Hey, Todd here. For those of who don't know Kathy, she interns here and helps me out with links and stuff. She writes for Cracked, Mental Floss, and she's also a published book author. Basically, she's way more qualified to write this site than I am because grammar is my daily struggle. However, she's a raging feminist and we don't take too kindly to those kind around here. However, she posted a rant about Miley Cyrus on Facebook a few days ago, and I tried to like it more than once, but Mark Zuckerberg. Such a douche Anyway, I asked if I could repost it here, and she was kind enough to agree. So…take it away, Kathy.
Despite the fact that I intern for a site that posts pictures of half-naked women, I’m actually a giant feminist. And I’ve tried not to weigh in on this Miley Cyrus thing, but I just cannot stand that so many feminist bloggers have made this their hill to die on over the last couple days.
Yes, women can and should own their sexuality. But what happened at the VMAs was not a young woman being herself. It was a very calculated performance by one of the most brilliant managers in music.
Some of you may have heard the name Larry Rudolph. He is a musical Svengali. He managed Britney Spears through the height of her career, then she fired him, went crazy, and it was only after she hired him back that she started producing music and getting jobs again. It didn't mean she wasn't still mentally unsound (she is) but it proves that he can take even the biggest train wreck and make it profitable.
Do you remember when Britney danced with a snake to I'm A Slave 4 U at the 2001 VMAs? Of course you do, because that was all Larry Rudolph and he is a marketing genius.
Rudolph now also reps Miley Cyrus. If you go back and look at the timeline, she went from wearing what I would call "normal" clothes to the stuff she wears now within DAYS of hiring him. It's not that she woke up one morning and thought, "Today I will own my sexuality," it's that her (much older, male) manager told her to dress provocatively so she could get press. Shortly after that she cut her hair, something she now admits was a mistake but got a lot of column inches, again on his say so. And just like with Britney's famous performance, last Sunday night had nothing to do with Miley or what she wanted. Sure, she probably liked the idea on some level, but if she had said no it wouldn't have mattered anyway.
The VMA performance wasn't a young woman taking control of her image and career; it was her listening to an older man in a position of power who is much more concerned with the size of his bank account than with any bullshit about female sexuality and agency.
So Larry Rudolph got what he wanted, which is enough press to keep Cyrus relevant even if she doesn't release another album for two years. He made himself more money. And worst of all, he got feminists I respect to think that performance had anything at all to do with what a woman wanted, and wasn't just fulfilling the plans of the man pulling the strings.