DES MOINES, IA—Iowa is mostly known for picking losing presidential candidates, but the state has other exciting attractions as well, like growing all our food and having jar opening contests to stave off the long months until the summer's county fairs.
But this year, one contestant is stirring controversy: Michelle Braxton, born Michael Braxton, is a biological male competing in the women's division. The male-to-female transgender contestant is crushing all challengers, opening jars with ease while the biological females struggle to keep up.
"Michelle is clearly a biological male, and allowing her to compete in the female category in our world-famous jar opening contest is unfair to the women," said Phyllis Barlow, previous champion. Barlow had won the contest three years in a row with her record-setting times of under four minutes to open a pickle jar. But now, her reign is threatened by Braxton, who rips open the jars without breaking a sweat.
"If Braxton were competing in the male division where he should be, he'd just be an average jar opener," said one commentator. "But competing against the women lets him stand out from the crowd of females, who often can only open a jar with male assistance or one of those As Seen on TV jar opening things."
Braxton will also be competing in the female division in Iowa's famed Parallel Parking 500.