simply because I feel that the ERA does really make everything equal between men and women – or it helps to. And there are many things in the law right now that do the same things that the ERA would do, except that I think it is significant in that it would be a symbolic move, if nothing else.” — Susan Perkins, Miss America
What are your views on the ERA (Equal Rights Amendment for Women)?
“I support what the 24, 28 words of that amendment say, and if you’ll read it, you’ll see that it is not really the big issue that people are portraying it to be. The thing that many people are talking about is not the amendment, at all. It’s things that they have come up with in their own minds or have brought up in conversation among themselves. As far as the amendment itself goes, I think it is very simple and will probably be passed.” — Cheryl Prewitt, Miss America
A lot of people feel that women’s rights are destructive to the home. Do you agree?
“I think the family unity is probably the biggest part of America and the destruction of family unity could be the destruction of America. I think it’s very important that we keep our family structure strong and that we keep our children a very important part of the family.” — Cheryl Prewitt, Miss America
What is your stand on the possible re-introduction of the Equal Rights Amendment? Would you recommend its passage?
“I could support the Equal Rights Amendment. It’s just a 24-word amendment that gives women the rights that are already given in the Constitution. So, if it passed, I don’t think that there would be any difference from what the Constitution states already. I don’t think it would make any difference.” — Susan Akin, Miss America
Would you like to see the Equal Rights Amendment pass and why?
“I think it is very important for everyone to be involved – whether race, whatever – to have those equal rights granted to us by the Constitution, but which have been somehow legally tied up. So, yes, I am in favor.” — Rebecca King, Miss America
What advice would you give other young women?
“All I would say is that today is such an exciting time – that you can really be anything you want to be, and it’s really exciting. Because I think we MAKE our own happiness. Happiness is never handed to us. And if you’re lucky you meet someone and have a wonderful child, and have a happy married life, and work you enjoy. — Mary Ann Mobley, Miss America
- More Pageant Answers…
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- How to answer a pageant question when you don’t know the answer