Ok folks, it’s time to turn down the outrage meter just a notch. You were watching the VMAs on MTV. What else did you expect? Wholesome family entertainment? MTV has a clear track record with the VMAs. They are raunchy, outrageous, controversial and highly sexualized. That’s what they sell. Heck, that’s probably why you were watching.
Now don’t get me wrong. I did not approve of Miley’s behavior. It was deplorable, indecent and downright embarrassing. As a father of two daughters I kept thinking “When my girls are grown I hope they have more self-esteem than that.” It was sad but it wasn’t shocking. It was expected.
That’s why all this public outrage towards Miley has me a bit cynical. Isn’t she just another example of reaping what we sow? Our culture (especially pop culture) glorifies any and all forms of sexual expression. In that sense, Miley wasn’t doing anything out of the ordinary. She was simply acting out the things we popularize everyday in songs and videos.
Have you actually listened to the lyrics of Robin Thicke’s Blurred Lines? It’s a catchy tune with a demeaning message. Women want sex. Nothing more. The video is even worse prompting YouTube to ban it for nudity. Which, of course, only made it more popular. I’m sorry, but we can’t damn Miley for her behavior while celebrating (and supporting) an entertianment culture that encourages such behavior.
Miley is essentially a product of the world she’s grown up in. She did exactly what our culture taught her to do. If you’re a young woman and you want attention you must act out sexually. The only difference is she did it on a national stage. That bothered us (as it should). But don’t be mad at Miley. Be mad at a culture that’s churning out young women like Miley.
Be mad at catchy tunes that teach young men to disrespect young women. Be mad at lyrics that refer to women as bitches and whores. Be mad at movies and TV shows that do nothing but sell sex. Be mad at an entertainment industry that substitutes shock for talent.
Yes, Miley must take personal responsibility for her actions but there’s a larger issue at play here. We can’t continue celebrating immorality in our culture and only be shocked when it’s displayed by former Disney stars. We can’t continue supporting artists who sexually exploit young women and not expect some cultural ramifications from that.
We reap what we sow. Thus, if we don’t like what we’re reaping we need to change what we’re sowing. We need to stop supporting immorality disguised as entertainment and start speaking up for common decency. In that vein, Miley might have done us a favor. She managed to do something outrageous enough that liberals and conservatives alike condemned it. Everyone came together and said “Ok, enough is enough!” It’s time we send the same message to the culture at-large.