It is perhaps in the character of mankind, perhaps even in his genes, to admire things. History was in part written by various men’s desires to admire a thing of beauty, an object of power or a woman of distinguished character. This desire spawned countless pageants and contests that claim to decide what or who possesses the greatest intelligence, beauty, speed, etc.
The greatest of all these contests are, of course, beauty contests, and because men are endowed with this innate desire to admire and to procreate, women are nearly always the subject of such contests. These contests vary from the mundane to the profane, but they are always about women.
The attached picture from the Mazayan al-Maaz competition appeared in the Washington Post’s daily pictures section recently. It answers the question that one would not have thought of posing. What do men admire when they cannot admire women?
Saudi Arabia follows the most stringent codes regarding the appearance of women. These codes require, in fact, that women be nearly invisible, that they have no appearance at all, in effect. Thus, the code physically implements the strict Wahabi proscription against admiring women.
Absent women as a subject, to what do Saudi men turn their desire for admiration? Expand the picture and read the caption. There is no dispute. Saudi Arabia is home to the most beautiful goat(s) in the world. You can take that to the bank.
Of course, they have spectacular horses, too, but isn’t a goat competition somewhat underwhelming? Isn’t the Westminster Kennel Club’s competition a bit more compelling in its search for beauty?