Until today, I had no idea what the word “twerk” meant. Truth be told, I had to look it up on Urban Dictionary. All that changed with all the chatter about Miley Cyrus’s….performance?…on last night’s VMAs. Go ahead and take a minute to watch so you know what we’re talking about. I’ll be here when you’re done throwing up.
Finished? Yeah. I am almost certain that any number of the dancers and band members were up there thinking, FML. Yes, her performance was obscene, insulting to women and eyeballs everywhere, devoid of any musical talent, and will single-handedly send the sale of teddy bears down the drain. (And seriously, if you’re going to motorboat someone’s ass, motorboat someone’s ass. Otherwise, you just look, well, like Miley looked.)
Three minutes of my life I’ll never get back aside, I’m not really all that bothered by her performance. If she wants to flaunt her body and need for attention on stage, that’s her prerogative. What I’m actually bothered by is the song Robin Thicke sang with her, Blurred Lines. Thus far, I’ve seen old articles arguing that it either is or isn’t the song of the summer and whether it’s misogynist or feminist, but I really haven’t seen anyone upset that that song was broadcast to thousands of impressionable teenagers last night. (You know, at least to the ones who could understand what he was singing in the first place.) No one’s upset that calling a woman “the hottest bitch” and insinuating that you’re going to split her ass in two because your dick is that big, (um, gee, can I please get undressed fast enough for that offer?) might be every so slightly objectifying. Calling her an animal who can’t be domesticated and doesn’t need papers? Yes, I get that you’re trying to call her wild, but if the description was any more dehumanizing, she’d be a paramecium. Although, I guess if paramecium love is what does it for you…
All too often we don’t pay attention to the words of the songs we absentmindedly hum in the shower or sing into our hairbrushes. We don’t get angry when the songs playing on the radio, the songs our children will listen to, treat women as nothing more than a commodity to be acquired and screwed. It’s easy to focus on the outrageous woman and dismiss her as trampy, wild, and someone to be laughed at. But the man grinding up on her? He’s an artist.