Thursday, 29 August 2013

Am I a Prude?

I have just finished watching Miley Cyrus’ performance at the VMA music awards. There has been a lot of discussion in the media about how disgusting it was, but I believe this performance is a symptom of something potentially more serious.

I’m not religious at all and I enjoy perving as much as anyone. Women should be allowed to dress in whatever way they please. Women are also equal in our society a belief that I hold deeply.

Women have not had full rights for very long. We are still seeing a lag effect of previous discrimination - women are still catching up. When I was young there were still bars where women were excluded. Large pay discrepancies between the sexes were common. There was also segregation with whole industries only allowing a single sex to be part of them. The “fact” that women were the inferior sex was openly celebrated in some circles.

I think particularly in the US music industry there is a “bitch ‘n ho” culture. In many music videos women aren’t only depicted as sexual objects, but denigrated as being less than then men. Many female performers seem to be trying to take their sex back, turning the sexiness into Women Power. I think this is very hard to do with very few female artists doing it successfully. Ultimately, many female artists are only perpetuating this culture.

Young people watch of lot of music videos and this culture would have to be having some sort of impact. In this culture women are perpetual strippers and prostitutes. The men being disrespectful arseholes - pimps who are continuously having women throw themselves at them. Young women may think that being sexy and promiscuous are both necessary elements to success. Young men may feel it is okay to be disrespectful and even abusive to the opposite sex.

I think this culture has been allowed to appear as an unexpected consequence of the feminist movement. A counterculture that has gone way out of hand. Many men feel unable to comment about the sexual depiction of women. Men that do have an opinion on the subject are often labelled misogynists, prudes or poofs.

Ultimately, what I am talking about is respect. Everybody is deserving of a certain amount of respect. People also need to be able to respect themselves. Self respect is not a commodity that can be traded away in an effort to earn fame and fortune.

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