Miley Cyrus and the Double Standard
Published: Wednesday, September 4, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, September 4, 2013 16:09
Miley Cyrus. She’s all over the place lately and with her train-wreck of a performance on the MTV Video Music Awards, she’s currently being talked about more than ever.
It’s impossible to go to a social media website or even turn the TV on without it being talked about. If one didn’t see it initially, they are bound to have seen it in the form of pictures, recaps or even the terrifying GIFs.
For those who were lucky enough not to have been exposed to it, Cyrus preformed her summer hit “We Can’t Stop” in a tacky teddy-bear onesie. She proceeded to strip down into a nude colored bikini for her duet with Robin Thicke and his song, “Blurred Lines.” She continued to confuse the audience by using a foam finger rather inappropriately, sticking her tongue out more times than necessary and ‘twerking’ on Thicke’s pelvis.
Needless to say, the overall reaction to this was negative. Cyrus had thousands of posts by viewers expressing their distaste for the performance by using words such as “disgusting” and “embarrassing.” Yet, if you go look for the reactions to Thicke’s performance, he’s barely mentioned in the whole ordeal.
Clearly, MTV had to have rehearsed all of this. Thicke knew exactly what he was getting into and what Cyrus was going to do in her performance. He was equally as responsible for the disaster that was laid out before our eyes. Why isn’t he getting the same kind of reactions as Cyrus?
The answer shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, the old-as-time-itself double standard that has been separating men and women for years. That’s right, gender double standards in society are to blame for the negative responses to Miley Cyrus’ performance. Cyrus wouldn’t have gotten half of the negative attention if she were a man.
In our society, women are constantly told that they need to be ‘sexy’ and ‘hot’ to be accepted. Yet, when they try to do so, they get shamed out and shunned. Women always get the brunt of criticism when it comes to things that are “overly sexualized” in our culture.
If men were held at the same standards that women are, everybody would be complaining about most male performers that engaged in the same behavior that Cyrus did in her performance, not just ‘over-the-top feminists,’ as some people may say.
Another issue that made America uncomfortable with Cyrus’ performance is that she’s trying to show power. She’s trying to prove that she can do exactly what men can do.
Girls and women who too brazenly display power, and are unself-conscious or unapologetic about it, disturb people.
When famous women get too big for their, often very small, britches, our culture likes to make sure that what’s inside that often “pretty head” is seen as crazy.
Society wants to keep women thinking they are unworthy of too much authority, power and self-expression, whereas men can strive for the same things and be praised, because they’re trying to create some individuality for themselves.
We all know that Cyrus is not regretting what she did at the VMAs; in fact, it’s probably exactly what she wanted to happen because now her place in the spotlight is almost guaranteed for an extra 15 minutes of fame.
Cyrus should be held accountable for the way she was racially objectifying her dancers and even for the terrible dancing. Instead, she’s getting criticized for being “slutty” for doing similar things that famous men do on a daily basis in their performances.
The double standard is there, and unfortunately, doesn’t seem to be going anywhere any time soon.
Cassandra is a junior majoring in Journalism.