Everyday Victim Blaming

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“Miley Cyrus: The Reason Why I Never Want To Have A Daughter”

This article (http://elitedaily.com/life/miley-cyrus-the-reason-why-i-never-want-to-have-a-daughter/ ) caught my eye on my Facebook feed, having been shared as an informative and considered deconstruction of Miley Cyrus’s performance and society’s ills today. Only it wasn’t informative. And it wasn’t considered. It’s a demonstration of blatant institutionalised and social misogyny.

If the misogyny entrenched title from male writer Preston Waters wasn’t enough, we’re sure to get off on the wrong foot from the 2nd paragraph:-

The traditional values of a female were composed of being a classy lady that was both domesticated and ambitious. She is the girl that has values, respect for herself and ladylike qualities, such as being caring, as well as having a level of dignity for herself. This type of thinking has paved the way for some of the most powerful women ever to exist. From women such as Hillary Clinton, who will most likely be the first female president, to women such as Marissa Mayer, who is the current CEO of Yahoo!, and is playing a huge role in bringing the company back to its dominance.

He’s right of course. The traditional values of being a ‘classy lady’ definitely do lie in being domesticated. Ultimately, the institution of marriage was created to impose fidelity to ensure paternity of offspring and protect inheritance. No better way to control commodities than to create rules for them after all! So being highly domesticated was in direct correlation to your role as wife. The more domesticated you are, the better you are at your role and the higher your value. And this brings me to ladylike. Let’s discuss the word ‘ladylike’ shall we?

Ladylike is a word to describe the behaviour of one as a Lady. It’s associated with good breeding. It’s also defined as being ‘unduly sensitive to matters of propriety or decorum’ and ‘lacking virility or strength’. Which obviously describes Hillary Clinton and Marissa Mayer to a tee.

But an article that describes women as smarter than men, that labels all men scumbags and that lords the successes of Oprah Winfrey and Sheryl Sandberg can’t be misogynism surely! We’re talking about women who were seriously oppressed here! They fought to be taken seriously! They earned their respect! They earned their place! They are strong, successful women who deserve to be recognised in kind!

Not like that Miley Cyrus stripping off, twerking and looking like a crack whore onstage, right Preston? Where’s the class in that? Where’s the ‘ladylike’ sensibilities?

This guy goes from slamming Cyrus to trashing Lindsay Lohan and Amanda Bynes as the adored role models of all those girls who aren’t the so-called respectful, classy, LADYLIKE women of yesteryear. Generation Y with their orchestrated nip slips and revealing clothing; the ‘mentally disturbed grownup child stars’ no longer focusing on developing their talent but rather on pouting and acting up.

Cut the crap.

Can we actually LOOK at what this guy has written here??? I mean REALLY LOOK at it? He’s not bringing to light the sexualisation of children and young women. He’s not genuinely commending the careers and work of influential and successful women. He’s hiding behind a certain type of flattery, designed to make us think he’s on our side before telling us exactly how we women should be behaving. He holds US responsible for the very cultural impositions patriarchal society creates and continually enforces and not only that but he contradicts himself. First by telling us we SHOULDN’T be using our bodies to curry favour with men and ensure success, and then telling us powerful women use their sexuality to make men look like fools.

One thing he (sort of) gets right is that young women are being taught that objectifying themselves is a pre-requisite for success. We’re being sent wrong messages all the time. Take Beyonce’s radical interview where she said women needed to fight back against men having the money to run the show and therefore defining value - accompanied by photos of her in her knickers. But hey we’re getting there. It’s all progress. We’re fighting back against a male dominated society, with male dominated views that are utterly engrained in us as well. These things take time. But to quote a tweet I absolutely LOVE from Samuel Gaukroger (@SamGaukroger):-

When women believe that their objectification is empowering, then the patriarchy has won. It’s like media-Stockholm Syndrome.

I’m not writing a response to Miley’s duet with Robin Thicke, I’m writing a response to this misogynistic tosh published by the ever informative Elite News (who also have published articles on why you should sleep with less than desirable women and a handy guide on taking a man out on an ‘anti-slut’ lunch to show him you’re not a prostitute after having slept with him. Just FYI.) but I am inclined to agree with Melissa Atkins Wardley about the whole thing. You can read her excellent blog here - http://blog.pigtailpals.com/?p=4433. And this one really is informative this time I promise.

But what of Robin Thicke in this entire debacle of how us ‘Ladies’ should be behaving? Well. His mum was reportedly confused about Miley’s motives for gyrating on her son. That’s pretty much it really… I guess it doesn’t matter how degrading your music videos are or how sexist your songs are when they make no. 1 in the UK for some inconceivable notion. Oh but it was a woman who directed the music video so it was obviously not degrading in any way. Right?

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One thought on ““Miley Cyrus: The Reason Why I Never Want To Have A Daughter”

  • Laila namdarkhan says:

    It only goes to prove that even when women arrive at powerful media positions (Cyruses video producer) does not mean they will challenge patriarchal representations of young women but rather bolster and endorse women as ‘objects’ for such women will act as the foot soldiers of the patriarchy . How they serve well in the meat market of young women!