Miley Cyrus may have delivered a brilliant parody of slut culture, but let’s all focus on what a dick Robin Thicke is!

28 Aug

Okay, I did it. I watched Miley Cyrus perform on the VMAs. I was prepared to be cringing and squirming and recoiling from my screen every ten seconds.

Meh. It wasn’t really that racy at all. Miley isn’t exactly the world’s most energetic dancer and she seemed to be having a lot of fun and at the end of the clip, she looks like nothing more than a 20 year old girl doing her damndest to be edgy and sexy without necessarily being all porny about it.

No really.

Her costume is revealing, to be sure, but not in a stereotypical way. I remember the first time I saw Christina Aguilera in her ass chaps, her panties visible under her “skirt” in Dirrty, and that video left me feeling like I needed a shower and an STD test.

Miley strips off to a nude colored latex bathing suit, but it’s very obviously a nude colored bathing suit, and covers far more than the costume Madonna wore on her MDMA tour. Here’s the view from the back.

Madonna sizzles in Miami as her MDNA Tour is filmed for DVD

Click here for a view from the front. NSFW.

http://i.huffpost.com/gen/872225/thumbs/o-MADONNA-570.jpg?3

Madonna, of course, is a feminist icon whose labia liberates women from hegemonic gender ideals.

Madonna is both a counter-hegemonic force and a feminist for two main reasons: she radically tries to change society by blurring the boundaries that separate different groups of people in society and she urges all people to gain power in their, lives and lift themselves out of subordinate positions

http://preserve.lehigh.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1662&context=etd

Madonna was the First Slut of slut culture, teaching women and girls that chaining yourself by the neck and lapping milk from the floor was actually totally empowering!

Madonna is the true feminist. She exposes the puritanism and suffocating ideology of American feminism, which is stuck in an adolescent whining mode. Madonna has taught young women to be fully female and sexual while still exercising total control over their lives. She shows girls how to be attractive, sensual, energetic, ambitious, aggressive and funny — all at the same time.

milk

http://www.nytimes.com/1990/12/14/opinion/madonna-finally-a-real-feminist.html

And Miley’s hair! Let’s talk about Miley’s hair. When she chopped it off and bleached it blonde, everyone wanted to know where sweet, adorable Hannah Montana went!

hair

But she never had that hair to begin with. Miley herself explains how it was all smoke and mirrors and 350 hair extensions, and she’s done with that shit now.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-2378360/None-real-Miley-Cyrus-reveals-long-flowing-hair-extensions.html

So what is it that freaked everybody out about Miley’s VMA performance? Here’s what I think: Miley exposed, either deliberately or inadvertently, that pop culture, and feminist pop culture in particular, uses sexual promiscuity and availability as a barometer to gauge whether a woman is “grown-up” or not.

You aren’t grown up until you’ve fucked your train of guys, or at least look willing to do so.

Britney Spears did the same sort of “coming out”, transforming herself from lollipop sucking high school ingénue into fully fledged sex toy, but she did it in a way that suggested SHE was in charge of the whole process, and found the experience liberating and empowering. And she followed the porn script, as she is required to do. Tousled sexy hair, gaping mouth (insert dick here), strategically placed sparkles to draw attention to her breasts and crotch. She played everything out perfectly.

britney

Which is just the message pop culture WANTS young women to receive: being a slut is totally cool and awesome and a marker that you, young woman, have arrived on the shores of liberty! Of course, being a slut is none of those things, but it is a really effective way to perpetuate “rape culture” and make certain that both young women and young men learn to mistrust their innate, natural desires for meaningful relationships with one another.

http://judgybitch.com/2013/08/06/lets-talk-about-sluts/

For whatever reason, whether consciously or out of total ineptness and naiveté, Miley refused to follow the script. Giant teddy bears and Hildegarde hair buns and granny panty bottoms, – Miley gave slut culture a nice big “fuck you”.

I found myself actually smiling at the end of the show, because I give Miley some credit, which may or may not be due. I feel like she was saying “Oh, I can’t be a grown-up until I prance around in some skimpy costume pretending to fuck some guy on stage? Okay then. Here goes!”

And then she proceeded to prance around in a skimpy costume that was as far from “sexy” as you can get and still be skimpy, she did her required ass-shaking dance moves and turned them into a parody, made the whole simulated sex thing look preposterous, and basically was so NOT hot, it was actually funny.

Miley Cyrus is only 20 years old, but that doesn’t make her stupid, and the woman has been in show business for a long, long time. It’s entirely plausible that she knew EXACTLY what she was doing, and why. In order to even contemplate the idea that Miley might have been making statement about the cultural expectations that mark her out as an adult, we would need to believe that Miley really is intelligent, aware, self-critical and powerful enough to bend her team to her will.

http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/guest-op-ed-was-miley-cyrus-vma-performance-a-parody-20130827

But if intelligent and aware = refusing slut culture, where does that leave feminists?

Well, duh! They’ll find a man to blame! It’s Robin Thicke’s fault!

Cyrus’s performance was shocking, but for reasons not being discussed. It was jarring because, as opposed to the random, half-nude models we’re used to seeing prance around Robin Thicke, we were watching a 20-year-old woman — a household name, someone we “know” — play the object in Thicke’s sexy sex dream. And as was the case during the Janet Jackson/Justin Timberlake Super Bowl fiasco of 2004, the focus has been on Miley’s performance choices and not Thicke’s compliance in them. While criticizing a woman for her actions might imply that she’s being given an agency that has been long denied, it’s not. It’s holding her to a standard not required of her companion, who got to sit back and enjoy the young ass shoved in his face.

http://jezebel.com/mileys-need-to-shock-was-the-least-shocking-thing-abou-1200886682

I’m really curious: what does Jezebel think Robin should have done when Miley decided to grind on him? He looks a little surprised, so let’s assume it wasn’t scripted.

He should have grabbed her hips and went to town on her?

No way! That’s rapey!

He should have moved away and left her grinding in mid-air?

No way! That would be rejecting her and humiliating her further!

He should have taken her hand and led her off stage back to her keepers?

No way! That’s paternalistic!

He should have reacted in a sort of bemused way, because those are some “Blurred Lines”?

There was no way for Robin to win this one, as is usually the case. It amuses me that Jezebel will go to town on Miley’s “appropriation” of black culture and call her out as having a responsibility to treat black music and culture and dance with respect, but then at the same time, try to blame everyone BUT Miley for her salacious, over the top attempt at sexualizing her own body.

http://jezebel.com/on-miley-cyrus-ratchet-culture-and-accessorizing-with-514381016

Which is it? Is she an adult responsible for her behaviors and actions and the implications thereof, or is she a pretty little innocent being hopelessly exploited by big mean Robin Thicke?

You can’t have it both ways.

And how fucking ironic is it that a website called JEZEBEL is going to call someone else out for cultural appropriation? Oh, okay then.

The Jezebel stereotype is particularly damaging to black women, but here’s a bunch of mostly white ladies using the word to discuss … Celebrity, Sex and Fashion for Women. Nothing to see here, right? Move along.

jezebel

Whether or not Miley INTENDED her performance to be a comment on slut culture and the requirement that young women equate adulthood with sexual salaciousness is kind of irrelevant. She subverted the sexy-porny-big hair-sparkly meme whether she meant to or not.

Whatever Miley is, she ain’t Britney Spears. Or Madonna. Or any other female performer who looks bed-ready at all moments. And I kind of like her response to ALL her critics.

It’s our party we can do what we want to

It’s our house we can love who we want to

It’s our song we can sing if we want to

It’s my mouth I can say what I want to

response

It’s probably a whole lot of wishful thinking on my part to think Miley Cyrus just pulled off some very clever commentary on slut culture, but since I begin with the idea that women are actually intelligent and capable and self-aware, I can easily allow for the possibility.

And even if she didn’t, she made playing at sluttiness look utterly absurd. Slutty Miley is completely embarrassing.

Which is just as it should be.

Lots of love,

JB

38 Responses to “Miley Cyrus may have delivered a brilliant parody of slut culture, but let’s all focus on what a dick Robin Thicke is!”

  1. Josh August 28, 2013 at 16:02 #

    You missed the pedobear reference. If there wasn’t a parody here then it was just sad. I like this version of the raw uninhibited little girl… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K8nrF5aXPlQ

    Like

  2. Master Beta August 28, 2013 at 16:24 #

    “but since I begin with the idea that women are actually intelligent and capable and self-aware”

    Haven’t you heard? Women all over for world, for almost the entirety of humanity’s existence, have been oppressed and brain washed by men. How can they be “intelligent and self-aware” when most of them didn’t even realise they were being oppressed by the mean and nasty men?

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  3. Justin August 28, 2013 at 17:12 #

    Great post, JB. Having watched the video, it’s clear that Miley Cyrus was the sexual engine in that performance (if one can call it sexy; I don’t). But it still doesn’t surprise me that Jezebel is trying to blame Robin Thicke, even though his only wrongdoing is wearing that awful Beetlejuice suit.

    Like

  4. RedPillOverdose August 28, 2013 at 19:27 #

    Is it me or does most of the shit coming from the Jezebel hive mind these days harbor a hint of desperation? They seem to jump onto just about anything/anyone they can to try and keep their flag flying. Well Jezebel is associated with false prophets and blasphemy, and was thrown out a window by her own court, then was eaten by stray dogs…so much for Jezebel. Now if only that blasted damnable web site would perish the same way.

    The music industry has always used sex to sell, selling sex is the oldest profession in the world, but I think the reason so much attention was given to Miley is due to her former Disney days much like Britney. After all Lady Gaga was far more naked than Miley was and far more man handled, nothing but sea shells and bare butt. Robin Thicke should feel violated by Miley’s ass rubbing. The music industry overall seems a sad state of affairs and will do anything to drum up controversy which in turn drums up sales and have no issue with exploiting their artists to do it. And bless the feminist brigade they will help out all they can with slut shaming control and man blaming. The reintroduction of SOPA is another point in evidence of music industry problems. But that said, over the last 30 years pop music has turned from music into not much more than porn. Sure Madonna has no issue with showing skin and being provocative, but she has the vocal pipes to back it up and probably would have been just as successful with her clothes on. Lady Gaga is another one that would not have to run around naked. She could wear a ball gown and bring the house down with her natural talent. Gaga not only has a powerful voice but she also has very formidable skills as a pianist. Then there are the ones that only have the talent of being an overpaid, glorified stripper. Without auto tune, vocoders, and vocal effect processors they would be nothing more but naked ass to show. There used to be pride in musicianship and some of that can still be found in Europe and in other genres abroad. Tarja Tarunen has one of the most powerful voices I have ever heard, and Angela Gossow can do extreme metal vocals better than most males ever could and they don’t prance around nude, they show their vocal chops. The Butcher Babies on the other hand should not be allowed within 30 feet of a microphone. They bounce around and scream with nothing but tape over their fake boobs. So this crap has permeated metal too. But I respect musicians more than singing strippers; in fact I don’t respect them at all.

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  5. feeriker August 28, 2013 at 20:39 #

    Just looking at that picture of Madonna makes me feel like I need both a shower and a penicillin shot (I’ve never been a Madonna fan, so I’m biased here). The sad thing is, she still occasionally appears like that in public today, despite the fact that her 55-year-old carcass is starting to really show its age and is definitely NOT suitable for the “slut look” anymore. While I admit that I’m attracted to “hot” older women, one of them Madonna ain’t and never will be.

    Like

  6. RS August 28, 2013 at 20:47 #

    I think Miley *is* buying into the slut culture as a way to show she’s “grown up” – she just isn’t good at it.

    There are examples of young women who don’t go the slut route as they enter adulthood as entertainers. Taylor Swift and Selena Gomez are part of the current crop who don’t seem to feel the need to act like idiots to garner attention.

    At the end of the day it’s a good thing that audiences react negatively to Miley’s display because it means we have haven’t completely bought in to slut culture as acceptable.

    Like

  7. RedPillOverdose August 28, 2013 at 21:49 #

    I think Madonna needs to get the hint it is not 1986 anymore and cover the junk in that trunk.

    Like

  8. Erudite Knight August 28, 2013 at 22:17 #

    All it is is to distract us from things like the Syria war among other things like our collapsing economy.

    Like

  9. Anthony August 28, 2013 at 22:54 #

    Hey, look on the bright side: everyone’s forgotten about Slane Girl, even faster than might have been expected, so she (the Irish girl) may have a chance to get her life back on track out of the spotlight.

    Like

  10. Alex August 28, 2013 at 23:30 #

    i think Robin’s reaction is due to not fully expecting what THAT would like when grinding him. a “bemused” look is not what i would’ve given. all in all, it was just crap that looked even worse than it sounded

    Like

  11. Sasha August 29, 2013 at 01:40 #

    I watched the video and couldn’t stop laughing. Put your tongue back in your mouth, dear, and take some dance lessons.

    Like

  12. Marlo Rocci August 29, 2013 at 03:20 #

    OF COURSE Miley knows exactly what she’s doing. the proof is that WE’RE TALKING about her. Tons of free publicity. Almost all other Disney twerps have disappeared into obscurity. Go to the Disney channel, take down the names on their older re-runs, and see how many of those girls are around that haven’t gone the slut route to stay relevant. Out of all the girls that have gone through the Disney meatgrinder, there are probably 4 that we still remember. I’m just waiting for Selena Gomez to do her porn shoot.

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  13. Paul Murray August 29, 2013 at 03:48 #

    If you think Taylor Swift isn’t about sluttery: “Baby please take me somewhere we can be alone”. Swift is more corrosive and damaging for her hearts and flowers approach. Although I appreciate her exposing that “romance” was always about getting a root.

    Like

  14. Paul Murray August 29, 2013 at 03:50 #

    Ms Taylor “Baby please take me somewhere we can be alone” Swift is not going the slut route? Her sluttery is all the more corrosive for being packaged in hearts-and-flowers and flowing dresses.

    Like

  15. Sasha August 29, 2013 at 04:23 #

    The thing I find so sad about all the commentary is that everyone is getting frothed up about SEX! NUDITY! OBSCENITY! VILE! SLUT!

    …and few people are noticing that it was just plain BAD.
    The song SUCKED.
    The props SUCKED.
    The staging and choreography SUCKED.

    And it would have sucked just as badly if she’d been dressed in a sailor suit and Buster Browns while keeping her hands folded.

    She performed poorly, End of story.

    And by the same token, someone can sex it up and be riveting. They can turn the entire concert venue into one big erogenous zone. Look at Deborah Harry, or Freddie Mercury, or Robert Plant, They gave off sexual energy by the boatload and it enhanced their performances rather than detracting from them.

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  16. Paul Murray August 29, 2013 at 08:51 #

    The nexus between feminism and raunch culture is very straightforward. They are lesbians. They like sweet young pussy and looking at tits.
    Imagine you were a horrible dirty old man, but no-one realised it. Imagine that you could tell hot young girls how to dress, how to act, and they would totally buy it. For feminist lesbians, this is the reality. We are talking lesbians who earnestly tell the nubile “being bi-curious is *sooo* empowering”, and hardly anyone goes “Wait a moment!”
    Not rocket science.

    Like

  17. Feminism Is A Lie August 29, 2013 at 09:59 #

    Tarja can cover In the Still of the Night and still remain one of the classiest ladies in the music industry. 😀

    Like

  18. Feminism Is A Lie August 29, 2013 at 10:28 #

    I may be a little all over the place here, JudgyBitch, so I apologise for my ranting.

    Interesting point you’ve brought up about this performance being a parody, though I don’t quite agree. I agree that it does make slutiness look embarrassing, but I don’t think it will do much to divert young women from going onboard that bandwagon. For a few years now, Miley’s image has been changing (ok, I admit, I read celebrity gossip) and she’s become another face of the current “I can do anything I like while young because I’m young, wild and free” youth culture. (See also her use of black people as props to make her look edgy. She can do what she wants to). This is just another step in her quest to show us how “real” she is, how grown up she is after Disney. Yes Miley, you can do anything you like and say anything you like and encourage others to do whatever they feel like in their twenties to (supposedly) discover themselves. But for most people, doing a whole bunch of shit comes with consequences if they do not choose to plan for the future and make their choices according to what future outcomes they want. Miley, like many other young entertainers is promoting and encouraging exactly this idea that you can do anything while young without responsibility, without facing judgement and consequences. No one should judge you because “fuck the haters”. It’s stupid and shallow and while the world may be shocked at Miley’s antics for a while, everyone who’s interested in celebrity culture and looks up to young celebrities, will simply go back to worshipping another similar celebrity. It’s a horrible, inaccurate portrayal of what it means to become a woman who deserves respect, but it appears to be an ideal to aspire to. Thanks, Madonna.

    What annoys me about this is the promoting of the idea that for women to show how mature and grown up they are, they must act Miley/Britney/Christina/Rihanna because apparently being mature doesn’t actually mean developing your craft. As long as you take your clothes off, you’ll show that you’re all grown up and should be taken seriously, the quality of your work be damned! The women who do this though, are not poor, delicate little flowers who have no power and influence in the entertainment industry. They are worth millions of dollars, so to blame The Patriarchy™ (or Robin Thicke…or men all over the world) for putting pressure on them to behave like this makes no sense. So why do they make such choices? I’d say it’s more a case of buying into the “I can have everything without hard work” feminist ideology and so these ladies hunger for fame and do anything to grab it, to hold onto any shining moment for as long as possible before the next manufactured star comes along. It is not men, but WOMEN who have created this and who continue to encourage it. For example, the lovely Shona Sibary wrote an article about Miley’s performance. The woman is shocked, SHOCKED I tell ya, at Flo’s nonchalant response. This shock coming from the woman who lets her fourteen year old daughter party in hotpants. Dumb women like this are encouraging slut culture because they do NOTHING to steer their girls away from it, but then have fainting spells when the girls become part of it or when the girls simply aren’t even shocked by such displays.

    It’s not just the flaunting of sexuality that annoys me, but it goes hand in hand with the degradation of quality music. Music can be so much more than all this raunch that makes sex and sexiness look so cheap. It can be classy, sexy and powerful, but I am not seeing many current female musicians (if any at all) making truly powerful music with a hint of mystery to their sexiness. I am seeing a whole bunch of women putting fame and attention over the quality of the work and these are powerful, influential ladies making lazy, get-rich-fast decisions. This is what feminism has made, what feminism continues to support.

    Ok, I think I went a bit off track there and I wrote too much. Also, I should mention, I do recall reading that Thicke’s rehearsals with Miley were supposedly a lot more tame and then on the night of the performance she just went wild. If that is the case, it shows she actively made the decision to behave like that, without support, encouragement or pressure from Thicke, therefore Jezebel is wrong. But Jezebel is always wrong.

    Like

  19. Spaniard August 29, 2013 at 11:24 #

    I’d rather watch porn.

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  20. Spaniard August 29, 2013 at 11:26 #

    Madonna still very hot.

    Like

  21. Spaniard August 29, 2013 at 13:31 #

    Agree. Is not a good idea to bomb Holy Land.

    Like

  22. Erudite Knight August 29, 2013 at 15:39 #

    Not a good idea to bomb anything, generally.

    Like

  23. feeriker August 29, 2013 at 17:06 #

    I’m glad YOU think so. Please tell her to restrict her “slut shows” to private audiences in order to spare the rest of us.

    Like

  24. feeriker August 29, 2013 at 17:12 #

    Anyone else wanna bet that “Slane Girl” is resentful of the fact that her fifteen minutes of fame turned out to be less than fifteen seconds worth?

    Like

  25. feeriker August 29, 2013 at 17:41 #

    You mean you’d rather watch real porn. If “porn” was what was intended in this video, it missed the mark by the width of a continent.

    Like

  26. mothersmurfer August 29, 2013 at 17:48 #

    JB,

    I reluctantly watched the video and I have to agree that Miley’s performance was parody.

    Like

  27. RS August 29, 2013 at 19:32 #

    The song you’re quoting from is called “Love Story” and it ends with a marriage proposal and her beloved tells her to go pick out a “white dress.” I’m not sure how that equates to slut culture and Miley’s performance. I read the line you quote as her asking him to meet her somewhere private because their families don’t approve (like Romeo & Juliet)- not because she wants to have sex.

    I don’t see Swift as corrosive and she always looks like a lady- something I wish more young women would aim for.

    Like

  28. Paul Murray August 30, 2013 at 12:19 #

    Well, I’m reading it somewhat differently. Usually when young people head off somewhere to be alone, they are engaging in premarital hanky-panky (at best). “Love Story” isn’t sung without context, and that context is Ms Swift’s personal life.

    Is Ms Swift married yet? How many boyfriends has she had?

    There is a simple metric: a slut is a woman who has had more c*ck than she is tall. Taylor is about 5’10”, so she hits the watershed at between nine and ten, including b/s and casual sex. D’y think she might be over the line, yet? Most 23 year-olds these days are.

    Like

  29. judgybitch August 30, 2013 at 13:08 #

    What a strange metric!

    Pixie likes to tell herself she’s 5’1, but I think she’s closer to five even.

    You hear that Pixie?

    No cock for you, ever! Or you’re a slut after one.

    Like

  30. princesspixiepointless August 30, 2013 at 13:15 #

    Sweetheart I have to be 5’2!, or my BMI wouldn’t get me any cock ever!

    Like

  31. judgybitch August 30, 2013 at 13:17 #

    According to my BMI I am six inches too short.

    Does that mean I get six extra cocks?

    Looks like my weekend just got busier!

    😛

    Like

  32. Feminism Is A Lie August 30, 2013 at 13:29 #

    Looking like a lady doesn’t necessarily mean omen is nother a slut. While I think some of Swift’s relationships were purely for publicity, if she is not a slut she is most certainly a modern day “give me everything I want because I am such a pretty girl” entitled princess, fame seeking attention whore. (How

    Like

  33. Feminism Is A Lie August 30, 2013 at 13:32 #

    *one
    *not

    Ignore the incomplete sentence, I couldn’t edit it out without the phone browser crashing.

    Like

  34. RS August 30, 2013 at 18:40 #

    Here’s the thing- what we know about Swift’s personal life is skewed by media bias. She isn’t a favorite among feminists because she writes songs about liking boys and wanting to get married. Because of that I think the number of boyfriends is exaggerated to make her seem desperate.

    You know how it is– if you’re not the go-grrrrrl feminist then you must be shamed into following the narrative. Swift herself says the media portrayal of her is not accurate and I, maybe naively, believe her because the feminist media machine doesn’t doesn’t seem inclined to treat her kindly.

    As far as your metric goes– um, what?

    Like

  35. Liz August 31, 2013 at 01:36 #

    Miley’s whole life must be parody.

    She turned out about like I’d expect the child of the ‘Achy Breaky Heart’ singer to turn out.

    Like

  36. JBfan August 31, 2013 at 15:15 #

    Maybe you’re right, unless Miley was just trying to break out of the whole “Disney” phase in which case I kind of found the whole thing rather jarring (especially the teddy bears, Dear God!) but if she was doing a parody as you say, the kudos to her! And obviously Jezebel are full of horseshit as per usual, though in other news, the sun goes down at night.

    Anyway, loving the blog, keep it up! 🙂

    Like

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  1. Miley Cyrus as parody - August 29, 2013

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  2. Why Feminism isn’t working | The Poisoned Well - September 12, 2013

    […] VMA show.  Yea, that was a nothing.  I really like Judgy Bitch’s take on the whole thing.  Miley Cyrus may have delived a brilliant satire of Slut culture.  Judgy Bitch makes the rather obvious observation that the outrage isn’t because Cyrus was […]

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