My Obligatory Miley Cyrus Post in Bullet Points

Another young woman allows herself to be reduced to meat on stage.

And the blogosphere lights up with kudos, indignation and whatzits all over the place.

But … what does it mean?????

Here is my bullet-pointed reaction to the latest pornifying of a young woman in the name of entertainment.

  • Miss Cyrus has been heading in this direction for quite some time, so I wasn’t exactly surprised to hear she’d moved to soft porn on MTV.
  • In my opinion, Miss Cyrus’ behavior is the result of the way our culture reduces girls to meat. This image of themselves as nothing but sexual things is pushed on girls from babyhood. Why do we go into pretend shock when the girls do as they have been trained to do?
  • Are there any healthy images for little girls out there? Even women like Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin are subjected to sexual attacks by this sexualizing, misogynist culture. 
  • MTV is not suitable for kids. You shouldn’t let your kids watch it.
  • Almost all television is unsuitable for kids. You should consider checking to see if your cable provider will let you select which channels you get or … gasp! … maybe even consider canceling your cable service.
  • The sexualizing of young girls begins with trollop attire and moves into school “sex education classes” where they are pushed into using forms of contraception that are dangerous to their health. It extends to almost every image of women the media presents.
  • Robin Thicke kept his clothes on. He didn’t have to gyrate around pretending to have sex. That humiliation went to the girl. It always goes to the girl. The whole presentation was similar to the pimp-ho videos that are available, and that reduce the women to things to be used by their “masters.”
  • The fact that lots of other female performers do this doesn’t excuse it. It underscores the widespread acceptance of misogyny in our culture.
  • The feminist movement has nothing useful to say about this.
  • Treating young women like meat goes far beyond Miley Cyrus doing a porn dance on tv. It extends to farming women’s bodies for eggs, moves on to efforts legalize prostitution and push pornography and then to hiring women as “surrogates” to carry babies to term for hire.
  • Misogyny is the human race, waging war on its own mothers. The meatifying of young women is an egregious example of this.
  • Somebody raised Miley wrong. In fact, I wonder what her eventual tell-all book about her childhood is going to reveal.

I guess that’s about it for the Miley Cyrus dust-up. Before I sign off on this, I want to emphasize two things:

This trash is not for children, including teens. Your kids should not be watching MTV and most other television. Try spending time with them in conversation, board games and even — shock! — reading books, instead.

And …

We need to protect our little girls from this predatory culture that sexualizes them and reduces them to sexual things.

Don’t just shake your head and moan about how horrible it all is.

Do whatever it takes to protect your daughter from this amoral, predatory culture that wants to reduce her to an object and a commodity.

 

  • Sus_1

    I watched a video of the performance. I’m probably projecting how I felt while watching, but it seemed like Miley was uneasy during it. I felt sorry for her.

    I’m still in my annual sticker shock from getting the kids ready for school. Buying clothes for girls is a huge nightmare. I’ve gotten to the point that if the aren’t embarrassing, we buy regardless of the price. It’s much more expensive than if I bought the clothes that turn them into baby hookers. The boys clothes were less than half the cost.

    • Madzi

      Sus 1, I went to JC Penneys because I had a ten buck coupon. I figured I’d spend it on something for Easter for my grand daughters. Fuggedabowdit. It was EASTER, for crying out loud, and there were no hats, no gloves, no cute little anklets for little girls…but there were plenty of inappropriate skin-tight spandex leggings, off the shoulder “blouses” and what you aptly called baby hooker clothing. NOTHING appropriate. I was so disgusted I told an associate that I couldn’t find a solitary dress, skirt or top that wasn’t designed to make my girls look like prostitutes. She shrugged and actually agreed with me, but said, “What can you do?”
      What can I do? NOT shop there, voice my opinion and REFUSE to buy any of that trash.
      And if all the moms who complain about what Rebecca calls the “meatifying” of our girls would do the same, there wouldn’t be a problem finding decent clothing at a reasonable price. But when the moms are wearing trashy nonsense…”What can you do?”

      • Sus_1

        Stores have marketing geniuses. I’m sure that they have the baby hooker clothes because that is what sells. It’s disgusting.

        • pagansister

          Stores are only going to put things that sell on the shelves, or they wouldn’t make money. If a particular store doesn’t sell what is popular—folks will go somewhere else to buy it. Fashions change–and it will probably rotate back to earlier times when the clothes covered their body :-)

          • Fabio Paolo Barbieri

            Oh, and “fashions” are things that fall from the sky, like the rain, and that nobody can control or understand, right? They are not a colossal, manipulative, frighteningly corrupt industry – no, dear, nothing like it! (And coming from the city of Milan, and having long lived in the centre of London, I know a thing or two about how the fashion industry operates – there literally is NOTHING honest or genuine about it.)

            • pagansister

              Since I keep the blue jeans folks in business, I have no idea what else is popular or not. Dresses, not in my closet. “Fashion” is created to make money—simple–and most certainly doesn’t “fall out of the sky”. I have lived long enough to have seen “fashion” from my earlier years return as “new”. :-) Actually, I’ve seen “fashion” from my parents generation return.

              • Fabio Paolo Barbieri

                But don’t speak of it as if it were mysterious, random and unexpected, like destiny. This destiny is written by the money men and associated trash in Milan, Paris, London and Manhattan, for the benefit of their bulging bank accounts.

                • pagansister

                  OK, I will not “speak of it as if it were mysterious, random and unexpected, like destiny. ” :-) I totally understand it is money.

  • CathyLouise

    Rebecca, you’re my kind of feminist! Oh, and on another topic…here’s a video I’d like you to look at. I know, it’s by Dove, but it is a wonderful video. http://realbeautysketches.dove.us/

    • hamiltonr

      That video is beautiful Cathy Louise. Thank you for sharing it.

  • http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.com/ Manny

    Very good points. I’m going to quibble with one point but don’t let that make it seem I don’t agree with everything else. The point I might quibble with is this: “He didn’t have to gyrate around pretending to have sex. That humiliation went to the girl. It always goes to the girl.” The humiliation does usually go to the girl, but Robin Thicke did simulate sex in that video, he did gyrate, and he looked like a total fool. The thing is that a man is unfortunately not percieved to be humiliated when he’s participating this way. But to be dressed and act out a pimp or porn star role (not sure what you would call it) is humiliating, disgraceful, and downright dishonerable. That is not how an “officer and a gentleman” behave. Where did he simulate sex? Well, if Miley is twerking then it takes two to tango…oops, I mean to twerk. ;)

  • http://nebraskaenergyobserver.wordpress.com/ D. A. Christianson

    Amen and amen. I do agree with Manny though. The thing is, why on earth would anybody consider this grotesquery to be sexy? It’s just sad and boring.

    And by the way, Television is not fit for human consumption, let alone kids.

  • FW Ken

    Of course, I agree in general, but am less willing to see the young woman as a victim in this. She is not a passive robot doing what she is programmed to do. When I hear that sort of argument (or think I hear it), it seems to me to dehumanize the woman. Woman have choices, to borrow from another argument.

    And yes, the Cyrus family defines dysfunctional, from what I’ve read.

    • Fabio Paolo Barbieri

      Oh yeah? Let me repeat once again: the manifestation of the tart-process takes place when the Disney starlet is sixteen – not an adult. And if she shows herself as a tart then, that means that the process that led her there began earlier, much earlier. Wherever she learned to use sex as merchandise, she learned it in her teens or earlier. You are making abused children responsible for their abuse.

      • FW Ken

        This is the first I’ve known of Miley Cyrus to do something like this? I’ve not followed her career, but the last I knew, she was the sweet little girl.

        • Fabio Paolo Barbieri

          On the screen, “FW”. On the screen. Which tells you precisely nothing of what was going on behind it. As for the rest, you must judge her education by its fruits; and its fruits are that, just like Britney, just like Christina, just like Lindsay and so on, this sweet little girl started acting the tart literally as soon as she legally could. You may have missed it, which is probably a good thing, but Rebecca didn’t; check out the links in her very first bullet point.

  • steve5656546346

    All good points, although women are responsible for their choices, and to hold otherwise would be demeaning.

    There was a time when women looked up to men: during that time, men put women on a pedastal. That is, they looked up to each other.

    Then women decided to look down on men, and men reciprocated. How’s that working out for us?

    • Fabio Paolo Barbieri

      women are responsible for their choices, and to hold otherwise would be demeaning.
      The Disney starlets are not even in their teens when they are started, and – as I pointed out above – they all start on their near-porn careers at sixteen, which is not old enough to vote. They are not “women”, but abused children who bear the scars for the rest of their lives.

  • Fabio Paolo Barbieri

    Without disagreeing with anything you say, I think that in this case there is a great deal more immediate and personal responsibility in a certain specific quarter. I have been saying this for years: how is it that, at least since Britney Spears, EVERY SINGLE sweet-looking innocent-looking immensely successful and massively marketed Disney girl star, EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM, turns into a conscious, deliberate and aggressive tart as soon as she hits sixteen? It was said of Britney’s first video – the paedophile special, with her dancing as an underdressed schoolgirl surrounded by lookalikes – that it had been she herself who had insisted on the heavily and aggressively sexual look. Well, obviously, whatever they may have been when they entered Disney, it is clear that by the time they are sixteen the Christinas, the Lindsays, the Mileys, are doing nothing but pretending, and are something like relieved, and certainly eager, when they are legally allowed to go into public, full-blown tart mode. Now, if this was even a frequent event, one might wonder about the reason; as it always happens to a certain, specific group of girls, I think no reasonable person can have any doubts. Walt Disney Productions must be a paedophile operations. It is not only likely, it is evident and obvious, that any serious investigation into their live action branches would uncover enough rottenness to make the worst of Mahoney and Law’s glory years look like shining instances of integrity. Only nobody will investigate, nobody will even question, this corporate giant. I wonder why?

    • Sus_1

      I love the word tart in this context. My grandma always used to tell me ladies don’t act like tarts!

      These children end up being the head of household financially which transforms to being the head of household regarding everything. Since the kid is supporting the family, the parents don’t say no.

      I don’t know what is going on with Disney and I hope Fabio is wrong but I suspect he’s right. It’s come very far from the Annette Funicello days and the Mickey Mouse Club.

      Most cable companies allow you to block channels. All the Disney channels and many more are blocked here. Also, no one is allowed to watch TV unless they have a plan to watch something. I don’t allow them to click through trying to find something to watch. If they are looking, that means there is something better to do.

      I’d get rid of the TV if we didn’t watch so much sports. There is nothing virtuous about sports between the women’s lack of clothes, athletes bad behavior off the field and the Viagra like commercials.

  • Jeanne Schmelzer

    I’m not sure why we’re talking about just the women. The good Christian men and other fathers, are abdicating their responsibility to protecting their daughter (and sons) from the world. I’m not sure if the problem is that the women want to be radical feminists or the men don’t want to do the hard work of protecting – the family, the country, the Church from what is evil. I have experience in seeing that the men tend to put the women between them and the world rather than the men protecting their families from the world. That actually starts another conversation (or book) about how this has been evolving down through the decades til it becomes a noticeable situation now. The same is true in the Islamic cultures where women are treated as meat in a different way. It appears that we are continually working these parameters out in society.

    • Fabio Paolo Barbieri

      In case you hadn’t noticed, we AREN’T talking about just the women. We are talking, for one, about the well-named Thicke. And in a comment directly below yours (thanks for paying so much attention!), I accused the whole Disney organization – which, so far as I am aware, is NOT staffed primarily by women – of being riddled with paedophiles. Please don’t go into victim mode when there is no reason to do so.

    • FW Ken

      If we are going to talk about men, how about Miley’s daddy, the one-hit wonder, gyrating on stage to his one hit. Public sexuality has been an issue since the various entertainment media came into being. It’s implicit in older movies (and, therefore, more erotic, in my opinion), but has been increasingly explicit for a couple of generations or so.

  • pagansister

    Miley is now a woman, not the cute kid Hannah Montana (which no one in my family watched because my 2 were way to old), anymore. She can either say yes or no to things presented to her. She is making a bundle I’m sure, so why stop if it makes her money is probably one motive for her. It is an act—-she is a performer. Is she pulling the strings? or does she have folks who come up with the “acts?” I didn’t watch the show—not my cup of tea. Did see the news reports and some of the talk shows discussing it—and as part of that discussion they broadcasted naughty parts, or part of the naughty bits. Some think she should stay in character—Hannah. but she has out grown that part. Girls who followed her as that character are grown too—-now they have to decide if her current example is what they want to be or if they should choose another person to follow or better yet—be themselves. Parents can guide, lead and help shape their girls to a certain extent, but when they eventually leave home, they will do as they please. In my teens, it was Elvis’s gyrating hips and the nasty Rock and Roll music. I survived that, IMO, the girls will survive this too. Granted there is more exposure now thru the media. Women have always had choices as to who they want to be—that will never change.

    • Fabio Paolo Barbieri

      Oh, sure. Elvis was just the same and there is no difference in degree, let alone kind. And all is for the best in the best of all possible worlds. Suuuuuurrrrrrreeeee……

      • FW Ken

        It is the same in kind, though of a different degree.

        • Fabio Paolo Barbieri

          No, I don’t think so. With Elvis as with any real musician, the energy drives the music, and it is the music we remember. Elvis sang dozens of songs that will not be forgotten. Miley, unhappy creature, is selling sex, with the music strictly as an appendage.

          • pagansister

            Was Elvis considered a “real musician” during that time? Not sure. Miley may burn out—Madonna hasn’t. Time will tell.

            • Fabio Paolo Barbieri

              Yes he was. Of course you can go through thousands of pages and find the occasional purblind idiot – and for that matter nobody is under the obligation of liking or understanding anybody – but his importance was soon realized.

              • pagansister

                Elvis LIVES! :-)

          • FW Ken

            I do consider Elvis a real musician of his genre. I like some of his stuff to this day.

            BUT… I remember watching him sing Hound Dog on Ed Sullivan and they kept the cameras above his waist because the lower gyrations were… not sure the word, “lewd” would be too strong. Maybe “suggestive”. In any case, those were the days of Lucy and Desi in twin beds, and the nation was easily shocked. Lucy went through an entire pregnancy, and the word “pregnant” was never said.

            Heavens, I feel old.

            • pagansister

              Yes, I feel old too—as I remember the twin beds, and not using the word “pregnant” on TV. The Beaver’s mom cleaned house in pearls worn with her heels and dress! Yes, Elvis and his songs hold happy memories for me. Yep, certainly couldn’t show his gyrating hips on TV. Who knows what thoughts would enter the heads of the innocents?

              • FW Ken

                I wish my mother were still around to ask if they saw the pearls and high heels as satire. I didn’t catch it then, but I wonder now.

                • pagansister

                  I never saw my mother clean house in heels & pearls. :-) I don’t know if it was satire…interesting question.

                  • Fabio Paolo Barbieri

                    You have to realize that Hollywood as a social group was steeped and pickled in sex from the start. By the fifties, you were on to the third generation, and these people lived in ways that had nothing to do with the West at the time. So, when they were required not to offend the average spectator, they went to the opposite extreme, because they had no sense of balance or any real sympathy for the sensitivities involved. What they felt is that they were being asked to act like mummies, so they did – for a while.

            • Fabio Paolo Barbieri

              It is perhaps worth pointing out that there was nothing whatsoever natural or original about Lucy and Desi in twin beds and the rest of that. That whole atmosphere was a reaction. The Hayes Code and its corollaries were imposed – by a movement headed by the Catholic Church – to stop Hollywood do what it had already been doing, almost from its foundation, which is push sex as hard as they could get away with. Some of Ginger Rogers’ early dance routines were not only lewd, but featuring transparent costumes – and that was not even the furthest that sex was pushed. And at any rate the Code did not last long: by the time Marilyn Monroe became a star with “dance” routines that were often little more than simulated sex, there was not much left to defend.

              • pagansister

                Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire—many wonderful dance movies! :-) Yes, the costumes were revealing, and some moves suggestive, however rather tame looking back on them now. Yes, the Hayes Code did it’s thing for a bit, didn’t realize the Catholic Church led that move. (but am not surprised).

                • Fabio Paolo Barbieri

                  I don’t think we are speaking of the same thing. By the time Fred and Ginger teamed up on screen (they already knew each other, and appreciated each other, from the stage), the Hayes Code was coming in. The peaks of suggestiveness and vulgarity had been hit a year or two earlier, in the age of Jean Harlow, Louise Brooks and Tallulah Bankhead.

                  • pagansister

                    You are always a font of information, Fabio. :-) What is it that you do,(as a living, that is) if I may ask?

        • pagansister

          Agreed-

      • pagansister

        He was considered indecent then just like Miley is now. Yes, he had more clothes on—but Waaaay back then his motions were not “proper.” to some anyhow.

        • Fabio Paolo Barbieri

          You are assuming that there is a continuity, that the sexual element in Elvis’ performances was central and the main thing that he had to offer, and that, even if there were such a continuity, the step from Frank Sinatra (whom prudes and reactionaries had found oversexed in his time) to Elvis is no different in meaning and significance from the step from Elvis to Madonna and her followers. CS Lewis: Such a reply springs from the fatal serialism of the modern imagination – the image of infinite unilinear progression which so haunts our minds. Because we have to use numbers so much we tend to think of every process as if it must be like the numeral series, where every step, to all eternity, is the same kind of step as the one before. [But]….[t]here are progressions in which the last step is sui generis – incommen­surable with the others – and in which to go the whole way is to undo all the labour of your previous journey. The “progression” by which we move from the marketing of music to the marketing of sex with some occasional musical excuse is one such.

          • pagansister

            You always bring an intellectual view of things Fabio. (with your quote from CS Lewis in this case.) I never appreciated Frank Sinatra–but do like his rendition of “New York, New York” .

        • KellyAnn

          There will ALWAYS be things considered “improper” by some. Such as your grammar…..

          • pagansister

            Thanks, appreciate the “corrections”— (not). Also that comment wasn’t directed to you. :-)

    • SusanL

      It’s not just the girls who watched her as Hannah Montana when she did the show. It’s all the girls who are STILL watching her…the new set of girls. DVDs presents it to a new generation.

      I’m glad that you survived Elvis’ gyrating hips and all that Rock and Roll music but not everyone did. I’m not going to dismiss so easily the influences of our culture. I see many women’s lives that have been influenced by this sort of stuff and made bad bad choices for their lives. Those choices forever impacted them as well as countless others because we’re all connected. Everything that we do impacts others in this generation and the generations to follow.
      We never followed Hannah Montana because #1) we didn’t subscribe to the crummy cable channels out there with the exception of the absolutely cheapest we could get just to get the picture and…#2) we bought dvds of old movies and tv shows that we knew to be safe.

      Our three oldest children (20, 18 and 14) are very modest in their attire and don’t get into all the sexuality of the culture). We’re presently working on raising our two youngest in the same way. So far…so good.

      • pagansister

        As someone pointed out above (Julia Stein) women have been doing this for centuries. Until a child leaves home parents can guide in the choice of clothes (especially since you the parent are paying for them until they are a certain age) and to respect them selves and others. . Those in the entertainment business (some, not all by any means) are just that—in the entertainment business and will cater to what they think is wanted. We raised a girl and a boy, and they are now in their early 40′s. They respect themselves and others—and they also had influences that would have been considered “X” rated in their growing years. All parents can do is___the very best they can and hope for the best. My 2 are great. And yes, there are those that didn’t “survive” the late 60′s and the 70′s etc. but think about it—hasn’t there always been all different influences in every generation since time began? Yes, now there is easier access—I will have to admit that. Some women (and men) will continue to make “good” decisions and some won’t. I’ve lived long enough to know that unfortunately we as adults can’t always “make it OK” for all kids as much as we would like to—especially after they leave home. I’m not dismissing it, just looking at reality.

      • KellyAnn

        “with the exception of the absolutely cheapest we could get just to get the picture and…” so TV was important enough in your household to chance one of your children tuning into Basic Cable when you knew how easily influenced children can be? Maybe you didn’t mean do, but you basically suggest that all cable shows are crummy, and by association, the parents allowing their children to watch. If you never watched her when she was a child, you shouldn’t comment on the sad spiral that is to be witnessed now.

  • Julia Stein

    Good post. I have never seen Hannah Montana, so Cyrus’s previous role meant nothing. For 4,000 years of patriarchy women take off the clothes and gyrate for 1) money or 2) power. Salome did it for John the Baptist’s head. It’s old school. Madonna, Gaga, Cyrus do it for the money. Madonna sang it loud that she turned herself into meat because she was the Material Girl!!!! Madonna was the prefect female icon for the greed of Reagan U.S.A. Gaga and Cyrus are the icons for the War on Terror of the New Millenium and are contributing to rape culture where women in the U.S. military are raped. Yes, adult women have a job to assault the sexist pornographic corporate media culture. I think the timing of the Cyrus and Thicke sexist shtick was during the building up to the bombing of Syria that outraged people. Sex porn at the time of war porn.

  • FW Ken

    Contraception isn’t really this old bachelor’s battle, but perhaps this bit is relevant here:

    “Another effect that gives cause for alarm is that a man who grows accustomed to the use of contraceptive methods may forget the reverence due to a woman, and, disregarding her physical and emotional equilibrium, reduce her to being a mere instrument for the satisfaction of his own desires, no longer considering her as his partner whom he should surround with care and affection.” (from Humanae Vitae)

    http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/blog/sadly-not-satire-paul-vi-vindicated/


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