Wednesday, August 28, 2013

WE Are What's Wrong With Miley Cyrus; Why Judging The Shit Out Of Young Girls Is The Clear Solution

I hope you are as sick of hearing about Miley as I am. Every time the public reacts to something like this I worry about our girls. People are saying that her performance at the VMAs sent a bad message, but I wonder if the messages we're sending our daughters with our reactions to it isn't worse. 





This "thing" will pass, but the comments our daughters hear us making about it will stick. 

When my daughter was a sophomore, she came home one day and told me that there were some freshman girls going into the woods by the high school "getting on their knees" for senior boys. Some of the other girls at school were calling them names and saying they were "nasty sluts". Obviously this disturbed me and I was concerned. I was proud of my daughter and the relationship we have and I knew that my reaction to this was of paramount importance. 

I chose my words wisely. 

What I did not say to my daughter was "Those girls are attention seeking whores. Stay out of the woods or I'll judge you too". I talked to her, not at her. I did not write an open letter to her on my blog threatening to "duct tape [her] mouth shut" or push her down "for forgetting how a lady acts in public" if she ever acted that way. (The gross popularity of such a blog post might just be exactly where we're going wrong though...just saying.)

I asked my daughter instead why she thought those girls were doing that and then some more questions. I was proud when she told me about the stifling pressure she remembered feeling as a freshman. She recalled the worry that she wouldn't fit in with the "right crowd" to ensure a great four years without being tortured by bullies or out casted by "the popular" crowd. She was able to identify with the feelings of girls in the woods and understand that although she chose to deal with them in different ways, she could understand the pain and motivation behind such behavior. This was not to say that she agreed with or condoned what they were doing, but could look at them with compassion rather than judgment. She could also decide whether or not she would join her friends in mocking these girls OR offer them friendship at no cost. 

When I asked her what she thought about "this Miley Cyrus thing" she responded with this same compassion that she did that day. She said that while she did not personally appreciate the performance, it is sex that makes the money. When I asked her who decides what sells, she said, "We do". 

Our daughters are not stupid. If we teach them how to have more compassion when observing others, perhaps they will judge themselves less harshly too. 

Before we go judging girls like Miley Cyrus, Britney Spears, or the next Disney star gone wild, let us keep in mind that every time we point a finger, there are three pointing back at us. 

Are you part of the problem or the solution?


75 comments :

  1. Your daughter is an absolute credit to you. What a smart and wonderful young lady. And a great post. You rock :)

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  2. I asked my daughter about the Miley Cyrus thing, and she hadn't heard about it at all. I told her about the performance with facts only - no judging. But I think we need to revisit the discussion and talk about the issues you write about in this post. Well said, Julie - thank you for a different (and better) take on an issue that's been talked about ad nauseum.

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  3. Smart girl. Smart mom. Is it still cool to judge Miley's parents?

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  4. Next Life, NO KidsAugust 28, 2013 at 8:59 AM

    YOU rock.

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  5. Next Life, NO KidsAugust 28, 2013 at 9:00 AM

    Thanks Dana, I'm SO sick of hearing about how she's ruining *fill in the blank* for all young girls everywhere. WRONG.

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  6. Next Life, NO KidsAugust 28, 2013 at 9:02 AM

    Sure! It's a free country and people can judge whoever they want. I would just ask whoever wanted to judge them how they felt it would help anyone? Like, what's the point of judgement? I know it makes us feel better about ourselves and the choices we're making, but how else does it serve us?

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  7. From the person who wrote this awesome post - that compliment is one I shall accept without complaint. High praise indeed :)

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  8. I'm still mad at him for Achy Breaky Heart.

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  9. I LOVE YOU. To add to this thoughtful post, I've always said that many of us would have mud in our face if social media and press had been tracking our every move when we were that age. There is a rap from that guy from The League who didn't necessarily defend her but criticized how our criticism of her has been very hypocritical. Great job on this. xo

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  10. the song was catchy (maybe a little too catchy) but I can't get past the mullet-tight jeans-sneakers combo platter

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  11. I am constantly looking for ways to face future discussions like this with my 3 girls. Only every so often I am smart like you and ask questions rather than preach "why"

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  12. So insightful and beautifully written.

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  13. You are so smart. So much smarter than me. As the mom of a boy, and also as someone who is completely disinterested in TV (don't kill me) this Miley Cyrus thing has just been an annoying gnat cluttering up all my social media feeds. HOWEVER your post is the first one that made me interested enough to read it. And the message is universal. Good job.

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  14. Sounds like you are raising your daughter in the best way possible. It's not an easy job, especially with social media, pressure and so much "out there" now. Yay Julie!

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  15. I think it's great that you have this relationship with your daughter. It's awesome that you can talk to her about things most girls only talk to their friends about.

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  16. Next Life, NO KidsAugust 28, 2013 at 12:29 PM

    Oh, HAHA! I thought you were asking if it's cool to judge her parents for her actions!! You totally get a pass for that one, for sure. :)

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  17. Next Life, NO KidsAugust 28, 2013 at 12:30 PM

    What? Like that's not sexy...

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  18. Next Life, NO KidsAugust 28, 2013 at 12:32 PM

    I LOVE YOU TOO!! Thanks for reading! You're not kidding about what a bad idea it is to have a camera following you around in your twenties. Yikerunies! I was judged enough for how I handled the pain and confusion of young adulthood. Christ! Can you imagine? I'd be dead, for sure.

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  19. Next Life, NO KidsAugust 28, 2013 at 12:33 PM

    Thanks Carrie!!

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  20. Next Life, NO KidsAugust 28, 2013 at 12:34 PM

    Awww, I'm glad it passed the test! I would NEVER kill you for being disinterested in TV. Rather, I'd like to give you a squeeze. :)

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  21. Next Life, NO KidsAugust 28, 2013 at 12:34 PM

    Thanks Kate. I'm doing my best in hopes that my voice will be louder than that of what's "cool". Fingers crossed!!

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  22. Next Life, NO KidsAugust 28, 2013 at 12:38 PM

    Thank you Debi! When I was my daughter's age, I was almost four months pregnant with her. I don't forget the reasoning behind making bad choices just because everyone else is doing it. She is MUCH smarter than I was. I don't pretend that I haven't made my share of mistakes because I want her to know that I'm far from perfect. I think that helps her to feel more comfortable with her own imperfections. Honestly, I have no idea why she tells me this stuff, but I'm REALLY happy she trusts me with it. :)

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  23. There's a way bigger issue here than judging young people. It's the hyper-sexualization of our youth and selling the most base image of femininity out there. Miley isn't doing what hasn't been done before. She's just more crass about it. This girl can barely sing or dance and the ONLY reason we're talking about her is because she went for the most base attention getting move. But what is she really saying to young girls who make up her audience? She's telling them their power is in what they've got between their legs and not between the ears. She's telling them, who gives a damn about love. Go bust your nut and hope you don't catch a VD along the way. What is this message teaching our youth? It's surely not teaching them what it means to be a woman, how to love or value themselves as full human beings. Our youth is being exposed to the most base representation of femininity and we don't judge what's really going on here to our peril. This is not setting the right example and NOT judging it is doing our girls and young women a grave disservice.

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  24. Next Life, NO KidsAugust 28, 2013 at 1:07 PM

    Wow, she's saying ALL THAT? Amazing. What it means to be a woman isn't universal Celeste. I'm sorry that our society has decided that sex sells more copies, boosts ratings, and gets people talking, but it has. WE have. Why do we have to JUDGE it to set an example? Can't we set a positive example and teach our daughters to say "No, thank you" gracefully? Being judgmental doesn't promote self love and respect, it merely takes the focus off me and throws it onto you. It also causes anxiety because they then believe that THEY are being judged by the whole world. How does that help our daughters? Seriously, please tell me how that works. I'm intrigued.

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  25. Adunno - this isn't saying 'don't draw your own conclusions' or 'let her off the hook' so much as 'be kind'.


    If parents teach their children well, the children will be in a position to make a valid assessment of such behaviour, and it can generate conversation around the subject without turning into hatred, viciousness and judgyness.

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  26. Parents can't shield their children from all the bad influences out there but yes they do have to set the right example. This whole "don't judge" sleezey for being sleezey isn't enlightened compassion. It's failing to understand the effect those representations have upon the hearts and minds of very impressionable young girls. Being a parent means you call a spade a spade.

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  27. Being a parent can mean a lot of things to a lot of different people.



    The sleaze speaks for itself, but compassion taught in the face of the vitriol being flung around - that's quite an amazing lesson, which in no way undermines the importance of understanding the impact of such imagery on impressionable minds.

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  28. Our society isn't pedaling femininity as some washed up porn stripper and broadcasting that out before a 14+ audience. It's a rancid media that's doing this. This poison is infecting the minds of our young and not judging it for the crap that it is is doing a grave disservice to our young. If I robbed you blind, would you judge me? Would that be the kind or compassionate thing to do? Of course not. You can't universally apply the "don't judge" let's all just love ourselves to every situation. You're failing to grasp what this mind rot is doing to our young. Young girls are now blowing boys in the school yard and that's okay. Let's not call 'em sluts. Let's not judge 'em. Let's not look at the pop culture they've been exposed to since pre-teens as influences.

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  29. I have to admit that I'm guilty of judging. And by the fingers that are pointing at me I know that I shouldn't be.
    I think I pretty much raised myself in terms of learning how to deal with stuff like this and while I mess up quite a lot, I try my damnedest to remember that everyone is human and that there may be a reason why they chose to carry on this way..

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  30. The sleaze doesn't speak for itself to the young and impressionable. They grow up thinking that's sexy, that's what it means to be a woman. Therein likes the problem in not judging it.

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  31. Next Life, NO KidsAugust 28, 2013 at 2:39 PM

    If you robbed me? I'm confused. Are you a fan of "slut shaming"? I'm not saying that we should agree with the behavior Celeste, I'm suggesting that instead of demanding that all girls act a certain way and condemning those that don't follow suit, that we instead treat everyone like a unique human being. I don't think it's fantastic that girls are blowing boys on school property, but no, I don't think that calling them "sluts" is going to solve the problem. The word "slut" was no doubt created by women for women and if the scarlet letter did the job, would we be having this conversation?


    The "media" follows our lead. If people didn't watch it as much as they do, it wouldn't be everywhere. It's plastered all over our magazines, billboards, television, etc. Is that Miley's fault?


    I have to ask because you've mentioned it several times here. What does it "mean" to be a woman?? I think I might be doing it wrong.

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  32. Next Life, NO KidsAugust 28, 2013 at 2:47 PM

    "Being a parent means you call a spade a spade"?? How many daughters do you have?

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  33. Next Life, NO KidsAugust 28, 2013 at 2:59 PM

    I'm sure guilty too Shanique. No one's perfect ;) NO judgement here!! :)

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  34. I have two boys, and so I 'm coming at this from a different perspective.

    I don't want them to be witness to women acting this way. I can do whatever I want to raise them as gentlemen, but as long as women act like this, it shows that is how to get attention.

    Trying NOT to judge, but it's a vicious circle. Men wouldn't be pigs if women didn't act this way and give them something to lust over and be a pig about. But, if men didn't pay attention, would women act this way, or do they do it because they know they'll get attention?

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  35. Seems pretty piss poor parenting if you can't teach them the difference without spilling hatred and negativity towards the people you judge to be 'perpetrating' these behaviours you dislike.



    But perhaps that's not what you mean...there's a difference between teaching kids to be discerning and teaching them to take pot-shots when people do stupid things.

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  36. Whoever writes this blog - I have a message for you. If you don't judge people - they won't change. Calling a racist a racist makes him love people of all color. Calling a slut a slut turns her into a virgin. Calling an apple an apple makes it become an orange....oh wait. That doesn't make sense....Imma be back to tear you a new one after I come up with a better argument.

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  37. I think Celeste read your message the wrong way - or maybe I did. I read your message to be "don't slut shame little girls like that mom did in her open letter to her daughter" and I think Celeste is reading it "leave poor little Miley alone because it's not her fault she's behaving like trash.

    I think these two points are really the same side of different coins, if that makes any sense. Miley is 20, and while I can't speak to how she was raised, I did read another post about this earlier this week comparing her to Justin Timberlake (because he was raised in somewhat the same world as she was). She should be old enough to realize this behavior is not setting a great example for our girls, but there are so many "buts" to this argument: but, we shouldn't be letting our girls grow up thinking Miley is their hero and emulate her, we should be teaching them to be themselves, etc.

    But Julie's point about the "us" or "we" being "society" here begging for this kind of trash as entertainment is dead on. "We" need to stop buying slutty clothes for our 6 year olds, and the manufacturers will stop making them. "We" need to stop supporting the media outlets who feed us garbage and call it haute cuisine.

    Julie's point, is not to judge the young girls who think Miley is the shiznizzle - but to speak to them and teach them to value themselves.

    I'm not sure Julie actually said "don't judge Miley" - she just said, "we should look to ourselves first."

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  38. I kind of still judge her parents for her actions - after having read about that sexy magazine layout they not only okay-ed but participated in when she was under age and almost got fired by Disney for doing. I know, judging her parents doesn't fix anything, and maybe it makes me feel superior - but mostly it makes me think, "what were they thinking??" And I make the assumption that her recent behavior is based upon layers of what her parents previously taught her were acceptable. Or maybe she's totally rebelling. I dunno. But for sure her performance got us all talking - and maybe that will turn out to be a good thing.

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  39. Norine, Science of ParenthoodAugust 28, 2013 at 3:22 PM

    I must be the only person on the planet (besides Jen) who didn't watch Miley and the VMAs. But it ultimately doesn't matter because this discussion gets trotted out every time a young Disney pop starlet tries to cross over into the adult world and believes the only way she can is by laying the sex on thick. (See Spears, Britney) Nothing says "I'm grown up now" like dry humping a foam finger. Still, the solution isn't to slut shame. What does that get us -- more girls with bottomed-out self esteem who think the way to feel better about themselves is to make use of the only asset they believe they have -- their bodies. I'm sure Miley didn't wake up feeling great about herself the morning after the VMAs. We should make her feel worse by having all the country's mammas piling on calling her a slut for an ill-conceived career gamble? What's more productive is to instill in our daughters over and over that they do have more to offer than their bodies and make sure that we value brains and accomplishment over beauty and a shapely body. It's a hard lesson to teach, as it goes against the pop culture grain. But we have to keep at it so that our girls know intrinsically that their own value doesn't lay in how they shake it. And on the flip side, we have to also communicate sex positive messages so that girls are comfortable with sexual expression as they grow up and understand its something beautiful to be shared with another person, not favors to be bartered away in pursuit of "success."

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  40. The truth is we all make judgements all the time. Loving correction and condemning judgement are two different things. Sadly....one is easier than the other. I definitely agree that it does no good to Miley or any other girl to label her and name call her. I am a Christian so I know that my Bible says we must judge...but with a righteous judgement. Meaning no condemnation but instead loving correction and teaching our children the right way to behave in whatever circumstance it may be. Be gentle to me ladies.....lol

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  41. This is really nothing new. I was raised, and I assume you were around the same time, watching Madonna hump the stage and do vile things to statues of Jesus. Never, in my 37 years, have I felt compelled to do the same, though I have done some crazy stuff. But I don't blame Madonna, or Miley, or Gwen or any of the other over the top performers for my behavior or lack there of, either. I credit my mother, my friend's mother's, my aunts, and other women in my life for setting the bar of how a respectable and well adjusted woman acts and comports herself. If we find that our daughters will run out in leather bikinis and foam fingers, looking to screw every Tom, Dick and Harry because they watched a 4 minute dance on the VMA's then surely it is we who have failed them. I watched this with my stepdaughter when it aired, and I loved the take she had as an 18 year old girl: That was weird, I don't get it, but I guess she has to shed the Disney image somehow, just a bit over the top for me. Kudos for her mother, myself and all of the other women in her life! She drew her own conclusion, and also decided to live and let live. Our youth (including ourselves) have always been exposed to the basest of the base in the name of the almighty dollar. But we made it. Our kids will, the secret is to raise them with values taught at HOME, not on the TV, kids are not so stupid they can't make the differentiation between the two. But I REFUSE to raise my kids to judge someone, anyone, for their behaviors, no matter how much I disagree with it. "Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Be kind. Always." Acceptance, tolerance and knowledge rule in our house.

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  42. 'Let he who is without sin cast the first stone' - that kinda thing? Kudos to you.

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  43. leave it to the Science of Parenthood to use "Spears, Britney" instead of "Britney Spears" - love the comma and last-name-first Norine!!
    but more so, you are right on here about instilling a sense of what is *really* important.

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  44. Chris Pappano EchevarriaAugust 28, 2013 at 4:57 PM

    More crass about it? I, and I am sure you, were raised watching Madonna hump the stage and do vile things with the statue of Jesus. Never was I so inclined to repeat her antics, nor adopt her behaviors as a norm. I was raised by my mother and other strong women in my life to watch the entertainment, and to behave according to the bar the women IN MY LIFE set set as to how women behave in order to be respected, which was to have respect for themselves. Miley is not telling our girls any of these things., Miley was being a young woman, raised in the spotlight, and taught that any attention was good attention when it came to her career. I did not enjoy her performance, nor the performance of Robin Thicke, though I did not fear that my stepdaughter was going to run out the door in a leather bikini and foam finger looking to screw any Tom, Dick or Harry. I am not concerned with what Miley's message is "teaching our youth." I am concerned with the message that I teach, that my husband and friends and the people I chose to surround myself with teach to our youth. That is the important message. And if your children can't differentiate between reality and entertainment, if they run out and act as a girl does on TV, not as you have raised them, then Julie has a valid point at reminding you about those 3 fingers pointing back at you. This is nothing new, and this will not change, whether we stop buying CD's, clothes, makeup etc. or not. What can change is the message we give our sons and daughters and who we let them know are the real role models. I watched this with my stepdaughter is was very proud of her reaction to it: ?"Meh, that was weird and uncomfortable. I feel sorry she thinks she has to do this to shed her Disney image." Good on ya, Sweetie! Kudos to her mom, myself and the other women she looks to to set an example for her. It is working! And she learned to do it without judgement, even better!

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  45. I so completely agree!! Can we women stop bashing other women please?!

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  46. You're 100% right that Madonna set the stage for this hyper-sexualized crap. I never said Miley invented the wheel. This problem goes back WAY further than her and Rihanna and Lady Gag-me are also part of the same problem. It's not about fearing one performer.
    It's about recognizing a trend that objectifies and sexualizes females at earlier and earlier ages when they will be more and more impressionable. We now have Disney to thank for starting girls off young seeing their gender portrayed in ever more vile ways. Madonna
    pretty much hit the teenage market back in her day. There wasn't any Disney to make her palatable to the kiddies. And while I most definitely agree that having strong women and a strong family base is absolutely key, what happens to the girls who don't have that base,
    whose mom grows up watching women objectify themselves in the most tawdry one-dimensional ways, and never question the image that's being portrayed? Where do those kids get their moral compass from? And what's the effect of subjecting very young girls to such sexual images? They start wanting to dress like street walkers. "But mom, but I've gotta have the mini with the matching top that shows my midriff. Everyone's wearing it!" Young girls start wanting to dress sexy and you think that doesn't warp their view of their sexuality and their self-worth?

    People do not realize the power that entertainment has to shape public opinion and behavior. This isn't about Miley Cyrus. I actually feel bad for the girl. She's Britney 2.0 and is a few years off from being carted off to a mental institution. Speaking of Britney, she was the original break-out child star from Disney and look what that experience has done to her? Do you really think this isn't effecting both the performers whoring themselves for a buck and our very young. Again, the hyper-sexualized market is hitting girls younger and younger. And that's a major problem. So sad how many moms don't get this and think this non-stop objectification is okey-doke. Then again how many moms grew up listening to Madonna? Great point there. See the trend? This shit would never have flown with our own mothers. They knew better.

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  47. Girl I couldn't have said it any better myself.

    People are just blowing this crap out of proportion because they suck as parents and they want to have that "blame" card in their back pocket when their kids act up. What, my kid just robbed a store...blame Miley. What, my kid is on drugs...blame Miley.

    Get a life people, stop worrying about what Miley is doing and focus on what your kids are doing, that's how real parenting works...not hating, just saying.

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  48. Of course I'm not a fan of slut shaming. I'm a critic of a rancid music and entertainment industry pitched at a younger and younger market that warps their sense of self. Girls need to be girls and develop their intellectual and emotional IQ before going down the sexual path. Having sex really opens up alot of emotional stuff, not to mention the possibility of pregnancy or a VD.



    The media doesn't follow our lead. People are bored and will watch practically any stupid thing (hence the rise of "reality" tv) when they come home tired from work. Furthermore, all pop music is studio driven and real talented artists who write and perform their own work never get a shot because they can't get played on the radios, can't get the contracts. They get shut out. What gets chosen are "singers" like Rihanna, Katy Perry and Miley Cyrus who are not strong singers by any stretch of the imagination. Their music is written by a team of writers, is autotuned and when you hear them live, assuming they're not lip synching, their voices are weak. This is about studios creating an image, a sound for public consumption. But it goes further than that. You're dead wrong if you really believe the media follows OUR lead. Rather, it molds our perception of what is normal. We get it from the tele.



    What does it mean to be a woman? There are many facets to that diamond but the two archetypes that resonate with me are the Mother and the Queen. The Mother gives birth to life. She nurtures it. She cares for others. She lives in harmony with the earth. She's grounded and loving. The Queen owns her own power but rules with wisdom. She knows who she is and what she stand for. And she fights for what she believes in. There are many archetypes of Womanhood but practically the only ones we see in the media are the Temptress. What does being a woman mean to you?

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  49. This isn't about taking pot shots at people when they do stupid things. This is recognizing trends and seeing the proverbial handwriting on the wall. And sometimes you absolutely should get angry and make a stink when you can smell the stench of foulness coming all the way from the state of Denmark. How can women see such gross images our gender being displayed and not be outraged? That's what I want to know?

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  50. There's a difference between outrage and judgement. The distinction may be there, but it's a fine line.


    On the one hand you have the opportunity to explain appropriateness, 'good' behaviour and 'bad' behaviours, generate conversation and open the channels of learning as parents share with their children about how the pressures and perceptions people have of themselves and their world can make them act in appalling ways.

    On the other hand you set the example of pointing the finger, labelling people as vile, repugnant examples of the human race and joining the crowds in shaming them and 'putting them in their place' (general reaction to Honey BooBoo's Mom, anyone?) whilst building your own tower of self-righteous indignation.


    I agree that there are times for anger. I would disagree that this is one of them. Far worse things happen in unseen corners of (probably) most cities of the world, and THESE are the genuine atrocities worth getting worked up about if we want to teach the next generation that we value women, we care about their image and we want our gender to be respected and enabled to live without resorting to or being forced into such behaviours.


    Save the anger to use against child pornography, sex offenders, porn rings, brothels, sex trade, slavery, domestic abuse - THESE are fights worth winning and being passionate about.

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  51. Please. Miley Cyrus is a millionaire and a public figure. Please quit with the "shaming the slut" nonsense. I'm outraged at the way the music industry & media is corrupting the feminine and pedaling the most base representation of womanhood to YOUNG girls. This has absolutely nothing to do with being angry at a millionaire, at poor teenage girls who indulge in casual and public sex or any of the other posters here who disagree with me. That's you making assumptions about my frame of mind. Whose judging who here? My posts have always been driven by the larger context of what's going on here and yes some sadness at how few moms seem to get the threat here. I'm surely not angry at you or any other person who disagrees with me. I'm angry at the injustice of how we're being represented. And this is a celebrity blog not a political one. I posts LOTS on politics at other places. One of many hats I wear. Namaste.

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  52. You're right to be angry at the music industry and the media - that's righteous.


    But still the finger-pointing at Miley doesn't do any favours - I don't know the ins and outs of the industry, but I daresay she's in as vulnerable position as many young ladies - more so perhaps. Yes she chose to do it, and it was a bad choice, but I still think she deserves a little compassion, even as she's held up as an example of how it can be gotten badly wrong.



    Being a millionaire has nothing to do with it, does it? A vulnerable woman cannot hide behind money.


    It seems from this that you're talking from the opposite side of the same coin as NLNK - her point was to educate her kids about how Miley's behaviour was inappropriate, just as much as your point seems to be. The attitude may be different, but it seems you both want to raise the next generation to be aware, mindful and able to make their own assessment (and decision) around behaviours displayed.


    Apologies for how my last came across - the 'you' was a general one, which I think didn't come off. I'm certainly not pretending to know your frame of mind.


    I am pleased to hear that you use this passion to post politics elsewhere.

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  53. Chris Pappano EchevarriaAugust 28, 2013 at 10:48 PM

    Our mothers wouldn't have let this flown? They did, as did their mothers and theirs before them. Elvis shocked the world with his gyrating hips, civilazation was going to end as we knew it. Annette Funicello shocked the world in a bikini (on Disney mind you) and the Michael Jackson sang about a child born out of wedlock he would not admit to fathering. Madonna did nothing to make us think that things are "okey doke." Madonna performed, our mothers raised us. You need to raise your child to know what is right, not belittle and demean the people who are entertaining us, whether you find it entertaining or not. Don't buy the mini-skirt and explain why. Or buy it and teach them how to wear it in a respectable way. Appreciate the talent that is behind the artist. I saw you wrote elsewhere that they are all talentless, can't sing and don't write their own songs. Have you ever read the liner notes in a CD for them?? Katy Perry not only writes many of her own songs (22), but also songs for other artists. And if my daughter wants to belt out the lyrics to her new song Roar, I am going to belt it out right there with her and tell her THAT is what being a woman is about.

    "I used to bite my tongue and hold my breath
    Scared to rock the boat and make a mess
    So I sat quietly, agreed politely
    I guess that I forgot I had a choice
    I let you push me past the breaking point
    I stood for nothing, so I fell for everything
    I got the eye of the tiger, a fighter, dancing through the fire
    Cause I am a champion and you’re gonna hear me ROAR"



    Pretty damn awesome if you ask me. And the girls you are concerned about that don't have strong mothers at home? I am concerned about them, as well. That is why I volunteer, that is why I mentor, that is why I speak at rehabs to young recovering alcoholics and addicts, that is why I empower young people every day. And, if I ask any one of the girls in these places why they are there, how they got to that point in their lives, not one response is going to deal with how Miley, or any other pop icon, taught them that drinking and taking drugs was ok (but that is a whole different issue). Maybe you do the same, but I don;t know. I just know that angrily replying to every comment on a beautifully written blog about a mother and her experience with her daughter over a controversial issue is not changing the world. Is it ironic that I am replying as well? Maybe, but so be it. The broad strokes you paint need debunked before they create a society of children scared to face the outside world because of what they may see and hear. I am arming the children with whom I deal with the tools necessary to make rational decisions, and to enjoy their lives. My mom did the same for me, and I turned out pretty darn well.

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  54. Well I half way agree with you about Miley. I agree that she's a vulnerable young woman because of her age. What does any one know at 20. And she grew up in the spotlight and that is not normal or good for children. That warps their sense of identity even more than the blatant sexualizing of our gender. They live b4 cameras, aping them and thinking that's normal when it's not. But I feel your wrong too b/c she is a very rich woman which means she has choices about how she's going to live her life and she also a public figure. When you step on the public stage, you become a public figure, open to critique.



    As you can tell from my posts, I don't buy the "don't judge" angle. I don't buy it because when bad things go down that have the potential to harm, you gotta call it out for what it is. My poisoned pen is really reserved for the bigger picture here and not the actors playing it out. I've got lots to say about the even more rancid state of politics. You wanna meet the true red head in me, talk to me about Manning, Snowden, our govt spying on us and playing Tinker Taylor Soldier Spy in the Middle East. Thanks for the nice words. Have a good day.

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  55. Yes, rock music has these hyper sexualized roots that absolutely go back to Elvis. Again, this started way before Miley. Speaking of Katy Perry, she might have written some of the lyrics but she still had a team of song writers on Roar and it definitely steals its beat from that Sarah Beaulieu or whats' her name song. And that's another problem with current pop music but that's not the point of my blog. I wouldn't say that Katy Perry has no talent but she's anything but a strong singer and she's still not a true song writer. Very few pop stars write their own songs. Gaga writes few of them herself. She's got a strong voice. I'll give her that much. But the overall message being delivered by pop music and contrived and unhealthy. That's my real point.



    Sorry but we must have had really different moms. I grew up in a household that listened to Classical music. My father was that dude who threw out our rock & roll records when he saw his children start to go down the drugs and rock & roll path. I don't agree with that move. I'm just saying, this would never have gone down in my crib and I don't know anyone my age whose mom would have left the channel on if sexy stuff was going down and children were present. I believe there was a different mindset in our parents time, conditioned to be more protective and wary. Btw, I hail from a working class home, not one of privilege so this isn't a class issue on my end.


    I think it's truly awesome that you mentor the young who don't have a strong family. That is great work and I tip my hat to you. I'm a pretty hard core liberal supporter of social justice in large part because of the effect economic inequality has on our young. Poor kids don't have access to a quality education often and their lives are dangerously precarious. Keep doing God (or the Goddesses') work. I admire you for what you do. Namaste.

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  56. Alas, riches and common sense do not necessarily go hand in hand, especially when they are the gains of such a bizarre childhood and upbringing in the public eye - older (and wiser) actors than her fall prey to this.


    I can definitely tell you don't buy it, but I'd still suggest that the response as posted by the blogger is more likely to elicit a constructive response from a young person on the receiving end of the 'teaching'.


    Where else do you post?

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  57. Roshni, I respect what you have to say but I'm not one of those women bashing women. I'm one of those women standing UP for women by bashing a music industry and it's marginally talented hacks who pedal a false and unhealthy view of Womanhood. Namaste.

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  58. Well I agree with you about the blogger's post being more palatable to the young. My message is really going out to grown women and moms. I post on Yahoo Answers, the politics section and on a bunch of newspapers in response to current events like The Washington Post, The Guardian, CNN and others. I'm a big fat liberal with an even bigger mouth when it comes to Western Imperialism and the gross level of income inequality. 90% of the real wealth is owned by the top 10% and that's not liberal hooey. That's a sad fact of life. Most of the men and women who do the real work that sustains this country make chicken feed, are in real debt with no means to get out and have no real job security. Namaste.

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  59. oops! Looks like I wasn't clear! I meant that I wish women (and men) wouldn't direct their criticism just at Miley! :)

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  60. Next Life, NO KidsAugust 29, 2013 at 10:00 AM

    Norine, I love you tah death.

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  61. Next Life, NO KidsAugust 29, 2013 at 10:02 AM

    Dear Whoever You Are, Thank you for setting me straight. God, I wish I had known this years ago. You're a life saver.

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  62. Next Life, NO KidsAugust 29, 2013 at 10:03 AM

    Thanks Mike! :)

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  63. Next Life, NO KidsAugust 29, 2013 at 10:05 AM

    Roshni, You are 1000% right. WOMEN on WOMEN action is horrific these days. :(

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  64. True dat.


    Grown women and mums have a responsibility to educate the next generation of kids.


    Between women (or even, between adults) we have a responsibility to model appropriate responses to such events as the performance at the VMAs. I still believe that this modelling and sanctioning can be done without excessive cruelty or ridicule.

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  65. Oh, I'm late to the party! Great thoughts on how to talk about this.

    Devil's advocate post-feminist point: Is it the worst thing in the world for young women to see Miley (who's an adult, by the way) having fun and taking ownership of her sexuality and enjoying being provocative? Sure, it was crass and not terribly original, but she kinda looked like she was having a blast. I dislike dismissing any displays of female sexuality as exploitation, even if they cross that art-commodity line.

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  66. That's a great thought. I remember that lesson from my childhood.


    Its great that you have a great rapport with your daughter. Actually if we treat our kids with respect and appreciate their honesty they would be more open about their thoughts, opinions and that would help us get to guide them appropriately. Respect and communication always work :)

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  67. I am inspired by what you wrote here. Your approach to dealing with the immense pressure girls face as teenagers is incredibly thoughtful, honest and empowering. Thank you for posting these words.

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  68. Well put. Totally agree with you on your take. Not that it's easy to parent through these moments, but ultimately we want our girls to make healthy choices when we're not around. Thanks for sharing this. :) Coming from a mommy of four girls, felt affirmed by the little blog I put out there on Miley called, "Mommy, What does Twerk Mean?" Check it out if you like. :) rajdeeppaulus dot com

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  69. As with most things, our actions speak louder than our words.

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  70. Um. Isn't anyone interested in judging the Senior boys in the woods? If we're not calling the girls nasty sluts (and we obviously shouldn't), shouldn't we at least be calling the Senior boys opportunistic and abusive low lifes?

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  71. This is an amazing message and I am proud to spread this throughout cyber land. I have always disliked when I hear others judging others. It is not fair to that person who can't defend themselves... and as for those rockstars... they are obviously being guided by someone else. This is a great message and way to go raising those kids right!

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