The Miss Hozhoni Pageant, part of the annual monthlong Hozhoni Days that celebrates the variety of cultures at Fort Lewis College, is getting a slight name change, the college’s newspaper reports.
It will now be called “Ms. Hozhoni Pageant” to make it more open to applicants. “Ms. is the equivalent of Mr.,” anthropology and gender and women’s studies professor Kathy Fine-Dare told The Independent. “But we got in the habit of having titles for women that indicate their marital status. Miss has connotation of being unmarried and no children. So to have a pageant be Miss Hozhoni, means that it limits who can apply.”
Only the name is changing, she said. The pageant rules will remain the same, and it will continue to be open to all genders. The pageant, a three-day affair, showcases candidates’ contemporary and traditional skills at crafting, cooking, singing, dancing and story-telling.
The reigning Miss Hozhoni is Natalia Sells. A new Ms. Hozhoni will be crowned at this year’s Hozhoni Days in April.