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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Societal morals need reconsideration before we judge

    Reactions to Miley Cyrus’ recent artistic transformation exposed a corrupted sense of feminism in the United States.In the weeks following the on-stage twerk fest, I watched with wide eyes as our sweet Hannah Montana traded in her squeaky clean image for foam fingers and wrecking balls.

    Admittedly, I initially reacted to Cyrus’ lack of clothing and suggestive dance moves with distaste, but as social media outlets rapidly filled up with posts and tweets about how “trashy” and “slutty” Cyrus has become, the prevalent hypocrisy that exists in American society was evident. We don’t have any right to be mad at Miley — because we are Miley.

    On Mix 104.1’s official website, Matt Dollof published an article titled “Boston’s Best Reactions to Miley Cyrus at the VMAs on Social Media” that featured an array of attacks on Cyrus’ performance and character. Jeanne K., for example, posted “OMG [sic] she made herself look like a complete low life … and i [sic] can’t believe Robin Thicke let her do that to his song. very [sic] disappointed.”

    So if a woman feels that another woman is acting in a way that demeans women everywhere, her response should be to put her down?

    I challenge Jeanne and anyone else who is so completely “disappointed” with Cyrus to take your nose out of the air, hop off of your high horse and look in the mirror.

    Jordan Bruce, a UA freshman studying communication, said ideally women in the media would be portrayed as “confident” and “comfortable with themselves.”

    “I think that women are very sexualized [in the media],” Bruce said. “They are told that if they aren’t, the brand they are representing won’t sell.”

    However, who is telling the women we see in the media to be overtly sexy? Sure, it might be music video or film directors, agents or talent scouts, but what about us? We are, after all, the consumers of the music, movies and magazines in which women are often portrayed as sex symbols.

    BoxOfficeMojo.com’s list of the top 10 highest grossing movies of 2012 reflects the contradiction. Number nine on the prestigious list is “Ted,” which featured disturbing themes. Al Alexander, movie critic of the Patriot Ledger, identified rampant misogyny throughout the film, classifying the cuddly protagonist as a “sexist pig” who “[loves] to bare women, be they prostitutes, checkout girls or drunken party guests.”

    Yet this raunchy comedy raked in $218,815,487.

    The highest grossing movie of the year was “Marvel’s The Avengers,” which despite being a male-dominated film, does feature the undeniable power of Scarlett Johansson, in a skin-tight leather jumpsuit of course, as the Black Widow.

    Numbers don’t lie, and if we are so appalled at how women are portrayed in the media, we have a funny way of showing it.

    Our collective taste in music reflects this same pattern.

    “Blurred Lines” by Robin Thicke was the number one song in the country for 12 straight weeks, according to At40.com. Not only has this song of the summer gained notoriety for some questionable lyrics that many have deemed “rape-y,” and features numerous naked models in the viral (and banned) music video, but isn’t this tune sung by the same Thicke who slyly crossed his arms and smirked as Cyrus danced against him at the VMAs?

    Two words immediately come to mind: double standard. In an interview with GQ, Thicke even joked, “What a pleasure it is to degrade a woman.”

    Still, Cyrus received the majority of the negative attention, despite the fact that both performers agreed to the arrangement.

    I am not defending Miley Cyrus, her gyrating hips or her recent wave of nudity, but judging her for whatever she decides to do with her creative license is completely hypocritical. How can we, as a society, disapprove of behavior that we pay to see and hear?

    Let’s demand that women are held in a respectable light in all of the art forms that we support. We as a society need to reevaluate the morals that we support through our own personal consumption.

    Until that happens, a scandalous show should be no surprise to any of us.

    Shelby Thomas is a sophomore studying journalism and sociology. Follow her on Twitter.com/@alayneshelby.

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