By: Nicole Garamella
It’s upsetting to think that in today’s 21st century full of new ideals and social values it’s still more socially acceptable for a man to objectify women and assume sexual consent than it is for a woman to sexually handle construction tools while nakedly singing a heartfelt ballad.
In Miley Cyrus’s recent music video for her single “Wrecking Ball,” Cyrus displays emotional vulnerability while crying and singing her insightful lyrics about the damaging nature of a previous relationship. However, the only parts of Miley’s video people seem to notice are the parts where she is naked on a wrecking ball or making out with a sledge hammer. The video, with close to 250 million views, is riddled with “slut-shaming” comments about Miley’s overly sexual behavior and her lack of morals. Out of the nearly 2 million ratings on YouTube, almost one third of the viewers disliked the video, and other social media sites like Twitter and Facebook have been in an incessant frenzy of anti-wrecking ball statuses.
Meanwhile, with close to 200 million views, in the music video for his single “Blurred Lines,” Robin Thicke and the two other featured male artists in the song, T.I. and Pharrell, repeatedly sing “I know you want it” as scantily clad women parade around them in awe. Thicke seems to grope, chase, or objectify these girls with every lyric, and the phrase “Robin Thicke has a Big D” is even written on a giant wall at one point. Yet, despite its oppressively sexual nature, only around one tenth of the people who rated it on YouTube disliked it. Despite the overall message of the song, assumed consent , which is coincidentally one of the major issues of rape culture, the song has been widely accepted as a catchy tune. I’d additionally like to point out Thicke is a married man, and none of the ladies on screen were his wife.
How can the public and the media be so judgmental of Miley and her nudity when by supporting Thicke, they make it clear that the only way for women to get attention from the patriarchy is to prance around naked? The exceedingly hypocritical paradox is this: according to society, women can either be feminine and loose or authoritative and masculine. When Miley, with her masculine haircut and manly tools was sexually feminine, society was outraged, because it’s been ingrained in our patchwork that women are simply not allowed to be both. Meanwhile, the Robin Thickes of the world are allowed to live peacefully, taking advantage of women and remaining in control until the end of their days without question simply because they evoke the traditional masculine standard.
The fact that this issue exists is infuriating. By viciously tearing down women who are comfortable with their bodies on camera and instead glorifying men who seek to subjugate these women, society is teaching us that women are not only inferior, but men have to be masculine and domineering in order to be successful. It’s a double standard from which neither gender benefits. Instead, we as a society, like Thicke, assume too much, instead of questioning the sense of these outdated and incorrect stereotypes.
Photo courtesy of “Consequence of Sound”