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?