Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Double Standards: A Picture Book

Name: Justin Bieber
DOB: 3/1/94 (19)
Profession: Pop singer
Love life: Has been romantically linked to Selena Gomez, Jacque Pyles, and Jordan Ozuna.
Lyrics: "Hey, what's the situation, whoa?
I'm just tryna make a little conversation,
Why the hesitation, whoa?
Tell me what your name is? 
For your information,

Don't get me wrong
You know you're right,
Don't be so cold,
We could be fire
Tomorrow we'll go,
Let's start tonight
You know what it's all about"

Private life: Accused of assaulting a 12-year-old at a laser tag arena (later cleared); locked one of the producers of CSI in a closet and put his fist through a cake on the set; multiple traffic stops and violations; moons his fans; is photographed surrounded by sizzurp and blunts; threatened and attacked a photographer; abandons a pet monkey; apparently has bodyguards that destroy personal property and grope young women; spits on a neighbor and threatens to kill him; is caught with a small amount of weed; reportedly makes houseguests sign a waiver warning of potentially hazardous activities that should not be engaged in unless you're in good health, and warning that sharing the details of your stay will result in a hefty penalty; repeatedly disrespects fans by showing up late to concerts; pees into a restaurant mop bucket; spits on fans.

Public verdict: He's a "brat" and an "asshole", but no one really cares. I mean, it's just Justin Bieber. Boys will be boys and all that. 

Name: Taylor Swift
DOB: 12/13/89 (23)
Profession: Singer
Love life: Has been romantically linked to Joe Jonas, Lucas Till, Taylor Lautner, Cory Monteith, Eddie Redmayne, Jake Gyllenhaal, John Mayer, Harry Styles, and Connor Kennedy.
Lyrics: "She's an actress/ but she's better known for the things she does on the mattress."
Appears to enjoy slut shamingfurthering the ridiculous stereotypes of mother, maiden, and whore, and publicly airing out grievances against exes.
Public verdict: One of America's Sweethearts and a wonderful role model for young women.

Name: Miley Cyrus 
DOB: 11/23/92 (20)
Profession: Actress and Singer
Love life: Has been romantically linked to Liam Hemsworth.
Lyrics: "It's our party we can do what we want/ It's our party we can say what we want/ It's our party we can love who we want/ We can kiss who we want/ We can screw who we want/ To my homegirls here with the big butt/ Shaking it like we at a strip club/ Remember only God can judge ya/ Forget the haters 'cause somebody loves ya/ And everyone in line in the bathroom/ Trying to get a line in the bathroom/ We all so turnt up here/ Gettin' turnt up yeah yeah"

Performs at the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards scantily dressed, gyrating, and sticking her tongue out.
Public verdict: She's a whore, a slut, a butch bimbo, trashy, classless, a horrible role model for young women, a Jezebel, a hoe, the "devil's granddaughter". I'm pretty sure I actually saw someone refer to her as a "whore of Babylon". Classic shit.

My Facebook News Feed blew the fuck up with negative reactions to Miley's performance on Sunday, causing me to wonder why people don't have anything better to do but complain about a girl who isn't really doing anything groundbreaking. Madonna popped MTV's controversy cherry in 1984 with her performance of "Like a Virgin", and a bevy of female pop stars have since lined up to follow suit. Hell, I haven't heard/seen anyone saying a single fucking word about Lady Gaga's performance attire...

Now, if it were limited to critique on the performance itself, I wouldn't have a problem. I have a problem with the personal attacks leveled against a young woman who's done absolutely nothing wrong. She has no moral obligation to your children. You are supposed to be raising them, not a celebrity. You bear the responsibility for how they turn out, not society. Stop showing your kids that unmitigated hatred and judgment are perfectly acceptable. Stop letting them see their parents frothing with rage over the actions of a young woman who has absolutely no power in your lives except that which you give her. Oh, and take a moment to think back to your own 20-year-old self. Odds are you weren't a paragon of virtue, either. I recently read a blog which was an "open letter" to Ms. Cyrus, and while I commend the compassion with which the piece was written, I couldn't help but wonder why the author (and thousands of others) have chosen to single Ms. Cyrus out. If you're going to hem and haw about a celebrity's supposed obligation to moral decency, why is the tide of indignation more often than not narrowed down to only a few celebrities? Why aren't we deriding Justin Bieber for being a despicable human being? Why aren't Taylor Swift's anti-feminist lyrics causing a drop in her album sales? Why is Lady Gaga even famous? Why aren't male celebrities who objectify women being scorned by parents for sending the wrong message to children? Why is the obligation for moral decency placed on the shoulders of young women? Everyone wants to talk about how Miley rubbed her ass on Robin Thicke's lap junk, but no one wants to talk about about Robin Thicke, a 36-year-old husband and father, pressing his lap junk against Miley's ass. 

Good job, America.


  1. fsheesh. OK, so while I was disinclined to get involved with the whole Smiley Syrup or Miles of Papyrus or whoever the heck this supposedly silly girl did that caused such a tizzy, my wife wanted to show it to me because she wanted my opinion (she thought it was a prank). As I saw the horde of Pedobears dance around and Mealy Cirrus slapping butts I was like, "Eh, it COULD be trolling, but it's too stupid for me to tell either way. Looks as sad as some insecure 15-year-old tricked by the naughty seniors into 'proving' that she's as bad as them." It was aesthetically painful, but I remember Britney Spears pulling a similar stunt so I shrugged.

    Then I saw her rip off her costume and oh, THAT outfit with the beige underwear. THAT'S what people are talking about and WHATTHEHOOZA IT'S A DUET WITH ROBIN THICKE? THAT ROBIN THICKE? DANCING AROUND WITH NAKED WOMEN ROBIN THICKE?

    And. . . wait. . . hangona. . . but, you see. . . the controversy. . . um. . . so, look, it's. . . motherofgawdofphuck, ***MILEY CYRUS*** IS THE PROBLEM HERE??!?!??!

    In defense of slut-shaming, hey, let's assume for the sake of argument that flaunting sexuality in public is supposed to be bad, but then let's at least have SOME semblance of equality here! The coverage was so lopsided about how Miley shocked the world that I had absolutely no idea it was a duet until I LOOKED at it!

    1. Lopsided coverage? *nudge nudge*

      I will in no way defend the performance. His music is shite, her antics are embarrassing, and Robin Thicke is ew. But still, the slut shaming annoys me. Just say you don't like her music or the way she acts, don't make it personal. THAT'S what gets under my skin.

  2. Totally with you on all this.
    And so totally peeved off that when I posted a comment about the double standard and why no-one calls out Thicke about his awful lyrics (didn't even get started on Bieber. I prefer to pretend he doesn't exist), someone STILL had the temerity to complain about how "that sort of behaviour" makes it hard for her to teach her son about proper behaviour.
    My head wanted to explode.

    1. It's amazing, isn't it? Women are blamed for being bad influences on young girls and boys, while men are being blamed for....well, leaving the toilet seat up.

  3. The whole VMA & Miley thing? Must have been a 'bury global news' day/week/month.

    The only thing that unnerved me about the performance was the whole tongue out business.

    I suspect it was supposed to convey some kind of sexual liberation/rebellion/who gives an actual shit type of gesture, but to me, she just looked COMPLETELY off her tits. Seriously.

    I bet sponge finger sales have gone through the roof though.

    1. The tongue thing is annoying, but she's young. She'll probably look back and cringe with the rest of us.

  4. Katrina - I agree with you 100% but "lap junk"??? (Is there a female equivalent to that?) Why not just say crotch (even "lap" on its own would've been fine...) It took me a while to figure out what you were referring to - your use of that colloquialism slightly cheapened what is an otherwise excellent article. Best wishes, Tim Duke (UK)

    1. I was aiming for "cheap", Tim, so....mission accomplished.

  5. That open letter was directed at Miley Cyrus cos she said her performance on Wrecking Ball was inspired by Sinead O' Connor so she responded to her directly.

  6. I would LOVE for you to blog about Kirsten Dunst's new comments not merely supporting traditional gender roles, but insisting that people "should" conform to them.

    1. I'll have to look this up and give a whirl. Thanks for the heads up!