Peterhouse votes to go ahead with controversial ‘Miss Peterhouse’ drag pageant

Peterhouse aren’t ‘dragging’ their heels on this one

In a Peterhouse referendum, students have voted to keep the college’s ‘Miss Peterhouse’ pageant. The drag event is held each year by the JCR, led by the Women’s and LGBT+ representatives.

The outcome was tight: 48.51% voted in favour and 41.58% voted against, with 9.9% of the votes cast being blank.


Progressive Peterhouse?

The referendum followed a JCR open meeting, in which the controversy surrounding the theme was discussed. The event has been called to be scrapped in the past, and the JCR felt that the issue needed input from the wider student body.

JCR President Frances Hawker, speaking to TCS, said that the open meeting decided to “take into account the opinion of the whole College”. The JCR said to have remained neutral.

Robinson's Drag Bop in 2015

Robinson’s Drag Bop in 2015

This is not the first drag-theme controversy this term. Tensions across Robinson’s student body emerged earlier this Lent, following the JCR’s decision to go ahead with their drag-themed Bop. Opinion was divided, as some students were sceptical of the theme’s offensiveness, whilst The LGBT+ officer questioned its “appropriateness”.

Peterhouse students have criticised the event for not being inclusive or accepting enough. Women’s Officer Stevie Hertz was reportedly sceptical that this is yet possible, commenting that “in a post-feminist, post-transphobic world it could be wonderful”, but as it stands, won’t do much for already marginalised students.

Peterhouse JCR LGBT+ officer Julian Sutcliffe reportedly commented that “it is my task to speak out against events which have the potential to be alienating, and this bop has been attacked as transphobic and misogynistic.”