CUB Comment: Miley Cyrus the Feminist?

Miley Cyrus is a woman inspiring intensity in everyone, whether it’s fierce protection or cutting
disapproval, but a constant topic of conversation that runs throughout everything I see written about Miley is her choice of attire. As a young woman in the music industry, some claim that Miley is cashing in on her sexuality; that she is setting a bad example for the swaths of tweens that make up a large proportion of her fan base. However, is it more damaging to Miley’s fans to see her shamed for dressing as she chooses to dress than it is to see her dressed in a revealing manner? In today’s culture there is such an emphasis on self-esteem, and each individual being exactly that: an individual. Feminism champions the freedom of women to be whoever they choose to be, and to dress however they choose to dress, yet it seems that these ideals do not apply to celebrities.

Discussions surrounding feminism are growing in number everyday, and while this is obviously a very positive thing for the female population, it seems that as an offshoot of these discussions, some women have decided that there is only one way in which women should behave in order to uphold so called feminist ideals. This culture of ‘slut shaming’ haunts Miley’s music so completely that it’s difficult to remember when reading one of the many articles written about her that she is even a musician. I agree that Miley is provocative in her performances and, in some cases, her
lyrics, but is this something that other women should shame her for, or something we should
respect her for?

Constant campaigns highlight the fact that the way women dress should not invite sexual attention from men and a short skirt is not justification for sexual aggression, yet women are so quick to
attack Miley for what she wears. This double standard exists throughout the music industry, and sadly infects many musicians’ work to the point of overshadowing their music. Miley’s choice to be provocative is one she has made as a woman, and a decision that other women should recognise as symbolic of freedom of choice, something that not too long ago would have been impossible.

Women calling themselves feminists should not be telling any other women how to behave, the point of feminism is surely fighting for women to have the freedom to be whoever they want to be and dress however they want to dress without recrimination from either men or women. And if
Miley Cyrus wants to hump a foam finger, who are we to judge?


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