Targeting Miley Cyrus

miley cyrus twerkingSome of my female friends, whom I admire and respect and like a whole lot, continue to express dismay over Miley Cyrus’ sexually provocative performance at the MTV’s Video Music Awards (VMAs). Across the Internet, some are labeling the performance as slutty, disgusting, and degrading to women. Funny thing is that I don’t feel at all degraded as a woman due to Cyrus’ romp on stage with Teddy Bears and Robin Thicke.

I’m too old to appreciate Miley Cyrus’ music but her performance style doesn’t offend me any more than Madonna did in her hey day. Recall that video where she crawled across the floor and lapped milk out of a bowl?

While I greatly appreciate and continue to like my female friends, I have to pose the following questions. Why is it that women are the first ones to turn on other women who are overtly sexual in their actions or appearance? We label these women as sluts, nasty, trashy — which just doesn’t sound very sisterly to me. What’s with this judgment that a woman who expresses her sexuality while performing on stage is behaving in a shameful way and any decent female should be ashamed of her and for her?

Michael Jackson grabbed his crotch and hoisted his junk in every performance. Even in the staid 1950s, Elvis gyrated his hips in a distinctly sexual manner, accompanied by pelvic thrusts. I can’t recall a single male performer whose overtly sexual performance has ever elicited the same type of need to express revulsion and disgust as Miley Cyrus has garnered for shaking her butt, thrusting her pelvis forward, and sometimes pointing at her crotch.

Why are we still defining women in terms of meeting some 1950s standard of ladylike behavior?

The Syrian government appears to have used chemical weapons against its own people but the big topic in the U.S. is that Miley Cyrus was twerking on television! Oh, the horror! She pointed at her crouch and did a slow grind a few times with Robin Thicke. Notice how there haven’t been any headlines labeling Robin Thicke as a slut, nasty, disgusting, or an embarrassment to his gender? Miley wasn’t on that stage alone.

sheria reidPerhaps we need to step back and really think as to what the message is that we wish to convey. Do we really want to adhere to some arbitrary and outdated standard that divides women into good girls and sluts? All the 20-year-old Miley Cyrus did was express herself as a sexual being. She didn’t advocate for violence. She wasn’t an object; she was in control and she chose how to express herself. That’s a far cry from exploitation in my book. Just something to think about.

Sheria Reid
The Examined Life

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Published by the LA Progressive on August 28, 2013
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About Sheria Reid

Sheria Reid is a native of eastern North Carolina. She is a former high school English teacher, a licensed attorney and currently works as a legislative analyst at the North Carolina state legislature.

Comments

  1. Zepher Stone says:

    “All that it takes for tyranny to exist is for good people to do nothing” or in Miley’s case “twerking.” You talk about Syria then you completely dismiss the effects of the entertainment puppets and the billions that back them. Be real, our culture cares more about Khardashian than Syria. Why? Madonna and “girls just want to have fun,” was the precursor. The cultural / sexual/ feminist revolution turned us into a bunch of hedons and materialists. So we all make excuses, vote democratic, and pretend we are doing our part by reading the mainstream news. Sorry but you have absolutely no idea whats going on in Syria and in effect, by towing the mainstream message, you have just advocated for violent intervention. So it’s completely ironic that somebody that defends the destruction of our youth, shouts “Syria,” and have absolutely no idea what;s going on Syria??? Instead of writing this article defending Syria, what you find out and do a little independent research??? Do you know who the rebels are? That’s right, the same people we are fighting in Iraq & Afghanistan… And do you know of the ramifications of an all out escalation?? Of course you dont, cause your too busy defending the heathens…But its not your fault, you were influenced by the Madonnas and gagas, and the so called cultural, liberal revolution…

    • Zepher Stone, did you read my article? What are you talking about? My post isn’t at all about Syria. I mention Syria once, to make the point that headlines about Miley Cyrus get far more attention than the events taking place in Syria. I didn’t write any article defending Syria as you allege in your comment. I haven’t advocated for any kind of intervention. I don’t even use the word intervention in my post. May I suggest that you actually read an article before commenting on it.

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