Miss France is being sued for “no mothers”, “no married women” rule
A feminist militant group in France sues miss France for allegedly discriminatory entry conditions. Dare feminism (Dare to be a feminist), a feminist activist group based in Lyon, is suing the competition’s parent company, Endemol Production.
Three unsuccessful contestants are also joining the legal battle against the country’s 101-year-old beauty pageant.
Tuesday a press release published by Dare feminism said Miss France candidates “perform a labor service and therefore should be protected from harm under French labor law.”
In France, discrimination against employees on the basis of sex, sexual orientation, family situation or genetic traits is illegal.
An application form for this year’s competition revealed that the candidates would not qualify if they were not at least 5 feet 5 inches tall, or if they were previously married or had children.
Wearing hair extensions or weaves (an artificial or natural hair extension attached to human hair) or getting a tattoo and smoking would also render a competitor ineligible to compete.
The application form also requires applicants to disclose the size of their clothing and prohibits applicants from undergoing major physical changes after their acceptance into the competition.
Depending on the terms and conditions of the competition, failure to comply with these rules may result in a fine of 5,000 euros (AUD 7,747) for applicants.
In its press release, Dare Feminism explained that “beyond the exploitation of women for economic ends, this contest, through the violations of the law of which it is guilty, has a negative and retrograde impact on the ‘whole of society’.
“It is high time that Endemol Production finally removed all sexist clauses from its regulations. “
Alyssa Ahrabare, the patroness of Dare feminism, wrote on Twitter that Miss France “currently feeds stereotypes that stand in the way of equality.”
“The rules of the competition are discriminatory: marital status, age, attitudes, choice of women, everything is subject to injunctions from another time! Candidates must be single and respect the rules of “elegance”, stop these sexist rules! Ahrabare, who is a lawyer, added.
She spoke to CNN about the three candidates involved in the trial, who were rejected from the competition for their “age, height, drinking and smoking in public, and tattooing,” according to Ahrabare.
In recent years, beauty pageants around the world have come under fire for their nefarious sexist and archaic codes of conduct imposed on women.
In 2018, model Veronika Didusenko had her Miss Ukraine title revoked after organizers found out she had been married at one point and had a five-year-old son. She was then banned from participating in the Miss World pageant.
Despite these problematic trends, beauty pageants still attract a large audience in France.