Miss USA: Freedom of Speech Misinterpreted?
As the world knows the latest controversy to make news comes from the Miss USA competition, where Miss California, Carrie Prejean, is verbally being crucified across the web for stating her opinion on same-sex marriage. Often times such a subject is handled with vulgarity and complete disregard for those of the homosexual orientation. Only Prejean handled the situation of voicing her opinions on such a topic with a great deal of style and grace, like any potential Miss USA should. Upon being asked her views on same sex marriage being legal by judge Perez Hilton, Prejean responded:
"We live in a land where you can choose same-sex marriage or opposite. And you know what, I think in my country, in my family, I think that I believe that a marriage should be between a man and a woman. No offense to anybody out there, but that’s how I was raised." (Prejean).
Being very polite, Prejean stated her upbringing has taught her to believe that marriage is for a man and woman, a clear opposing against the question, handled in a fair, polite way. What needs to be questioned, is why Prejean is actually being scrutinized and verbally abused, by Hilton himself, on his video blog (contains language) taped after the crowning of Miss USA, which went to Miss North Carolina. Hilton states it is not because of Prejean's answer on same-sex-marriage that she lost, but in so many words, because of her lack of intelligence.
This raises the question of why Prejean is under so much fire for an honest and polite answer which, when broken down, was not intentionally made to disrespect anyone. This situation, if anything, raises a far bigger question: Why is someone who rightfully and properly used Freedom of Speech being attacked for doing so. Prejean did not make any comments that could be considered derogatory or homophobic, she was courteous to others feelings while stating her own views on the topic. Can people disagree with her, of course, it is natural for people to have different view points, but the backlash that she is receiving for an honest answer is slightly unbearable to hear. Why is Prejean, who was brave enough to stand on national television and voice such honest and controversial beliefs, being publically slandered and humiliated in the media when she herself was asked a question she did not know would be asked. Why is there no blame being put on the question itself. But more importantly, what kind of message is being sent out to the public about Freedom of Speech. It is being portrayed in a 'do-and-die' freedom. If Prejean had stated she supported same-sex-marriage she would possibly be in the media for it as well, and in all likeliness dealing with an equal amount of backlash from those who do support her point of view. Prejean could have simply sidestepped the question, or given the answer she knew would most likely please the judges, Hilton specifically. Instead, Prejean chose the truth, and elegantly stated her belief in an unbiased, positive light, informing the viewers it as not to be offensive.
If anything, this entire situation is simply another sign that Freedom of Speech may become a thing to fear; where do we see proper examples of Freedom of Speech in such everyday events that reach a wide range of ages. Miss USA is a program event watched by millions, all of different genders, races, sexual orientation and most importantly ages. Media is the backbone of many people's everyday lives, is there not enough examples of Freedom of Speech at its worst; being used with the intent to hurt and diminish a group or person based on things such as gender, sexual orientation, race or age. At last, on a major television event that is highly anticipated by many, there is an act of Freedom of Speech being used with genuine and honest intent to voice an opinion, which was made clear not to offend anyone. Still it is set-up for a barrage of slander and is met with hostility by those with a different view point, such as Hilton.
The entire situation that has taken place does not promote Freedom of Speech in any sort of positive light, it does not promote a secular world either, one where we can peacefully coincide with opposing viewpoints. If anything, some have turned Prejean into a type of renegade for speaking her mind, her beliefs. A prime example of existing in a secular world. Why is Prejean instead not being considered a role model, not for her beliefs, but for her actions. Actions that consisted of a controversial subject, handled in a respectful and peaceful manner. This compared to Hilton, who is somewhat a major media figure, one who posted a video blog online of himself, which could easily be considered verbal bullying towards Prejean for her answer, which he clearly disagrees with.
If anything, this controversial Miss USA runner-up should not be put down and degraded in the public eye by some such as Hilton, but be promoted as an example of Freedom of Speech being used at its best. In a peaceful, unbiased, courteous way.
Most Recommended Comment
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada