The chorus compares women to animals that need to be tamed, which is comparable to the language of rape ( you know you want it ). The third verse is heinous:
thing I ask of you
Let me be the one you back that ass to
Go, from Malibu, to Paris, boo
Yeah, I had a b*t*h, but she ain't bad as you
So hit me up when you passing through
I'll give you something big enough to tear your ass in two
Swag on, even when you dress casual
I mean it's almost unbearable
In a hundred years not dare, would I
Pull a Pharside let you pass me by
Nothing like your last guy, he too square for you
He don't smack that ass and pull your hair like that
So I just watch and wait for you to salute
But you didn't pick
Not many women can refuse this pimpin'
I'm a nice guy, but don't get it if you get with me
Miley's performance was simply an embodiment of this terribly misogynistic song. And yet, the seemingly clean cut 36-year old man who should know better got off easy. The pattern is too familiar. That's what we do to girls and women; that's what we do to boys and men. We look the other way as boys and men objectify females, and we condemn the girls and women when they mirror that objectification.
Piling on the criticism of Miley, sadly and tragically, was Robin Thicke's mother, Gloria Loring., " I was not expecting her to be putting her butt that close to my son," she said. To review, Mom is okay with him calling women derogatory names and talking about pimping women, but she draws the line at women who personify this behavior? Nice.
Miley Cyrus' performance was in bad taste, but not just because of the dance. The truly awful reality of the MVA performance is the mirror that MTV reflects about our culture.
We allow men to degrade women in their music while rebuking women for showing us the visual. We allow clothing companies to market their clothes to young girls, using strong sexual images while chastising the girls who wind up wearing these products. We allow television shows and movies to portray sexual violence toward women while continuing to question whether rape victims were too suggestive to their perpetrators.
Let's end the double standard with this new low moment for MTV.
Until we, as a society, are truly ready to engage in an honest conversation about sexism, objectification and misogyny, I will not condemn Miley Cyrus for her performance. I will, instead, shake my head and wonder if there will ever be a generation of young girls that doesn't know what it means to be objectified.