The Miss America pageant is a chance for beautiful women to show off their bodies, talent and sometimes asks its finalists to address tough issues as part of the question portion of the competition.
On Sunday night, 2015 Miss America judge Kathy Ireland put Miss Florida, Victoria Cowen, on the spot when she threw the contestant a question about domestic violence — namely one about NFL star Ray Rice beating his then-fiancée, Janay Rice.
While domestic violence needs to be addressed and the Rice incident has been headlining the news all week — after a graphic video emerged and Janay Rice chose to stay with her husband — Ireland infuriated a lot of women when she asked Cowen:
"As a woman, what do you think of her decision?"
Miss Florida's answer included a clear condemnation of Rice's actions, saying, "I don’t think that he deserves a second chance." But Twitter still blew up with angry tweets blasting the question about judging Janay Rice — which many felt sounded more like victim-blaming.
This #MissAmerica question about Ray Rice pits women against women instead of addressing the real issue of domestic abuse.
— Lauren Fox (@FoxReports) September 15, 2014
So #MissAmerica is going to casually shame Ray Rice's wife for staying with her husband on national TV? Really?
— Alana (@AlanaVincenza) September 15, 2014
Of course the biggest problem with the whole incident was not Janay Rice's decision to stay with the former NFL star, but rather his decision to pummel her in the first place.
By the way, Miss New York won for the third year in a row.