Well, the Miss Universe Canada pageant was held last night, and two things that could have been easily predicted have occurred. The first is that Jenna Talackova, who made headlines for being a transsexual was among the 12 semifinalists, but she did not win, nor was she among the five finalists. In another words, she was treated with political correctness in a very predictable manner. She was also, of course, given that most common of beauty pageant consolation prizes...she was tied with three other contestants for the title of Miss Congeniality.
The other predictable result? The usual bloggers are already starting to spin the story as having been a great victory. No, it was "handled." I strongly suspect that she was allowed to compete simply to avoid a nasty and protracted legal fight that would have possibly been very costly for the pageant. And, having been allowed to compete, she was given the honor of being a semifinalist, but not a finalist. Close, but not too close.
I see no great gains in her having competed. She essentially sacrificed her claim to true womanhood when she entered a "transsexual" beauty pageant in Thailand, and completely gave it up when she decided to enter the Miss Universe Canada Pageant.
It is, perhaps, not fair, but all who have been through the process of transition from one sex to another face a choice. We can live our lives as who we really are, or we can cling so tenaciously to our past that we effectively give up our claim to be anything other than our birth gender. Sometimes we have to avoid things we might otherwise wish because people might well connect us to our past, and label us as transsexual, or worse, as transgender, because of it.
In the end, Jenna Talackova has accomplished nothing. She got her fifteen minutes of fame, which she may, or may not parlay into a future career. But she really didn't break down any barriers, or win some great victory for "trans women." She was simply handled, and moved out of the way.