Why Women Slut Shame Miley Cyrus

Miley Cyrus is the twerk and subsequent slut shame felt round the world. Her VMA twerking drama will not die down no matter how sick we all are of analyzing the phallic nature of that fucking foam finger. And although I get that Miley’s been kind of an entertaining freak show lately, it is frankly crazy to me how many people give two shits about her current slutitude level. Why didn’t we just write off her twerk up as another bad VMA performance, like a more racist Brittany Spears circa 2007?

South Park knew Miley was going to be the next sacrificial slut back in 2008!

Instead people, and particularly women, continue to weigh in with their opinions about Miley and her twerkiness. The judgement-o-rama continued when Sinead O’Connor wrote an open letter (and then a second, third, fourth and FIFTH open letter) to Miley, after Miley said Sinead was an inspiration for the “Wrecking Ball” music video. Sinead’s letter was not a pretty one, nor was the Twitter fight post-letter particularly graceful for either of the artists. Sinead claimed she was acting as a “mother figure” when she told Miley that she was being pimped out by the music industry. If I had a quarter for every time my mom called me a prostitute…

Whether or not Sinead truly thought she was acting in Miley’s “best interest,” it is not her job, nor mine, nor the media, to decide what is sexually-appropriate for Miley Cyrus and what is not.

Look I get the need to gawk at a twerking car wreck. As human beings it is our God-given freedom to judge Miley’s performance, to say things like: “That was the least sexy performance I’ve witnessed since Jim Levenstein’s strip tease in American Pie” or to think “Please stop licking things or at least make sure your tetanus shot is up-to-date.”

It is not okay for to go from “your performance was horrendous” to “you are a horrendous slut,” which is essentially what Sinead and the media and most of America did. We went from hating an action to condemning a woman.

But why did we, particularly as the women of this free liberated world, do such a silly and un-feminist thing like slut shame a 20-year old woman?

I think we slut shame Miley to prove that we aren’t the whores. We make Miley the slut, make her smuttiness deplorable and thus create that whorey “other” we can point to as “everything that is wrong with America.”

Then, all us liberated women of the world can be the acceptably sexual ladies on the street and proper freaks in the bed, that we so want to be.

None of which is to say that Miley deserves our praise, or that her twerking was good. We should definitely be talking about her appropriation of black culture as well as why nude is not a flattering color on her. But as for her sexuality, Miley appears to be like a lot of 20 year old women: visibly awkward with her own scantily clad body and unsure of how to express her sexiness in a society filled with mixed messages for young women. Sound familiar to any other women out there?

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