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Amoral answer makes Miss Universe amoral

My 13-year-old son informs me that the term "slut" is out; "skank" is in. Either term refers to a perpetually sexually active, unmarried woman. These days, however, if you get a group of skanks together and add a few equally skanky men, you have a popular TV sitcom such as, for example, "Friends" or "Frasier."

Where you may not imagine flagrant skank-hood to flourish is the Miss Universe Contest. Yet this is exactly where millions of unsuspecting parents and their children were recently confronted by skanks.Luann J. from Dallas wrote me that she and her three children, a boy, age 6, and two daughters, 9 and 10, were watching the Miss Universe Contest the last week of May. "We were talking throughout the whole pageant about these young ladies competing for the title -- that they were beautiful but also smart, intelligent young ladies and role models for girls around the world. Boy, was I ever proven wrong."

What could possibly have happened during this broadcast to generate the hundreds of shocked and angry responses from parents all over America? It was a simple question: "If you became pregnant during your reign as Miss Universe, what would you do? Would you continue to reign?"

All across America parents waited for the "right answer" from these last three finalists. The first contestant answered that yes, she would continue to travel as Miss Universe and that being pregnant shouldn't hinder her at all. "Well," writes Luann, "I about blew the roof off the house. I lectured my children that she just blew it and there was no way that she could win after that 'moral-less' answer."

The second contestant, asked the same question, answered the same way -- that becoming pregnant wouldn't interfere with her travels or her duties. Luann's kids "chimed in with me that she blew it and that contestant No. 3 is going to win because surely she will do the right thing."

Luann, her children and families across America held their stunned breath as contestant No. 3 got ready to answer. This woman turned an out-of-wedlock pregnancy into an expression of her femininity! And for this utterance of outrageous, amoral, feminist stupidity, Contestant No. 3 became Miss Universe. Groan.

Luann wrote that her three children looked at her and said they guessed "there must not be anything wrong with getting pregnant when you are not married. I told them that if I were the judge I would have walked out and not voted for any one of the three. I sat my children down and took the opportunity to talk morals. I explained to them that it is not acceptable to have sex before you are in a loving, committed marriage. It is not acceptable to be Miss (which means single) Universe and be having sex. She would be an awful role model for young girls around the world."

Caroline A. from Palmdale, Calif., was horrified. "I permitted my 14-year-old niece to watch the pageant, as I assumed it was one of the few television programs I didn't have to worry about monitoring. Boy, was I wrong! I think I am more livid about the response of the participants than even the inappropriateness of the question."

Robert M., Salt Lake City, wrote: "When the question was asked to the final candidates, my wife asked me, 'What would you say?' I said I would say, 'Well, since we aren't allowed to be married (as Miss Universe), we obviously can't be in a committed relationship. Since every child deserves to have a solid home with both a mother and a father, I think it would be deplorable and irresponsible for Miss Universe to set out to deprive a child of that chance. So, of course, someone with that kind of character should not be in such a position of responsibility as Miss Universe.' "

Roger L., Adrian, Mich., is "very angry and nearly broke my television set. I have three children, all daughters, all under the age of 10, and I am incensed by the fact that the world so glibly portrays having babies out of wedlock as a good thing."

It is stunning that a society which tracks down so-called "deadbeat dads" for child support money simultaneously lauds women who intentionally make babies with no marital commitment, knowing full well that psychologically, children are damaged by the loss of a dad in an intact, two-parent home. It is disgusting that our obsessiveness about our rights, our feelings, our wants and our absolute freedoms has so blinded us to the obligation to provide for and protect the weakest among us, our children.

An insidious commercial aimed at women used to say, "We've come a long way, baby." Yes, we have come a long way toward creating hell for children.


I call upon every American city to cancel a visit by Miss Universe: no pomp, no ceremony, no press, no turnout and no respect, please. A skank is a skank -- our society can't afford to honor such a visible attack on the basis of civilization: the family.

Please send correspondence to Dr. Laura in care of Universal Press Syndicate, 4520 Main St., Kansas City, Mo. 64111. Dr. Laura Schlessinger Dist. by Universal Press Syndicate