Last night, Miss District of Columbia Kára McCullough, a chemist for the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, was crowned Miss USA. McCullough is a 25-year-old woman of color with an impressive career. Still, many are having a hard time celebrating McCullough’s win, due to her problematic views on feminism and health care.
During the Q&A portion of the contest, McCullough was asked whether she considers herself a feminist. Her reply betrayed a fundamental misunderstanding of the women’s movement. “As a woman scientist in the government, I’d like to transpose the word ‘feminism’ to ‘equalism,'” McCullough said. “I don’t really want to consider myself — try not to consider myself like this die-hard, you know, like, ‘Oh, I don’t really care about men.’ But one thing I’m gonna say, though, is women, we are just as equal as men when it comes to opportunity in the workplace.”
Let’s go ahead and unpack that statement. For one, feminism — the advocacy of women’s rights on the basis of the equality of the sexes — is not synonymous with apathy towards men. For another, women and men are equal in all regards, inside of and outside of the workplace.
The hosts followed up with another hardball, asking whether McCullough believes that affordable health care for all U.S. citizens is a right or a privilege. She thinks it is “definitely” a privilege. “As a government employee, I’m granted health care and I see first hand that for one to have health care, you need to have jobs,” McCullough elaborated. “We need to continue to cultivate this environment that we’re given the opportunity to have health care as well as jobs to all American citizens worldwide.”
Many concerned citizens took to Twitter to voice their dismay.
— Out Rae Geous (@_TheOpinion) May 15, 2017
— Makho Ndlovu (@makhondlovu) May 15, 2017
Huge fan of #MissUSA being a black woman and a scientist and advocate for science education, but dang she could use a class on social issues
— Keely Cunningham (@KEE_LYme_pie) May 15, 2017
Affordable health care is a privilege? No, it’s a right. Try again. #MissUSA really disappointed me this year. New Jersey was robbed.
— ♡ (@moonybagans) May 15, 2017
(Miss New Jersey Chhavi Verg, a 20-year-old marketing and Spanish major at Rutgers University, was the runner-up. When Verg was four, she and her parents immigrated to the U.S. from India with only $500 to their name.)
Just to be clear.. FEMINISM ISTHEEQUALITYOFMENANDWOMENPOLITICALLYSOCIALLYSEXUALLYAND EDUCATIONALLY #MissUSA
— Shaina Flanagan (@Shainaflanagan1) May 15, 2017
Of course, McCullough is not without her supporters, among them Libertarian columnist Kristin Tate and conservatives like one Mr. David Burke.
— David Burke (@ConservativeTht) May 15, 2017
Thankfully, young women in the U.S. are not without visible female role models (Beyoncé, Michelle Obama, Amandla Stenberg, Lena Dunham, Kim Kardashian) who understand that “feminism” and “universal healthcare” are not dirty words. Stay woke, America.
[ via Allure ]