The womanless pageants in the Deep South are the successor events to the womanless weddings. These interesting gender-smashing events have occurred for many generations in the Deep South. This is a curiosity, given the conservative South’s reputation for hostility to any one who deviates from the accepted male-female dichotomy prevalent in conservative America. Prior to the rise of political activism motivated by religiosity, there was a special place accorded to eccentrics and special people in Southern culture. Now, after the rise of the proto-fascist extremists of the religious right, extreme pressure is placed on boys and men to conform to rigid masculine roles and on women to conform to rigid feminine roles. The womanless events serve as a reminder that there is an undercurrent of nourishing humor, essential social criticism, and, ultimately, a likely rejection of the right wing’s limited ideas of personhood.
Alabama (born and raised)
San Francisco resident