Mr. Bucky misses the point

Misogyny unintentionally emerges during annual male pageant

Jackson Croy and Rachel Halmrast, Co-Editor in Chief and Staff Reporter
Originally published December 17, 2015

Every year, ASB puts on an all-male pageant where upperclassmen boys can compete to be “Mr. Bucky,” a parody on the national female pageant “Miss America.”

When people hear the word “pageant,” many immediately think of systemic female objectification, and the reduction of women to nothing more than their appearance. Those involved with Mr. Bucky either indirectly or unconsciously accepted this objectification, and treated it as though it was funny.

If done well, Mr. Bucky could have created an opportunity for boys to challenge the stereotypes surrounding female pageantry. However, due to the lack of effort and understanding, this chance was missed by a long-shot.

Rather than pageantry itself, it ended up being the women who were made fun of in the process. The oppressive and judgemental world that women are born into, where they will immediately be objectified and evaluated based on their appearance, is anything but a joke and should not be treated as such.

Imagine if a famous female comedian like Amy Schumer or Tina Fey did a sketch about a beauty pageant. It would involve someone (whose demographic is being oppressed by the event) making fun of the event, and would be  satirical  and  funny.

However, since Mr. Bucky involves males executing the same jokes that a female-starring parody would, the lack of subtlety and originality created a misogynistic overtone that ended up mocking the females in the audience, rather than the boys on stage.

Although some of the contestants approached the event with an unamusing level of disregard, those who took it even moderately seriously weren’t given much of a chance. A few of the questions they were asked seemed to be fishing for misogynistic answers (“You would never date a girl who…?), and the “pick-up-line” portion of the competition was a perfect example of the objectification that would have been present at a normal female beauty pageant, and that women face everyday.

However, the real problem is far more insidious. It roots itself in generations of patriarchal societies and gender stereotypes. Men have remained the dominant sex for millennia, and while we claim to have made progress, there is no disputing the fact that women still face social, political and economic inequality all over the world.

For this, no one is responsible. Not you, not your friends, not ASB, not Mr. Bucky itself, but rather the issues in our own community and all over the world that are indirectly supported when they are not challenged.

It may seem like one little joke doesn’t matter, but turning a blind eye to very real problems and dismissing them as humorous does nothing to solve the problem. To the young woman who wants to challenge gender stereotypes in her personal life, it makes a difference. To the young woman who wants to find equality in the workplace and earn the same amount as her male co-workers, it makes a difference.

Mr. Bucky may have begun with good intentions, but they were lost behind the veil of unconscious misogyny. Hopefully next year, we’ll see a more intentional, less morally problematic show, one that doesn’t mock the audience with its lack of professionalism.