This year, the Miss USA smashed stereotypes about beauty pageant contestants after crowning Miss District of Columbia Kara McCullough, an African-American nuclear scientist, as the 2017 winner during the event held in Las Vegas, Nevada.
However, the 25-year-old who majored in chemistry at South Carolina State University and works at the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, sent heads shaking after calling health care a “privilege” instead of a basic human right.
“I’m definitely going to say it’s a privilege,” McCullough said of affordable health care system during the question-and-answer segment. “As a government employee, I’m granted health care. And I see firsthand that for one, to have health care, you need to have jobs, so therefore we need to continue to cultivate this environment so that we’re given the opportunities to have health care as well as jobs for all Americans worldwide.”
At a time when millions of Americans are on the verge of possibly losing their health care coverage, McCullough’s answer felt rather insensitive. President Donald Trump’s American Health Care Act, if passed by the Senate, would not only categorize rape, sexual assault, pregnancy and C-section (among other issues pertaining to women’s health) all pre-existing conditions thus exempt from coverage, but the higher premiums would also make it impossible for middle income and poor people to buy health care plans.
Why do only employed people deserve health care? Do poor and unemployed not fall sick?
Not only was it a little off tangent, it also sparked a fierce social media debate.
Oh hell naw miss DC with the absolute wrong answer to the affordable healthcare question— Sappy Gilmore (@Terpish) May 15, 2017
The question about feminism also did not go so well either.
“What do you consider feminism to be and do you consider yourself a feminist?” the interviewer asked.
However, instead of talking about women empowerment, McCullough, an advocate for science education, responded by perpetuating the age-old myth about feminism being an ideology.
“As a woman scientist in the government, I'd like to transpose the word feminism to ‘equalism,’” she said. “I try not to consider myself this diehard, like, I don't really care about men.”
Feminism does not equate to hating men, as McCullough implied. Instead, feminism is about eliminating gender discrimination and promoting equality between men and women. Miss D.C. could have certainly used the opportunity to be a role model to women everywhere and inspire young girls to becomes leaders or join her own field of science. However, all she did was champion the preposterous notion that feminism is all about abhorring the male population.
Social media users had a lot to say about McCullough’s answers. Although most of them acknowledged McCullough was an ideal winner, they also agreed that her stance on significant social matters was a little problematic, to say the least.
Huge fan of #MissUSA being a black woman and a scientist and advocate for science education, but dang she could use a class on social issues— Keely Cunningham (@KEE_LYme_pie) May 15, 2017
District of Columbia said health care is a privilege for only those who have jobs. And if you lose your job because you get sick? #MissUSA— Macbeth (@ladymacbeth0010) May 15, 2017
Yes, the new #MissUSA is gorgeous, but she's very problematic. Sure she's a Black woman who's natural, but she's still a shitty person.— Chihiro Ogino (@WickedBeaute) May 15, 2017
Just to be clear.. FEMINISM 👏IS👏THE👏EQUALITY👏OF👏MEN👏AND👏WOMEN👏 POLITICALLY👏SOCIALLY👏SEXUALLY👏AND EDUCATIONALLY👏 #MissUSA— Shaina Flanagan (@Shainaflanagan1) May 15, 2017
It's incredibly sad that in 2017, a woman is striving to occupy a position of influence w/ no understanding of what feminism is. #MissUSA— courtney (@seecourttweet) May 15, 2017
SHE JUST SAID SHES NOT A FENINIST SHES AN EQUALIST I GOTTA GO #MissUSA— #SOSVENEZUELA (@SlMONDOMINlC) May 15, 2017
Congrats 2 Miss. D.C. 4 not winning the pageant,but 4 bcoming FOX News' weekly star of "This Minority Said It So We're Not Racist!" #MissUSA— Dennzillion I (@KingZillionI) May 15, 2017
Dang I wanted Miss D.C to win but I'm sorry affordable health care is not a privilege. Health care should be a human right! #MissUSA— Kandacy Adams (@_KandKand) May 15, 2017
Banner/thumbnail credit: Reuters