The Protest

Leading up to the protest, Jolley spent time with women’s liberation groups in the Kitchener-Waterloo area, and attended the official events relating to the pageant utilizing every opportunity she could to address the issues of women’s liberation.

 “ [Jolley] had no more than four hours of sleep a night for the last three weeks. She has set herself what she calls this incredible pace so she can talk to people. She wants to make the women especially realize that there is an alternative to the ‘oppression and exploitation of women’."

Jolley at the protest

Jolley with fellow protestors. 

University of Waterloo Archives

Jolley explained that, “If necessary I will attend all of the functions to present an alternative. I’ll be there to say ‘Yes, I do exist. Please acknowledge me."

In an attempt to put a stop to the protest, the WLU Executive Committee of the President’s Council created a measure requiring all protests on campus to be booked and all protestors who were not students at WLU to sign a form that would formally recognize them as a protestor. However, this did not stop the protestors as they managed to book the protest and register all participants according to the new regulations. 

Book a Picket form

'Book a picket' form that protestors were required to fill out in order to participate in the protest.

SFU Archives

The Protest<br />

Picketers outside the auditorium at WLU on the night of the protest.

WLU Archives

On the night of the final crowning, over two hundred members of the women’s liberation movement and supporters gathered outside the auditorium while fifty others were seated inside. Jolley recollects the evening of the protest in an article in The Vancouver Sun:

“For most of the night’s events I waited quietly in the audience […] Just before the final judging was to be announced, I walked up to the podium and demanded my right to speak. I asked the women in the audience and the girls in the contest to look at these contests for what they really are – exploitation of women to sell cars, fur coats, and watches. Before I had finished speaking Judy Darcy, the candidate for York University in Toronto walked from the line-up of girls and announced she was renouncing her role in the competition […] My speech to the final audience was carried on amid gales of laughter from the men in the audience and cheers from many of the women […] We marched out of the hall singing Solidarity Forever. As far as we are concerned we won our battle."