Brief Encounter: July/August 2007

During a recent vacation in Croatia, on our little TV with troublesome reception and problematic picture, we watched the Miss and Mister Croatia pageant, held simultaneously. The contest looked semi-glamorous, a bit cheap, but it cannot be denied that the Croatians are a good looking nation. The show flowed smoothly, until the questions section, when the contestants were to be allowed to show their skills, intelligence and personality.

From the men, we heard a short song or two, another a dance number, another a stand up comic routine. A talented enough line up.

But, lo and behold the questions that the women were asked! About food, cooking, and laundry, no less. Not all were pleased. Was this “a beauty contest or a cooking contest,” one asked? The male candidates? Well, they were given free hands to show whatever talent they had in any way they liked.

So what was it all about? Did someone think the questions would be cute? Was it about the way women are treated in Eastern Europe? Or about what a “good” woman must know? Misogyny?

I don’t know exactly, but there was definitely something wrong with the picture that night.


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