Thank you all for your comments, both public and private, and for voting on whether to continue our contests. It appears that the polling will go on!*
Someone let it be known that my support of women's rights and women's causes was invalidated by having a contest where women were pitted against one another. A couple of other people said that if in general, I didn't want women judged on their looks, I shouldn't hold a contest in which men were judged on the same. (I thought dropping the swimsuit competition, and calling the contests "scholarship pageants" had taken care of that, but evidently not.) Still another voice cried foul, insinuating that I rigged the contests every year. There were more, but you get the idea.
(This is why you got this tattoo, Kim. . . Find your center and stay there.)
Point taken on the first two objections. Would one contest with all nominees, both male and female, in the same draw be a remedy for the first one?
As for the second, perhaps "Hunk" and "Chick" aren't the best words to use. We could go with "Ideal Knitting Companion (Male)" and "Ideal Knitting Companion (Female.)" Or "People To Whom We Would Gladly Extend An Invitation For A Light Lunch, Good Conversation, and Knitting."
I know everyone's Bulls*^t and Nonsense Meters have been overloaded this week. There are much more important fights we could all be fighting right now. If my dopey little sideshow offends you, I apologize. If there are changes that you think could be made to improve it, I'll listen. In the meantime, it's still the 10th Anniversary year, and there will still be special events. Stay tuned.
*Bridget, you have no idea how close I came to running your suggested poll. Really. Majorly razor-thin-ly close.