Posts Tagged ‘slut shaming’

Because it’s really starting to turn my stomach at this point.

Yes. Her performance was an utter failure. But here’s an idea. How about we judge her as a performance artist and not as a slutty slut who sluts herself in public.

Here’s what I can’t grasp about the public reaction to this performance. Robin Thicke grinds against a girl sixteen years his junior as she performs live the choreography he already has in his music video—which has how many views again? Oh, right, nearly 153 million for the “clean” version and another 15 million for the “unrated” version. Got it—but all anyone can talk about is how Kanye was right about Cyrus ending up on a stripper pole.

Great job, everyone. Do you feel better now that you’ve let everyone know the things you do in bed or at the club are in no way similar to what Cyrus did?

And let’s go ahead and stop the concern trolling, Huffington Post—you’re supposed to be better than that. Because you know what I hear from a “concerned mom” telling a young woman she’s allowed to be sexually independent but go put some clothes on now—the same “concerned mom” who has nothing to say to Thicke, by the way? I hear the high-pitched caterwauling of hypocrisy. I hear the bone-shattering screech of someone who’s part of the problem that women face in our culture—that our bodies are not our own to do with as we please, but are public property up for consumption, debate, scrutiny, and consensus.

But oh how we love to clutch our pearls. How we love to deny women performers the liberty their job titles are supposed to afford them when they make a bad performance choice. How we love to make it personal and to attack personally. Because when a woman artist creates something, whether it’s a novel or a performance, it’s obviously a two-dimensional, mirror reflection of themselves, and nothing more than that. Accordingly, our judgment of the creation—in this case a performance—is indistinguishable from a judgment of the creator herself—in this case Cyrus. Thicke’s sorry excuse for an erotic music video in which he and his cohort (both fully clothed by the way—what kind of sexytimes are they planning to have exactly?) watch almost entirely naked women (in the explicit version) walking around and looking at the camera? A bold, controversial performance choice. Cyrus doing the same performance? Total slut. Thicke grinding on Cyrus—again a woman sixteen years his junior? Not worth a batted eye, let alone a grossed-out comment. Cyrus being the object of that grinding? Go find a pole, skank.

The public reaction is just about as embarrassing as the performance was at this point. It’s embarrassing that a major news source like CNN cleared the front page of their website to call a performance artist a slut and to encourage as many people as possible to do the same. Think about that for a second. They took the time and the real estate to let the nation know that a twenty-year-old woman—specifically one who has been an object of mass consumption most of her adult life—had the audacity to dance provocatively to a popular song about sex. Furthermore, we as a nation lost our shit over it. For days now. We might be on the brink of World War III, but OH MY GOD SHE DID WHAT AT THE VMAs, AN AWARDS SHOW THAT IN NO WAY HAS EVER ENGINEERED SCANDALOUS PERFORMANCES?! Further-furthermore CNN, the “worldwide leader in news,” is totally down with this journalistic priority, and the only people to call them out on it is The fucking Onion, not the public itself.

This thing—this extended conversation about what a slut Cyrus is for doing something that’s by no means as salacious as what’s on half of television at any given time—is a national embarrassment and it needs to stop.

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