Why Protest?

Leading up to the protests, Janiel Jolley spoke to several newspapers and wrote her own articles describing the reasoning behind her protest. In an article she wrote for the SFU student newspaper, The Peak, Jolley explained the current state of women in society and how protesting the pageant would have an effect on the women’s liberation movement.

“As people become more aware of the issue of women’s liberation, women are            beginning to challenge the legitimacy of such beauty contests […] Vancouver Women’s Caucus felt that a boycott would not be enough as it would essentially go unnoticed, and that such a contest provides the perfect arena for the voice of women’s liberation. Women have never been identified with society’s progress […] Denied identity in the world or in a career, women are forced to define themselves through their biological functions (reproduction and sexuality) over which they have no control […] Beauty contests help to strengthen this view of women by asking that we define ourselves by how close we come to ‘dazzling’ plastic image of a cosmetic advertisement rather than our potential in conscious creative action."

Janiel Jolley Day Skit

Jolley and students simulate the Miss Canadian University Pageant in a 'Janiel Jolley Day' skit held at SFU prior to the real protest at WLU. 

SFU Archives 

In an interview with the Kitchener-Waterloo Record, Jolley explained that:


            “We want to say to young Canadian women that there is an alternative to the dehumanized stereotype that they are socialized to be. Women all over Canada and the U.S. are beginning to challenge the role that we have played for centuries."

Jolley also sent out information to her fellow contestants and local women’s liberation groups to explain what she would be doing and why, to encourage as many people as possible to join her in the protest.

Janiel Jolley day poster

'Janiel Jolley Day' poster.

SFU Archives