No doubt by now we've all seen/heard/read something online about the Miley Cyrus and Robin Thicke performance at the MTV VMAs this past Sunday. If you have no idea what I’m talking about and have been living under a rock, you can see the performance here.
To a degree, I’m tired of seeing social media posts about this event…but not just because it’s been over played and is now old news since it was almost a week ago, but because the “talk” is very one-sided. People are up in arms about how inappropriate the performance was, how Miley has hit bottom, how obscene and offensive her “twerking” was. All of those points may be valid, but it's only a very small piece of the conversation. There is a much bigger issue to be conversing about.
I call bullshit on the general conversation taking place about Miley's behavior on stage. There were music industry powers at be that gladly let this performance happen for ratings, etc. While Miley’s lack of clothing and strip performance did happen, the bigger conversation here should be about the misogynistic attitudes and acts of violence that are somehow considered acceptable by so many in our culture.
How is this whole “performance” and the discussions and outrage surrounding it simply about a girl’s sexuality and her behavior on stage? Oh, right…it’s not. As I recall, Miley wasn't on stage by herself. However, she was on stage “twerking” with a man who is basically old enough to be her father (they are 16 years apart…he totally could have a kid her age). You’re going to try to tell me that no one at MTV knew what that performance might look like before it happened live?
The jam is catchy, and I like the musical composition of Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines,” but have you actually listened to the lyrics? I can’t play the song with my kids in the car because it is beyond inappropriate. Yet somehow the fact that Thicke felt the need to thrust his pelvis while Cyrus twerked isn't problematic for the majority of people talking about the VMA performance online. T.I. rapped about things even more graphic and misogynistic than Thicke dreamed of and no one seems to care about that, either.
Until men and women both take a stand to change our culture, misogynistic attitudes toward women will not go away or be changed. Girls have sex, they’re dirty. Men have sex, they’re just being men. There's nothing equal about that. Until we change our behavior and attitudes toward objectifying women, our culture will continue to reinforce misogyny as acceptable behavior.