The more the Miley Mania drags on, the more I want to throttle people.
I need to say this: If you are implying that Miley SHOULD NOT twerk all over the person of her choosing, you are taking away her freedom to explore her sexuality in whatever way she wants (however freakish and unsettling you may find it) and you are taking away her right to be the kind of performer she wants (however embarrassing and grotesque it may be) and trying to craft her into an object of your desiring.
Yes, it is fine and good and occasionally beneficial to talk about what kind of a society we live in and what kinds of examples we want our daughters to follow, but the Miley Mania has gone far beyond that. I am starting to find it acutely disturbing. People are saying, in not as many words, that Miley somehow owes something to their families and should remain the chaste, adorable teen idol she started out as. As if, because she was thrust into the spotlight at a young age and profited from it, she now owes society back.
She’s not a person, she’s an object.
The objectification of Miley Cyrus as a sexual being started LONG before the VMAs. It started with the blurred lines between her and Hannah Montana, the plastering of bedrooms with her face, and the parents who willingly told their daughters that she was someone worth becoming.
Which, I must point out, objectified their daughters, too.
Anyone who is shocked that such a journey would culminate in the show at the VMAs must not pay attention to how the world works. Sexual imprisonment does tend to lead to sexual rebellion- and public sexual imprisonment does tend to lead to public sexual rebellion.
But let’s talk about objectification more, why don’t we? Because it’s oh so tempting and oh so easy to blather on about objectification as if the only time it happens is on billboards and magazine covers and on TV, as if the only way women are ever objectified is as sexual objects that men control and consume.
If only. If only.
Women are also objectified as virgins and mothers and cohorts and workers and teachers and on, and on, and on.
Women are still treated as commodities that society controls. Sometimes it’s the way Miley Cyrus has been, and sometimes it’s the way Marisa Mayer has been, or the way Michelle Obama has been, or the way my junior high English teacher was. I mean, there are a million ways to make other people into objects. It happens to men, too. Men who are “supposed” to be strong when they want to lay down and cry and take a nap, but then society tells them their man card will be revoked. Or kids who are told that they should be playing with toys instead of reading, or that they should play sports instead of music, or that science is for nerds only.
But I suppose women feel it the most strongly still- not because we’re objectified as sexual beings (although that sucks) but because we’re objectified as persons. Women’s bodies, for instance, are legislated to an extent that men may never fully grasp. Our reproductive organs are debated in the legislature routinely by people who don’t even possess them, as if by being born female we are born potentially guilty of crimes we must never be allowed to commit. Crimes like, for instance, wanting to not have a baby. God forbid the “naturally tendency to nurture” not kick in and we don’t rush to sacrifice our careers and marry the bad sexual choice who impregnated us. And we’re objectified as workers- told we don’t have the “natural competitiveness” to take on the sorts of assignments that are given to men, so over time we earn less and less money. BUT THAT’S OKAY. Because, as the objects in need of protection and provision that we as women naturally are (that is sarcasm, in case it’s not clear) we will marry one of those “naturally competitive” men who can foot the bill for us, and the progeny we are legally obligated to some day provide for him, should we ever conceive.
And don’t get me started on the way that abused women are objectified. First, by the guy that gives them the black eye. Then, by society.
Our choices are debated as an entire subclass, as if all women are the same and can be held to the same standard. And the women who do live up to the standard become objects of adulation.
God help them should they make the wrong choice the next time around.
“She should have known better.”
F***ing objectification, right there.
So stop objectifying Miley Cyrus.
Stop objectifying women.
Stop objectifying people.
Take your anger and your outrage and use it to change society. Change yourself. Change your need for puritanical teen idols for the girls in your life to adore, as if YOU, YOU cannot be the example they need to see of how a woman can be successful. Change the rules that say that women can’t make good choices about their own body and their own reproduction- or bad choices, too. Change the stupid standards of society that say that women can’t deal with difficult and demanding jobs and shouldn’t be paid well when they do, as if women are just beings that should have been born men but don’t have enough testosterone to function properly.
All of your outrage just fuels the idea that a woman needs society to tell her what to do.