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Slut Shaming in Popular Culture, Pt. 1

August 29, 2013

So I’m assuming that almost everyone here has heard in some way shape or form about the VMA’s along with Miley Cyrus’s performance. Well I didn’t see it personally when it aired but decided it was culturally significant enough for me to do some digging. Here are my thoughts.

First Miley honey, you are not a whore.

Second Robin Thicke, there is no such things as blurred lines if you just ask. Consent is sexy you know.

Now that all that fun stuff is out of the way lets get down to the dirty. I did quite a bit of research for this blog post. Including watching the performance of Cyrus, Thicke, 2 Chainz and Lamar, all the individual video’s and a few others of the performances of other artists.

Now I’m not saying I thought the Cyrus, Thicke and co. performance excelled in anyway shape or form. Personally I found the teddy bear things creepy as all hell. I thought the dancing was poorly choreographed and lacked originality or pazaaz. But hey that’s just me.

(You can watch the performance here on youtube.)

The problem I have with this whole thing is Miley Cyrus being called a whore and no one else taking any of the blame.


I’ll cap it quickly for you. Fully dressed men are surrounded by almost fully naked women singing lyrics that… well in all honesty promote rape culture. I’ll get to that in a minute, but for now you can watch that video here.

Slightly disgusting right???? But back to the point.

Miley was not the only person on that stage. Miley was not the only singer. I quote sexologist Dr. Jill McDevitt (whose tumblr can be found here):

The rest of Dr. Jills tumblr can be found here

The rest of Dr. Jills tumblr can be found here.

Lets all applaud Dr. Jill for a moment, she just called society out on some bullshit. Thank you. Now lets revisit the lyrics to Blurred Lines. They can be found here. But for those who don’t have to time to go look at them, or are like me and are very lazy I’ll quote the main two lyrics I have a problem withI know you want it…. 


The way you grab me

Must wanna get nasty

Go ahead get me.

This song is about a man in a club with a woman dancing. He is talking about the blurred lines between what happens in the club and consent for anything more. I get that. I’m a bi-woman, I hit on men and women. I’ve had plenty a moment when I didn’t know if the other person was returning my flirt or I was seeing things. I get the confusion and that shit sucks. What I have a problem with is him saying I know you want it and must wanna get nasty. That is not asking for consent, that promotes rape culture. In fact look for Sunday/Monday’s post. It’ll be all about that.

How about these lyrics?

I hope you want it


The way you grab me,

Could you wanna get nasty?

Go ahead get me.

Viola, change a few words and all of a sudden it’s a song I can get behind. Asking, consent, saying that it’s not a for sure thing but damn he hopes it is! See I like that. Gender empowering on both sides.

I quote another blogger, Eric Clapp 3.0 (whose blog post can be found here):

There are next to no commentaries, articles, or blog posts that talk about how Robin Thicke was on stage with a woman young enough to be his daughter while thrusting his pelvis and repeating the line “I know you want it” while T.I. non-chalantly raps about much more graphic stuff. 

If we’re going to call Miley a ho, lets not point fingers at one side. Lets remember that a man old enough to be her father in today’s day and age asked her to perform Blurred Lines with him. Lets remember that the performance took aspects of both of the music video’s and used them- no matter how distasteful we might find them. The idea’s for the performance were not original to this performance. I’m not saying they should have been used but at least they were not thought up for this performance alone.

Better yet! Lets forget that and not slut shame at all. Lets just call the performance distasteful but move on from it. Besides if you look at Lady Gaga’s performance (which can be found here) she shows much more nudity although in a much more tasteful way. Why is she not called a slut? (See Sunday/Monday post for the answer- or at least my theory.)

Not liking a performance is ok, I’m not saying don’t say you didn’t like the performance. I’m just saying before you slut shame Miley away remember she wasn’t the only person on that stage and not the only person to be held accountable.

Sunday/Monday’s post will be a follow up of this one, why slut shaming in media is bad and how it affects daily life for women in our western culture! YAY!



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  1. You remind me a bit of me. Sort of an interesting contradiction. 😉 You can reach me at if you would like to know anything. I saw your request for info. Thanks.

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