“She’s Famous, she’s asking for it”

I had a bit of a heated discussion with one of my followers dealing with my critique of the discourse used to refer to Miley’s VMA performance. I think the biggest problem I had with this discussion was that my follower said “She’s famous, when she acts like that she’s asking to get criticized.”  I think this is a flawed idea. The reason she’s getting criticized in the status quo is because of the patriarchal views of how a woman should act toward her sexuality. The traditional view is a women should not be sexual in anyway; she should be virginal and pure. When young people grow up in Hollywood, you get a double standard of men acting more sexual with little to no criticism and women who are ostracized for showing their sexuality.

So let’s look at few examples of how this double standard affect the young men and women who group up in the public eye:

Justin Timberlake was in NSYNC for most of his teenage years. When he went solo, many of his songs were about sex, and his music videos and performances were provocative. Take one of his new songs Suit and Tie. Verse one starts off: “I can’t wait ’til I get you on the floor, good-looking/ Going hot, so hot, just like an oven/ And I’ll burn myself, but just had to touch it/ But it’s so fine and it’s all mine”. Just wait! Verse 2 gets even better: “Stop, let me get a good look at it/ Oh, so thick, now I know why they call it a fatty/ And aww, shit’s so sick, got a hit and picked up a habit/ But that’s alright, cause you’re all mine/ Awww, go on and show ’em who you call “Daddy”/ I guess they’re just mad cause girl, they wish they had it”. If people want to criticize Miley about being a poor role model, why don’t we call JT out on his musical lyrics, that were played all over the top 20 stations all summer. I was at a family summer festival this summer with young children and this song was played. Why don’t we make a commotion over having the young men in our society exposed to music objectifying women? Why do we consider it completely normal that man can talk about wanting to have sex with a women? Oh that’s right, Justin Timberlake is a man, so he can be a sexual being in our society. I have looked everywhere on the internet. No one has criticized JT for his sexual lyrics or provocative performances. Just another double standard that skates by the public eye, something the most people realize exists and/or don’t question.

I’ve already talked about Miley’s situation. If you didn’t catch my blog post on it, check it out here. There’s also the example of how Robin Thicke’s sexually degrading song, that he wrote explicitly to be degrading to women, didn’t get massive media attention. People are making him to be a victim of Miley’s harlot ways, subjecting a married man to provocative dance, as if he has no say in what happened during the performance. Another double standard.

I could name countless other women affected by this: Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, Amanda Bynes, the list goes on and one about female child stars who grow up in the public eye and are criticized for doing what most young women end up doing as well, just out of the public eye. Young women go to college and they act on their new found freedom and sexuality. Ladies, how many of you have gone to a party and done one of the following: make out with someone, twerk to your heart’s content, grind with someone on the dance floor, or go home with someone you met. I’ve done it and I know other girls have done it to. ALL of those things are ok- you’re expressing your natural sexuality and don’t let someone tell you otherwise. Miley is doing the same thing, just in a public setting. Only by confronting this patriarchal view of a woman’s sexuality can we actually make a societal change to ignore the double standards.

Do you agree or disagree?

Sam

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7 thoughts on ““She’s Famous, she’s asking for it”

  1. Reblogged this on The Lone Girl in a Crowd and commented:
    Look, I may have criticized Miley Cyrus for the way she was acting but it wasn’t in this kind of context, it’s just that she was acting in poor taste as far as I was concerned. My criticism had little to do with her expressing her sexuality and it’s just that she’s willing to sink to the lowest common denominator just to get attention. Whether she’s asking for criticism is up to anyone. But she’s just an immature kid as far as I’m concerned. However, I didn’t think that Robin Thicke should’ve gotten off the hook either since he’s like a 36 year old man with a wife and kid who should know better. Not to mention, I’m no fan of sexual explicit lyrics in modern pop songs either.

    • I think it’s fair to say that maybe she’s looking for publicity. I’m not sure if I agree that she sank to a low level for the publicity. I feel that Miley is just growing up in the public eye and doing what most girls do in the privacy of college and parties. I appreciate that you also see that Robin Thicke had a part in it! Thanks for sharing your views, I always love to hear about what others think of my posts.

    • I think you misunderstand a few things. First, my blog name is a play on words, not to advocate that women should run the world. The name of my blog is a quote from a Beyonce song. The point of my blog is to note the inequalities women face in American politics and political culture. Second, the content of my post of Miley’s performance are critiques of the reactions people have and why they are patriarchal. So before you assume the meaning of my posts and/or my blog, you should read them and understand the arguments I’ve made. The reason I used Miley in those posts isn’t because I idolize her, it was because it was a recent event I could reference.

  2. A lot of people have been talking about the double standard but I have always had doubts about it. In my culture, both males and females are discouraged from being sexual but virginity of females is emphasized because they have a biological indicator of it and males getting sexual is more acceptable than females getting sexual because that’s how the’re biologically wired. So sociologically the standards for males and females are about the same and it’s just biology that tolerates male sexuality. In America, it seems that both sexes are encouraged to be sexual. Again, the sociological standards for males and females are about the same while it’s biology that makes men’s sexuality acceptable. Compared to my culture, it does appear that showing masculinity through sexual conquests is more of an American issue so the double standard is sorta there but not too huge I guess. I find it strange that you said in America there’s a patriarchal view that women should be virginal and pure and a lot of female celebrities are criticized for being sexual. That would be something that happens in east Asian culture rather than American culture, where I barely see purity as an ideal. Also, being virginal and pure is not necessarily a patriarchal view, but a double standard would be. About Justin Timberlake and Robin Thicke’s lyrics and Miley’s performance, I guess the latter got criticized more b/c body exposure is more provocative than words, but like historymaniacmegan said, Miley wasn’t really criticized for her sexuality but for her poor taste. There could have been better ways for her to show off her body. Robin Thicke’s lyrics have gained criticism so that shows that people are also critical of men sexualizing women, which is a good start.

    • I disagree that both sexes are encouraged to be sexual in America. While yes, women in the public eye act on their sexuality, they get criticized for it due to the patriarchal view of how a women should behave. Sadly while most people think things like that don’t happen here it really does. It’s subtle and has been ingrained in our culture since we were established. If you think about it, women got the right to vote less than a hundred years ago, we’re allowed to leave the home and go out to work until about 50 years ago, while America may be more progressive than other countries we’re still very far behind in how we view and accept women. I think the argument that she was criticized for poor taste is one that deals with the patriarchal view of women. Men have provocative performances and degrade women, yet we don’t talk about it for weeks after the event. I do agree that Robin Thicke’s lyric getting some criticism is a good start, I just think proportionally to the criticism that women get for being sexual it’s not enough.

  3. Pingback: Evan Rachel Wood on Women’s Sexuality in Film | We Run the World! Girls! Oh Wait...

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