Miley Cyrus, Budding Feminist Role Model?

I have enormous sympathy for young people who have to grow up not only with adult pressures but media ones too. So, I am really pleased to hear the kinds of things that 19 year old superstar, and icon to teenage girls everywhere, Miley Cyrus is saying these days:

“I feel I was so trained in my interviews to be All-American or whatever. I just got so set in the way of saying the same things I did when I was 12-years-old… I guess I kind of realized that my whole life isn’t one giant press junket. I don’t have to be smiling all the time and always have the perfect answer.”

And

“For me, what I do [being sexy] is not the point. You’re not sitting there trying to be sexy. If people find that [I am], I take it as a compliment,” she told Cadenet, quickly adding that she knows that some people disapprove, but says it’s just who she is. “People are so scared of seeing a woman being like, ‘This is who I am and you’re not going to change it.’”

And

“[It] used to be if you’re a woman you do not sing about sex, and now if that’s not what you’re singing about, if that’s not your entire image, you won’t get played [on radio and TV],” she explained. “The last season of ["Hannah Montana"] I put out “Can’t Be Tamed,” which even just the title of that for a woman to say that she can’t be tamed, and of all people in the world, my face saying I can’t be tamed, when that’s all people really wanted to do — I think that proves how sexist people still really are and judgmental. It’s the whole thing of saying ‘be sexy, but our way.”

And

“The girls that really base how much they’re worth on the sexual favors they can do for somebody, that makes me really sad. Because sex is actually really beautiful. It’s the only way we create, and it’s the only way the world keeps going. So it’s ignorant not to talk to your kids about it or [not] make it seem as magical or cool as it actually is,” she explained. “[Kids] have a TV, so they know what sex is. So educate them and let them know … it’s a beautiful thing, and it is magic, and it’s when you connect with somebody. And it isn’t how much you’re worth. Your worth isn’t based on that, your worth is based on how you feel about yourself.”

That’s a lot of shrewd wisdom that young women (and men) need to be hearing and I’m really happy that someone who really has their ear is saying it. Her full interview is here.

Miley also supports same sex marriage and tweeted that a very atheistic sounding quote from Laurence Krauss (below) was “Beautiful”. Apparently the uproar that her calling the photo beautiful caused led Twitter to irritatingly classify the picture as “sensitive material” that is not accessible to those who don’t put on settings that indicate explicitly that they are willing to see “sensitive material”. Quotes from scientists which evoke the idea of a godless universe is too sensitive for unfiltered viewing. Outrageous.

Unfortunately Cyrus did not commit to the full iconoclastic rejection of religion, tweeting in reply to abuse she was receiving, “How can people take the love out of science and bring hate into religion so easily?” and then “It makes me sad to think the world is this way. Like Einstein says ‘Science without religion is lame. Religion without science is blind.’”

The Guardian provides some context for the Einstein quote.

Your Thoughts?

 

About Daniel Fincke

Dr. Daniel Fincke  has his PhD in philosophy from Fordham University and spent 11 years teaching in college classrooms. He wrote his dissertation on Ethics and the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche. On Camels With Hammers, the careful philosophy blog he writes for a popular audience, Dan argues for atheism and develops a humanistic ethical theory he calls “Empowerment Ethics”. Dan also teaches affordable, non-matriculated, video-conferencing philosophy classes on ethics, Nietzsche, historical philosophy, and philosophy for atheists that anyone around the world can sign up for. (You can learn more about Dan’s online classes here.) Dan is an APPA  (American Philosophical Practitioners Association) certified philosophical counselor who offers philosophical advice services to help people work through the philosophical aspects of their practical problems or to work out their views on philosophical issues. (You can read examples of Dan’s advice here.) Through his blogging, his online teaching, and his philosophical advice services each, Dan specializes in helping people who have recently left a religious tradition work out their constructive answers to questions of ethics, metaphysics, the meaning of life, etc. as part of their process of radical worldview change.

  • magistramarla

    I have loved Miley Cyrus since my grandson first fell in love with Hannah Montana. Grandma was always willing to escort him to her films.
    I’ve watched her grow up, and I think that she is asserting that she can think for herself. Her childhood had to be confusing to her. I get the feeling that her family was somewhat fundy, but she was exposed to many diverse ideas by being in show business.
    I feel that she’s done a surprisingly good job of becoming a thinking adult.
    I hope to see her continuing her career and continuing to be a role model for young women.

  • Carla

    In the past few months, I’ve gone from “Miley Cyrus? Ugh. ::hits head on wall::” to “Miley Cyrus? Yeah, she kinda rocks.” So many young women have destroyed their careers just by being themselves instead of being what they’re supposed to be. Good for her having the courage to stand up for what matters.


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