Warning: if you woke up today and thought, “I’m going to do everything in my power to avoid a feminist rant,” then I suggest you go back to doing whatever it was you were doing.
About a week ago, every social media outlet, entertainment news program and status update was rife with one common theme: Miley Cyrus. Ah yes, sweet little Hannah Montana. For those of you who live in the Amish country and only escape to read my blog (I’m flattered, by the way) let me recap.
At the 2013 VMAs, Miley was asked to perform her party single “We Can’t Stop.” The video for this song consisted of Miley making out with dolls, wearing little clothing and of course, tons of twerking (for you Amish folk, I’ll explain later.) Therefore, I wasn’t quite sure why people were so surprised to see Miley at the VMAs sticking her tongue out, wearing little clothing and twerking! What exactly did we expect?
Miley’s raunchy performance was not what got to me. This is what got to me: people were outraged that Miley would try to upstage Robin Thicke by dancing like a stripper and groping him with a foam finger.
I’m sorry, are we talking about the same Robin Thicke that has three topless girls walk around him endlessly in his music video? We’re mad at Miley for degrading herself but it’s completely fine for Thicke to do it to three young women? The song is called “Blurred Lines” for God’s sake. I think the line was pretty friggin’ clear when another former Disney star planted her bare breasts in T.I’s face.
For those of you who wanted to avoid a feminist rant but have given me the benefit of the doubt up until this point, hang on a little longer. I don’t feel the need to delve into the topic of the gender double standard. We all see it. A barely R rated movie can have a fully naked woman, multiple naked women in fact, but even the raunchiest of R rated movies rarely ever show a man’s penis. I can promise you this: if a Nicki Minaj video had naked men dancing around her, you’d have to search the deepest corners of the Internet to find it. However, Mr. Thicke’s soft-core porno is a search away on YouTube.
Okay, so much for not delving in.
Here’s why I’m writing this: because I’m on a very different side than some women. I don’t believe that Miley should be able to go up on stage and act like a common prostitute simply because Robin Thicke had naked women in his video. I believe that Robin Thicke shouldn’t have naked women in his video and therefore Miley shouldn’t act like a common prostitute.
Does that make sense? Let me try another example.
Last Sunday on one of the most amazing shows ever, The Newsroom, a young girl named Maggie asked this question: “What is wrong with being a slut?” Her point was that if men can casually sleep with a lot of women and not be called out for it, why do women get called “sluts” for doing the same thing? I immediately thought what I’ve always thought: No one should be a slut. However, it’s a show and Maggie isn’t real so I didn’t open up a laptop and start pounding away quite yet.
The next morning, the Huffington Post picked up an article from a woman’s blog. I will not mention her name or the blog’s name (less for privacy reasons, more for the fact that I don’t want to get yelled at.)
I will tell you that her blog is about, and only about, having sex with athletes. So clearly, she was thrilled to hear another woman, although fictional, declare that it’s perfectly fine to be a slut.
To paraphrase, the author of this article stated this: I’ve been called a slut for years by people I know and by readers of this blog. Finally, someone has come out and said that sleeping casually with many people is acceptable for women too.
Why is it acceptable for anyone? If evening out the playing field is our goal, why does it need to be acceptable for women to be sluts, instead of it being unacceptable for men to be?
This same author wrote a post early last year about getting married young, stating that people who do so haven’t been with enough people to really know who they are as a person.
I do know who I am, and what I’m not. And I am not a slut.
**I promise I will not post something next week about the zombie apocalypse, or something equally random, and then try to find some obscure way that it fits in with raising my daughter.**
One day, Oakley and I will watch a video of a guy, looking cool, surrounded by naked women and I’ll turn to her and say, “he doesn’t need to do that.” We will watch a Disney-star-turned-God-knows-what bump and grind half naked on an older man and I will look at her and say, “she doesn’t need to do that. And neither do you.”
As O grows up I will absolutely warn her about the feminist issues out there. I will tell her that she may have to work extra hard for things because she is a woman. I will teach her that women are in more danger than men when alone, that women are sometimes respected less than men. But I will also teach her that men can be allies. Those good men, men that love and cherish women, exist.
I will encourage her to be far from a slut and to pick men who are as far from it as she.
Oakley and her biggest ally: her Daddy.
(I apologize to any slutty Amish that may have been offended by this post.)