More than half of the 1,134 respondents to the most recent caycompass.com online poll believe even women with Caymanian Status should be eligible for the Miss Cayman title.
The poll came after controversy arose when Nicosia Lawson, who was born in St. Vincent and the Grenadines but has Caymanian Status, was recently crowned Miss Cayman.
The largest segment of votes in the poll thought the most liberal eligibility rules should apply as 334 people (29.5 per cent) said anyone Caymanian, holding Cayman Status or simply born in the Cayman Islands should be eligible for the Miss Cayman title. This response would include non-Caymanian women born to expatriates.
‘What are objectors really objecting to,’ asked one respondent. ‘Cydonie Mothersill has to get time from Immigration to stay here, yet it was OK for her to represent Cayman at the Olympics, which is a shame on this country. You can’t have your cake selectively.’
‘There will always be sore losers,’ said another respondent. ‘Better luck next time.’
‘I wonder if people will still have the same attitude towards [Miss Lawson] if she does well in the Miss World and Miss Universe pageants?’ asked someone else.
An additional 259 people (22.8 per cent) said only women born Caymanian or those with Cayman Status should be eligible to contend for the Miss Cayman title.
‘We must honour those who have Status,’ said one respondent. ‘They are Caymanian as well, according to the law. To say any different is wrong.’
‘It is most disheartening to hear the ignorant but loudest few alienate and denigrate an entire generation of Caymanians,’ said another respondent. ‘I think it is high time that we put an end to this small-minded petty nonsense.’
Another 267 respondents (23.5 per cent) believed only women who were born Caymanian should be able to contend for the Miss Cayman title.
‘It should be a birthright,’ said one person. ‘You should be born Caymanian and have lived here at least 75 per cent of your life and have at least one parent who was born Caymanian.’
‘It’s the Ms Cayman title; it isn’t the Ms Cayman Status title,’ said someone else.
A large segment of voters – 251 people or 22.1 per cent) believe the Miss Cayman Pageant should be abolished.
‘The anti-expatriate fervour surrounding the latest pageant and the one a few years ago is an embarrassment to this country,’ said one person. ‘There are too many beauty pageants here anyway and they basically objectify women.’
‘Sexist and patronising, these ridiculous competitions are from a bygone ear,’ said someone else. ‘Caymanian women should be better than to be impressed by this nonsense.’
‘These shows are outdated and only remain popular in third world sexists countries,’ said someone else.
One person suggested using the money allotted to the Miss Cayman pageant to create a scholarship programme for Caymanians, based on academic achievement.
Only 23 people (2 per cent) did not have an opinion on the subject.
‘Only pretty ones should eligible,’ said one person.