KELLY SAMUELS: Miley is not the problem

To the editor:

There has been a lot of discussion on the Miley Cyrus performance at the MTV Video Music Awards recently. Now that people everywhere have offered their opinion on how unchaste this former Disney star is trying to become, let me point out that this is a phenomenon that repeats throughout history. Have we already forgotten about Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, Lil’ Kim and the dozens of pop stars that have gone before? I wonder if this is part of a record label’s contract, that once they become legal adults they must dance provocatively in public?

Since this is now repeating through history, we should look at the demand that these little dances are catering to. What makes these young adults believe that this is the best way to further their careers? Young men aren’t doing this, so why the young women?

Most disturbing about this entire situation is that there was a grown, married man, fully clothed, on stage with half-naked Miley, singing about drugging women to sleep with him. For those of you unaware, this is first-degree criminal sexual conduct, which is a felony! I’m embarrassed to admit I enjoyed the beat of this song until I understood the words, and now I’m appalled. Boys everywhere are confused about whether it’s OK to take advantage of women when they are drunk or otherwise incapacitated, and now our pop music is saying it’s the preferred way to have instant gratification.

It’s discouraging to listen to the general public that looks at the two of them on stage – young female following in predecessors’ footsteps, and mature man singing about raping people – and our collective response is “What’s wrong with HER?!”

I think we’re asking the wrong questions.

Kelley Samuels

Executive Director of Women’s Information Services