About ten years ago, Tyson and Holyfield had a rematch which has since become known simply as the Bite Fight. During the fight, Tyson was losing to Holyfield, and in his frustration, he bit a chunk off of Holyfield's ear. Tyson was disqualified from the fight and fined three million dollars. The fight prompted much outrage from observers who were apparently horrified that Tyson would do something so savage.
But that's the thing - Tyson is a man who is paid to be savage. You can say what you want about boxing, Queensberry rules and all that, but at the end of the day boxing is a cruel, savage, and bloodthirsty sport. I vividly remember being perplexed at the time, not by the fight itself, but by the reaction to the fight. Everyone calling Tyson a monster, a savage. In a real fight, your opponent is under no obligation to respect Queensberry rules, or any other set of rules for that matter. Anything goes - kicking, punching, eye-gouging, throat stomping, crotch attacks, you name it. Humans, when you get right down to it, are vicious, savage animals - we just don't like to admit it. Hence boxing, with all its artificial and completely unrealistic rules. When Tyson deviates from those rules, even if it would have won him the fight in real life, he is chastised for it. The illusion must be maintained.
In the Miss Teen USA incident, here we have a woman whose principal reason for being there is that she's beautiful. Now, humans (particularly males) are sexual creatures, and we do love to objectify our women. Put them on pedestals and argue over which one is prettier, as though there were some way of objectively deciding that. But, BUT - we don't want to admit that, particularly in this modern, politically correct world of ours. So, here comes the illusion - Miss Teen USA is not a mere beauty pageant where the prettiest girl wins, no no no, that would be objectifying women which is doubleplusungood. See, we ask our girls questions about geography and politics and stuff, and base their final grade in part on their responses. However, like the artificial and mostly meaningless rules in boxing, these questions have little bearing on reality. The truth is that women as pretty as these don't need to know about geography or education or current events. But we can't admit that.
The illusion must be maintained.
We watch boxing, but no no no we aren't bloodthirsty, because the fighters aren't allowed to do certain things. We put women on parade in glorified beauty pageants, but no no no we aren't objectifying them because look, we ask them questions about geography.
In short, the people who are laughing at this girl because she couldn't answer a question about the state of affairs regarding the education system in America perplex me to the same degree as the people who called Mike Tyson a savage after he bit Holyfield's ear. It makes no sense to me. I wouldn't expect a beauty pageant contestant to have a high IQ (although if she does, bonus) any more than I would expect civilized behaviour out of a man who has spent the better part of his life training to beat the crap out of people.