AA: Do you think, the protest is going to be effective in any way? The last time when the discussion was held in public space, it didn't have any particular positive result. There were a lot of students disappointed with the Student Council's decision, but basically it all went to nowhere. Why do you think this time is going to be different?
CG: Our goal is not to make them remove the beauty contest. I mean, that would be great. But it's not my main goal, and it's not a solution of anything. And what I want to achieve is to make people discuss it publicly, to create a conversation about it, because people do not speak here much about feminist ideology. So it's more about waking people up, then reaching some certain objective, like removal of the beauty contest. So, what i want, is for people to question themselves: 'It's true, why do we have a beauty contest in the uni? Is it sexist? What does 'sexist' mean?'
AA: The discussion switched mostly from discussing feminist ideals, gender equality/inequality to discussing, if we can in any way restrict the initiative, that comes directly from the students. Because, they say, the contest is organized completely by students of HSE, so what can we do about it? They're free to do anything in their free time. What do you think about this argument?
CG: They're free to do what they want? That's why I say that the goal is not to remove the beauty contest. My point is to make people think about like 'why am I doing this? why am I trying to be the most beautiful person?'. Ok, they can continue with the contest, but I want people to think about the bad side of it. The point is, it's not only a funny event, that's also another social mechanism to keep you on your role of 'good girl full of complexes'. I'm not cool to say to people, what makes you happy, or what makes you unhappy, but I just want to create a conversation about other ways to analyze ourselves, especially role of women in society, and now in the uni. Lots of mechanisms exist and they are unperceivable, the mechanisms that makes us women submissive. The problem is that we're not talking about these social mechanisms. We are socialized in one gender, and we, women are not socialized in power, and we're socialized in being nice and smiling and not able to think. It's all about that mechanisms as beauty contest, who contribute to that, to keeping women out of intellectual things. And that comes from the university, from a place, where you go to develop your intellectual skills. So it's a bit controversial.