2013.10.03-blog

an open letter to sinéad o’connor, re: miley cyrus.

edit 10/06/2013: read a sort-of followup to this blog HERE when you’re done with this and all of the amazing discussion in the comments section

Sinéad O’Connor wrote a letter to Miley Cyrus, you can read it here: bit.ly/SOColMC
(or HERE on The Guardian if her site’s down from heavy traffic)

This is my letter back to Sinéad.


Dear Sinéad,

I love you. I grew up worshipping your music and your bold attitude and, especially, your refusal to sign up to the bullshit beauty standard. You were one of the few women rockstars that was clearly doing things her own way, and you inspired me to no end. I want to thank you for doing that. I listened to your stunning voice and your true, deep lyrics endlessly on my walkman, flipping the tape again, and again, then again, then again…and I know those ingredients still live and breathe inside me every time I write a song of my own. You shaped me.

I read your letter to Miley Cyrus this morning and I wanted to write back to you. I’m writing this on my cell phone in a plane on the way to Dallas, TX to play a benefit tonight for a group called Girls Rock Dallas…a local group that empowers young girls to become brave musicians. The timing is pretty wonderful and I want to talk to them all tonight about Miley and your letter.

As a musician and a songwriter, I grew up alone, writing in solitude. I don’t know how old you were when you signed your major recording contract, but both of us know that we didn’t go through what Miss Miley here went through – growing up in public and never having the golden opportunity to incubate in her own private world of making-art unseen, thoughts and words with no audience, no big public mirror. You and I had this, more or less, or we at least had it more than Miley. For an artist, that time to incubate is a special kind of gift. We should be really grateful for it. I know I am.

I think you’re right on about so many things, and I also applaud you for posting to your own site with a open letter instead of speaking via rolling stone or any of the other journalists who were calling you to comment. For the most part, they really don’t seem to care very much about the real issues at hand and we’re all just click-bait. What are the real issues…? You and I know it – being a female musician/rockstar/whatever is a pretty fucking impossible and mind-bendingly frustrating job. Our male counterparts are given a way wider playing field than we are. It’s a Chinese finger trap that reflects the basic problems of our women-times: we’re either scolded for looking sexy or we’re scolded for not playing the game. Those who manage to find a perfect balance are rare, and the culture at large seems hellbent on undermining our ability to create that balance peacefully within ourselves. And weirdly, it’s generally women scolding other women…we’re our own worst enemies. Which is not to say there aren’t some mean motherfucking men out there. I faced my fair share of that sort when I was at a major label and told that I was too fat to wear a bra on stage for my Leeds United music video. I stood my ground and got my way, but that was the beginning of the end of my relationship with those dudes. (Funny, the irony here: *I* had to FIGHT my label to be half-naked in a video…)

Here’s where I think you’re off target.  Miley is, from what I can gather, in charge of her own show. She’s writing the plot and signing the checks, and although I think it’s tempting to imagine her in the board room of label assholes and management, I don’t think any of them masterminded her current plan to be a raging, naked, twerking sexpot. I think that’s All Miley All The Way. Now, would these men ARGUE with her when she comes into the room and throws down her treatment to hop up naked on the proverbial (and literal) wrecking ball? Of course not. Sex sells. We all know it. Miley knows it better than anyone: swinging naked on a big metal ball simply gets you more hits than swinging on a big metal ball wearing clothes. We’re mammals. LOOK BOOBS! And even more tantalizing: LOOK HANNAH MONTANA BOOBS! But none of this means that Miley is following anyone else’s script. In fact, what I see is Miley desperately trying to write her own script; truly trying to be taken seriously (even if its in a nakedly playful way) by the standards of her own peers.

You and I are no strangers to controversy and we both know how it feels to be screamed at by the public, by the music press, to be misunderstood, reviled, ignored, and used as a punching bag for a larger cultural conversation. It is always my fantasy that we can take these painful experiences and feed them back to the upcoming generation of women rockers in a way that creates a larger playing field instead of a smaller one. I want female musicians to feel like they can do MORE with their mad artistic energy, not LESS. I want women to feel less trapped inside their bodies, less afraid to express themselves, less afraid to be nailed to the cross of the cultural beauty standard. But that necessarily means  there needs to be room on the vast playing field for Adele to wear a conservative suit, room for Lady Gaga to do naked performance art in the woods, room for PJ Harvey to wear high-collared 18th century jackets on stage, room for Natasha Kahn to pose boldly naked on the cover of her last record, and room for Miley to rip a page out of stripper culture and run around like a maniac for however long she wants to.

Do I want a whole generation of teenagers looking at Miley Cyrus to determine that the only way to get hits and hawk your music is to rip your clothes off and wiggle around as violently and loudly as possible? (And while we’re at it – while weighing close to nothing and looking perfectly manicured without a single eyelash or molecule of mascara out of place even when a tear rolls down your face?)

Fuck no. But I don’t want to tell them it’s wrong, either, because like I said: the field has to encompass EVERYTHING. There’s no way Miley is going to read your letter and turn around saying “holy shit, they’ve been taking advantage of me this whole time!” She’s been taking advantage of herself, of her youth, her fame and her sexuality…and she knows it. We females all do this, to some extent, and we just want to feel like it’s our hand on the joystick. Telling her that her team is to blame is telling her that she’s not steering her own career and decisions, and I think she’ll just feel patronized.

When I was about 15 (not inconsequentially, right around the time I was listening to your albums non-stop on my long walks to high school every morning), I started having fights with my mother every time I left for school. I’d decided to dress like an oversexed punk and my attire often consisted of sheer lingerie worn over ripped tights and Doc Martens. You remember. This was 1991. My mother would say: “Amanda Palmer, get back in the house and put some real clothes on. You look like a prostitute. I won’t have my daughter walking around town like a harlot.” (I swear to god, my mother actually used the word harlot. Bless.)

I would say: “It’s my life fuck you I didn’t ask to be born etc etc”, grumble back into the house, and throw a flannel dress over my entire ensemble…which I would, of course, remove and stuff back into my bag the minute I got to school.

I know my mother was trying to protect me. She loved me. She didn’t want me to fall into dangerous situations, she didn’t want me to be ridiculed, she didn’t want people to think badly of me. And often they did – the jocks all called me Freak and Lesbo in the halls. But I took it as almost a marker of success – I didn’t want to belong to their club. I took the rolling eyeballs and raised eyebrows of my peers, teachers and parents as a sign that I was on the right track. It was my artist’s uniform, and I was learning how to wear it with pride; I was figuring myself out.

I’m 37 and I’m still trying, and I change my uniform sometimes. Sometimes I play with nudity because it makes people pay attention, sometimes I play with nudity because it makes me loudly vulnerable to those in the room and it turns their brains inside-out as I challenge them to see me for what I am…without clothes.

As much as we may not want to see it this way – because, from a far distant she looks like just another airbrushed hottie from a lite beer commercial – we gotta give Miley (and every female) space to try on her artist’s uniform. It’s like a game of cosmic dress-up, but the stakes are high. If we’re allowed to play it, we’re empowered. If we’re not, we’re still in a cage.

While it may be true that the live-fast-die-young sex-pot female pop stars are washed up and thrown on the “rag heap”, like you say, wouldn’t it be better if we changed the entire plot instead of dealing with it as it’s been handed to us? Keith Richards and Jagger go out there night after night and shake their asses and everyone oohs and aahs that they’ve managed to age and maintain their spot at the sexy table.

Why shouldn’t this be true for women? Who says Miley can’t flip the script anytime she wants?

I want to live in a world where Miley (or any female musician) can twerk wildly at 20, wear a full-cover floral hippie mumu at 37, show up at 47 in see-through latex, and pose semi-naked, like Keith & co, on the cover of rolling stone at 57 and be APPLAUDED for being so comfortable with her body. This is not to say that women have to play the desperate I’M-STILL-SEXY game as they age. Watching Madonna’s plastic surgeries and apparent stubbornness around aging just makes my inner teenager want to scream (YOU’RE MADONNA! YOU COULD HAVE MADE AGING SEXY GODAMMIT AND YOU DIDN’T!!), but the grown-up in me just pauses for a breath and remembers that Madonna is just carving out her section of the playing field. How she chooses to sculpt her face and body is just…her choice. I gotta let her make it and applaud her for being her, even if I’d never make the same choices.

This is a push for more freedom, and in order to make it there, we have to jump massive hurdles and set assumptions. I’ve been following you and the very candid writings on your site about sex and your own sexuality….and I can’t imagine you disagree with me on this point: women need more freedom to say what they want (double entendre there), express what they want (same) and be respected for their bravery, not reprimanded for endangering themselves.

I want to live in a world where the internal dialogue of a woman’s brain has evolved to the point where a female performer can wear a sex-pot outfit and, instead of the all-too-common head-chatter chorus of “UNFAIR! MANIPULATED! WEAK! MANIPULATIVE! EVIL!”, she dons her sexy costume and hears internal voices screaming “FAIR! POWERFUL! PLAYFUL! BRAVE! SEXY!” You know…you go girl. But not “you go girl and be manipulated by the man, or manipulate the men in your wake”. just…”you go girl and wear whatever the fuck you want. And play smart.”

I want to live in a world where WE as women determine what we wear and look like and play the game as our fancy leads us, army pants one minute and killer gown the next, where WE decide whether or not we’re going to play games with the male gaze and the starry-eyed hard-ons that can make men so easy to manipulate. But seriously, let’s all play the game together, with a wink and a nudge…so we don’t hurt each other. If men and women don’t have a constantly open dialogue about how we do and don’t (or should and shouldn’t) manipulate and play with each other, we all lose. We are all fragile humans with little time on this beautiful, sexually-charged, ecstatic planet. Let’s share it to the fullest  extent that we can and make the playing field for all of us the size of the whole earth.

In other words, let’s give our young women the right weapons to fight with as they charge naked into battle, instead of ordering them to get back in the house and put some goddamn clothes on.

With immense respect,

Amanda Palmer

P.S. I love you and your music so much, Sinéad, and a bunch of people on my Twitter feed send their love as well. Thank you for writing this letter and giving me the the chance to crank my brain open, and I hope I get to meet you in person someday so I can weep and thank you for everything you’ve done for me and for so many others.

P.P.S. For any of y’all curious to check out those wonderful Sinéad albums that provided my teenage soundtrack, the two big ones were “I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got” and  “The Lion and the Cobra”. I’ll leave it up to Sinéad to let you know whether to buy them on iTunes or just go torrent them. I don’t know how her relationship with Ensign/Chrysalis is…chances are those labels don’t even exist anymore. :)

*edit 10/4 10am EST* The night I wrote this blog, I performed at a benefit in Dallas for a non-profit called Girls Rock Dallas. I explained to a bunch of young teenage girls who Sinéad was, and I decided to play a ukulele Miley/Sinéad mash-up. it was pretty awesome…(also if youre interested in donating to/helping GRD, click here):

(new video source swapped in 10/8/13)

Back to Blog
  • http://claireandthepipsqueaks.tumblr.com/ Claire Targaryen

    This blog articulates everything behind the whole situation perfectly. While it’s reasonable for people to have concerns over Miley being exploited, suggesting that she has no agency or that she doesn’t make an the choice to incorporate her sexuality into her art is, in a way, just as bad as viewing her as nothing more than a sex object.

    Frankly, a lot of the commentary on Miley’s dress & behaviour has smacked of slut shaming. It was refreshing to see a blog respecting female artists from all across the spectrum of style.

    Do I like her music? Not really. Are her performances my cup of tea? No. Do I respect Miley’s right to do perform however she sees fit? FUCK YES. Maybe she’ll regret it in a few years time, or maybe sixty years from now octogenarian Miley Cyrus will still be twerking it. Who knows. Does it really matter? That young woman has every right to experiment.

    Thanks for such an insightful blog, Amanda. It’s interesting to get the perspective of someone who has been behind the curtain of the mainstream music industry.

    Peace and love.

    • ☞ Lunik Audion ❥

      Well said!! :)

      • GFX

        With that kind of really vague logic anything could be considered slut-shaming and deludes the purpose behind the very concept it was supposed to support. Not everything a person does is OK with everyone else. Not every negative opinion about the way someone looks or acts is misogyny. Sure, you do have the right to dress, wear whatever you want in public, but nobody has to approve of it, or even like it. Get a grip.

        • GFX

          There is a solid majority of the media audience that loves watching these young women completely train-wreck and self-destruct and is the totally wrong image to send to young people everywhere. VMA has never been anything more than a corporate money-making venture. Stop trying to tell everyone is it about artistic whatever or female-empowerment. It never was about that and we should know better by now.

          • Keslan Jennings

            Hahaha best comment. Thank you so much. *Delusional feminists fist pump in bedroom*

          • Carl Barjer

            And men carry on fancying women; and a few women still dare to fancy men!
            Human nature, eh? What a beast.

    • Subgirl

      Agreed

    • Richard Bergstrom

      I disagree. Miley’s been handled her whole life, why does anyone think that’s been changed now. I think Amanda’s response is pretty naive and, in fact, dismissive of what Sinead was saying… not to mention, trying to steal the spotlight a little bit from Sinead’s passionate, experience-based response.

      • Carl Barjer

        Two experience based responses. One expansive and forward thinking, the other reductive and reactionary.

        Palmer’s incorporates O’Connor’s into a wider perspective, addressing and exposing how limited and blinkered it seems.

    • Ken Spry

      I’m not going to say that she needs to put some clothes on because there are plenty of cultures where wearing no tops or displaying one’s penis is the norm, and some of these cultures are egalitarian. I will not say, either, that she shouldn’t experiment or have fun, that we should lock her up, put a chastity belt on it, and not let her out without an ankle-length dress on. To do so would only reinforce the real issue, which is that our women are systematically molded to be subordinate sex objects to their male owners (fathers and husbands), not to mention it would deny a perfectly natural form of play that happens with all humans, even young ones. Men are fed the same crap that keeps them playing their role in the twisted game. Prince Charming might rescue our princess from a brute, but rest assured that he’s taking what is owed to him when they return to his extravagant castle. All the better if she knows her place and offers herself to his righteous penis, right?

      Miley is a symptom, not the problem, so she shouldn’t be singled out. The tragedy here is that there aren’t more strong women like O’Connor and Palmer willing to challenge what our culture tells us we ought to value about women. Even those who speak out for chubby girls fall into this trap, unknowingly making unattractive people (thin or fat) feel terrible about themselves. But unattractive is unattractive, and, by definition, no one wants to see that as much as attractive things. If it were all on display, though, we’d probably get over our juvenile “gross” or “heck yeah” reactions to seeing bodies. So that’s what I’m advocating for: constant nudity from everyone, I guess. I’m really starting to lose it here. Maybe we don’t need to focus on making ugly people feel better about themselves just yet.

      Being sexual is natural. It’s not something you need to try to be. I love seeing breasts and bodies because I’m a human, but it’s the one-way street that bothers me. Until men know what it is to be objectified, they will continue to convince women that their true worth is in their bodies, bodies that a patriarchal culture has decided are ideal–fat or thin. Things are getting better in terms of equality, but, admittedly, I’m not a fan of equality if it means I have to look like the men from Magic Mike.

      To me, it’s like watching a commercial for Hot Pockets. Sure, they look good on TV, but they’re not going to make you feel great when you slip them out of their sleeve, squirt hot filling onto your bare chest, and give you heartburn. I just change the channel because I know it’s cheap trick.

  • Mandy

    I love this letter. Sinead’s letter bothered me for precisely this reason, so I’m glad you did this, Amanda, thank you.

    But what actually bothers me about Miley’s behavior is not her being sexual or rebelling or trying to dispel her previous image. It’s that she equates all of this with “acting black.” She sees black women as more exotic or anti-mainstream and more sexual, so she’s using what she called “black culture” as her way to rebel, and it just drips with exploitation…and I just wish our culture could have more conversations about implicit racism and less about whether a 20 year old woman is allowed to behave sexually.

    • PersonalGenius

      I’m not sure I’m comfortable with saying she’s racist. If her friends are black, wouldn’t it stand to reason that she would absorb some cultural aspects and vice versa? Were the dancers in her video or VMA performance willing participants, or being exploited? Was Miley being exploited for her sexuality? So, was the exploited, exploiting others?

      90% of American music has been influenced by, or directly stolen from, black musicians. Why is twerking when we throw our arms up and say “enough”? And does this mean we should throw out our Elvis Presley records? Is it possibly that Miley is being more vilified for using black culture than say, oh I dunno…Robin Thicke? – Just because of who she happens to be?

      Was there appropriation? Of course. Was it knowingly exploited by Miley Cyrus or used without any respect? I honestly don’t think so.

      • Mandy

        Would I argue that Miley is intentionally or knowingly exploiting those dancers? No, I don’t think she means to. But she absolutely is. My problem is not that she was twerking, or that she wanted to incorporate sounds from black musicians in her own music, but I have a problem with the way she uses black bodies in her videos and performances – as background, shock value, props, antitheses to her own body. Tom Steiger just posted a good article below about this if you want to read more about my point of view.

        • PersonalGenius

          Incorporating sounds from black musicians – What I’m confused about is how is this different from every other white musician?

          Are the black people in her videos the only ones reduced to “bodies”? I’m honestly curious. The way you tell it, it sounds like Miley had no choice but to be exploited, and the dancers in her videos had no choice, but to be exploited by her. Is it possible for her to have her black friends in a video with her and not have it be seen as exploiting them?

          • Mandy

            Of course it is, but not when (to take an example from the VMAs), she grabs their ass and pretends to lick it. In that act, she clearly reduced that woman to a body. (Back up dancers are often used just bodies, sure). Those black dancers were not up on stage with her because they were her friends – they were there to create a spectacle, and they were chosen because they were black, and not skinny or “conventionally beautiful.” Black woman’s bodies are constantly over-sexualized in our society (again, see the article for an example as explained by a Black woman who has white people try to take control over her body all the time). Miley, whether sub-consciously or unconsciously, is using and perpetuating this link between Black women and edgy, wild sexuality to create her own image.

          • Erin D Lindsey

            But one assumes that the dancer (her personal friend) was in on it and went through rehearsal when this was all planned out. Is this dancer then complicit in her own exploitation? This is why I also had problems with the subject ladies in the Blurred Lines video. One assumes they were there of their own free will and knew what they were doing and what they were being paid for. Yes, racism and exploitation and sexism are still big problems in this society, but why are we criticizing people for personal choices they make with their own bodies, or assuming they are victimized because they appear in ways we don’t approve of?

          • Mandy

            That’s a good point. Of course the dancers were there of their own free will and in that sense weren’t exploited (although of course it is possible to be complicit in your own exploitation). I would love to hear about this from one of their perspectives! But I’m less worried about those specific women. I worry more about the assumptions behind Miley’s performance, and the message it sends, in terms of what our society will accept and what it won’t. Using black women and “taking your music in a black direction” to make yourself appear more edgy and wild? A-OK! As long as the little white girl doesn’t ALSO act overly sexual and explicit, like we expect her black dancers to do.

          • Erin D Lindsey

            Believe me, I do understand your argument. I agree that there are aspects of the performance that are problematic in those terms.

            And the thing is, she IS acting as sexualized and explicit, which is I think part of the outrage she is getting from people. She is literally getting “how dare she act in a way that we perceive is ‘black'” from both the Social Justice Warriors and the Slut Shamers. And you know what? This says a lot about what their perception of “black” is supposed to be.

            As someone who was picked on relentlessly as a child because people thought I had ‘black’ features (and I might very will be racially mixed – I are still trying to find that out about my family’s past) I sort of have an insight into this.

            Robin Thicke said in an interview yesterday that his audience was 90% black until Blurred Lines dropped. Now people are noticing him and making the cultural appropriation argument. I’m wondering how much the cultural appropriation argument, as I see it made by mostly white people, is the flipside of the ‘OMG BLACK CULTURE IS TAKING OVER AND SEDUCING OUR YOUTH!’ social hysteria that has existed in our country since forever because we still have such horrific problems with race issues whether some people want to admit it or not.

            I am sorry this comment is so rambly. I just woke up.

          • Antraxx

            – “taking your music in a black direction” to make yourself appear more edgy and wild? A-OK! ” —

            Where is the music black and where is it wild ?

            Not to mention that the song is super generic.

          • Mandy

            I agree! That’s actually part of what bothers me. “Taking the music in a black direction” is actually a quote from Miley. But the music sounds the same, it’s just her ~image~ that she wanted to take in a “black direction”

          • Antraxx

            “Black woman’s bodies are constantly over-sexualized in our society
            (again, see the article for an example as explained by a Black woman who
            has white people try to take control over her body all the time)”

            Womens bodies are oversexualized, women of all colors (white, black etc).

          • Mandy

            YES but (in addition to that not excusing anything and just being more of a problem) black women’s bodes are equated with wild, dirty, ‘ratchet’ sexuality, which is EXACTLY what Miley is trying to convey. Which is fine, more power to her, but there are other ways she could convey that than just being like “look, I’m like these black girls!”

      • Origami_Isopod
      • Erin D Lindsey

        I agree with this. The subject of cultural appropriation is a tricky one for me – of course white artists have been cribbing from black artists for generations, but what about artists (like Cyrus and Thicke) who seem to have been accepted by black audiences for the most part? I can see how some people might have problems with it, and I’ve actually been on both sides of this argument – but where is the line here? I enjoy listening to artists of all genres.

        • Antraxx

          ” but what about artists (like Cyrus and Thicke) who seem to have been accepted by black audiences for the most part?”

          They should question their tastes.

    • Tom Steiger
    • lentower

      It much more likley that Miley is celebrating her understanding of rap culture, than exploiting blacks.

      • Mandy

        I think that’s what she THINKS she’s doing.

        • GFX

          I don’t think she thinks anything. I think is she told what to do by slick media-marketing and PR gimmicksters. Anything more would over-estimating an ordinary sideshow of a sideshow, and it isn’t warranting of more attention or empathy.

          • islandplanet

            Really? Miley Cyrus has a net worth of 150 million dollars. If you had that kind of money would you do one single thing you didn’t want to do? I’m not a fan, but I respect her right to do whatever she wants to do – and I believe she is.

          • pixiedust8

            She’s been manipulated her whole life, probably even by her parents (who also don’t need the money). I think she’s doing what she THINKS she wants to do, but she’s most likely been raised not to think for herself, but to do what the people benefiting from her money want her to do.

          • DerpDoodies

            Money makes people do strange things; like make a complete idiot out of themselves for 150 million dollars. Derp! Where do these stupid people come from that post on here anyways?!?!!? Get a life people!

          • amerika

            Some people are more interested in value. Maybe you get a life ?

          • bridgetvoid

            look at britney spears, she just flat out said in an interview she does things she isn’t comfortable with (being super sexy as a mom) and her handlers instantly stepped in to shut her up. it’s fucking terrifying to see how these child stars are treated really.

            point being, britney’s net worth (even pre conservatorship) was a lot higher than miley’s and she has -0- control over her life, let alone her career.

          • Haha

            Hey BTW the way Lenny. That isn’t the way you spell LIKELY. Maybe if you attended elementary school you would know the most basic of words. Pfft!

  • Sulpicia

    Tried to post earlier on tumblr…sorry! And for being generally long winded. But I did want to leave my comment, if you have time to read it:

    Thanks, Amanda, for this. I admit I was worried when I saw that you were going to write an open
    letter to Sinead. Mostly because I wasn’t sure what impact it was going to have on my own history with the woman and her music. I attended high school after the age of the Lion & the Cobra and I Do Not Want… but these albums were still huge for me. But the other thing that was huge was realizing that Sinead was, and is, an active artist. I discovered her music at a time when she was
    mostly laying low, sometimes with a head of hair, sometimes looking physically different in other ways than we’d associate with her more “iconic” self. I didn’t always want to hear folk songs about Jesus, but was surprised when I did (some of them are very nice, and religion
    has been an empowering thing for her). I loved hearing her reinterpretations of Irish music. I managed to get a copy of her gussied-up pop album (Faith and Courage) with her signature on it because it was critically acclaimed, but nobody much cared for Sinead’s signature. So I was a bit put off when, awhile back, you retweeted an image of Sinead onstage which had been getting a lot of attention, because she had a head of dark Enya-hair, and she was heavier, having been prescribed a medication that wasn’t right for her. You did not say anything against her, but you just wrote “Wow.” It made me wonder, after I read your post just now, if you started following her again not too shortly after that image surfaced, because I couldn’t understand why you would draw attention to something that was only giving Sinead negative press, unless you knew what she’d
    been going through (me, I just thought, she’s a 40-something single mother in Ireland, she looks the way she feels comfortable looking, as always). While you weren’t exactly adding to it, I found it really hard to read the post as “Wow, one of my musical idols I haven’t checked in with awhile…how time passes” and not “Wow, look at what Sinead’s done to herself.” I understand that the musical moment when Sinead influenced you has passed, but she still writes, sings, and performs, and still puts on an enjoyable show (I’ve seen her twice). Not to acknowledge that is to call her a “has been” every time she speaks, as many people are content to do. Anyway, I’m glad that your letter was
    compassionate and respectful. I understood her letter to be coming from a more personal place, which is why it didn’t necessarily hit all the notes it needed to. And it almost annoys me more than some of her misguided advice in the letter that some people will read it and say “Right on, Sinead!” because she’s criticizing Miley, and not because she’s making some sense. Many of those same people would laugh off anything else she had to say as the ramblings of a “has been.” Having been helped by music from all stages of her career, I can tell you that she isn’t. It pains me that Miley doesn’t seem to understand what she’s doing when she references Sinead’s work in the video—that’s one of the things I think the letter got right—and I think her response to Sinead was bratty and disrespectful. But you’re right; she feels patronized, and she is, at least, entitled to make her own way until it doesn’t work for her anymore (which she might not be doing in this way, at this
    moment, if it didn’t…). Anyway, thanks! Have a good night.

  • DiscordianKitty

    I love this so much. I really hope Miley sees it. Actually, I hope everyone sees it. Thank you.

  • ruwise

    I think Sinead would probably agree with a lot of this though if Miley is in charge of her image at the moment then maybe the problem is that Sinead tried to show her more respect than she deserved. I think that comparing her video to Nothing Compares 2 U would be a tipping point for anybody. Miley’s response shows her lack of class and maturity. Making fun of somebody’s mental health problems is a low, low act.

    Sinead has been and continues to be an amazing artist and has done this by exposing her soul rather than her flesh and in doing this has managed to be more relevant and controversial than Miley will ever be. I really would recommend you listen to Sinead’s latest album ‘How About I Be Me & You Be You’ It really is a fantastic album and actually the title seems very appropriate at the moment .

  • http://www.Kambriel.com/ Kambriel

    I happened upon this Valkyrie photo last night and had to share as it perfectly encapsulates: “Let’s give our young women the right weapons to fight with as they charge naked into battle”.

    I’d also like to add to your quote: “as they charge nakedly, or fully clothed ~ depending on their own desire, into battle”. ♥

    Because of course in the end it has nothing to do with either the clothes or the nakedness, it’s about who we are, how we’re represented, used, capitalized on, and manipulated, and how we ultimately must stand up for the power to choose how to represent ~ourselves~.

  • Ali Grotkowski

    Great posting! It really was a pleasure to read this. I wish I could be so eloquent. I’m also glad that I didn’t follow the advice of at least one person in my life to become another Sinead O’Connor: instead I became my own person, even if people did want me to become more like her when I was younger. Nothing against Sinead, I’m just happy to not be a carbon copy of anyone else’s expectations of me, really. I wish there were fewer constraints made by societal and individual people’s expectations of women both within and outside of entertainment.

  • Juliet Andrien

    Yes. Thank you. A million times.

  • SatinWorshipper

    I’d say… I’d say that Miss Cyrus is…
    either doing the “just commercial” thing getting naked to get clicks, and that does not bode well (because I wouldn’t qualify that nakedness as having meaning, as opposed as your getting naked to be vulnerable, or getting naked TO acieve anything).
    or trying to pull a Lady Gaga move. Getting so out there that there is her and her alone on that scene. Now for that discussion, the music is irrelevant – I can like it or not like it, the artistic intent is the same: be one of a kind, be outside of the established line.
    The problem is, intent or no intent, if the only difference between anyone and any other one is the nakedness, then you risk losing the signal in a noise of “gaaah… boobs… drool”. I think that’s the real risk here. So time will tell us soon if this was just getting people to talk around the watercooler to rank up the sales, or if it was art. (I have nothing against selling loads and loads of whatever you do; I hope all artists get to do that some day; but art and sales are not always linked, is all). If it was art, it might lead to interesting things. If it was marketing, it can only lead to not much. I mean, nobody’s waiting for the girls from TATU to get into porn anymore. Fast rise, plateau on fumes, then reenter, crash and burn. Time will tell.

  • PersonalGenius

    A lot of what is happening with Miley Cyrus is well expressed in the book Female Chauvinist Pigs – RE: Many young women have misinterpreted women’s sexual liberation to mean that any act of aggressive sexuality is inherently empowering. And there are MANY ways to be aggressively sexual and be feminist. (Amanda, I’ve always you used as an example of a performer who knowingly uses her own sexuality for her own expression and joy, and not for the profit of other people.) But there are any other ways to seem aggressively sexual, while actually being submissive to a more aggressive, dominant male force. And ever since companies started trying to commercialize “Girl Power”, it’s gotten harder & harder for young women to tell the difference. I don’t think being a prostitute (I use this term because Sinead O’Connor kept using it) is inherently diminishing or submissive. I think there are very clear ways in which literal sex workers are happily using their bodies to their own gains. But it requires a very strong sense of self and an awareness of actions & consequences that takes time to establish and work through.

    An issue that I have with Miley Cyrus is that it’s demanded that she defend her actions, in a way that a male counterpart wouldn’t have to. If we were talking about Miles Cyrus, there’d be no argument about whether or not he knew what he was doing or how he’s representing other men. But the fact of the matter is, as far as the rest of society is concerned, a prepubescent girl’s body is her parent’s property. Once she’s 18, her body is considered public property. So, is Miley Cyrus acting as a tool for profit, or (as many of us have had to do) desperately trying to reclaim ownership of herself? I just don’t know.

    The one thing I’m sure of, though, is that she needs to get away from her father. That guy is a leech and a creep.

    • Origami_Isopod

      Female Chauvinist Pigs is a slut-shaming piece of crap written by a transphobe.

      • Transderps

        WTF is a transphobe? Why would anyone be that specific their their hate anyways? Derp!

        • That_1_Girl

          why would anyone be that specific in their hate? what a question! hahahaha! couldn’t you say that about pretty much anyone that hates another person/group? hahaha! silly.

          • Anon

            You never answered the question. WTF is a transphobe?

          • That_1_Girl

            why is it anyone’s responsibility to tell you the defintion of (commonly understood) terms? LOOK IT UP. you’re on the friggin’ internet anyway.

  • Kimberlee Morrison

    Great letter Amanda and I agree. I think women shaming women for leveraging their own sexuality is worse than the supposed exploitation by the man. Miley has been doing this for years, ever since she left Disney, in fact. At first it was seemingly leaked videos and pictures of Miley partying and doing provocative things. Heck, I remember the uproar back in 2007-8 when pictures came out with Miley smacking some other girl’s ass as she backed it up into her.

    I believe Miley has intentionally developed an image as a party crazed sexpot. When I read her interviews, I’m not terribly concerned. She seems to have her head on straight and running her own show. And you’re right, she should be free to run her show the way she wants it without other women demanding she be what they think she should be. Miley’s been in the business long enough to know what she’s doing. And she seems to be doing it well — we’re all talking about her just as her new album is about to drop.

  • Puzzleclocks

    In case it matters, those records are probably now owned by EMI, who as I understand it, are rather strongly anti-piracy.

    Seperately: Love this blog and it’s meaning. Personally I’d be more
    worried about Miley burning out like a Britney Spears or Lindsay Lohan.
    The big difference to me in dressing the sex-pot part is whether in the
    long run it winds up messing you up, or being something that helps you
    grow. I think Madonna and others are examples of how it can work in the
    long-run(even if there are always massive issues with what the “Beauty
    Standard” should/shouldn’t be).

    Personally, if I were Miley, and was trying to make my own way, I’d
    probably go for something more out-there than what she is doing… like
    doing the same video but after putting on around 30 pounds or so, just
    to really say “I am doing it my way, and I can be sexy no matter what”
    but maybe that’s just because I’m a “fight the power” kind of person, as
    opposed to just wanting to make my own sexy-brand of art.

    • amerika

      Where is McDonalds pop art ?

  • Queen ofthe Universe

    I kinda feel my stance is some where in between these two great letters. I agree and disagree with parts of both. Either way, its a good discussion to have and really, its kind of what Pink and Cher said (both in different ways) about the same stuff. I think she is better than what she did at the VMAs and hopefully life moves on past it. It would be sad if that is the image she is stuck with for the rest of her life. I don’t think it came off as a positive one despite what she tried to do. I know her group is in explanation mode still and that is part of the “documentary” that will air on MTV where mom said shes there right beside her and supports it all. Dad doesn’t really and that was a constant problem between the two. I can’t remember if Miley and him are speaking again or not but there is obviously several things that factor into her decisions. Presumably we will see the weekend as I am sure she intends to address this on SNL one way or another.

  • Stacy

    TL;DR

  • Beate

    Nasreddin Hodja once had to villager’s coming to him asking for his help to divide an
    argument. He listened to the first.
    – Oh yes, you are perfectly right, he said.
    Then the second one made his complaint and told his side of the story.
    – Oh, you
    are so right, this is absolutely right, proclaimed Hodja.
    Then his wife stepped forward, shook her head and said: Hodja, Hodja, they are in disagreement, they cannot both be right. Hodja thought for a short while and then said.
    – You are, of course, also perfectly right.

    This is how I feel right now. You are both right, you and O’Connor. You both make valuable
    points. It is valuable to listen to both of you. And together it makes the world more confusing and clearer at the same time.

    • Hunchie

      bravo response, imo.

      • BoredNow

        Thanks! :)

        • Subgirl

          I don’t think Hunchie was commending you love, but rather Beate

    • BoredNow

      Amanda is sadly enabling Miley’s bad behavior and unprofessional conduct. Of course, Amanda uses the same kinds of gimmicks and stunts to promote herself, and so it isn’t a big surprise either. If Amanda really honestly believes that Miley is totally one-hundred percent responsible for everything she does on stage or whatever, that would be delusional. That simply isn’t the way big-name big-budget production is managed, but since Amanda was dumped by Road Runner records I can also understand that didn’t stick around long enough to understand it either. Amanda would want to agree with being a jackass in public to make the tabloid press because that is all we have seen for the last couple of years now. I’m over it.
      Sinéad know her sh*t; Amanda does not.

      • Fiona Jane Gallen

        Amanda is pointing out that Miley Cyrus is a human being that is capable of making her own career choices. Whether she takes off her fucking clothes for a music video is obviously her choice, not that of a “big-name big-budget production”.
        You’re basically just an ignorant cock.
        Whether or not people like you approve of said behaviour is completely irrelevant.

        • GFX

          TL;DR

          Anyone that gives that much thought or time to something that is obviously a corporate ploy/gimmick to get rich through flesh-peddling doesn’t deserve that much thought or attention from anybody, except maybe perverts. Pimps and street-culture really deserve so much of our empathy? Nah, not really.

        • BlackGoanna

          The problem is that we don’t know how much of it is really Miley’s choice.

          We live in a culture that conditions women to believe they are valuable first and foremost as sexual objects. Miley is clearly playing into that. How much is her choice and how much she merely believes is her choice is impossible to know. It’s certainly not obvious, given our cultural milieu.

          Hence, we have Sinead O’Connor’s advice to a young and talented woman who does not need to be submissive in that way in order to be successful.

          • Samm

            Leave it to a feminist to reduce a woman to victimhood.

          • amerika

            A feminist from what branch of feminism ?

          • Samm

            That’s a good question. I don’t have a good answer – none of the feminist taxonomy I’m familiar with seems to apply here – but I’ll ask BlackGoanna. She should know.

            BlackGoanna, what branch of feminism assumes that women are incapable of making their own choices and pushes all the responsibility for those decisions onto other people?

          • BlackGoanna

            I am not meaning to claim that women are incapable of making choices. I am trying to point out that the choice Amanda Palmer assumes Miley is making may in fact be a result of false consciousness. Systemic analysis of people’s choices, and the extent to which they are influenced by the kyriarchy, is part of feminism.

            I hope that my comment is now clear. If not, please indulge me in an example: The statement: “I like wearing high heels.” The feminist critic might say,”You think wearing high heels is your personal preference, but you have been conditioned by an androcentric society to want to wear high heels.”

            The problem (meaning,” the problem with trying to critique Miley”, not “the problem with Miley”) is that we do not know if she has false consciousness or not. Accusing people of experiencing false consciousness (and we can arue that Sinead O’Connor does this) is enormously problematic. It is often used as a weapon of oppression in denying people their right to own and analyse their own experiences (we can argue this is what Amanda Palmer accuses Sinead O’connor of doing).

            And in answer to, “is it our business?” (comment below from SweetRPea): I think it is certainly not my personal business, but it is our business in a wider, theoretical way because Miley influences our culture. I think it’s an important discussion.

            It is difficult to walk the line of giving people space to be the expert on themselves and their experiences while analysing people’s choices en masse, but it is also important.

          • SweetRPea

            I appreciate your points here, BlackGoanna, and the time you have taken to articulate them so clearly. I guess my point is, in this particular context, it does not appear that the goal of Sinead, Amanda or anyone else posting here has been to engage in a broad, systemic analysis of the modern music industry and it’s effect on women. If discussion of this particular issue leads to a broader discussion on that topic, I think it’s great! However, at the moment we are dealing with one isolated case and no one involved, except perhaps Miley Cyrus, knows the extent to which her personal and professional choices are influenced by an outside, male power hierarchy with a profit orientation or not. Miley herself might not even really know. Since none of us really know, it might not be all that productive to speculate on something that is personal to her and that really might not be any of our business. People make choices for different reasons. It seems to me that Miley has demonstrated enough strength of will that she could easily choose to walk away from something that simply is not working for her. She certainly has the financial resources that would enable her to do so. Consequently, give the girl a break. Let her do her thing. If you like her stuff, buy her albums. If you don’t like her stuff, buy other people’s albums. Rest assured that she probably won’t be around forever so if her current headline-grabbing status in popular culture is something you simply cannot tolerate, you probably won’t have to pay attention to it all that long. As with most things in popular culture, these things run their course eventually.

            Anyway, should anyone want to follow up on this discussion with an actual systemic study of the modern music industry on women, historically to date, I’d be interested in jumping on. Or, if studies have already been done, I’d love to take a peek at them if you have a link or book title handy.

            Thanks!

          • mamram

            ”You think wearing high heels is your personal preference, but you have
            been conditioned by an androcentric society to want to wear high heels.”

            This is a false dichotomy, and I think the whole conundrum stems from that. A person’s personal preferences ARE shaped by society, because we are social animals. We can acknowledge the way all of our preferences are shaped by a misogynist/androcentric/white supremacist society without dismissing people’s experiences as false consciousness.

          • BlackGoanna

            Right. That’s the problem/conundrum with critiquing Miley. There is no way we can know if her consciousness is raised, until she tells us, which she hasn’t. Sinead and Amanda seem to be taking more or less opposing points of view on the matter.

          • mamram

            I guess what I mean is, this isn’t really a dichotomy where she’s either acting with agency (Amanda’s pov) OR a product of her culture (Sinead’s). Most likely, she’s acting with agency AND a product of her culture, just like the rest of us. We can critique the culture that gives women and girls limited choices without denying the fact that women and girls are still agents when they make those choices. We don’t need to accuse anyone of having “false consciousness.”

          • BlackGoanna

            Agreed.

            Do you think Miley would acknowledge that her choices are influenced by the androcentric culture in which she operates? I think Sinead O’Connor thought not and was trying to enlighten her. So now Miley has lashed out at Sinead O’Connor, who has lashed back…

            http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-2443351/Sinead-OConnor-blasts-Miley-Cyrus-ANOTHER-open-letter-singer-pokes-fun-breakdown.html

          • mamram

            Not that this makes Miley’s tweets acceptable (they were completely out of line) but I thought it seemed more like Sinead was just flatly denying Miley’s agency, under the guise of offering enlightenment. And I’m having a hard time imagining her using such harsh language if she were talking to a woman whose choices conformed to the dominant gender paradigm in a different way, like say, choosing to be a housewife and mother. It’s true that when women do this, their husbands often reap the far greater financial benefits, but it would be obviously insulting to tell a stay at home mother that while she may THINK she’s made the best choice for herself and her family, she’s really being enslaved by her husband. It is equally insulting to tell Miley that she has unwittingly been “pimped” and “prostituted.”

          • haha

            obviously, the wrong one

          • SweetRPea

            Is this really a problem? Or, is it actually NONE OF OUR BUSINESS?

        • amerika

          –not that of a “big-name big-budget production”–

          How do you know ?

      • Cazz Allen

        I understand your view that Miley might not be entirely puppeteering her own show but saying that Amanda was dumped by Road Runner records is… I can’t even think of an analogy for how daft that is. Anyone who knows her work knows that Amanda is always fighting for the space to be an artist without a label and she wasn’t happy with them. So until you understand the alternative side of the industry and people who make art for their own sake, you will not understand Amanda Fucking Palmer.

        • Eva Amore

          ^ This. You know I was asked at one time to dance for Justin Bieber? I refused because that is not how I wanted to be seen. My family ridiculed me for it.. they assumed that just because Its somewhere in the spotlight that It would be good for me. I was deeply offended by this.

      • lentower

        Amanda worked hard for two years to separate from Roadrunner,
        who eventually gave in.

        Dumped she was not.

        We now know you state facts that are not facts — we can’t trust anything factually from you.

        • Hilary

          Weirdo. She’s not going to be friends with you, y’know.

          • MusicExecutive

            Lenny has a good point there. She wasn’t entirely dumped from Road Runner records. However the OP’s point was that Amanda doesn’t understand big business media or (belong there?) and the -real- reasons Amanda wanted away from Road Runner, and away from professional business obligations that she wasn’t able to perform. Amanda couldn’t hack it in the professional music industry out in Hollywood, and how do we know that, because she couldn’t handle those kinds of mature responsible obligations and quit. She doesn’t have a clue about the real work that goes into successful commercial musicians like Miley Cyrus.

          • Pete Davis

            You’re right, MusicExecutive!! Touring non-stop, performing at a benefit for young female musicians, and raising at least $1.2MM WITHOUT a bunch of greasy douchebags with their heads stuck in the 90’s telling Amanda what to do is so easy.

            I bet you are a consultant now.

          • Doug

            Pete,

            Also, raising at least $1.2 million and trying to get out of paying the backup performers that help make sure Amanda’s sorry ass look good on stage touring everywhere. That is pretty unprofessional too. Miley at least pays the people that make her sound/look good.

          • http://www.myspace.com/belindashort belindashort

            Actually, this proves that she _can_ hack it in the professional industry. Breaking away from a major label is a big step. You don’t get everyone kissing your butt and doing everything for you, you have to do it yourself. The fact that you don’t understand this is pretty telling about your knowledge of the industry.

          • nomanfu

            the music industry is CTD and i wonder if you are a contributor ….. it is all about money, greed, power and worse ….. things keep getting worse and so will MILEY, LADY GAGA, NIKKY et al . enjoy

          • amerika

            lol. A lot of kissing ass, presumably.

          • Sam G

            …You really haven;t been paying attention, have you?

          • amerika

            Maybe she’s more openminded than you, when it comes to that ?

            That sounded quite creepy (on your part), Hilary.

          • PickleTits

            Nah, just more opportunistic and desperate for attention. Deerp!

          • lentower

            Sigh, what a sad reply.

          • lennyisaturd

            still a turd, Lenny

          • Sam G

            …he IS friends with her..do you really not know who Len is?

      • jobber

        what about any of Miley’s conduct can be categorized as unprofessional? If you are a music professional and are aware of some code of conduct that has been breached, I would love to hear about it. I mean that in all seriousness- I am a music professional- and I’ve never read anything in the union rag that states you’re not allowed to have bad taste. I would argue that what I’ve read about Amanda Palmers’ hiring practices for a recent tour to be unprofessional and unethical- (and completely disrespectful)
        so- basically- Amanda Palmer is unprofessional to me… it’s called a music industry, people’s services are worth money. Please pay your musicians a respectable amount. It’s a job. Miley is just fine.. I’m sure everyone who works on her projects got paid. Thanks for respecting our work, Miley. You’re ok in my books naked or not.

        • Joshua Hostetter

          She’s not screwing people out of money. She’s asking for people to volunteer to help. A lot of bands ask their fans for things, including a place to crash. In today’s music scene most people are expected to pay for a deluxe ticket of some kind in order to get backstage to meet the band and talk to them and work with them. Amanda offers them free admittance plus a VIP ticket in exchange for a little help. It’s a great deal for anyone who likes her or her music and I wish more bands did it so that I could volunteer to help.

          • CaptSuperObvious

            Yeah if you don’t have any other obligations and exist entirely like a traveling circus your whole life. Most people have bills to paid and need to buy food to each, and pay rent like everyone else. Whoops.. AFP doesn’t need to do those kinds of things because people PAY HER for TICKETS and PAY HER for MUSIC. Derp!

          • Joshua Hostetter

            I really don’t get what you’re trying to say here… And I’m pretty sure you don’t understand how the music business works or how volunteering works.

          • Gypsy Lavery

            Since I AM part of a traveling sideshow I feel the need to address this one. We ALL have bills to pay. Not only the day to day feed the fam, pay the electric type, but also the pay the crew, feed the troupe, buy/repair gear and costumes things as well.
            When we tour we ALSO ask for little things. A place to crash, maybe a meal, or even minor gear repairs (Thanks to Tiger Lilly in WV for the straight jacket repairs! LOL!)
            Until you know what someone’s personal life is REALLY like, don’t assume they’re being shiesty. AP has given many young/unknown performers a real boost in the industry, and looks for the shine and polish in everyone she meets. She volunteers her time, skills and even her crew (with their permission of course) for MANY worthy causes.
            PLEASE….understand that ALL of us have obligations.

          • haha

            amanda is as shiesty has the day is long, this we know now

        • luci_fer

          Nice segue there, glad you managed to shoe-horn THAT into the conversation so seamlessly.
          Wait…
          Amanda was fairly supportive of Miley in that letter. So the Miley professional vs Amanda unprofessional divide you’ve created seems a bit weird. Or like you created it to talk about something unrelated.

        • amerika

          But what about the art ?

          Are you okay with awful McDonald’s pop ?

          And sticking ones tongue out every five minutes like a 4 year old on a sugar binge with Mad Cows Disease ?

          Would like to hear your idea of “fine”, because it seems like my idea of “cowdung”.

          • SweetRPea

            We live in a country where “cowdung” is allowed.
            If people buy it, presumably they like it.

            Alternative options like AFP exist for people who consider

            contemporary pop music “cow dung.” There is a difference
            between being a pop star and being an artist. Our culture
            has made room for both. Support whoever you’d like.

        • Cathy

          And now we get to the heart of the matter.It’s not about Miley or Sinead, it’s about the important part right at the bottom where Amanda asks her fans to *pay* her for the pleasure of reading this blog. Blogs are free! Still, she’s got enough shares of this that people will contribute. After all of the justifications “oh, it’s paying for me to pay artists (except for the ones I don’t pay)”, she’s begging for more money?
          I guess that’s what happens in “our woman-times”. Suddenly riding a ball naked seems extremely mature.

          • Cindy

            When you don’t have talent as a performer you can simply take off your clothing and do pornography. I don’t think it is really about feminism, but necessity. Amanda was a stripper before she was a musician. I think this letter was only for attention, and she probably didn’t even write it herself.

      • telepresence

        As far as I can see Miley is (deliberately) tacky and messy but not unprofessional. For all the tabloid coverage she gets, there’s been nothing about missing concerts, angry collaborators, passing out in front of LA nightclubs, etc.

        • Rexington Fink

          I am all for Miley, definitely for AFP, like Sinead, but agree with Amanda 200% on this one. I hadnt even thought about what you just mentioned, and you are so right!

          • Josh Norton.

            You are for Miley?
            Kill self . You’re in too deep.

          • robingee

            oh, cram it.

          • Erin D Lindsey

            Can the “kill yourself” argument on the internet just be retired? It is not only too harsh, it’s just lazy. Argue your point effectively, or leave the debate to adults please.

          • a virgin tomorrow

            You fail. The “kill yourself” request is not an argument, it’s a conclusion one draws when they realize that darwinism is taking too long and some folks REALLY need to route out of the gene pool post haste. So your big speech was nothing more than a demonstration that you never really understood the statement. Have a nice day.

          • Erin D Lindsey

            Wow, what an epic tantrum. At least it was sort of amusing. Have fun with all that needless rage.

          • sam

            it wouldn’t let me thumbs-down so let me just say:
            you’re an asshole

          • Fluxer

            You’re asking:
            Can the “kill yourself” arguememt in the internet just kill itself?

          • Ella McLeod

            i bloody reckon hey! and it’s so insensitive… I am glad someone pointed this out :)

          • Myra

            Are you trying to be clever by rehashing the ‘kill yourself’ comment? How very mature of you. It’s harsh and offensive and you clearly don’t belong in this discussion.

          • nacoran

            I’m for Cyrus’s right to be herself. (Do you know her personally? Ever notice we usually use first names for women and children and last names for adults?)

            Like I said, I’m not a Cyrus fan, but I support her right to be who she wants to be without being slut shamed.

          • Soph

            I have seen it floating around a lot that Miley is being slut shamed. Can someone give me some sort of definition of slut shaming cause the way I see it is slut shaming would be telling someone not to be a slut (ie, don’t sleep with lots of boys). People seem to take issue with Miley because of the way she projects her image on a world stage.

            Are people seriously denying she does not hold influence? Her videos are likely played in the background at teenage parties all over the world, and watched by kids online every minute of every day. Be real, she has influence. She and all the other girls getting their kits off for cash. There IS an issue because Miley has actually referred to her music as ‘empowering women’. Google it. Now, I don’t know about you but I don’t want to live in a society where rubbing your booty against a middle aged man is empowerment, I wouldn’t want that projected to the up coming generation.

          • Soph

            **Oops sorry for the double negative in para 2, I mean are people seriously denying that she holds influence?

          • Tegan Tallullah

            “Ever notice we usually use first names for women and children and last names for adults?”

            This doesn’t make sense at all. Women are adults, otherwise they’d be girls. And I call male pop stars by their first names as well…

          • nacoran

            That’s exactly the point. It’s part of how people give themselves the right to feel authority over someone. There are really two separate issues- one is inconsistency. Sports journalists, historically, are some of the worst offenders. There is, of course, a difference between posts on a blog thread and in journalistic articles.

            I generally refer to people by their last name if they aren’t involved in the conversation. I don’t want to assume any false familiarity. Maybe that’s just a generational thing though.

          • Tegan Tallullah

            Interesting. I think we call celebrities by their first names because we know so much about them compared with normal strangers, its almost as if we do know them. Not that we really do, but it feels like we do. But also I think it is generational as well. I used to work in a cafe where I had to take people’s names for their order, and everyone would give their first name except older customers who would naturally give their surname.

          • guest01

            200%?

          • rachel

            maybe there is something about feminism that is broken if it means supporting the whoring of little child actresses who used to work for the disney channel… Maybe it is ok? I have no idea anymore. All I know is Miley sucks.

          • 4thStar

            The part of your comment about the “little child actresses who used to work for the disney channel” reminded me of the following song:

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O2zbxM4EehE

            Specifically the part in which it points out that it’s ok with other artists because we cannot imagine them as kids.

            (I am, by the way, with Amanda on this topic).

          • 8sunni

            Hey Rachel,

            I wonder, when do you think that it is ok for that “little child actress” to grow up?

          • Haha

            Grow up and blow away.

          • Anon

            This is what it means to “grow up”? This perpetuates an on going myth about what the phrase means. So this how to show maturity? It is actually quite the opposite. Can’t imagine what it would be like to be a parent of a girl who looked up to her along with friends who were taking this seriously. So many look up to celebrities and of this is what people do when you are “grown up” we as a society are in trouble.

          • Anon

            Amanda hijacking the latest news catastrophe to make it about her somehow.

          • Soph

            YES. I wasn’t sure how to articulate it but you’ve got that right. Something about her doing the mash-up is somewhat like she’s just trying to get involved in it.

            Frankly, the only people whose opinion on Miley I’m interesting in are:

            A. Artists like Sinead O’Connor who are accomplished artists who have serious experience in the industry.

            B. Sociologists and women’s studies academics.

            Not that anyone cares about my opinion, but I frankly couldn’t care less about the opinion of fame seeking artists and ignorant women who think that using female sexuality is somehow original and empowering. Yawn.

          • Clare

            It’s not about using female sexuality as something “original and empowering.” It’s about a woman having the CHOICE to use her sexuality in any way she desires.

          • Domina Elle

            Yes it is ok for her to grow up. But her audience is DISNEY aged children. So they need a few years to grow up before they learn how to TWERK. Do you understand??

          • exileandcunning

            Do you realize a new episode of Hannah Montana hasn’t come out for over TWO YEARS?? So no her audience isn’t Disney aged kids! Her old viewers have either grown up like her or moved on to other Disney shows. Are you saying that even after 2 years, a 20 year old woman can’t express herself like other musicians because she was once on Disney? If so, when is it ok for her to act like an adult? 5 years? Never? Britney Spears and every other Disney artist had a similar growing up period. Miley is no more influential over kids than Lady Gaga, who wore a freaking THONG to the VMAs.

          • NornaD

            Umm actually Disney-aged kids are watching her, sadly. They are exposed to this stuff and many of them do access it on youtube, etc. and it does influence them and not in any positive ways I have seen.

          • nacoran

            Ah, there’s the problem! You still think of her as a little child. People eventually grow up. If I were to dance across the stage naked, would I be ‘whoring’ (well, I’d probably be making people vomit). All civil rights movements should be about giving people rights.

            What is the moral crime with nudity? I’m not going to accept a religious answer, because religion is full of unconsidered rules that we ignore all the time anyway. Is she hurting anyone? Okay, you’ll answer, ‘She is setting a bad example’. A bad example of what? Doing something that isn’t morally wrong?

            We feel icky talking about sex. I get it. It’s even worse when it crosses generational lines. Kids don’t want to think about their parents having sex, and parents don’t want to think about their kids having sex. There are real problems with sex. There are STD’s, unintended pregnancies and all sorts of chances for emotional heartache. This is a perfect opportunity to talk about those issues, but instead we are fetishizing what is going on here.

            Let’s discuss those things. Jeesh, if Cyrus were to come out and say, ‘Look kids, sex is great, but always, always use protection’ it would be a great teaching moment. It’s not that she is influencing teens (although, yes, she certainly will) it’s that teens are influencing her (she’s only 20). Culture goes both ways. Signifiers go both ways.

            Maybe the problem is Disney. Their princesses never really grow up and deal with the real world. All of the Disney singers go through this ‘bad girl’ phase. It’s almost a rite of passage. We identify them as these little kids because we’ve seen them on TV that way. We all go through that in life, but for them, practically every person they meet is going to see them as this little Disney kid. I don’t know if Cyrus is actually ‘out of control’ or if she is very much in control and doing what the script demands so she can bury the child, but let’s let her decide who she wants to be. Sex and sexuality should be a personal choice, or an artistic choice.

          • Humanism

            It sounds more like some kind of political agenda than about what is appropriate. Sneaky propaganda promotes cynicism, not progressiveness and when will people like you learn that? I have nothing against Miley or artists like her. I do have a problem when people are trying to force their ideas on vulnerable kids because that is the target audience who watch this kind of silly sensationalist soft-core. People who want to watch porn will watch it for free – not some tongue waving weirdo. Get a grip.

          • nacoran

            Sneaky propaganda? Is your tinfoil hat on too tight? What is not progressive about letting people make their own decisions. Propaganda implies an underlying political agenda, so, you are saying that Cyrus is deliberately trying to what, turn children slutty? If you don’t want your children to act like that, well, that’s between you and your children and how you discuss issues about sex. Cyrus isn’t trying to turn your children slutty, she is trying to sell records, (which she is doing a very good job at).

            Cyrus is old enough and has enough clout in the industry to make her own choices. I’d point out people can watch the ‘tongue waving weirdo’ for free too, so I’m not sure what your distinction is. My point is, ‘What is appropriate?’ I’m not trying to be sneaky when I say I think people should be able to make their own choices about that, and that I don’t think shaming people for their expressing their sexuality is appropriate, just like I don’t think it’s appropriate for people on the other end of the spectrum to use peer pressure to make people do things they don’t want to.

            Do I think she should be appearing naked in her videos? I don’t really care as long as she is comfortable with the decision.

            So, and I ask this as an honest question- two scenarios:

            Scenario 1: You have a teenage daughter who doesn’t think about sex and somehow beats the odds and makes it to her wedding night a virgin.

            Scenario 2: You have a teenage daughter who thinks about sex and eventually has sex sometime before she gets married.

            You seem to prefer Scenario 1, despite the fact that it’s extremely unlikely. Now, would you like your teenage daughter, when she does have sex, to feel guilty about it?

            I realize videos like Cyrus’s project sexualization, and peer pressure can be tough and all that. But they also project an idea that it’s okay to talk about sex and everyone slut shaming her is going to do more damage to young people than anything she can ever do. Instead of getting on your high horse, maybe, if you have a teenage daughter you could talk about sex with them. Explain that women shouldn’t just be objects of men’s desire, that relationships are about equal partnerships. Explain that wild partying can have consequences, STD’s, unwanted pregnancies, date rape, DWI, heartbreak. Explain ways your children can protect themselves. Treat them like people and realize that they need to learn decision making and that you don’t want them carrying around shame.
            By the way, lumping everyone into ‘people like you’ is a good way to point out that you aren’t actually discussing the issue, just your pre-conceived ideas. If you have an argument to make, make it, otherwise, people like me are going to ignore you.

          • SweetRPea

            I agree. I really think people are giving Miley way too much power here.

            Just because she decides she wants to trot around on stage half-dressed and sexualize her performance it doesn’t automatically mean that everyone else’s children are going to want to do these things, too. There are a lot of different forces/influences at work in any young person’s upbringing. Parents and other authority figures that are concerned with this sort of thing shouldn’t become so obsessed with this one public figure to the extent that they entirely dismiss all other things that influence their children’s choices. It’s a big world and there are a lot of different kinds of things they will encounter in it. Sex and sexuality is one of them. Frankly, I sort of think the sooner people accept this, the better. Give the world a little credit: most people are not secretly conspiring to turn your child into a crack whore. And, among the choices they are presented with, give your kids a little credit in their own ability to make choices that are good for themselves, you know?

          • NornaD

            The thing is, it is the accumulation of these images and representation in the media that does have an impact on our society. It puts teachers and parents in the position of having to have these discussions with our children who do start having body image issues even at the ages of 8 and 9 (I know as I work with these kids daily). Do you have any idea how it feels to have a conversation with an 8 year old who is perfectly healthy that there is nothing wrong with her because she does not look like that? It sends the message that the objectification of women is okay. That we are not equals with men and we should be more concerned about the outside rather than how intelligent, hardworking and amazing we are on the inside.

          • SweetRPea

            The state I live in, public nudity is perfectly legal. As long as you don’t disrobe in public.

          • Soph

            I respect your opinion because unlike so many people you actually explain an actual point well. However I there are negative effects to over-sexualising women that you don’t address. That’s a feminist issue.

            I am by no means a religious fanatic, or an old prude wanting girls to cover up. I am a 22 year old girl who has very recently been a teenage girl and who has suffered the consequences of a society whereby women are constantly objectified and sexualized, like Miley is unequivocally in the VMA performance and the models are in the Blurred Lines video.

            Personally I first had sex when I was 14 with someone I didn’t know. I came from a good family, supportive and comfortable and went to a good school. I think that the media and popular culture in general completely degrades women. Everywhere you look there are naked women. I think many girls start to feel a pressure to both look a certain way and be ‘sexy’. Miley perpetuates a bizarre, damaging and lets be frank disturbing brand of ‘sexy’.

            You might like to read Unbearable Weight: Feminism, Western Culture, and the Body (1993) written by academic Susan Bordo. She articulates really well the serious problems with western society and how it effects girls.

            I don’t argue that Miley should have to cover up, because that would be a very anti-feminist thing to say, but I do think if she has the capacity to (which may be impossible at this stage) she should think about how her actions (and the actions of all the other barely dressed underweight women who are glorified for their look) effect the mental health of girls and women. I don’t feel icky talking about sex, in fact, I don’t think many people do thesedays unless you live in a very conservative area. I think sex has gone too far, porn is mainstream and Miley is partaking in it, perpetuating and normalizing it. And it doesn’t effect girls well.

          • nacoran

            The problem is, what do you compare Western Society to? There are parts of the world where women who show a little ankle get stoned. I’m not sure what her background as far as understanding metamessages is. Most 20 year olds haven’t read Derrida, but she has certainly grown up in a fairly media savvy environment, so I don’t know what she has been exposed to.

            Porn is mainstream. Here is the thing about that, though. There have been reliable studies that show that may not be an entirely bad thing. For instance, photoshopped images aside, porn seems to lower the rate of rape.

            http://www.slate.com/articles/arts/everyday_economics/2006/10/how_the_web_prevents_rape.html

            (It apparently works in prisons too, but I don’t have that link handy.)

            Yes, porn creates all sorts of unrealistic fantasies. It’s important to talk about that and there are people who would argue there is more realistic porn out there for people to watch if they chose. That would be a brilliant discussion in a classroom, but even in college there would people who would complain. (I was, many years ago, in classes that discussed things like that, and there were students who got very upset by it.) That would be a great discussion (great, but awkward) for a parent to have with their kid.

            That doesn’t mean I think it’s something everyone should perform in, or even watch, (like most people, I’ve seen porn, but it’s not part of my day to day life) but like all pretty much all information or art, it’s in the interpretation. She is definitely a product of the same society she is now influencing.

            My parents were very open about sex when I was a kid. We read ‘Where Do I Come From’ when I was little, and I forget the name of the book, but I know I was read another kids book on the subject by the time I was just in first or second grade. I was the only kid who wasn’t giggling in sex ed in 5th grade. I was also told that sex was something best done with someone you love. I consciously passed up a couple opportunities early on because of that.

            I know peer pressure is a powerful thing. It can cut both ways though. I’m not trying to say it can’t, but I think it would be much more useful if people treated it as the complex issue it is. I don’t live in a particularly conservative area, but I could tick down a list of people I talk to all the time, in my head, (I hope I got the comma in the right place in that, or I’m going to sound crazy!) and can think of a bunch of them who would be for abstinence only sex-ed for instance, even although it’s been shown to increase the how soon kids start having sex.

            One last thought. I was actually commenting on Cyrus’s weight today (I was talking with my friend and his teenage daughter in the car). I know peer pressure is a double edged sword. There certainly are, when you look at them as a group, a lot of awfully skinny stars, and taken as a statistical grouping, there are certainly some of them who are anorexic. I have also had friends though who tried to put on weight and couldn’t, and they get upset about everyone worrying they are anorexic. Ironically, also, with anorexics, sometimes everyone else worry about their weight can be a trigger. Anorexia, although it’s centered around weight, is fairly closely related to Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and stress can be a trigger. (The worst twist with anorexia though is that when you get too skinny, you cause damage to your body that interferes with your ability to produce serotonin, which is the chemical you need more of to deal with OCD type disorders).

            It’s, I suppose, better to be safe than sorry with that. I’ve known borderline anorexics (I worry sometimes about my ex-gf. Every time I see her she seems smaller, and I know in her case there are some issues there.) Just like women get pressured to be thin, there can be a instinct to call everyone who is skinny anorexic. I don’t have any information one way or the other with her (maybe it’s out there.)

          • Soph

            Well.. I’m not comparing Western culture to anything, because I am referring to Western culture and don’t know enough about other cultures to comment. I understand that other women in other cultures have it MUCH worse than us, I would never dispute that, but I still think that Western society’s constant degradation of women and the way that companies commodify people’s insecurities should be discussed (although I do not know how to solve it in fact I think sadly there is not solution because capitalism and freedom of expression etc etc will always win when it comes to corporations). I think that the industry is commodifying Miley and her body. I think she is young, and as you said, a product of her surroundings. I wholeheartedly agreed with Sinead O’Connor’s letter.

            Re porn, I personally detest it and find it troubling that so many men in relationships feel that it is their right as ‘visual’ beings and what not to watch porn even if it upsets their girlfriend. But that is just my own feelings and I know many would find me overly jealous or unrealistic or something, but I agree that it should be openly discussed. The movie Don Jon with Scarlett Johannson looks like it’s going to address it, have only seen the trailor but it looks very interesting. It can really affect relationships negatively but yeah, I guess if it reduces rape.. there are pros and cons to everything.

            I’m not really sure what your main point is regarding Miley. I think that her thinness is perhaps somewhat of an issue in terms of peer pressure, but at the moment she doesn’t seem to be particularly ‘glorified’, and the nakedness of Victoria’s Secret models would seem to impose more pressure on young girls. I think Miley’s overt way of degrading herself poses more of an issue, but again, she’s just a product and she is just one example of female degradation among millions of examples in pop culture.

          • nacoran

            You keep saying ‘degrading herself’. Why is being naked or trying to be sexually provocative necessarily degrading? I understand there are issues of balance of power. There are lots of young women who are forced or manipulated into posing for naked pictures, even prostitution. I don’t think the problem is that they are posing naked, or even selling their bodies for money- they are certainly not things I would recommend anyone do, but I don’t think they are necessarily good or bad things- the issue is the underlying manipulation and coercion.

            I wouldn’t recommend a young man go fight in MMA. It’s likely to cause brain damage and long term injury, and it glorifies violence and a macho culture where might makes right, but if that’s what someone wants to do with their life, I think it’s their choice. If someone is coercing them, then I have a problem with it.

            I’m not arguing that Cyrus is making the right choice, just that it’s her choice. She’s an adult, and she seems to have enough control over her career that she can chose to pick what she wants to do. I know, I know, she could be a role model, but no one should go through life making choices purely on the basis of being a role model, especially on issues like sex, where there are so many takes on what ‘right’ is. Some people go out and party and enjoy that lifestyle. Some people don’t.

            Let’s take another example, the introvert vs. the extrovert. I’m a bit of an introvert myself (except on the web). I’d rather sit around and talk to a couple friends than go to a noisy event. That doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy a concert every now and then, but afterwards, I need to recharge for a few days before I even want to consider anything crazy again. I’ve got friends, (and my Dad, I love him, but he drives me crazy sometimes… he lives on the other coast and when he gets out to visit he wants to pack every day full of activities. I’d rather sit around and talk.) In the battle between introverts and extroverts, both sides think their way is better. My dad thinks he is creating great memories, and I think sometimes we are missing opportunities for more contemplative discussion. We are two very different people, but I don’t draw moral conclusions from that. We both influence people around us (certainly not on the scale that a rock star does, but that’s just a matter of degree).

            Why does different ways of expressing sexuality have to have such reflexively moral connotations? I understand the concept of a role model, but say you are having a conversation with a young person about sex and the subject of Miley Cyrus comes up. Which do you think is better way to deal with it:

            -Why is she acting like a slut? She is setting back feminism! She is being manipulated by male dominated culture.

            -That’s not a choice I would make. I think sex should be about love. Hormones are crazy and there is going to be a lot of peer pressure for you to be what other people want you to be. It’s important to remember that you have to live with your decisions, and ultimately, these sorts of things are your decisions. Some of your friends will act this way. Some won’t. Judge them by how they treat other people.

            Which way did O’Connor handle this? What were her motives? She has always been a very politically motivated person, and that’s fine, but the worst way to start a discussion is to tell the other person they are wrong. When she tore up the picture of the Pope on SNL, she was targeting her argument at a man who claims to speak about morality on behalf of a billion people, who makes a career out of morally judging people. She speaks up for some good causes but when she wrote this open letter she targeted a 20 year old musician who is just making music. Yes, any form of free speech is, if you want to define it that way, a political act. O’Connor is not trying to have a conversation with Cyrus though, or give her advice. She’s trying to get attention for her views (which in of itself, isn’t a bad thing) but she’s doing it by targeting and shaming another woman.

          • Tegan Tallullah

            I’m not protecting Miley’s look or behaviour because I don’t like it, but I have to point out that a 20 year old is NOT a child. At 20 you are a young adult. And if children’s parents are letting them watch Miley’s soft-porn-esque videos just because she used to be on the Disney channel when she was younger then more fool them. You can hardly say the target audience for her latest antics is children.

          • PerkyTitsMcgee

            Hi Amanda. You are officially the most idiotic person anyone knows. Signed, everyone else.

        • Summer

          I agree with you that Miley seems to be acting deliberately, and until recently I was defending her whenever her name came up in conversation. Her recent behavior–tweets making fun of Sinead O’Connor’s mental illness, bratty remarks, etc.–IS unprofessional. It’s all very well to push the boundaries and try to find out who she wants to be, but that can be done in better way. She needs to grow up.

          • Derpyville

            These are the same kinds of gimmicks that keep AFP in the limelight, so naturally Amanda is going to be very supportive of those kinds gimmicks.

          • Isabo

            Though wrong and I don’t agree with it, I think Miley is just being defensive. Everyone’s coming at her from all angles, telling her this and that, so she shouts out a remark in fury. She might not mean it, and I really think she should apologise, but it’s important to note that when you’re frustrated, angry, and tired, you say a lot of stuff you don’t mean.

            When this all dies down and the tabloids move to the next hot topic, it’ll be interesting to see what she says then.

          • amerika

            I don’t think it has to be tied to (being) a grown up, I knew not to be that way towards people who have a history of mental illness when I was half Miley’s age and under.

          • Ted_T

            When is the last time you were very publicly attacked by a person with a history of mental illness? Until you’ et walked in someone else’s shoes…

          • thepragmatist

            What I would’ve liked to have seen was a cogent series of remarks from Miley, but none happened. Instead she mocked her for having Bipolar?

          • Jade

            She’s still a kid….she is IN the process of growing up…that whole awkward, rebellious, backwards-one-day-forward the next….Some days she looks so mature we forget….

        • http://www.missmalevolent.com/ Miss Malevolent

          Yet…

          • Trololol

            “Miley is such a wonderful contribution to womanhood and the music industry.”

        • amerika

          Just artistically unprofessional.

        • paul

          You seem to have an oddly narrow way of defining what is or isn’t professional

          • telepresence

            I think my definition is fairly conventional. She’s a professional pop singer. So far as has been reported, she seems to be maintaining her professional commitments. Everything else strikes me as the most conventional and predictable of image makeover campaigns a child star transitioning to an adult career could engineer. Step one, get an edgier, more sexual visual style. Step 2, deliberately say and do “naughty” or “shocking” things in away that’s easy to talk about in the gossip press and social media, without actually doing anything really bad/dangerous. Step 3, release an “adult” album (movie, tv show, etc) with costars/producers/collaborators designed to introduce you to an older/hipper/blacker/gayer/etc audience.

            I mean, for the absolutely insane amount of social commentary and press Miley has gotten lately, you’d think she was on an epic spiral of self destructioon, when in reality she’s 1. Gotten a haircut 2. Worn skimpier outfits. 3. Stuck her tongue out a lot. 4. Started hanging out with black people and booty dancing. 5. Admitted she smokes, horror of horrors, weed. Oh god, she’s acting like a really really really mildly rebellious teenager!

            No hard drugs. No overdoses. No DUIs. No dead hookers. No arrests for possession, no arrests for anything at all. No stories, so far as I know of missing gigs, or collaborations blowing up and becoming disaster projects, no reports of diva behavior, no getting cut by her label, no major weight gain or loss, no meltdowns on stage… steady releases of successful songs.

            She’s doing her job, which is releasing popular music and keeping herself in the news without actually getting into any real trouble. She’s not some accountant who wore sneakers to work outside of Casual Fridays. So yes, I think calling her “unprofessional” is silly. *shrug*

          • ramonarickettes

            Perfectly articulated. Thank you.

          • Erin D Lindsey

            I know I am a month late, but I just wanted to come back and tell you how awesome your comment is.

          • telepresence

            :) Thanks.

        • CherylAnn

          Ms Palmer is the worst musical performer I have ever seen, and why people still continue to give her money is a complete mystery to me.

      • Murdaya

        If you don’t like Amanda then why are you even here?

        • Elenda

          Because she posted a public letter to somebody else we actually enjoy listening to, but you would know that if you took the time to maybe read the title of this this blog, morons.

          • DumbPeopleNeedLoveToo

            Boom! Roasted.

          • Murdaya

            Sinead was great back in the day. but something tells me this is a feeble ploy to get some airtime . “moron”

          • http://www.myspace.com/belindashort belindashort

            Sinead calling out Miley just because Miley originally mentioned her is her way to get back in the lime light. The fact that she responded to her at all just shows that she wants to be in on the drama.

          • amerika

            What a load of bullshit. If you know Sinead’s music, you would know she’s a deeply empathic individual who was also abused as a child and maybe reacts to things in a more grander and erratic way, than others, but definately passionate and caring, can’t believe you would write such bollocks.

          • amerika

            That doesn’t seem like her personality, and her letter also seems like it’s addressing certain ways in the industry, on a bigger level.

          • Whoops!

            Too bad the same can’t be said about precious AFP. To be great back in the day one would need to be “great” at some point in their career. Hahaha

      • rr

        FACT: Amanda Palmer was “let go” from Roadrunner Records. She was so impossible to work with (surprise, surprise!) that they stopped promoting her or otherwise caring about her.

        • Guest

          Hm. I’d wonder why she had to fight to get out of her contract then.

          • Guest

            Because anything she did while under contract whether they promoted her or not benefitted them financially. That’s how the music industry works. It often tanks careers.

            P.S.: Spend much time in the schoolyard?

          • CaptSuperDuperObvious

            Because she promised to do the work they expected and didn’t fulfill her obligations on time. Essentially, it is the same thing as waiting until being fired from a job. Derp!

          • opalexian

            Because no one in America EVER does THAT, especially in the music industry where labels make musicians indentured servants and people with no talent leech off the amazing power of actual talented people because they are good at whoring others but have no other personal (or moral) strengths *eyeroll*

          • opealdorkian

            Yeah, that sounds just like Amanda too. Not paying the people that help her on stage for living. What’s the difference???

        • Ceegee Parfois

          Also as for being “hard to work with” somehow I belive that had more to do with not wanting to be subject to the corporate voice on her art. That kind of “hard to work with” is entirely ok in my eyes. Every interaction I have seen with her fans has been one of a solid human being, with compassion and utmost cool. I’d rather there be a million humans who can relate to each other than 1 single corporate peon who only cares about doing what their boss wants them to do. Now here’s the thing; I don’t believe in idolization of human beings, and I don’t believe in gods. She pushes boundaries, but pretty much never have I seen her say anything that didn’t NEED to be said. As a fellow human she has my respect. In her early days I was one friend away from her, and I never heard anything bad about her. People love to kabitz about other people’s faults, esp in the goth community. so I think I would have heard something. Yes, I don’t know her personally; but you know. maybe you should get to know someone a tiny bit personally before you go spewing hate for someone. And I say this as someone who has all hate for humanity (i have done tech support and server support for years, I’m full of antipathy) that can be possible through experience. So sorry, not much play in my book; plus more than that, I’ve seen her get exponentially better as an artist. Sorry this bursts your bubble, but mad props to amanda.

          • rr

            You couldn’t have been too close to her, because you’re not describing someone I knew for years. And you sound like you do idolatrize her.

            But the real question is: How is what I said “hate”? How does ‘Amanda Palmer is hard to work with’ translate into “hate” speech? We have laws in this country that stipulate groups who need special protection against hate speech. A person who is egotistical and difficult is not in one of those special groups. I can describe a person that way, and it’s just a description that you don’t like; it’s not “hate” (even if Amanda Palmer says so).

            Do you think you’re doing your idol’s career any good by attacking anyone who describes her as imperfectly? People are fed up with Amanda Palmer and her antics. Yet fans like you make her think she lives in a bubble of idolatry. Until the record profits come in, and until she can’t fill up her gigs.

        • http://www.myspace.com/belindashort belindashort

          What is it like not understanding the music industry at all?

          • SweetRPea

            Honestly, I have to say…reading this thread there are clearly a lot of intelligent people here with different backgrounds and different areas of knowledge they bring to the discussion. Given this, I have no idea why so many people posting choose to take such deeply personalized, mean, sarcastic and attacking approach to their comments and their replies to the comments of others. I really don’t spend enough time in AFP’s forum to know if this kind of culture is status quo, but I find it to be incredibly mean, incredibly offensive and incredibly off-putting. It sincerely makes me never want to go to another AFP show again. Why would I want to pay money to hang out with a bunch of jerks? I wouldn’t. I guess it’s cds, downloads and YouTube for me….

        • http://matthewebel.com/ Matthew Ebel

          I had lunch with her, ran live video for a Dresden Dolls show, and had her on my music panel at an ill-fated tiny conference in Boston a couple years back. I wouldn’t call her hard to work with at all. Do I agree with every career move, piece of advice, or opinion she’s had since she appeared on my radar? Of course not, but if a label claimed she was “hard to work with”, from my experience I’d translate that to “didn’t want to play ball our way.”

      • amelie

        My favorite stupid naked moment (SNM):

        Amanda takes her clothes off *on the red carpet* at the Golden Globes beside her famous husband.

        But, yeah, it worked. She was photographed. And so many SNMs mean she now can get this open letter published in the tabloid press.

        • amelie

          Course people think she’s a stupid attention-whore. But what does she expect? (Clearly, she expects something different, but only an egotist would.)

        • Sally

          Neil’s biggest photo op moment in Hollywood entertainment and he had to be standing next to her. What a pain in the butt.

      • Blaire R

        I’m interested to know what you think “professional conduct” looks like for a musician. These days, music is being pulled in so many different directions – there is no standard anymore. While classical musicians may be expected to be prim and proper at all times, that simply wouldn’t hold at a rock or pop concert – people are there to have fun.
        Singers mention sex and dance provocatively all the time; they are occasionally rude and thoughtless and they don’t always think about the future – heck, if the pop industry is anything to judge by, Miley’s behavior is completely “professional.” (Unfortunately.)
        Also, Amanda wasn’t “dumped” by Road Runner. She clawed her way out because she was sick of being ripped off by a label who didn’t care about her, and, unlike Miley, her goals were not the big-ticket moneymaking paths Road Runner wanted for her.

    • Kristy Bartholomew

      Love this answer..I want to hug it :O)

    • Lilliburlero

      I’ve nothing to add to the Miley/Sinead/Amanda thing, but can I just say seeing a Nasreddin story on this thread just made my day? :-)

    • NornaD

      I feel the same way and am trying to wrap my brain around this one. Where does the line get drawn though (or even does it get drawn) between art/self expression and objectification? Why was it when I saw Amanda’s “Dear Daily Mail” video, I felt like, “Go Amanda!” but then I am thoroughly disgusted by “Wrecking Ball?” Maybe it’s because one seems to have a purpose and the other is just objectification to me. I think my own personal litmus test is what if we swapped a guy in there instead of a woman. Would it be ridiculous or not? I think if we had a man licking sledgehammers and riding a ball naked we would all be doubled over laughing because we don’t tend to see images of men prone, and over-sexualized in those ways. It borders ridiculous, which is the position that Miley has put herself in.

      Additionally, Miley is also in the position of being a role model to young girls and it is impacting them in terms of their body image as well as sending a message that your body is wrong if it doesn’t look like mine and it’s totally fine for everyone to focus on you for your body and sex and not what is really on the inside. I mean whether she likes it or not, that is the impact it is having.

  • BaldBombshell

    Once Miley’s response to Sinead became “Lookit this bitch, she crazy”, I lost any desire to give a shit whether she lives or dies.

    • Mr Rodgers

      Miley’s attempt at emulating street-culture has been a complete success. Nobody cares about gutter punks, or their culture anymore. I’m over it. Save you energy for worthy causes.

    • Polypsyches

      I think, though, that this conversation has transcended Ms. Cyrus. It no longer matters what she does with it, she was just the catalyst. As an individual, she lashed out against Sinéad, but it was a public letter. Which means that it wasn’t directed at Miley, the individual.

  • Fiona Jane Gallen

    Ugh Amanda Fucking Palmer everything in this letter was SPOT ON.
    My love and respect for Sinead O’Connor is astronomical, but I had the same thoughts when reading her letter. It was respectful as it could have been, but patronizing in every way.
    Cyrus’ twitter rebuttal completely sapped me of all sympathy, but this letter is important. And more people should read it.
    THIS is the message people need to think about when they look at Miley Cyrus, or any young pop idol paving her own way. You are the voice we all need to hear. :)

    p.s. you are soo wonderful. thank you for everything. Just like, existing, and making music and EVERYTHING.

  • Zelda Pinwheel

    Excellent letter (I also grew up around the same time as you, worshipping at the altar of Sinead). I think, however, there are two things to take into consideration.

    Again, like you, I went through the artist thing in high school, and my parents trying to make sense of it. And, like your mom, mine was doing it out of concern for me. I think that a lot of the reaction to Miley’s latest whatever comes from a place like that, but just may not be being articulated correctly.

    Lord knows, I look at what she’s up to and I just think, “Oh honey. Probably not a good idea.” This doesn’t mean I don’t think she has the right to do what and as she pleases–not at all. It *does* however, mean that I (from my lofty perch of 41 years old) might see different or longer-term effects resulting from her actions, that maybe she (at 20) doesn’t yet. And I’m concerned for her.

    Just like our moms were for us.

    And there’s that favourite mom adage: “Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.” It’s not up to me to decide what Miley should or shouldn’t do, just as it’s not up to anybody else what I should or shouldn’t do. But we should always be prepared for the repercussions of our actions–positive and negative. She’s building her artist armour now, just as you (and I) did starting back in high school. And just like you and I took heart in our successful alienation of the clubs to which we didn’t (and didn’t want to) belong, it seems that Miley is taking heart from the fact that she has managed to freak out North America. Her path isn’t the way I would have chosen, but then mine probably wouldn’t suit her, either. And holy crap–if I had had to live out my teens and twenties in the public eye, goodness knows what I would have done or where I would be now. It was hard enough just being anonymous me.

    You’re right that as people and artists, everyone should be able to express themselves as they wish (as long as nobody gets hurt and everybody’s a consenting adult–those have always been my two rules). But I think that it’s also right that there are some people who might be expressing concern about Miley–because they care, because they’ve been down that road (or a similar one) before, because they might be able to see a different or bigger picture–and maybe it’s simply sounding judgemental, when it’s actually coming from a place much like our mothers’ was. Not everybody mind you–obviously, a good chunk of people are just enjoying tearing her down. But as an artist, that’s pretty much par for the course.

    I think that ultimately, that’s what Sinead is saying in her letter; the main thrust of it seems to say that Miley’s talent may be being eclipsed by her current chosen armour, and that’s what concerns her. And that, I think, is a fair assessment and concern–especially coming from somebody who’s been through so many different ringers, as Sinead has.

    We should definitely give young women help with their armour–and to me, that means not only allowing them the freedom to choose what shape that armour will take, but also giving advice and warning them of possible dangers in the road ahead. And I truly believe that’s at the heart of Sinead’s letter.

    • SatinWorshipper

      But can we (I’m 38, so standing about the same height as you) see the conséquences that this will have for her in this world (different ideas of self-image, of private/public image, etc.), or can we see the conséquences it would have had for us? There is an actual generation gap in perception, I think. In this day and age, keeping a private life for a public figure means raising frigging high walls. In Sherlock, the dominatrix called being naked “her battle armor”, and that may be right. The more she exposes herself, the less she exposes her self, somehow.

      • Zelda Pinwheel

        Great assessment (and kudos for a Sherlock reference!); I think that you may be right, in terms of the generation gap and different expectations. However, I don’t think that necessarily negates us (as the older set–cripes, that is scary to write) from offering advice and wisdom.

        Things have certainly changed since you and I were out, about and (in my case) partying my ass off and throwing convention to the wind. And there were people trying to give *me* advice at the time, most of which I roundly ignored. That doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate their concern or effort; certainly, in retrospect, I probably should have followed more of it than I did.

        I think that regardless of how times change, or may change, there are certain life experiences we will all go through–they may just look a little different than the ones before or after. And that’s essentially what I’m speaking to here–those of us that have been down the road already have a different perspective on it than those still driving down the parts we’ve already covered. The same potholes may not be there anymore, but potholes are potholes; if we can offer advice on how best to avoid (or drive right over) them, and do it from a place of nuturing, I don’t see that as wrong.

        • SatinWorshipper

          Nothing wrong indeed. And bonus points for writing a sentence about “covering parts” on this thread.

          You’re right about the intent, and it’s all that matters. It’s not “our” intent that bothers me. And Sinead O’Connor has the right angle: no shaming, no blaming, just warnings. It’s a pity so many people felt the need or the right to attack a young woman for trying something taboo (from a popular artist? Perish the thought…). It’s what makes me lean towards the idea that it’s art: it’s too provocative to please and bring commercial success… it’s just right to make people talk, though. this page (and probably hundreds like it, minus AFP’s letter) are the proof of that.

          • GFX

            Sometimes there is a point where you just wish they would wear pants. And it isn’t because of misogyny or even about censorship. It is about integrity and respecting our own intelligence as human beings. Because people don’t enjoy this kind of BS doesn’t make her a victim in any way.

          • ☞ Lunik Audion ❥

            Ok, stop everyone, the answer to this whole issue has been found. It’s all down to pants, or really up to pants. Pull up those pants and save womankind – vote for pants everyone. You heard it here first ;)

          • Janice Perkytits

            If you believe that Miley is doing this because it is an “inward reflection” of who she really is as a person, I have some swampland in Florida I would like to sell you very cheap. Please stop insulting everyone intelligence like this and giving people the benefit of doubt when you know that it is completely unwarranted and undeserving. I think some people like like hear themselves talk sometimes. Pfft!

          • amerika

            No, the issue is sugar and mad cow disease.

            imo

            (Solely looking at Miley’s work of art at the vma’s etc)

          • amerika

            But what is art about a super generic and derivative sounding song with a look that mums sported decades ago ?

          • hippieville

            Yes, the sledgehammer was a hidden reference to Peter Gabriel. Derivative, indeed. Everyone enjoys alittle music with their porn from time to time. Miley is a good example of that! haha.

          • SatinWorshipper

            I dunno. But why are we still talking about it if it isn’t? ;)

            And Hulk Hogan’s clip is proof there is something there, too.

  • MariahCarey

    I love you a great deal Ms Palmer, but I’m not sure you’re right on this….how do you separate the point from which Miley was a blank artistic slate and the point from where she got the idea to make herself into a slut for hits? Yes she might be in control in the literal sense, but I think it’s disingenuous strike up a big band about that being her as independent woman.

    She’s part of a machine. She has been since she was very young. Her choices now are coloured by that. Rebellion is a lovely treat…it’s the lovely treat we afforded after an adolescence of ‘incubation’ as you put it. Miley hasn’t had access to any of that. I don’t think Lindsay’s acting out was just her ‘expressing herself’ and I don’t think Amanda Bynes was either.

    I respect your push for expression with minimal restraint….but it’s pretty clear that Ms Cyrus thinks she’s pulling strings that she actually isn’t. The label are laughing their way to the millions and her image is being completely tarnished. I’m sad that you’ve tried to justify it.

    It’s exploitation, plain and simple. Even if it is one step removed.

    • SatinWorshipper

      But it’s her image. Hers. What if she, as a person, feels her previous image was a shame and a disgrace, and something to recoil from? What if she’s finally going to what she wants/ought to be?
      And what if we’re only judging on one video. If the next one shows her in a turtleneck, will she then be “saved”? Or just playing us for fools?

      • MariahCarey

        Didn’t you see the VMA performance? This isn’t her image. She’s a corporate puppet.

        • SatinWorshipper

          I did. I also saw “Kids” by Robbie Williams and Kylie Minogue 13 years ago, at the very same VMA. Robbie, not much older than Miley now, miming sodomy (and saying it, too), Kylie being in a dress that can’t stay up… Nobody accused them of not being who they wanted to be.

          • GFX

            Look, if you think the VMA is anything other than about corporate whores you must be watching the wrong channel.

          • amerika

            Because Kylie was never super slutty. And she was definately called corporate.

  • jemima101

    Glad you challenged the slut shaming, its a pity the attack on sex workers was left alone. The laugnuage used was whorephobis and showed a clear contempt for us.

    • Rah

      The majority of sex workers worldwide are in the industry against their will. With that in mind, the language was perfect. Prostitution may be very positive for some, but for most it is not.

      • Sally

        Turning every public disgraceful display for attention into a stage for leftist dialogue is kinda desperate and stretching a very plain issue about a performers obvious bad taste and piss poor management.

  • Maaike

    I see your point of view, but looking at pop culture and the representations of females in the last decade or so, it seems that in order to make an image for themselves, women in music HAVE TO shed their clothes. I am thinking Rihanna, Britney, Christina… They all reconstructed their image through taking off clothes, not putting them on. I’m not saying there is anything wrong with that per se, but, to me, it seems as if shedding clothes and prancing around naked is the only way for women to mature and find their own way.

    The fact that you assume that Miley is in control of her own career also seems a long stretch. For someone of pre-teen Hannah Montana fame, I doubt she has much artistic control over what she does. In that sense I agree with Sinead: if there is no one around Miley telling her that she is selling herself cheap, then she should get the hell out. What Sinead seems to ask, is for Miley to focus on her music rather than her image: that if the music is good enough the image does and should not matter.

    I agree with you that the image of women is distorted and conservative. And that it’s other women who are the toughest judges to face. There should be space for any woman who feels good in her own skin to show herself in whatever way she deems fit.

    • SatinWorshipper

      Yes, but… look at the men.

      Oh boy, not a single guy who can button his shirt. Half of them can’t even hoist their trousers up. Is it women? Or do we only notice the women, becase the poor little things have to be protected, being naturally victims?

      Guys have to show just as much skin. You don’t imagine Sinatra whitout a shirt. But since you’re talking pop, I don’t remember seeing Celine Dion in a G-string bodysuit?

      Did Britney crash and burn because she played at slutty schoolgirl? Or would she have anyway? Did Madonna get royall shafted out of a career because she mock-masturbated on stage? Did Kylie suffer from showing off all she could and taping her dress in place?

      I think somewhere along the line, there was escalation in the de-clothing. And then you reach a plateau, because there’s only so much you can take off… or there was, until Cyrus came along. Is that exploitation? Art criticism? Social critique?

      Not many pop artists seem to have much control on their career anyway. Just to have been able to shoot a video that can hardly air on tv, she must have some control. That actually reminds me of Korn’s “Y’all want a single I say fuck this” track for their best of.

      • Cpt_Justice

        No, guys do not have to show *just* as much skin – & they don’t run the same dangers as women do if/when they do it.

    • seanroxursox

      It’s interesting that you should bring up Christina and Britney who were both sexualised early in their career, but the difference between the way they were sexualised and their success is interesting. Their debut singles were both fairly sexual in content, but while Britney’s “…Baby, One More Time” was essentially about ~needing~ a man, Christina’s “Genie in a Bottle” was about getting her own satisfaction.

      Even 3 years later with Britney’s 3rd album and Christina’s second, the lead singles were incredibly sexually charged. But Britney’s was about being a slave for a man, and Christina’s was about getting dirty and having fun for herself.

      Is it a coincidence that the woman whose music places her in the submissive role sells considerably more than the woman who has undeniably more talent sexualises herself for her own pleasure and then uses her music to tackle feminist, social issues?

      • HatfieldRed

        I read that Miley signed up with Britney’s previous manager and having no idea about what a manager in the music industry even does, I wonder how much of a role this has played in her transformation. If you look at the Backyard Sessions from 2012 which are absolutely stunning to the VMA’s incident, it’s a total 180.

        • Haha

          Is this the same manager that suggested all those bad things that happened to britney too? je-sus H

      • Keslan Jennings

        Feminism is an issue because it’s thriving. It is by all means a mental disorder.

        • Polypsyches

          Please tell me that you either mean that with misguided irony or some weird twisted political metaphor involving all change coming from psychosis or something weird like that, because frankly your misogyny is making me nauseous.

        • amerika

          You mean, females having opinions ?

          Golly gosh. How dare they.

          • Haha

            No, just get naked. Lick this crap we bought from Home Depot, and get your skinny little butt up on this swinging plaster of paris wrecking ball and look like a mental patient. Good girl!

  • jade

    The way I see it, Miley is exploring who she is, and she might make a few mistakes or so to get there. I love how real this post was, without a shred of hate in it. I’m inspired by Amanda’s honesty. She was understanding of Miley’s search to see where she fits into the world instead of calling her degrading names and trying to shame her like many other people (who secretly feel intimated by Miley) have been doing.

    I get what Sinead was trying to say, but she came at it the wrong way, talking down to Miley instead of trying to make her see things from her point of view.

    In essence, don’t be condescending to someone who never tried to hurt you. If you think they’re going down the wrong path, try to get them to understand your point in a non-judgemental way.

  • Danielm80

    Maybe Miley took off her clothes because The Man told her to, or maybe she did it on her own. Either way, the video is sensationalistic, and it turns her into a thing to be looked at rather than an artist to be admired. I don’t think that Miley was naked because she had a message to communicate, or because the music inspired her to strip off her clothes. I think she was naked because people like looking at naked girls. Like most of us, she’s noticed that showing skin can bring you a certain kind of success. Miley grew up in a sexist culture, like most of the people reading this, and she didn’t need a studio executive to teach her that sex sells.

    There are plenty of good reasons for an artist to take off her clothes in public (as Sinead has done once or twice) and to be open and vocal about her sexuality (as Sinead has done over and over again). I live in New York, and I love being able to walk through the city and see religious people in ultraconservative outfits right next to people in the most outlandish, most revealing outfits on the planet. We all have a right to express ourselves through our clothes, or lack of clothes, and sometimes that leads to great art. “Wrecking Ball” is not great art. It’s objectification, and we have too much of that already. Miley isn’t being criticized because she made a personal choice. She’s being criticized because she made a bad choice. Sinead is right to say that the emperor has no clothes.

    • Kathy English

      In my opinion, Miley is also being criticized because she wasn’t terribly entertaining, just sort of pornographic. She didn’t look attractive, or alluring, just wooden and trying too hard.

      • amerika

        Yes. To me it just looked like a gangly teenager not aware of her sexuality, rubbing against a dumb, middleaged man. It was somewhat creepy, rather than entertaining.

    • Leodrak

      Man, when you talk about art, is talk about a “message to communicate”, wtf is art then?

      • Executive

        The Robin Thicke video came with a warning, and I think pornography is pornography. Trying to sell it as something else is silliness. Miley jumped the shark weeks ago.

    • Guest

      What are the good reasons for artists to take off their clothes in public?

      • shell

        Reason? well here’s one, and done with aplomb.
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eGPDWEjjN3Q

        • Rylin Mariel

          I loved this performance! She was so right on – the Daily Mail is insufferably self-righteous, and she nailed them.

      • Danielm80

        Google “Amanda Palmer Daily Mail.”

    • person

      There are no good choices or bad choices, just choices. Miley made one, yes perhaps the video is objectifying, but she chose to objectify herself. I think saying she shouldn’t do what she does is pretty disempowering.

      • Haha

        I think there are just bad choices if you are named either AFP or Miley Cyrus. That examples everything we have seen from both of them so far.

        • kp22

          Bad by whose standards? What is objectively bad about their choices? Not defending or condemning, just asking.

  • Shiari

    An immensely interesting and important discussion. I’m not crazy about twerking (i’m 55, so my twerking would be a rather disturbing thing to so, more so than anything Miley might do!) and I do think that Miley’s explorations will inevitably provoke people, and she will have to be prepared to deal with the judgements other people make about her as a result. She does seem prepared to handle that.

    I also think there are people who really do make it their life’s mission to look around for stuff to complain about and people they can judge. Miley does have a genuine talent. Hopefully all the other stuff surrounding her right now won’t overshadow that aspect of her career.

  • http://benchpressabear.tumblr.com Joan

    What bothers me about Miley is that I don’t get the sense that her current “artistic uniform” is authentic, but a mere manipulation on her part of media/audience response. As she puts it herself: “You could watch that performance from the VMAs and think that it’s a hot mess, but it’s a strategic hot mess.”. I do agree she’s aware of the road she’s taken and that she’s entitled to, but her approach is part of what makes it feel disingenuous.

    • Sam Wallace

      It seems that Amanda Palmer does not view audience manipulation as a bad thing. It gives her power. In other words, it is not “mere”. Of course, one can decide for themselves whether they would personally prefer using their sexual powers (in a way that does not harm others) versus powers that are more artistic. If I were Miley I would want to impress people through my music, not through my body. But there is nothing wrong with feeling sexy and attracting people’s attention with it, so my opinion about her strategy doesn’t matter.

      • http://benchpressabear.tumblr.com Joan

        Well see, when I used the term “mere”, it was in specific reference to Miley. I don’t really think that what Amanda is equivalent to what Miley is doing. I meant “mere” in the sense that I don’t think there’s any genuine artistic depth beyond the act of media/audience manipulation itself. I think Miley’s end game is more frivolous. In simpler words: that she wants to get people’s attention for the sake of grabbing people’s attention. She has said as much on numerous interviews. Which, fair enough, it’s something a lot of other females artists/performers do. The difference is that I also find her act disingenuous, almost like she’s playing a character-like, inflated version of herself without owning to the fact. She’s selling it as if it is her authentic self, and I don’t buy it.

        I don’t think I implied that there’s anything wrong with feeling sexy and attracting people’s attention. I also didn’t implied that my impression of what Miley’s deal is matters beyond myself. However, it does ultimately dictates whether I want to part of Miley’s so-called movement.

        Either way, I think the conversation, started by Sinéad and then followed by Amanda, on sexual empowerment vs. sexual exploitation (whether it is self-inflicted, inflicted by patriarchal society or the entertainment industry) is not only interesting by fair. Like someone posted before, neither of them is wrong. Miley is just the symptom of something bigger than herself. Both messages need to be out there, as a testament to fact that there’s more than way for a women to be.

        • person

          Authenticity is bullshit, no famous person ever appears in the media just “being themselves.” You have to know how to act, it’s just like being at work, you prioritize doing your job well over saying what you actually think sometimes in order to have the most success. Do you think big bands play arena shows just because it’s fun? While it’s probably more fun than any other job, they’re definitely there to get paid. Almost all recorded music that anyone has heard of was recorded to make money, Miley is definitely in it for that reason, and is just trying to sell as much as possible.

          • http://benchpressabear.tumblr.com Joan

            Hello, person. “Authenticity is bullshit, no famous person ever appears in the media just “being themselves.” I disagree, when I say “being themselves” I don’t mean “as she is in her private life”. I’m ALSO talking about her artistic persona.

            “Do you think big bands play arena shows just because it’s fun?” Yes and no. They should think it’s fun. I’m also well aware that they are performers. Hence, performing. That’s not where my distinction stems from. With Miley, I feel her artistic persona is a double act, an act of an act. It’s just my personal impression. It’s ok if it’s not yours. I do agree that Miley is in it to make money as is just trying to sell as much as possible.

  • Paul232

    You’re talking about her clothing…what about the endless simulated sex?

  • lentower

    The perfect balance between playing the game and being too sexy is …

    . . in the eye of the beholder.

    Seven billion plus “perfect balances”
    (In checking that I hit my first #USgovShutdownProblem (#FirstWorldProblem) ; – / )

    As it should be, if we want everyone free.

  • http://c.apricio.us Nikki

    Ordinarily, I’d agree to some extent with this. Though, I feel there are moments where nudity is warranted for an artist (as you’ve more than shown us); the time feels right, the moment is perfect, and the people around you are largely not there to view you as purely an object of sexual desire (or maybe that’s part of a combined feeling, but it’s not the overall feeling). There’s an authenticity to it that we, the consumers of your art, understand and are privileged to know. As far as I can tell, there is nothing authentic to Miley’s choices.

    And it’s similar for most of the world of pop. Even those who have chosen their road or made their decision to appear as if they’re strategically crazy feel manufactured, and it detracts from whatever messages they want to perpetuate (if any). There is a time and place for all artistic endeavours, and there are moments (even brief ones) where artists should drop the act. Not everyone needs to “be on stage” every moment they go out; it’s acceptable to be a human being when you’re not performing, and that’s something that bothers me about a lot of the entertainment industry.

    Then, the pop industry and all of its “sex sells” is never really just “sex sells,” and we should never label it as such; it should be called for exactly what it is because the dominant “sex sells” strategy is that of the female form. Why else should we be the ones held to exceptionally and unrealistically achievable standards and shown on magazines in near nakedness, while men in the industry (though still a problematic area) are given grounds by which to be somewhat physically different and clothed? It’s an aspect of vulnerability to be naked (as you’ve stated), and these industries are misusing it. That further makes the choices of some female popstars feel as if they’re being less authentic and more strategic.

    Then, pile on this insanity with her inappropriate response to Sinead. Sinead offers a heartfelt response to her, and Miley’s reaction is… to screencap the wrong Twitter and call her crazy (by comparing her to Amanda Bynes, who is another of our child-stars-gone-downhill)? To make fun of a potential mental illness, even though it’s not real? Yeah, she’s definitely “learned” from the best. What a despicable human being.

  • lentower

    Great blog.

  • Katherine

    I don’t think anyone is right or wrong in the Miley Cyrus situation. We can only speculate on her motivations and on what is driving her. We can only hope that she does the things she is doing for the right reasons. But the fact of the matter is that we have seen so many young female artists self-destruct over the last 15 years that there is a natural inclination to want to reach out and protect her and I’m not going to vilify anyone for wanting to do that. At the same time, she has grown up in the business and comes from show business family so I can’t believe she is naive either. Yes women should be allowed to be sexy without being shamed, but they shouldn’t HAVE to do that to gain attention for their talent either. I think that’s what is making Miley an easy target. She may be a very talented young woman, but the fact that she is using sex so blatantly (and rather poorly) to sell her brand makes it hard to take her seriously.

    • amerika

      I don’t think she thinks very far, to be honest. Seeking attention for the sake of seeking attention, and nothing else, is very popular at the moment. And I don’t mean it in a speculative manner but a factual one. If you read around on the net, for example, there are many who don’t even understand the concept of entertainment and art having a deeper sense to it, or there being that possibility, it’s like the extension of “likes” on facebook and “followers” on twitter, I don’t think there is much more to it, other than fulfilling narcissistic needs and a bit of exhibitionism. With shit music.

  • Tricksy7

    I love Sinead too, I think She spoke from the heart and I think she made a lot of valid points, although I didn’t like the way some of it was said. Personally I don’t like MC and don’t much care what she does or want to pay her any attention unless it’s for something positive. I respect you and your opinion but I do find this post a little simplistic and idealistic. I also didn’t like the line “We females all do this” – ironic in a post about people choosing their own individual paths – you don’t speak for me, I’m sure you know no-one can ever speak for all women.

  • Marlys

    AMANDA, THANK YOU. I FUCKIN LOVE YOU

  • Sulpicia

    https://www.facebook.com/sineadoconnor?hc_location=stream
    Sinead posts a second open letter. In which she is justifiably angry…but she also threatens Miley and predicts she will end up with a mental illness. Oh dear. : (

    • Zelda Pinwheel

      As awesome as Sinead is, she’s only human. Lord knows I would have reacted the same in her place, or possibly with even worse grace.

      Yeah, rebellion is cool and all that, and Miley has a right to express herself how she likes, but she should also be called on the carpet for being an insensitive douchenozzle (with those tweets). I don’t care how old she is; I knew better than to do this sort of thing when I was far younger than 20, regardless of whether or not I agreed with the advice being given to me.

      • Sulpicia

        Absolutely! It just disappoints me to think that the one line is going to hurt Sinead’s credibility a bit—that with all the care she’s taken towards addressing mental illness she would suggest it can be predicted without knowing anything much about a person beyond their public behavior. But it was very likely the anger talking. You raise a good point that plenty of people leave out of these Miley discussions…that having the right to rebel doesn’t mean that she shouldn’t be held accountable for the way she treats others. It’s just common decency, and she needs to get some.

        • Zelda Pinwheel

          Exactly! But then again, that’s about upbringing and character, and has nothing to do with “expressing yourself.” I have been expressing myself as a goth since I was 15 (41 now), and I always made a point to be polite when it was called for. One, because that’s how I was raised, bless my parents. And two, it’s far more rebellious to buck the muggles’ preconceived notions about certain things–like goths are scary Satan-worshipping freaks.

          You can still be yourself and not be an asshole.

          • amerika

            I don’t think she’s very deep. Meaning she probably doesn’t think about what effects such a behaviour towards people with a mental illness could have.

            So, not an asshole, but possibly just dumb (such people do exist).

    • amerika

      Well, who knows. Although Miley seems to be a bit of the type who swims on the surface and not very affected. I do think it is a possibility for many young females in such a business, history has shown this, so it’s not really a matter of “Oh dear”. But in this climate, I think many young females enjoy being exploited, there’s a kind of “coolness” factor they see attached to it, the more sordid, the edgier, what longterm effects does such a psychology have ?

  • http://allthecheri.tumblr.com/ Cheri Elkins

    The bottom line is that Sinead doesn’t ACTUALLY know what’s going on in Miley’s life and neither does Amanda. I enjoyed reading both Sinead and Amanda’s letters (well written letters by two strong, intelligent women), but I’m more interested in hearing what Miley has to say about herself, instead of what everyone else has to say about her. Nobody cares what Miley thinks about it all, and that’s sad.

    • charcat

      Well honestly she’s had a lot of interviews. Sometimes she suggests that she knows what she’s doing. Other times she expresses that she’s “la dee dah” about it. I think she knows, but she doesn’t quite *know* – in that way that comes with getting older and being more self-reflective. This RollingStone article gives you a look into it: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/miley-cyrus-on-why-she-loves-weed-went-wild-at-the-vmas-and-much-more-20130927

    • Petra

      Thank you Cheri. I have been thinking about Miley off and on, mostly because I am scared for her – she’s a part of the fame-machine, who knows what will happen??? But when I looked into all of this today, the first thing I thought was there could have been a great opportunity for Sinead to meet Miley – she had a opportunity to reach out to another performer, in the world that they’re in together and share her concerns face to face, to find out about who this person Miley is – what she believes in, what her dreams are, her fears.
      And then they could have had a coffee together and found out how great it could be to support each other, to make role models and new friends in an industry that needs as many as it can get.

      • amerika

        Do you think Miley cares about that ? I don’t get the impression from her work, her behaviour, her interviews, tweets …. ?

    • amerika

      She doesn’t seem to care either.

  • SatinWorshipper

    And now she’s angered an Irish girl. That’s not bright, that…

    • Make7UpSatanYours

      Miley just told sinead to fcuk herself in response to her original msg. I’m kinda over this whole debate now.

  • FunnyDuchess

    I don’t think Miley is the one that needs to get warned or scorned, i think media and scumbags on the internet are. Yes, she has made herself look like a victim, but it’s not all her fault. It’s not just about ‘music for music’, it’s about how huge misogynists are the people in media and label companies and how they manage to exploit women in every possible way they can.

    I like the general sentiment on showbiz matter in O’Connor’s letter, but did she have to play the angry mother card, and did she have to be so pedantic with her language?

    I love her music, and i respect her big time. But didn’t Sinéad O’Connor have her own ways to take attention in the first years of her career? Also Shirley Manson who supported her with this letter, do you remember how Manson insulted some pop singers like J.LO and Aguilera even though she didn’t even know them personally, and how she admitted she was wrong with doing so right after she’d met them?

    I think women in this industry need to support each others -no matter what their genre or style is- instead of being pedantic or sarcastic to the ones who are rather new in this business. Don’t you think it would make a lot more sense if Sinéad O’Connor told people to leave Miley alone and stop harrassing her for what she wore and did?

    This whole thing is such a slippery slope, and i think even though things go a lot different in alternative music environments than they go in pop culture, many of the iconic musicians have made some mistakes for sake of getting more attention and pleasing their labels. And i think that is what needs to get criticised. The way they make you do things you wouldn’t like to…

    Otherwise it’s no different than telling your daughters to wear longer skirts and unrevealing tops, instead of telling your sons not to rape girls. Because it really has nothing to do with whatever you wear or look like.

    Also wouldn’t it be much better to send such a letter via private e-mail? Did she have to make it publicly? (and via Perez Hilton, of course)

    On the other hand, seriously guys, like AFP asked in her Dear Daily Mail song, have you ever seen the tabloids making a big deal of any male musician going topless or showing off their genitals? Miley could have been just singing her song and they could have made coverages regarding how her underwear was visible under the spot lights. For god’s sake, if Juliette Lewis, -as a woman who has such a wonderful career- put on some weight, we’ll see how they’ll go crazy about her extra weights instead of the new movie she took a part.

    I also think that Miley is not a victim of her innocent heart, she in fact knows very well how to play her cards and make everybody mad at and about her without doing much effort. Just because some stupid people make fun of her doesn’t mean she is totally unaware of what she has done. Lady Gaga played those cards, Rihanna did, Katy Perry did… It’s a perfect role to play for those who want to make a fortune easily and those who are comfortable with their appearances.

    • purkastocks

      I agree that it’s really important to not shame Miley Cyrus for using her sexuality etc etc, but the fact that she uses twerking and black culture and black backup dancers as a tool/prop for her rebellious breaking-away-from-disney phase is … kind of racist? Especially when she says that she wants her music to “sound black,” as if black culture was a monolith that can be boiled down to twerking and gangsters. If she wants to objectify herself, that is her choice and I would defend her endlessly for her right to do what she wants with her body — but objectifying and reducing another culture as a white girl — that’s not okay. There are people who have pointed this out, but then there are a lot of people who seem completely unaware of the fact that she is being, well, racist and harmful in her treatment of black culture.

      • FunnyDuchess

        I’m sorry i had no idea about what she said and did about Black Culture. I really live in a rather isolated part of the world, all i do is to follow some blogs about my favourite musicians, and i am so sick to see how people going on and on in Youtube like “Still better than Miley… This is the real artist, not that Miley girl… We are a lucky generation for having blah blah instead of Miley…”. I think all we need to do is to give Miley and Bieber some space and i guess they’ll grow up and become a lot wiser in many things, maybe they’ll feel sick about their past careers or maybe they’ll take it to somewhere more professional and mature. But if we keep making them feel caged they’ll keep making such mistakes and unfortunate statements like Britney Spears used to do. All i know is i don’t want to see another devastated singer on TVs and tabloids, it’s really sad. I dislike everything Miley Cyrus did so far, i disliked whatever Britney Spears did, but i wouldn’t like them ending up like Amy Winehouse (i know, quite different genres, but the stories are almost the same).

  • Mark James Slater

    Truth is beauty, and beauty is truth and… beauty is in the eye of the beholder; I thank you, Ms Palmer – I have not seen “Wrecking Ball” and I do not know that I will, but I am now glad that it is out there.

  • AdverseKen

    Sinead is the being the Mam trying to give benefit of her experience like mams do to the teen daughter Miley, who like teens are apt to do tries to test her boundaries and do what she believes is right , AFP is like the the big sister who is trying to help both sides as big sisters do.

    with this whole issue i don’t see celebs and media. i see a family drama . no one is right no one is wrong. ~ this is what life is we learn from our experiences both positive /negative

  • FunnyDuchess

    All this arguement between O’Connor and Miley sadly reminds me of this song by Alanis Morissette: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O0-EdLiBTtU

    Such tragedy, indeed…

    • Francisco Pacheco Junior

      I love this song, always wondered who she was talking about… Madonna, maybe ?

      • FunnyDuchess

        That’s highly possible, but i like to think about it for general. It even reminds me of harem women who fight to get their king’s acceptance and love (They even poisoned each others’ foods, and sometimes scuffled like cats).

        And i don’t believe in sincerity of O’Connor’s letter too, she might have sent it via private email and that would be the exact thing a mother would do. But instead she decided to send it via the biggest bully of the recent times, Perez Hilton. And she also posted it on her official website.

        (And now maybe some people will ask why would i think of Perez as a bully, well he constantly made fun of lots of female musicians, like Rihanna, Lily Allen and such. And not everybody is strong or secure enough to say ‘to hell whatever he wrote about me’. Hence i really hate the way he writes things with some misogynistic point of view.)

        The whole thing seems like they are fighting for the sake of attention and popularity, to me. And there really is no point on trying to pick who is right or who is wrong because they all have had their shares of making mistakes, and it’s not fair to scorn someone just because you are an idol.

  • Marlén

    The problem is not that Miley appears to be utilizing ONLY her sexuality to cause a stir in order to change our perception of her, its also that she put on a poor excuse for a show while doing it that night at the VMAs. That VMA performance seemed like a drunk karaoke night put on by any college girl, no a woman who as you say , has been around the music industry enough to know what its about. It had no musical cohesiveness at all. She was so unprofessional that I cringe if you are to support the future of her music career based on that performance. The music comes first.So female musicians, be as sexy and in charge of your body as you want, but you better have a good fucking band/performance to back it up with. Otherwise I’d rather watch a lip-synching stripper onstage.

  • Jean

    The fact that we are all STILL talking about her image rather than her music (which honestly, I have not enjoyed in the past but I’m fairly in love with the mixing and detailed layering in “wrecking ball”) should make us ask whether Miley is “meant” to be approached as a performance artist or musical artist. Not that the two are easily devisable in their execution but they do have very different end goals. A musician is about the music, about the emotion and the feeling (which might incorporate lyrics but doesn’t have to) while a performance artist is about the message (which may incorporate words but doesn’t have to). Subtle difference but if we approach Miley as a performance artist we have to ask what her message is. And if we approach her as a performance artist we have to ask “what are performance artist not allowed to do”. I think Sinnead’s biggest problem is she is addressing Miley as a musician. Because that’s what she is. And if Miley were a musical artist Sinnead’s message about distracting/prostituting her music by playing on nudity would be valid. If you are about the music, you want people to pay attention to the music. But if Miley is a performance artist then its more about the message. A better question Sinnead could have addressed would have been what is Miley’s message and was she successful in starting dialogue around it. I’d say if (an its a big if, I’ll grant you that) — if the issue was the place of women an their bodies in rock, then I’d say this thread is proof of the success of her performance, and her success as an artist.

    • amerika

      But do you really think any of that is part of her thoughtprocess ?

      • AFPfansForever

        What thoughtprocess? The part where she is emulating street-culture and pretending to be a whore? Well, I don’t know how much thought process that requires but if there is a school for it please sign me up. I need to meet some friendly ladies myself.

  • vetipie

    Ok awesomely stated Amanda… respectful and right on. Theres much discussion my facebook page about this and I think your response if my favorite. I too Love Sineads Music, it opens my heart

  • Roxy Smashy Blackheart

    Thank you Amanda,for another measured approach-and verbalising how I have been feeling about this…. ALSO The Lion and the Cobra is an AMAZING album. Troy STILL destroys me. xxxx

  • purkastocks

    While I totally agree that it’s important to not shame Miley Cyrus for using
    her sexuality, but the fact that she uses twerking and black
    culture and black backup dancers as a tool/prop for her rebellious
    breaking-away-from-disney phase is … kind of racist? –especially when
    Miley says that she wants her music to “sound black,” implying that black culture
    was a monolith that can be simply boiled down to twerking and gangsters. If she
    wants to objectify herself, that is her choice and I would defend her
    endlessly for her right to do what she wants with her body — but
    objectifying and reducing another culture as a white woman — that is not
    okay. There are people who have pointed this out, but then there are a
    lot of people who seem completely unaware of the fact that she is being,
    well, racist and harmful in her treatment of black culture. I think that both points need to be addressed.

  • Chrissy

    I think the problem is that we will never really know whether Miley’s transformation is genuine or if it is a product of corporate puppetry. In the world of pop music and recording on a record label there is a lot of pressure to keep a certain image. Miley could still claim that this was all her idea when in the end she was coerced into shedding her clothes in order to sell more records. And maybe it was all her idea. Instead of assuming Miley is a victim or is completely in control of her own image, it’s important to acknowledge that we will never know what is really going on behind closed doors when it comes to Miley, as with many celebrities. With that in mind, I do think it’s interesting to see both sides of this argument and I think both have very valid points, but there is a big grey area in this situation that makes it impossible for either argument to be 100% correct.

  • Lea

    “This is a push for more freedom, and in order to make it there, we have to jump massive hurdles and set assumptions. ”

    What freedom are we talking about when we all know what the word Show-business means? The VMA awards are not a hippie underground festival… and what the medias are making afterwards from the whole thing is not freedom either. By the way, I can’t believe there is so much talking about this thing. North American society is so fucking ego-centered that it is not even believable. I will never count on someone like Miley Cyrus to enlighten the young women about feminism, sexual freedom, etc. The freedom of the female sexuality, desire and sex-appeal are absolutely not just physical. It does not take just a naked body to express one’s sexuality. And I don’t see why the mainstream media should be so influent on our perception of ourselves and our bodies? It is already like this but that is blatantly wrong! Is Miley Cyrus’ performance creative, artistic, imaginative in any way? In all honesty, it is not at all. It is cheap hot- dog without any relish, or mustard or even fucking ketchup! Why are we not talking about reform of the education system, of putting more space for art history education, feminist studies, etc. so young people would educate themselves. Than, they will understand that what Miley Cyrus is doing is not in any way empowering, and it is not doing anything for the female cause… just maintaining the status quo. We always approach a problem on the surface, outside- in. It is not the way it works. The image of Miley Cyrus is just another product of consumption.

  • Hunchie

    I read the letter Sinead wrote (sorry for the lack of accent mark) I too, am a fan. Love her music, voice, all of it. When the whole junk (lack of a better word, with a wave of a hand) of the tearing of the picture of the pope. I cried. I didn’t cry out in anger, nor woah that’s disrespectful, I cried because it showed boldness. I was too young to know of the abuse that was so covered up. In my small mind it was a statement of her own. Feminism. Not following the organized way of thinking. I had my own thoughts at the time based on an organized religion that I was being raised under and had many arguments of my own. So, therefore, I took the meaning for my own. I didn’t know hers. I thought it was brilliant. I was more angered by the reactions. Also thinking dixie chicks, cher, madonna, lady gaga, joan jett, amanda palmer etc…list can be long in how the public responds to all the hoopla. When all in all it is opinion. I could give a shit if Miley twerks on stage, or if she is naked on a wrecking ball – granted I’ve never seen the full video – and of course the media panned out just the basic sexual innuendos of why and look at this….and react, react, react. That is my problem with with bandwagons.

    I think there was a message in Sineads letter. Be your own, not what others tell you to be. At least that is what I got out of it. and be cautious. There were other sentences etc…and knew that if I were twenty listening to my 44 year old self – two middle fingers would be my reaction. But the 44 year old self read a different message. Experience. This was Sineads experience. Protect yourself.

    Then her fellow sister Amanda wrote an equally awesome powerful note. Which made me smile – and what I read was calm down people. And Sinead. Don’t let a 20 year old get your goat. So gawd damn well written as per usual. There is more, but you know why you wrote it.

    There is advice in both letters that even I can take from reading. Not just Miley Cyrus.

    And Amanda Palmer – Hannah Montana boobs made me giggle and laugh and say EXACTLY. with an finger exclamation point. I feel too, the art critics will have something negative to say that you have a comment at all in this between Sinead and Miley thang. And that makes me shake my head too.

    because to me? why wouldn’t you have something to say?

    Experience.

    It didn’t surprise me that “what is art?” should be a reaction of
    mine. Because – what is art? who is anyone to say what it is? It just
    is. There are always going to be art critics. Pardon the movie clip insert of “Mona Lisa Smiles” – when what is art? comes to question. Always struck a chord with me. (maybe an Am or Bm)

    What do I know of the music industry? – jack shit.

    Everyone can be misunderstood.

    No one is better than anyone else.

    Everyone has a choice.

    Who likes to live under a microscope? Not even an amoeba I suspect.

    Your brain amazes me Amanda Palmer. A lot of brains amaze me. I am so grateful to be able to participate in reading your thoughts. your words. your lyrics. your music. your band. your bandmates. I appreciate your shine. xo

  • SeaboardLitProf

    O’Connor is not refusing to give Cyrus her “space” to be an artist. She is giving an informed perspective at the structural level. How in the world does that translate into “ordering her to get back into the house and put some clothes on.”

    This is exactly the kind of solidarity you seem to be calling for. One woman who has experience in the industry gives her generous, non-judgmental advice to a younger woman.

    Sinead O’ Connor is saying: “Miley, pull back and think about the bigger picture of invested interests and your own life as a actual human. It might look different to you, as it does to me.” O’Connor is the first person to address Cyrus as someone with a future self who might feel differently about her decisions at 20 yrs old to maximize the media machine, the profit machine, and the system in which Cyrus is a “product” and nothing else. She isn’t shaming her, she’s addressing her as a person who will outlive her life as a product. Cyrus can listen and decide she still prefers this path. But O’Conner has already demonstrated that she is addressing Cyrus as a person with a life, not a product with a shelf-life.

    I haven’t seen anyone else do that.

    • Mr D

      Hear hear! This letter from Palmer is just narcissistic projection, embarrassing.

      • x

        Yep. Just a few career highlights of Amanda Palmer’s are:

        -taking her clothes off at the Golden Globes on the red carpet next to her famous husband
        -appearing naked in a bathtub in a Flaming Lips video after Erykah Badu had turned down the gig
        -disrobing while signing a ditty about tabloid journalism’s use of nudity to sell eyeballs

        Amanda’s biggest accomplishment seems to me is getting media to focus on her late-thirties nude self.

        • luci_fer

          I suspect her lack of a nudity taboo is what informs some of what she’s written. It’s worth mentioning that she was taking her clothes off at the Golden Globes because she was changing outfits, and disrobing while singing a ditty about gossipy tabloid viciousness to make a point.

          So she’s aware that getting naked doesn’t have to mean cynically selling yourself as a product, or attention seeking, or to get male approval. It can also be used for art, politics, or simply as an act of natural unselfconsciousness.

          The reasons case by case, in Amanda’s, Miley’s, whoevers, are always going to be up for debate. It wouldn’t be right to assume that ALL cases of someone being naked and dancing is a cynical act though.

          • HateClownyBS

            The Flaming Lips are kinda overrated too btw.

    • Richard Bergstrom

      Agreed. Sinead is a lot of things but she’s always had her own independence. She shaved her head because she wanted people focusing on her music, not her looks. She ripped up the picture of the Pope because she had something to say, regardless of how politically correct it looked (and it did hurt her music career).

      Amanda’s response, though well written, is naive. Miley has been handled her whole life which suggests that, even if she was calling her own decisions, that she doesn’t have the skillset or experience to manage herself well.

      In addition, Amanda’s response is trying to capitalize on Sinead’s passionate, experienced response and hijack the issue for her own. Why is Amanda’s response addressed to Sinead when Amanda’s message should be directly towards Miley?

      • Joshua Hostetter

        Miley grew up in the spotlight. I can’t think of a better way to grow up and get the skill set to deal with life in the limelight.

        • northz

          How can Cyrus think she is in control if she never was in first place? I can guarantee that Hannah Montana was NOT her in control.

          Life charges some punches in our heads to teach us how things work… Sinead had her share and, since she was brought into conversation, she has spoken about what damages may (again MAY) come from this in the future. If Miley was “skilled to deal with life”, she wouldn’t reply as she did. And she wouldn’t try to grow up by twerking and licking sledgehammers which is way more auto-promotion and attention-seeker than relying on her music itself.

          • Joshua Hostetter

            Or she could be working the system to gain notoriety in much the same way Madonna did and a small selection of pop stars do. Also, she’s 20 years old and probably sick of people telling her what to do all the time. She snapped a response that was overly harsh to someone who was shaming her. How does any of this show she’s not skilled enough to live her life?

          • BR

            Sinead O’Conner sounded concerned for Miley Cyrus and angry at the people she believes could be taking advantage of her. There was no shaming in that. Miley’s response was insensitive, but that could have been salvaged still by an apology or a “lets agree to disagree” stance. I just read the latest responses from both sides. Cyrus sounds like an insensitive person. I realize she’s immature and kind of a kid, but using that argument is exactly the reason O’Conner believes she is being manipulated by the music industry. Get it?
            P.S.. Please don’t compare Madonna to Miley. Madonna at least had ideas about sexuality and a concept for her work. The latter is just humping a wrecking ball naked, for example, because the song is called wrecking ball and sex sells. No art in that whatsoever.

          • Joshua Hostetter

            We’ll just have to disagree on the tone. To me the open letter was very condescending. Miley’s immaturity and dickishness in no way make her ill suited to understand and navigate her way through being famous.

            Just a couple more points. Until this she was Hannah Montana, despite everything else she had done. She may see this a necessary to help break out of her established role. Playing the bad girl for a little while will certainly help change opinions of her. It’s also my opinion that just because you’re in the spotlight, you don’t have an obligation to be a good person.

            Second, the nudity in the video is probably a way for the minds behind it to check off both the sexy and vulnerable boxes. The song is about feeling vulnerable, and I think the video went with that fairly well, if a bit tacky at points. It’s nothing that hasn’t been done by others.

            Last, how was Madonna important -except- that she was the first to gain notoriety for being sexual? I’m fairly certain that shock value was a large portion of her career. If Madonna were out now and someone else had done that in the past we’d all be talking about Sinead’s response to Madonna right now.

          • Richard Bergstrom

            You could play the bad girl like Lindsey Lohan or you can graduate like Anne Hathaway. Which one’s more successful?

          • Joshua Hostetter

            That depends on your measure of success. Lohan is far more famous and followed. You literally can’t avoid knowing who she is if you have to go in public in the US.

          • Richard Bergstrom

            I’d measure success as the potential to be rich without being dead by the age of 50.

          • Sian

            And this worked so well for Brittany when she was trying to lose her Mickey Mouse club role. She sure was in control of her career at 20.

          • BR

            I can agree to disagree on the tone of O’Connor’s letter.

            As for your Hannah Montana point, that’s fine, too. I never said she isn’t allowed to be sexual. I just don’t see the point in the video. She’s basically humping a wrecking ball and licking other tools. (Did you not see her licking the tools?!) This is male fantasy. Nothing to do with vulnerability. There are some touching moments (close ups of her face are gorgeous), but it’s completely tarnished by the pornier (lol) parts. Yes, I understand that nudity does change people’s point of view. The problem is the distinction between her audience and the audience of her predecessors. Cyrus is trying to shed a Mickey Mouse image with her Mickey Mouse audience, but she still looks like a child herself. It’s a dangerous line. One that neither Prince or Madonna ever had to deal with. Granted, I like Cyrus’ spunk, usually. I think it’s great to rebel, but we’re bordering on kiddie porn in the choices she makes (Do you remember the VMAs with teddy bears on stage and the little hairbuns?) I defended her for that because no parent should allow their kids to watch anything on MTV anyway. That being said, Miley Cyrus or her team (who the fuck knows) are making these choices. That’s vulgarity, not vulnerability. A spectacle, not art.

            Madonna wasn’t an innovator necessarily. She did, however, force men and women to think about sexuality and female empowerment during a lull for women in POP music and during the Aids epidemic. Timing is everything. She was very vocal about taking control and she does have a message to offer… about sexuality, feminism, religion, politics, freedom of speech, gay rights, etc… Look, Madonna was a popstar, so it’s not like I’m saying she played her guitar barefooted and sang beautiful stories. I’m just saying there was a level of care for the work, the stage, and an attention to detail at the very least. Just listen to many of her old interviews and for heaven sake watch her concerts. Fabulous!

            What exactly is Miley Cyrus’ message? I mean, we know she reacts very easily on her twitter account. We know she likes to be naked. We know she insists on showing us her tongue. We know she hates her past. So? Who cares? And from a young girl’s perspective (not me), the message is warped. WE CARE.

            I’m sure Sinead O’Connor’s letter could have been better. I don’t even agree completely with it, but I get where she’s coming from. I also get Amande Palmer’s need to chime in. We, the four of us, are women.

          • TLLens

            I agree with all of your points, except I don’t think Sinead’s letter could have been written better or from a more knowledgeable perspective. The industry absolutely is making it seem as if Miley is making her own choices, being her own person. While it does appear she is having fun and putting in a lot of her own personality, one would be foolish to believe this 100% her idea.
            Interviews from just a few months ago capture a different Miley, a different person. People change, grow – especially in our 20’s, but to witness such a radical transformation in such a short amount of time would stop and give anyone pause for concern ‘in real life’.
            Miley is an actress. Let’s not forget this. This new character is problematic because, like you said, there is no meaningful point. There is no art. This is shock for shock’s sake. I feel that Sinead was saying that when she’s done playing this character, by her own embarrassment, the public’s boredom, or the industry’s source of the next trend, where will Miley -the PERSON- be?
            There is nothing empowering about anything I’ve seen her do recently. The Miley/Rhianna’s of the music world only make it harder for female artists to be taken seriously for their music. That trickles down to regular folks in the boardroom or behind the checkout counter. Women are seen as sex objects, period. That’s the world we live in, and pretending to ‘flip the switch’ by being hyper sexual does nothing but drive home the point that women are simply sex objects.
            I just read a really sad article about Britney toning down her latest video, and feeling pressure to be overly sexual. Her manager and Father quickly released a statement undermining her statements. Amanda, you are brilliant, and I know you understand the inner workings of the industry. You are well aware of the manipulation and deeply complex mind control issues artists at a certain level face. I know you know this, and I suspect you’ve made your career choices as you have to avoid much of that darkness. Don’t encourage it or pretend it away for any reason, personal or professional.
            I’m an artist as well, and I value my freedom. I also value my self-worth, and the blessing of expressing myself publicly. I value all our lives though, and I understand the affect of messages one tiny person can send. Being an artist is being an artist, cultivating fame & celebrity is another thing. The ladder is dangerous – for the individual and the receiver.
            Sinead had it right.
            Wearing a turtle neck, minimal makeup (and a refreshing zit or mole, if I’m remembering correctly) made a statement. The statement was “I’m singing an incredible song that has real emotion for me, I have an incredible voice, and I want you to hear it.” We got the message and THAT was empowering.

          • Joshua Hostetter

            I’m sad that I can only upvote your comment once. I wish more people responded so reasonably and well thought out instead of throwing out knee jerk reactions.
            I do agree that what Miley is doing is extremely tacky and offensive for the sake of being offensive. She is walking a very thin line between establishing an identity and complete notoriety. I personally think that she’ll improve from here on out and be slightly more restrained simply because she’s succeeded now in setting a new image. (I could be wrong, but I hope I’m not)

            I just picked Madonna because she was one of the first women in mainstream pop music to really draw that kind of anger over sexuality. She did have a lot of good points to make, I have to agree with that. She also played the shock game purely to get people’s attention. I’d love to see Miley follow Madonna (or even someone like Lady Gaga) and develop a passion for something that she can help positively affect.
            Somehow I doubt that will happen, but she has every right to be as trashy and sex crazed as she wants to.

          • SweetRPea

            Madonna was not the first woman to ever gain attention/fame/notoriety for publicly expressing herself as a sexual being. There have been women using sex appeal for it’s entertainment quality probably as long as there have been women walking the earth and I really don’t think there is anything wrong with it. For Sinead to imply that there is indicates a failure to accept that part of humanity. Sexuality is okay. As women, we shouldn’t need to hide ourselves under a cloak all the time. And, if women want to use the power of seduction/sex appeal to draw attention to themselves as artists or to express themselves in their art, it’s more or less a free society. Far be it from anyone to tell them not to do it. Whether it’s Madonna, Amanda Palmer, Miley Cyrus or anyone else….

          • Princess

            There it is again, the assumption that Sinead is frowning on the expression of sexuality. She was advising Cyrus against being exploited by the music industry, even if Cyrus is the one exploiting herself. If anything else is read into that, it’s everyone else’s subjective ideals. There was no telling off or explicit saying to hide your body under a cloak, maybe the wording could have been better but it was done out of care, and was a public commentary that was being sort of her already. Cyrus is an entertainer not an artist by any stretch of the imagination. There’s absolutely no comparison between her and Madonna. It was advice to Cyrus to accept she has influence on people and to maybe consider the consequences of how she’s portraying herself.

          • SweetRPea

            Sinead writes:

            “I am extremely concerned for you that those around you have led you to
            believe, or encouraged you in your own belief, that it is in any way
            ‘cool’ to be naked and licking sledgehammers in your videos. It is in
            fact the case that you will obscure your talent by allowing yourself to
            be pimped, whether its the music business or yourself doing the pimping.”

            “Yes, I’m suggesting you don’t care for yourself. That has to change.
            You ought be protected as a precious young lady by anyone in your employ
            and anyone around you, including you. This is a dangerous world. We
            don’t encourage our daughters to walk around naked in it because it
            makes them prey for animals and less than animals, a distressing
            majority of whom work in the music industry and it’s associated media.You are worth more than your body or your sexual appeal.”

          • amerika

            Madonna made numerous Classics, was a trained dancer, knew how to work a stage in a classical context etc. To compare the two in the way you do shows you don’t have the cultural knowledge or observational skills to see the differences, apparent differences.

          • Gypsy Lavery

            Technically…Madonna was NOT the first…burlesque has been around for a long time, and was ingrained in the music industry long ago.
            Just ask Marlena Dietrich….Mae West….Cyd Cherise…..
            Musicals always had a touch of sexualisation.

          • POoperhaedsAFPfans

            Yeah, Madonna was alright, but she is no Miley Cyrus. I’m sorry guys. ;)

      • Justin

        “She shaved her head because she wanted people focusing on her music, not her looks.”

        Shaving her head GUARANTEED that she was going to be noticed for her looks instead of her music. If her reason for doing it was to get people to focus on her music, then I think her judgment was pretty lacking. (I have no problem with her shaving her head, I think it’s awesome – but there was no chance it was going to get people to talk less about her looks.)

        • Richard Bergstrom

          You might’ve been right except she shaved her head when she started, well before she was popular.

      • luci_fer

        My interpretation was because she respects Sinead, and has done for a long time, but doesn’t agree with her position. Unsure why Sinead’s open letter to Miley is passionate and experienced, but Amanda’s open letter to Sinead is hijacking. What’s good for the goose is presumably good for the gander.

        • Richard Bergstrom

          In one aspect, I considered Sinead’s message was more about the music industry in general and how it abuses and twists artists in general, not as a feminist article. Granted, Sinead was talking about empowerment and deception and it can be interpreted as female empowerment and female deception, but Amanda’s was blatantly feminist. Perhaps the contrast is that people like Justin Bieber should be criticized for the same kinds of crotch-grabbing dance steps that Miley does, but I personally felt Sinead’s response had to do with the perils of the entertainment industry more than feminism. Amanda’s message focused more on feminism and promoting feminism than the perils of the entertainment industry. Which is all fine and good, but it does hijack the message that I thought Sinead was trying to convey.

          Second, Amanda suggests that she has similar music industry experience to Sinead O’Conner and that somehow means that her opinion of how the music industry operates is as valid as Sinead’s. I don’t know how big her band is, but Sinead has toured internationally for decades and had record deals for big bucks. Sinead’s got more experience on what the big players in the industry do to artists.

          Third, there’s nothing wrong with having _both_ messages. Amanda could’ve had this blog as an open letter to Miley and said “I don’t know whether the industry is twisting you as Sinead thinks or you are doing it yourself, but take charge of your life and don’t let people use you.” Instead, she responds directly to Sinead as if Sinead said something wrong.

          Fourth, Amanda starts out the article promoting her band which again, is trying to steer attention to herself. Now, this is after my initial post but still relevant, but when she updated the blog post, she posted a youtube clip again promoting her band instead of posting Miley’s offensive response to Sinead.

          There are probably a few more that I can think of, but that’s my general jist.

        • bridgetvoid

          because miley namechecked sinead, who was then repeatedly asked to comment on the situation, did no, and then amanda (who was name checked by no one) came barging in with her opinion

          • luci_fer

            So you need a name check to express an opinion?
            Interesting.

          • bridgetvoid

            No, but this was obviously way more about sinead & miley than it ever was about amanda. But clearly a good way to get free press

          • bridgetvoid

            Just to be clear, sinead wrote her letter in response to miley calling her an inspiration, so her letter kind of makes more sense in this whole debacle. That’s why I think people view her letter differently since afaik no one was talking to or about afp, she just managed to make it about her.

      • SweetRPea

        Amanda’s response is directed to Sinead because Sinead is the one who wrote the letter. It was not a letter that was sent to Miley in private, but a public letter that was posted on her website. Although the message she was sending was directed specifically to Miley, it could apply to most any young, female artist in her position. Amanda wanted to respond to that because she wanted to ask Sinead to rethink some of her assumptions and her positions on the issues she was addressing. I don’t think it is stealing the spotlight to try to contribute to a larger discussion involving women’s issues in music because Amanda IS a woman in music.

    • Joshua Hostetter

      Sinead flat out told Miley in her letter that what she’s doing is bad. She does address her as a person who’ll continue to live after her 15 minutes are done, but she also likens her to a whore. Everything she wrote in that letter was telling Miley how wrong that type of performance was because she’s only being pimped out for her body, regardless of whether or not Miley helped engineer it all. The letter is entirely shaming her.

    • SweetRPea

      I TOTALLY DISAGREE with this post. Sinead lives as a catholic priest now. Even when she was at the height of her musical career, she chose never to use her body, sex or desire as a selling point in her performance. Those are her values. That was her choice. Sinead was/is being incredibly presumptuous to assume, as her letter does, that it is somehow NOT Miley’s choice to be performing as she is now. She refers to Miley’s performances as akin to prostitution, which I would find incredibly insulting, and basically tells her that she should not be shaking her ass just to make money for the music executives that are telling her what to do and running her life. Well, maybe Miley WANTS to portray herself this way. Maybe she enjoys it. Maybe it is part of how she wants to express herself as an artist. Many popular female artists enjoy celebrating this aspect of their femininity as part of their art and it shouldn’t be considered “cheap” and “whoring” just because they do. If Sinead really has an interest in less people interfering in Miley’s life and telling her what to do, maybe she should include herself in that picture. If I were Miley and I received a public letter like that from anyone, my first impulse would be to say, “Hey, back off, Jack. Let me be me and I’ll let you be you and we’ll all get along and live in a rich world full of diversity in artistic expression.” I think that is what Amanda is aiming for…women being able to celebrate their differences in expression rather than slander each other via acts of public shaming.

      • Natasha

        She “lives as a Catholic priest” now?? Where are you coming up with this? If you’re meaning her public penchant for anal sex, than I guess so. Google it.

        • SweetRPea

          “In the late 1990s, Bishop Michael Cox of the Irish Orthodox Catholic and Apostolic Church (an Independent Catholic group not in communion with the Roman Catholic Church) ordained O’Connor as a priest. The Roman Catholic Church considers ordination of women to be either invalid, impossible, or both and asserts that a person attempting the sacrament of ordination upon a woman incurs excommunication.[24] The bishop had contacted her to offer ordination following her appearance on the RTÉ’s Late Late Show, during which she told the presenter, Gay Byrne,
          that had she not been a singer, she would have wished to have been a
          Catholic priest. After her ordination, she indicated that she wished to
          be called Mother Bernadette Mary.”

      • Aimée

        while I’m surprised that Sinead has been ordained, I don’t really see what her religious beliefs have got to do with it.

        • SweetRPea

          If you live a monastic-type life and hold those values, that is what informs your judgement. That is your lifestyle choice. It isn’t everyone else’s. To project those values onto another person’s art and publicly shame them for not sharing your values or reflecting your values sufficiently in their work is not really productive or what artists should be doing to each other, especially female artists. Female artists should support each other, including their differences, even if you don’t particularly share each others aesthetic or values. Artists should celebrate freedom of expression that allows for diversity in art, including nudity, sexuality, etc….I believe this is what Amanda was urging Sinead to consider in her reply.

      • Alice

        Are you serious?
        There are no female priests in Catholicism…
        Look it up, it is a very contentious issue in the church.

        • SweetRPea

          If you check Sinead’s Wiki entry, you will see the back story.
          I am not going to take the time to get into it here.

          My point has already been made.

    • Alyssa D

      I disagree… Throughout Sinead’s letter, she keeps saying that Miley is being exploited by men in the music industry that are making her do sexualized things she wouldn’t normally do. Amanda is saying that Miley is doing this by her own choice. If Miley is in fact choosing to do this and Sinead is saying that Miley wouldn’t do it unless some awful person were forcing her to, it makes it sound like it would a stupid and bad thing for Miley to choose to do. I don’t know whether it’s Miley doing this on her own or the people in charge forcing her to, but to me it looks as though at least the majority of it was Miley’s choice and she seems like she is enjoying it.

      The line about ordering her back into the house and putting on clothes was a really strong choice of words but I understand what she meant. It’s like Sinead is assuming that Miley doesn’t really want this when in reality Miley does want it, and by assuming that it makes Miley’s actions look dumb.

      I guess which letter is more “right” depends on whether Miley is choosing to do more sexual performances or the music industry is forcing her. But I truly doubt that this is being completely forced on her like Sinead seems to think it is. If it is something that Miley is choosing to do and she likes it, then we shouldn’t condemn her for it.

    • Shlomo Kostenko

      Not to mention neglecting that Miley responded by mocking the mentally ill, including Sinead’s own struggles with mental illness.

      • kp22

        I definitely agree with you that Miley’s response to the situation was not the most sympathetic or probably the best choice, but it doesn’t change the message she responded to. And as Alyssa D right above mentioned, that message felt pretty condescending and seemed to assume that Miley has no control over her career, or doesn’t know what she is doing. Again, not justifying Miley’s comments, but you can’t just deflect the discourse by saying that the response makes the original message irrelevant.

        • Shlomo Kostenko

          I see where you’re coming from. My point, which I probably could have taken more time to elaborate on, is that it seems that Amanda is giving Miley an enormous benefit of the doubt that Miley herself seems almost equally uninterested in actually warranting. Either way, that’s just about enough of my own white male commentary, and more thought than I care to give the whole thing, really.

          • SweetRPea

            Honestly, Sinead has a very different background than Miley. She has had different life experiences, speaks from a different perspective and is an adult. Miley Cyrus is barely past being a teenager. She has more or less been in a highly corporate side of the entertainment industry all her life. I don’t know what kind of educational experiences or other life experiences she may have been exposed to outside of this arena. Consequently, while it’s no apology for her poor behavior, how can you really expect much more from her, you know?

            Often people use petty jabs and below-the-belt blows when they lack the skills, reasoning capacity and social values to be able to respond reasonably and articulately in a respectful and responsible way. While Miley’s response was incredibly mean, incredibly ignorant, incredibly arrogant and incredibly uncalled for, it’s also kind of tragic. It might be demonstrating that these are the only tools she has acquired to date to handle what she perceives as being criticism. If there were an artist I was enamored with, as Miley seemed to be with Sinead, I certainly wouldn’t want to do anything to piss them off. The whole situation is really just sad.

          • Kathy G

            My viewpoint is that Miley Cyrus already sold out day one working for Disney. And I’m sure it felt like lying in a bed made of money. She had an excuse, she was a kid but what is her excuse now? What she is doing now gives no one any illusions. People know what trash is when they see it. Perhaps I would have thought differently if she had not responded like a spoiled ignorant brat to Sinead who was just trying to be a bit of a mentor. Whatever Miley is selling now, I’m not buying and while she goes on about her music, why oh why does she need to distract people from it with porno? She’s gross, the dance is pure skank. You want to call this “artistic” like “exotic” or “interpretive” whatever. She will have her 15 and be a 60 second spot on “what ever happened to… child stars from Disney and join Amanda
            Bynes in rehab.

          • SweetRPea

            My response to this would be:

            1. She is a product of her upbringing.
            2. She likely continues because it is profitable, she finds it fun/rewarding and she can.

            People can choose to support her efforts by purchasing her music/watching her performances or not. Corporate media can attempt to shape the taste of popular culture all it wants. But, at the end of the day, people still have to CHOOSE to buy it, and it is their choice.

    • BR

      I totally agree! I really read Sinead O’conner’s letter as if she were a concerned mother or older sister, who sees that “big picture.” No one really knows if Miley Cyrus has control of her career or not. None of us here knows Cyrus personally, but the letter felt like it was coming from a loving place. I don’t mind Amanda Palmer’s response to it. I don’t necessarily agree either, but it also seems to be coming from a loving place. And that’s the point! Both experienced artists are being constructive and that to me is feminism. Sex sells and I don’t mind as I am a huge Madonna and Prince fan among other sexually charged artists. The difference is that there is art in what they do (for most of their careers). Unfortunately, Cyrus’ performances and videos only offer spectacle and nothing more. That is what I find troublesome. You can’t explain the humping a wrecking ball naked to a young person. It’s only being done for attention. And then, that becomes the message. A message with no idea behind it.

    • Bishop Black

      “How in the world does that translate into “ordering her to get back into the house and put some clothes on.””

      Uh… “Your body is for you and your boyfriend.”

      That pretty much says “cover up, nobody but you and him should be seeing it”

  • perlhaqr

    Hi there, Amanda! It seems very likely that you don’t remember me (end of the second row when you decided your cold had had enough of being at the Jean Cocteau, purple mohawk and tan kilt) but I just wanted to say that it strikes me as really interesting that you wrote this piece, given that the impression I got from the show was that you really didn’t care for Miley all that much. (And, although I’m a pretty heavy rivethead [yay Neubauten!] I really like “Wrecking Ball”, the lyrics–and especially the first cut video–really sound like a woman who had her heart broken, and is now displaying that by being both emotionally and literally naked and vulnerable.) So it makes me happy to see you respond to Sinead’s letter (and, sadly, in a much more pleasant and tasteful way than Miley did, though I have anger management issues myself and understand striking back at perceived insults) in a way that really looks like you’re
    sticking up for her.

    But I wanted to specifically respond to this line: (And while we’re at it – while weighing close to nothing and looking perfectly manicured without a single eyelash or molecule of mascara out of place even when a tear rolls down your face?)

    You’ve done music videos. I make independent films. We’re both aware of “the magic of Hollywood”, (whether it’s actually bona fide Hollywood or not) and the absolute bullshit it implies. Yes, the mainstream music video was airbrushed. But watch the director’s cut. Was her mascara in place in the single frame they took for the MTV clip? Sure. But in the director’s cut, she’s weeping. And yeah, that’s snot running out of her nose as she sings (well, lip-synchs) her song. That’s real pain.

    I… I’m not even sure what point I’m trying to make here. Just, where I saw Miley as a Disney Bad Girl before, she looks like a real person to me, now.

    P.S.: I’ve been looking at ukuleles on Amazon.

    • perlhaqr

      Also, P.P.S.: I understand why you wrote that song about assholes on the internet. Jesus Christ you have a lot of asshole commenters here.

      • DerpyDerps

        And I have never seen so many dumb people in one place before.

      • amerika

        Very tame, I would say. You need to get out on the world wide web more ! *new phrase* *chuckles*

  • Maddy

    Thank you Amanda Fucking Aweseomeness

  • Lo

    I have agreements and disagreements on all sides, but fundamentally, I just love that this conversation is taking place.

  • mauriziojuvefc

    look at me look at me look at me look at me look at me look at me look at me look at me look at me look at me look at me look at me

    • no.

      Pretty much. ALL ABOARD THE ATTENTION TRAIN. Choo choooo!

      • mauriziojuvefc

        Yeah I liked her before her recent antics and rants. Some people need to just play their music instead of “taking the moral high ground”.

  • Amber Aurelio

    THE POINT OF THIS LETTER, people, is that regardless of nakedness or conservativeness, of objectification, of the fact that sex does sell, of exploitation, of misogyny, etc., the beliefs/decisions of other women do NOT depend on YOUR subjective ideologies and tastes, or on anything else except these women themselves. The decisions women make should be perceived by other people as decisions that stem from an inward reflection by themselves. THAT’S real female empowerment.

    • Janice Perkins

      If that is her inward reflection of herself, it is called self-destruction, not empowerment.

    • Think, it’s still free

      But seeing these idiots take over culture is a bit distressing.

  • Kalif

    Buy them used! Then the record label gets nothing and it all goes to the little music store that’s desperately trying to stay afloat.

  • roxanne

    omg too long didnt read good god

    • amerika

      Short attention span ?

      • roxanne

        No more than any other college-educated internet reader:

        1. The author’s argument reveals HER ignorance of the dynamics and history of patriarchy; and

        2. She needs an editor. TL; DR -after I read her enthusiastic and naive thesis.

  • Kitty Jones

    Oh Amanda how I love your perspective. On everything! So much courage and so much heart!

    I wish I could have one of your hugs.

  • Cazz Allen

    My mind has been blown. I’ve recently been developing my views on what feminism means to me and this (pretty much) is it. Women should be able to be who they need to be, carve out their place heck, so should men! As long as you are fucking someone else over, everything is ok.
    Amanda. You are wonderful. Keep being the incredible woman that you are!

    • no.

      “As long as you are fucking someone else over, everything is ok.” Yep, ripping artists off, racism, pornifying culture to new lows, and sexualizing childhood is A-OK. See APF? A MAN APPROVES.

      • Cazz Allen

        I’m a woman actually. Now would you like to reconsider your argument?

        I apologise I meant to say “aren’t” fucking someone else over. I’ve now corrected it. But still. Sexist much?

        • no.

          Sure, my argument is still YOU ARE A FUCKING IDIOT IF YOU THINK THE ABOVE IS FEMINISM. Read a book.

          • Cazz Allen

            As an English student I find the suggestion to read a book laughable. Feminism is about allowing women to be who they are without societal constructs controlling them, have the space for both equality and uniqueness without the assumption that we should be controlled, held back or that we are too weak in ourselves to carry out certain tasks. Words like ‘Feminism’ have been evolving since their birth and if you can’t handle another human being having a different slant on a social issue to you then I would argue that your view is extremely anti-feminist.

            Good day.

  • no.

    God this is tiresome, self-centred, crap. Sinead had every right to weigh in seeing as Miley RIPPED HER OFF in the most disrespectful, clueless way possible.

    • FeministsDivided

      If Miley was a man instead of a woman nobody would be having this conversation. People would just be like, “That guy did a really terrible job.” and that would be the end of it.

      • Animator606432

        Really, because that’s what most of my peers are saying. They aren’t calling her a slut, skank, or even a whore. They are saying she is untalented and has no business trying to create music.

  • CarlyCats

    Thank you so much. I read Sinnead’s letter today and I literally was thinking “O how I hope Amanda writes a letter back”. While I understood Sinnead’s good intention, I felt like her letter separated female sexuality from being a positive empowered female. I also disliked her saying about how a woman’s sexuality should just be shared with her nice boyfriend or whatever. Thank you so much for your open, bold, sex-positive letter. The world needs you. I need you. I love you, Amanda.
    xoxo,
    Carly
    @carlyillyria

  • Erin D Lindsey

    As usual, you said it way better than I could have. I still regard Sinead O’Connor highly for putting her career on the line for her beliefs in the 1990s, and I still enjoy her music. But I think feminism needs both Sinead O’Connor and Miley Cyrus, and I’ve been cheering Miley Cyrus on since the Twerkpocalypse. I am disappointed that Miley Cyrus chose to respond to Sinead O’Connor by ridiculing her struggles with mental illness, however. Oh well. This is a very awesome, well-thought-out piece, and I am glad you posted it.

    • no.

      Feminism needs Miley like prostituted children and black women need Miley.

      • Erin D Lindsey

        Explain to me how she is personally contributing to the victimization of either demographic.

        • no.

          DID YOU EVEN WATCH THE VMAs? Spanking a black woman’s zebra clad ass and humping teddy bears wasn’t enough? Are you blind?

          • Erin D Lindsey

            Yes, but this was all part of an act that was rehearsed for days beforehand, with dancers she has said are her personal friends. I understand there are parts of the act that some find raunchy or problematic, but people are acting like she rounded up random women off the street and sexually assaulted them. This was not what occurred.

          • amerika

            What has been re-created ?

          • Erin D Lindsey

            All of reality. The slate is wiped clean. It may appear just as it was, but we all feel deep within us that a change has occurred. We are now free to act as though we ourselves are the creators of our own realities, without waiting for a couple of pop stars to do it for us via an obscure Crowleyan rite!

            Or so my friends and I have been saying since the VMAs happened. It’s all just a joke…OR IS IT? ;)

  • valeri blossom

    lion and the cobra – oh how i wept to that in highschool and beyond.

    i agree on every single point here and love how you carefully honored the respect sinead has rightfully earned. all sides are valid when the issue is examined with compassionate lenses.

  • Guest

    Yes, women are good for more than just making babies. But I can’t help but think that there’s probably a more effective way to make that statement without resorting to using public nudity to say it.

  • Francisco Pacheco Junior

    I read the whole letter. And I agree with both Sinead and Amanda. Of course Sinead is right when trying to give Ms. Cyrus some advice. She’s older, she’s a mother. She’s gone thru some very serious stuff and is only acting protectively. Ms Cyrus may not have been 100% manipulated, but obviously, she’s influenced in her choices – for her past as a Disney star, for desperately trying to free herself from Hanna Montana; for being so young with all her sexual power overflowing; for the envirounment she lives in and the way her peers conduct their carreers.Specially in USA. The only point I disagree, and not with Sinead nor Amanda, is the total lack of respect Ms Cyrus shows on her response to Sinead’s letter. Mocking people is dangerous. It is sad. Sinead is an icon – as an artist, as a woman, as a human being. While the catholic church was sweeping the dirty under the rug, this woman had the courage NO ONE had – she confronted directly the real enemy. Even that costing her metheoric ascension and putting her in the ostracism for many years.Ms Cyrus must WORK A LOT, to maybe, one day, have the same value in music industry and humanity history, as Ms. O’Connor has.

  • Organ Donor

    The music industry can be a very nasty place to live in. U have control but you don’t.

  • Confused soul

    Dear Amanda,
    I love your message…. it is so true. As a “teen” girl..surprisingly …I’ve never expirenced typical teenage clothing issues. I’m kinda of nerdy and most of my wardrobe consists shirts with funny witty intellectual puns on them and loose non – skinny jeans from target. So my parents basically don’t need to worry. With that said I’m still very offended by the slut shaming in this country. It is ” a slut hunt”. Why can’t people be themselves..and dress or not dress how they want to. And not be persecuted for self expression and art. If we don’t have control of our bodies what do we have control of. For example in my high school’s dress code it says that women are not allowed to wear low cut tops or heaven forbid show a little bit of shoulder because “it could distract the male students” absurd!!!! What about guys distracting girls . People should dress the way they want to. I wear what I want to wear and I don’t dress like a “SLUT” not because I think people will think ill of me but because it is just simply not my style. If Nerds are allowed to dress like nerds, why is that “sluts” are not allowed to dress like themselves. Besides it does not matter what’s on the outside, it is what is in the inside that truly matters.
    The message of all this is not to be a slut but to be yourself and appreciate and love yourself. Just be yourself…. Just be yourself. And you will be okay. That is what I think feminism is ….it’s about women being allowed to be whoever they are or want to be.
    Love, a confused soul.
    Ps. October is “national Love your body” month.

  • The Gypsy

    Well fucking said, Ms. Palmer.

  • Pat

    Thank you, Amanda! With so many complex gender discussions happening simultaneously on this matter it’s extremely helpful to come across an analysis like yours. You focused on what’s important and diminished the dissent some are so eager to prolongue. Keep up the good work, you inspire many! <3

  • Sinead

    tl;dr

  • Ashley

    Hi Amanda, I enjoyed reading your thoughtful and intelligent answer to Sinead. Thanks for posting it.

  • James Polk

    Amanda, I love you.. but what you just wrote makes what you and Margaret Cho did to Katy Perry (the parody of ‘I Kissed A Girl’ seem kinda… hmm.. I’ve never said anything mean on any of these blogs.. but it is hard to listen to you defend Miley to Sinead when you were so harsh on Katy Perry and the way she chose to express almost everything you praised “women” for being able to do/express.
    You really can’t have it both ways when you’re calling Sinead out for her calling Miley our.. or I guess you can in Amanda Land.
    I am not a Katy Perry fan. But this let and let live attitude for women and their art was not afforded to Katy Perry. I am so glad you use discretion.

    • b.b.

      “Give me some of that yum, yum chocolate chip ….”

      -Salt-n-Pepper

      Now those were some females.

  • face

    Why would you encourage people to torrent her music. What is wrong with you

  • Michael D.

    I have no idea who you are Amanda (don’t worry; I’ll seek it out). I’m 64. I read your letter on another site. Sought out this site just so I can tell you I agree fully.

  • Dennis

    Freedom in art, as in other pursuits, comes with the responsibility of purpose. Sinead’s career is testament to this idea. Miley’s chaotic displays really serve no perceivable purpose, much less artistic content.

  • Jordan

    gotta point out that Miley linked herself to Sinhead via mass media, and so magazines ringing in Sinhead’s phone for commentary brings her opinion some relevance and required thought. This letter seems to elucidate that “art is art, let it go its own route” and that “all are not created equal” regarding the fact that Miley grew up in the spotlight, which she didn’t need to. I hope this letter isn’t hitting an audience unaware of these platitudes.

    I find Fiona Apple, or Tori Amos, Madonna, Imogen Heap, plenty of other women actually sexy, and they will fulfill the rockin-till-50-something (and beyond) fantasy that you’ve written about up there.

    Twerking is the reduction of alluring dance into one perishable gesture, and wearing clothes that look like nothing is rather boring (britney spears). It’s a matter of taste and Sinhead likely expects more, especially if she’s going to be linked to it while still alive. I personally think the stage presence lacks creativity, comes off as bratty; a caricature of a miscalculated attempt at sexiness. Feel free to disagree, but don’t dissolve any more time explaining platitudes that are as worn-out as the cliches Miley’s using currently.

    • Animator606432

      You should give Heather Nova a listen if you like those artist. She expresses sexuality poetically (kind of like Joni Mitchell) and is able in that group.

  • Danny Bigelow

    When you look at what Drew Barrymore did in the mid 90s (and take a look at the Rolling Stone cover from ’95!) how is what Miley doing any different? She’s working on a new phase in her career, except she is in a position of power and able to take risks. Sinead is coming from a whole other place where she sounds like she means well, but getting into a feud with someone who’s old enough to be her daughter is kind of embarrassing.

    What is there to say about the VMAs? People haven’t talked about that award show in a long time. They needed the publicity, but can they air the award show uncensored on one of their other channels? I think it’s good for artists to attempt visually memorable performances, but not when the censors are killing the songs. It’s the only night they actually show music on that channel, and they can’t even get that right.

    • For one

      “When you look at what Drew Barrymore did in the mid 90s (and take a look
      at the Rolling Stone cover from ’95!) how is what Miley doing any
      different?”

      The context is totally different ?

  • Mr D

    What a load of rubbish. Miley is managed by the same team who manage/d Britney and Lindsay! She is part of a male machine. You can’t be so dumb not to know this, surely? And even if you were right in Miley’s level of control (which you are not), can you not see that the problem with women feeling empowered by having their “own hand on the joystick” is because they are still victims of the male gaze (and the selling of women as objects for it) by still not being able to offer something different, left only to imagine at least they have some vague semblance of “control” of being an object? They’re still an object of degradation, no matter how you look at it. I feel bad commenting only because this article doesn’t deserve to gain legs. Seriously flawed at every turn.

  • jdalts

    I have found myself in a strange and surprising position – I don’t completely agree with Amanda Palmer! It’s been shown that the prefrontal cortex does not fully develop until age 25. Couple this will Miley’s strange and crazy life growing up in the public spotlight and media circus, and I’m just not sure she’s in the best place to make decisions based on clear thinking or a strong sense of self. Like Amanda pointed out, she has not had the opportunity to incubate her artistic “self” privately, before becoming public property. I work with teenagers who have experienced complex trauma, including sexual assault. When I asked them what advice they’d give Miley, one 14 yo girl said, “Just be yourself and believe that’s good enough. You don’t need to act like that to get people to like you.” Pretty good advice I’d say! They also talked about how it says more about society than it does about Miley as an individual and about the messages it gives to boys their age about expected behaviour of girls (and expectation to “put out”). It’s a complex issue for sure but one that needs to be discussed and debated, but hopefully without attacks on individual women – Miley, Sinead, Amanda or anyone else.

  • Violet von Wyrd

    Something that pisses me off about this whole thing, and that no one has mentioned yet, is how negative descriptions of Miley’s behaviour are always associated with prostitutes, especially now with Sinead’s letter. As a sex worker I think it sucks that people always seem to think that a naked (or semi-naked) female body is automatically playing the part of the victim, and that if she’s in that state someone will no doubt take advantage of that. I think this is a dangerous polarization.

    I hate these prostitute comparisons because they show such an inaccurate view of what prostitution actually is. People seem to be under the impression that a sexually available woman has no self respect, or doesn’t care about herself, when in fact it’s the opposite. I HAVE to respect my body, and my mind, to be able to enforce my personal boundaries about who gets to touch what, where, and with what for how long in a booking. I know my body inside and out, I know what makes me feel uncomfortable, what I enjoy, how much of myself I want to share with clients, and what I want to keep for my personal sex life. I would never be able to do this job and enjoy as much as I do if I didn’t respect myself immensely, and I think the same is true of Miley. Acting slutty is not a crime, and if you can get paid for doing what makes you happy then why not?

    • Mr D

      Because the men are making more money than the women. Show me a prostitute that works for female management and you may have a point. Miley Cyrus is certainly not working for women – she is a money-maker in a male industry – selling being an object of the male gaze to men, for the financial empowerment of other men. She’s rich – but they’re richer, and one day she will spat out like all of them, while those men will still be making money. She’s not an artist, she’s a pricey bit of meat.

      Acting slutty is not a crime, but being used by men for their pleasure and profit is hardly an achievement.

      • Violet von Wyrd

        (Uh, hi. I work for female management, myself.) One thing I’ve learned is that exploitation is usually mutual. It’s true that right now Miley’s image is based on being young and sexy, and one day she won’t fit those standards anymore, and I get that this is what Sinead wanted to get across. I find this problematic because it still functions under the “only attractive people are worth listening to” pretext. Like if you don’t immediately establish yourself as outside of this “bullshit beauty standard” as Amanda put it, that you won’t be seen or valued as an artist. You could say that if Miley suddenly released an album of musically brilliant, heart-wrenching ballads that no one would take her seriously, and you might be right, but I think this is because of our habit of reducing celebrities to one dimensional creatures instead of acknowledging that they’re as varied and complicated as other people who aren’t in the public eye. It’s easier to think of Miley as the idiot with her tongue hanging out that it is to imagine her as someone with a silly sense of humour among other traits.

    • amerika

      “People seem to be under the impression that a sexually available woman
      has no self respect, or doesn’t care about herself, when in fact it’s
      the opposite.”

      How can you speak for all women ? There are plenty of sexually available women who have no self respect, aswell as those who do. With Miley I would question if she is even aware and to what extent.

  • Jason Whitehall

    soz Amanda Amanda Palmer I get ya point but smiley virus has no clue …your map of Tasmania is empowering women …what miley does is promoting young women to think sex is all they’re worth and its far too much …furthermore i didnt even think fergies my humps is a good role model as far as im concerned once ur a celebrity you have a moral and ethical obligation to be aware of impressionable minds …be it of ur own accord or by ur managers before you open your fucking mouth

    oh and p.s miley is on meth …takes an old ex addict to spot a new fresh one …she is not a good role model for women or for social awakening

  • tgrjo

    Actually, defining one’s self is far broader than defining just one’s sexuality. It’s only one aspect of our beingness – where’s the rest? To focus on – ooh, ahh, ‘I’m so sexy’ – wow, that’s all good and fine, but then what? All Miley did was an attempt to mimic what’s been done to death already – Madonna, Beyonce – pretty much most every single pop star – they pretty much rely on the same formula. Where’s the originality, the creativity, the authenticity? Unfortunately, Miley came off immature and unsophisticated wagging her tongue, bending over, the big finger – she said she wanted to “make history” – really? That’s how you make history? You do a really crappy performance that took very little thought? It was flippant, half-hazard, samo, samo, nothing new and poorly done at that. It was like she was in Jr High and trying to come across as sexy – but, instead it just looked stupid. It definitely made a stir – not for the money, but to “make history” – that was her big goal. And worse, she was willing to try to “make history” by doing something that obviously didn’t take a lot of thought or imagination, let alone creativity or talent. It was just dumb.

    The public didn’t decry her because she was attempting to be sexual, they decried her because she did a lousy job.

    Miley’s been a caged-bird her whole life – and unlike others who have been able to break out and find who they are and offer something original, something authentic, something worth sharing – Miley doesn’t seem to care. She seems so caught in the limelight and the glee of it all – the fame,the lifestyle, the money etc., that she’s glib about it all. She doesn’t see what we see. The public took that performance as a bad joke – almost embarrassed for her – yet, she’s happy with that because she got what she wanted, to “make history” by attempting to be a sexy grownup (in a juvenile way). She’s been so focused on everything out there, doing what everyone else does, that she has very little insight and therefore not a lot to offer at this point. So her goals come across as shallow, flat, one dimensional. Rather than take the time to go within, to think, to use her imagination, she chose to mimic in a bad way what’s been done a zillion times before. It’s not about being free to be sexy. That’s not at all what this is about. She most likely would’ve received all kinds of kudos had she pulled the sexy off, but instead, she looked like a toddler pretending to find her g-spot. It just magnified her immaturity.

    She would do well to move through the world anonymously for a while – no body guards, no publicist, no fame, no agenda other than just being. It could open up a new discovery for her, finding out who she is and finding out what has meaning other than her physical self and mimicking others. Then she could stand a better chance at actually coming forward with something worth sharing – a womanly sexuality even – something deeper than skin.

    • amerika

      Most on point post, imo.

  • Lee

    I think if you see the latest photo shoot of Miley by Terry Richardson, who also directed Wrecking Ball, you’d have to agree that Miley is, in fact, being directed and manipulated. I doubt very much that she is calling the shots as much as you think she is.

  • http://www.missmalevolent.com/ Miss Malevolent

    I guess my analogy goes something like this:

    New girls come into the porn industry dreaming of having a career like Jenna Jameson…success (in porn but success none the less) and a little crossover fame…and yet they find themselves being used up in gonzo porn at the start…and thus have no place to go but downhill.

    I guess what I’m trying to say is…Miley Cyrus is gonzo-porning her career.

  • Felix Treevly

    Hi Amanda, having read your letter and its implicit defense of Miley Cyrus, it does not seem like you have had the opportunity to follow up on Miley Cyrus’ response to the open letter you’re replying to, or the second letter Sinead O’Connor has posted as a result. Otherwise I daresay you would not be so quick to defend.

    As a response to this letter, Miley posted a screenshot of a series of tweets Sinead posted some time ago talking about being in a bad way and asking Twitter for help to get to a therapist etc – as if to discredit Sinead for having been mentally ill. Sinead’s righteously fiery and offended second letter is not readable on her website currently as it has been swamped with traffic, but you can see the whole debacle here: http://music-mix.ew.com/2013/10/03/sinead-oconnor-miley-part-2/

    I hope that you will follow up on this post without enabling or making excuses for Miley Cyrus’ appalling behaviour and make clear that mockery of those suffering for depression or those who have the bravery to publicly admit their struggles and seek help is not acceptable, least of all in front of an audience of impressionable teenagers.

  • Dantes

    Amanda,
    Have you read Miley’s response? I don’t think she is worthy of you dedicating a blog entry to her stupid self. Seriously, all she did was prove to the world that she’s a fucking airhead.

    • bridgetvoid

      seriously no one seems to care that miley used this forum (well the whole open letter thing) to just turn around and make fun of mentally ill people. it takes a HELL of a lot more courage to admit to mental health issues in public than it does to get naked for terry richardson.

      • Anon

        Oh lets blame poor old terry richardson for everything wrong with the music industry lately. Hahaha.

  • Abby Normal

    What I worry about for young, rich artists is that they will surround themselves with yes-men and yes-women who don’t give honest, critical advice to their boss. It sounds like a scary place to be, where everyone is a hired enabler and it’s near impossible to tell the difference between friends who care and excited leeches making a buck. I don’t think it’s about clothing at all.

  • Jai Kobayaashi Gomer

    I found the twerking episode uncomfortable to watch, and it was certainly not to my taste, and I thought it a shame that such a performance could be played out in public by someone with such a large fanbase of children – but I agree wholeheartedly with the letter above, that Miley Cyrus should be given the freedom accorded to any other artist to explore herself, her life, her position in the universe, and the universe itself through constant change and innovation.

  • bridgetvoid

    I feel like you’re making this more about you vs Cyrus or o’connor. First by inserting your .02 into a conversation that had NOTHING to do with you, but more importantly by trying to relate your own experiences to theirs, which is impossible. Your experience in the industry is _nothing_ like Miley’s and the level of fame/criticism you’ve reached is nowhere near as high as sinead.

    Plus it seems really naive to think Cyrus is really in control here. She’s had professional handlers for almost her whole life, and most recently switched over to Britney Spears old team. Roadrunner never could’ve afforded to throw that much cash or energy behind any of the artists on their roster.

  • bridgetvoid

    Plus I’m just beyond appalled that no one cares that Miley made fun of sinead for seeking mental healthcare when she needed it. Doing that publicly is way braver than tweaking or getting naked for publicity.

    • amerika

      tweaking lol

      • bridgetvoid

        hah i just noticed that. i wrote that on my phone but i now love that typo so much that i’m just going to own it and not edit my comment :)

  • Stephanie Fontana

    I love you so much for always fighting for a woman’s right to choose to do whatever the fuck she wants, in spite of, because of, or oblivious to whatever the rest of the world is screaming

    • amerika

      Oblivious being the operative word

      • Stephanie Fontana

        Meh. Ignorance is bliss. If I don’t have to hear the dick things people are saying about me, I don’t have to care about them.

  • http://marymicrogram.blogspot.com/ Hux Leary McShulgin

    There was only one part of O’ Connor’s letter that left me scratching my head: the idea that Miley Cyrus has talent.

    Miley Cyrus is a ripoff artist–of Hip Hop culture, of Sinead O’Connor
    and of every pop sellout who came before her. She removes her clothes
    and gyrates and makes drug references BECAUSE she lacks talent (if you’ll recall, her dad was also
    a pathetic faux artist laughingstock).

    Making fun of the mentally ill is no different than mocking a cancer
    patient, period. She’s proving herself to be everything the letter
    described and then some…minus the talent.

    Why a true artist like Sinead O’Connor (or Amanda Palmer) would waste her time on this
    pop culture shit-stain is beyond me. Not sure what she expected. Argue
    with fools, you’ll look like a fool.

  • meantambourine

    I support Miley’s right to use her sexuality however she damn well pleases. I happen to think it’s very boring, but she doesn’t need my vote.

    I think that the people who have written thoughtful articles regarding her accessorizing with ratchet culture as part of her “edgy” image have a point. It bothers me that people are so quick to dismiss this criticism on Miley’s behalf with “she didn’t mean to”. Of course she didn’t mean to be offensive. It doesn’t matter. What matters is whether she’s party to the time-honored tradition of white people trying on aspects of black culture in a shallow attempt to distance themselves from an innocent image. She doesn’t deserve to be vilified for this, but she does deserve to be called out, and we should all listen to what those calling her out have to say.

    And of course Miley’s reaction to Sinead’s letter was indefensible. I’m all for giving young folks – all folks – room to make mistakes and right them, but if her friends should call her out for anything, it’s mocking a mentally ill person for literally calling for help on Twitter. I get that she would be annoyed by the letter, but what she did was vile.

    Did I just comment on a blog about pop culture at 2 in the morning? It seems I did. Sigh.

  • Murdaya

    i couldn’t have written it any better myself. I also think people should look into the lyrics of “Wrecking Ball.”

    Miley said

    “I think the video is much more, if people get past the point that I’m naked and you actually look at me you can tell that I actually look more broken than even the song sounds. The song is a pop ballad. It’s one of these songs that everyone is going to relate to, everyone has felt that feeling at one point. If people can take their minds out of the obvious and go into their imagination a little bit and see kind of what the video really means and the way it’s so vulnerable and actually if you look in my eyes I look more sad than my voice sounds on the record it was a lot harder to do the video than it was to record the songs. It was much more of an emotional experience”

    She has creative freedom with her music. Either like it and buy it, or change the station.

    • amerika

      “It’s one of these songs that everyone is going to relate to, everyone has felt that feeling at one point.”

      I had to turn the shit off because it was so overproduced, to point out one of a few aspects.

  • raliel

    My thoughts exactly…. I am not a fan of the sort of music that Miley does, but she is not making music for the likes of me….. one might as well complain at sucshi resaurants that one does not like raw fish…. It is interesting that we live in a time when equality and respect should be flourishing, yet time and again we see loud and open attacks on women for their choices and their comments. I tooo want only to live in a world where we are all free to blieve in ourselves and respect others for doing the same.

  • Anne Wall

    What a lovely and thoughtful letter, Amanda. Personally, I think that little Miley’s hormones are raging and she will someday regret this stage of her life. But I guess she has to go through it. Gene Simmons got a lot of milage from the tongue. Miley is so cute and it’s sad all we see is that long tongue hanging straight down. Does she not have a mirror? Half the time it’s coated from all her partying probably. Not a pretty sight I think she’s making a fool out of herself. She will have an awakening one day when she realizes how vulgar she’s been. I hope she will not beat herself up too much when she does.

  • Lewis Nowosad

    “Incubating” This is such a great word to use to describe that time in between “insecure about my music” and “Thanks for buying my music”

    Between “nobody will like this” to the tear wiped away backstage as the audience is still cheering.

    Between the words still inside the pen and those cloaking the audience in darkness.

    Music, art, life…they’re all a journey starting in the dark and, god help us, ending in the stage lights.

    I am somewhere adventurously between everything from column A and Column B what with a handful of songs cradled by me and four other guys, each with as much of a wonder as I regarding our future in this crazy business.

    Yet, I forge forward in the knowledge that I am here for a reason, despite everything else I’ve survived and how asinine it may appear to those who claim to know me.

    Reading this open letter to Sinéad O’Connor, after having hear my wife read me hers, I feel as though I can move forward more fearlessly in my music and stage presentation.

    I’m 47 years old and rockin’ it with hopes that the music will speak for itself.

    Thank you Amanda, you are a rock.

    Lewis Nowosad
    Junkyard Academy

  • kate

    I hope there are a lot of sixteen-year-olds out there reading both sides of this argument and finding out just how sexy, clever and articulate women can be.

    • laurie

      yeah, women who have learned how to excuse and blame anything women do for a living on whatever they feel like. This is why you should never get married to one. haha.

  • Imogen

    Both you and Miley love to get naked. Although I agree that everyone should be able to wear/ be/ behave as they want to with pride and empowerment, the difference between your nudity and hers reminds me of your recent post about the difference between asking and begging. You dance around in your bra, strip off your kimono, or stand on stage in tights and a corset and do your thing. You are there for the music, your fans, to be a rock star, there to entertain. You have a beautiful body and when you remove your clothes that’s all the public sees, a naked woman singing a song, making a point, taking a stand, just being. It’s as normal as coffee in the morning. When Miley does it (or other performers who choose to carve out ‘that’ type of image for themselves) the nudity takes on a whole new shape. It is so brazenly sexual and forced down our throats that even if she was the greatest song writer to ever live I don’t know if I would notice as I would be too distracted from what she was choosing to show us instead. But maybe that’s the point.

    In the last month alone she really has started the conversation though, to which we can all be glad.

  • Saryu

    That’s funny, I just now wrote an open letter to Miley:
    http://shoutingattheclouds.com/2013/10/04/an-open-letter-to-miley-cyrus/

    Dear Miley,

    I can understand that maybe you don’t like unsolicited advice on how
    to look after yourself. And I can understand that you may wish to tell
    people who offer such advice to get lost and mind their own business.
    But I can’t understand why you would feel the need to mock those with
    mental illness to do so.

    1 in 4 people have some form of mental illness, and due to the stigma associated with it many will fear to seek treatment.

    According to stats in the USA, there are 12.4 suicides per 100,000 population.
    You have nearly 14.5 million followers on Twitter. If you extrapolate
    from that, over 1700 of your Twitter followers will commit suicide this
    year.

    That is 1700 people who do not have to die. 1700 families that will
    spend the rest of their lives wondering “why?”. 1700 families seeing in
    hindsight infinite signs, real and imagined, and feeling sick with guilt
    that they could have done something, should have done something.

    Next week is Mental Illness Awareness week. I strongly encourage you to read through the National Alliance of Mental Illness website (http://www.nami.org/), and use your Twitter voice to reach out to your followers to help break the stigma.

    You may even save some lives.

  • August Obregon

    Freedom of expression is not absolute. We have to be also responsible for the things we do. We can never be teenagers the whole time! If we do that, no maturity, no growth for all of us. I read a feedback to an article about her Dad, who was shut out by Miley because he did not support her in what she wanted to do. Miley is a brat, plain and simple. You can help rationalize her behavior any way you want but that still does not change what she did. I’m sorry for Disney for taking her to stardom via Hanna Montana. Kids who idolized her may continue the irresponsible path that she is taking. For Sinead, I only have good words for you. But for you Amanda, for seeming not take sides on this matter, you are actually condoning the destruction perpetrated by Miley to the women of tomorrow.

  • Angela Lara

    Who are we to cast stones towards Miley, Amanda or Sinead? My house is glass as is yours. I think the underlying point is that we, as women, deserve to be comfortable in our own Skin whether it’s flaunting teenage angst unchecked or being meek and modest. Controversy sells.

  • amyjo9

    Who the hell is Amanda Palmer?

  • Michael Johnson

    I had no idea who Miley Cyrus was until this present kerfuffle blew up. Now I *do* know who she is, so….mission accomplished, I suppose. If the idea was to increase artist profile and all that stuff, it’s obviously worked.

    I mean, here we all are, talking about Miley Cyrus. We have artists writing open letters to Miley herself – there’s quite a correspondence building up. I can’t help wondering who’ll be the next to join in. Shirley Manson? Debbie Harry? I bet the guys in marketing are hoping that Madonna gets involved. Now that would be a real PR coup.

    I still haven’t actually heard any of Miley’s music, mind, and nothing I’ve seen makes me want to check it out. So, all you marketing guys, there’s still work to be done there. Maybe scare up an open letter from Sir Paul McCartney on the subject of Classic Pop Songwriting, or something, if you can swing it.

    We don’t *know*, of course, whether this campaign to reposition Miley Cyrus as a rampaging sexpot was all her own idea, or if it came from those guys (and I bet they *are* guys) in the marketing department. Sinead tends to assume Miley’s being manipulated by the suits, Amanda reckons it was Miley’s own notion. But wherever the initial idea came from, I’m sure it was kicked around extensively by the team – exactly what Miley would wear, how her new image would be presented.

    At Miley’s level of of the corporate entertainment industry, nothing happens unless it’s been through the process. The company isn’t about to let the artists pick up their own ideas and randomly run off with them. The guys in marketing would never stand for *that*. So, in a way, who came up with the idea – Miley or the suits – is irrelevant. It’s how the idea is put into practice that counts. That’s where the industry machine really starts rolling.

    Which brings me to my own observation re. the new, hawt, Miley Cyrus: she doesn’t look at all comfortable in the role. She looks awkward, gawky, like a kid who’s raided the dressing-up box and doesn’t quite know how to carry off the sexy ‘n’ strong stuff.

    Compare and contrast with Amanda, who can strip naked in public at the drop of a hat (at the drop of everything else, too) with blithe unconcern and supreme confidence. Frankly, Team Miley should employ Amanda as official kit-off consultant. Miley could do with a few tips.

    I wonder if Miley Cyrus has bitten off a bit more than she can chew. Has she started something here she’s not sure how to finish? Is the industry machine rolling a bit too relentlessly for comfort now?

    But then, maybe a certain gauche gawkiness was the intention. Look at those photographs where Miley’s wearing the red leotard. The way you can see the photographer’s flash (and, sometimes, the photographer) in the shots looks downright amateurish. At Miley’s kind of level – signed to a multinational entertainment corporation, ’nuff cash to splash, a team of stylists on call – you don’t end up looking amateurish unless that was all part of the plan.

    I can’t decide if what we’re seeing here is a young, inexperienced artist who’s being pushed a bit too far too soon – or some kind of fiendishly clever double-bluff.

    In a few years’ time, when a grown-up Miley (now suitably re-re-positioned as a Serious Artist) appears on some talk show or other to launch her new children’s book, I’m almost willing to bet we’ll see her turn to the camera, raise an ironic eyebrow, and say, “Fooled you all back then, didn’t we?”

  • Nikki Justine Butcher

    I really enjoyed reading Amanda’s point of view, and I definitely agree that women need to be supporting other women. I am still unsure of where I stand on the issue, but I think the thing that doesn’t sit right with me is the sheer importance placed upon what women choose to wear (or not wear) and how women choose to look. Yes, we need to respect and encourage other women in regards to their talent, their opinions, their sexuality, and perhaps their look, too, but why must physical appearance always take centre stage? There are only so many ways I can see the female body portrayed, objectified, glorified, slandered, etc, before I fall into a coma of interminable boredom.

  • Heike von Alqualonde

    Jesus, what happened? About this time yesterday I had no f°°°ing opinion about Miley Cyrus, besides thinking her music was kind of bad. And I honestly do not have one now. I just watched the video for wrecking ball, and it wasn’t as bad as I had expexted. Miley’s nakedness seemed incredibly desperate, but then again, that’s what the song is all about, if I got it right. Even though it may not be the video’s intended message, all I saw was a young womand desperately using her sexuality to express her feelings in way way that probably won’t work. If it would have been someone else starring in it, I might have thought it very intimate and touching and beautiful in a really sad way. Unfortunately it is Miley in the video and I don’t really believe, that she intended the song as a powerful message about women’s sexuality (again: I don’t have a fully developed opinion on her, but her reaction on Sinead’s letter was pretty hurtful and did her no favour), and furthermore I don’t really see her fans being able to interpret the complex undertone I like to give the video credit for (I might be wrong on this one, though I honestly have not met a person older than 16 who was a Miley Cyrus fan).
    But all of this happens in the pop business all the time. Women get naked, they seem more or less comfortable with it, I feel more or less comfortable watching it, some wome women get exploited, some don’t, and it’s not easy to tell who’s who. So what’s the big deal and why are we discussing this extensively?
    I think this is about way more than Miley and Sinead. They are just the different ends of a scale, on which we all have to position ourselves again and again, in regard to how we as women perceive the female body, how we use it, how we find a way to really make it fit to our various personalities. I read some books about this topic, because it has been bugging me for a while, and to me it appears that right now there are women fighting back to back on a battlefield against different enemies. The only thing is, these women never actually realize that there is another fight going on right behind them.
    The first fight is the fight against the stigmatisation of the female body as “evil” or “improper”. It has gone on for quite a while. It’s main weapon is, of course, nakedness. We show our bodies, we show how comfortable we are with them, so everyone should see that there is no shame in being a women in charge of her own sexuality.
    But there is also the other fight, the one against something often called “the new sexism”. Because there will always be a fair share of people who want you to get naked, but on their terms, not yours. Sometimes I feel like the fight for more acceptance of the female body backfired and someone said “Jesus, why are we fighting this, we could have naked chicks everywhere!” and from that point on women weren’t allowed to get naked anymore, they were supposed to. It’s not forbidden for women to enjoy sex anymore, but instead now everyone expects you to be as open and confrontational about it as possible. If you try to stand up against this, you often mistake nakedness for your enemy, while it truely is sexual disempowerment.
    So sometimes it happens, that the fighters on our metaphorical battlefield turn around and fight each other, missing the opportunity to fight back to back, supporting each other in their various concerns. This is pretty bad and it has to stop.
    I think many people in this community recognize this problem, when they position themselves between Amanda and Sinead. Amanda, who is a true inspiration and fierce warrior when it comes to destigmatization of the female body, will always oppose the suggestion that a woman should dismiss an open display of her body against her will. And damn she’s right! But Sinead has a point, too. She presumes Miley to be a women who is not in charge of her own body, and from all I can see this is not too far-fetched. Sexism can come in pretty subtle forms, and many women confuse sexual deliberation with just being sexual. Sometimes you’re not in charge without even knowing it. I felt that Amanda somehow dismissed this option in her letter. So in this regard Sinead did the right thing addressing the problem. We have to work on this, all of us, but we can’t do that by blaming it all on nakedness.
    So I only hope that all the Amandas and Sineads in the world will realize that they don’t have to fight each other, that they fight two very different means of sexual disempowerment and that the best way to win both fights is to support each other.

    Finally: Dear Amanda, it’s up to you now to make aging sexy, I hope you know that. Anyway, I’m pretty confident that you’ll rock it and we’ll all end up a bunch of incredibly cool old ladies.

  • Christine Hall

    Love and appreciate you and your art with all I am. Thank you.

  • Sarah Parks-Pittman

    Thank you, Amanda, for so eloquently and thoughtfully expressing this response to Sinead’s letter. I felt so similarly after reading it, but was unable to articulate it so clearly. It is very much appreciated.

  • Kim Roberts

    Thank you so much for writing this. I respect Sinead O’Connor immensely and, though there was much in her letter which I agreed with and applauded, something about the overall tone of it didn’t quite sit right with me. Your letter has very eloquently voiced what was going on in my mind when I read her letter.

  • UniQueLyEviL

    Miley
    could very well be doing an experiment, and I was right behind her as
    far as defending her right to be a sexual person–UP until I saw the way
    she responded to Sinead’s well intentioned letter. She wasn’t out to
    attack Miley, but then Miley had to
    go and get ugly about it all instead of typing out an equally well
    thought out statement about her motives and intentions. That was the
    perfect opportunity to start an intelligent dialogue about the entire
    subject and their experiences and she just set that bridge right on
    fire. Not just for her and Sinead but for all openly sexual women and
    sexual women in the media.

    Very
    immature of her, I hope she grows up. Its like she’s trying to grow up
    sexually but not in many other ways based on her behavior as of late.

    • Gangle

      While I agree that Sinead had good intentions, and in no way do I support Mileys tasteless and reprehensible response… but if a complete stranger (albeit a famous one) publicly humiliated me with a letter lecturing me about how I was prostituting myself, I wouldn’t be thanking her. I wouldn’t insult her. I wouldn’t even waste time wording a well-thought out statement. I would just tell her to jog on and mind her own business.
      I have no idea what sinead was trying to achieve. She is intelligent enough to know that publicly shaming Miley like she was a naive girl in need of ‘mothering’ that it would not go down well.
      Was she deliberatly trying to bait Miley? Or did she just need a cookie from all her fans for coming up with such sage advice for a wayward starlet?
      If Sinead wanted to personally reach out to Miley, I believe it was well within her means to reach out to her in a more private way and have a DISCUSSION (as opposed to a lecture) about surviving the music industry and making personal choices.
      If she wanted to create a platform for discussion about the exploitation of women and sex in the media, then that is great too! She could have posted pretty much the same content without singling out Miley at all… just addressed the open letter to all women in the world.

      • UniQueLyEviL

        I get what you’re saying, but communication on the internet is a very different place. A lot of people find it appropriate to communicate openly on this medium for a multitude or reasons. Because things like this can sort of be more than just about the immediate subjects.

        You’re right, she didn’t know Miley. How was she to know that attempts at privately messaging her would get through?

        And I do believe it’s a discussion she wanted to be public, and perhaps maybe even figured that would be the easiest/quickest way to get a response from her.

        This whole situation is so stupid. And I’m sure as of late Miley has heard the worst of the worst being said about her, yet this is what she chose to lash out about? Especially towards someone who was supposed to be her “role model”?

        Perhaps in STATING that Sinead was a role model for her she opened up that avenue/invitation of open communication, and drew Sinead’s attention.

        Perhaps by association alone Sinead wanted her perspective and opinion about the way Miley has been presenting herself to be public.

        Say what you want about Sinead’s tactic and how she chose to communicate her concerns over Miley’s behavior–but it worked. The conversation is going.

        And now it’s not only about her sexually charged exploits and how she’s presenting herself, but how she’s treating others as well.

        • Gangle

          Really? Because most of the conversation I have seen is either based around how Sinead is slut-shamy and condescending or how Miley is a little whorish slut, or on the actual bitchfight itself between the two of them. I really haven’t seen any real or intelligent discourse on sexism in the media. I would say it has been an abject failure.

          I would gather that Miley lashed out in this instance because not only was she publicly accused of being slutty and a poor role-model (she gets this on a daily basis) but because she also was accused of being a defenseless and naive baby incapable of making her own decisions and in need of Mother Sinead to tell her whats what. Out of the two, I find that the more offensive.

          As for not being able to ensure private messages got through to Miley… I am entirely confident that it would have been within Sineads power to do so. In any case, she MUST be smart enough to have realised that talking down to ANYONE like that, especially someone she had never met, was only going to alienate and pick a fight. Because hiding insults in flattery and compliments doesn’t change the fact that they are still insults. So yeah, she did ensure she got an immediate response from Miley. I just don’t think it was particularly effective or useful to anyone.

          • UniQueLyEviL

            Well, then we’ll just have to agree to disagree because I feel like every point and topic involved in this large, open discussion is important. And should be discussed openly.
            Unfortunately it escalated to unflattering levels but it is what it is.
            And it’s not like lessons can’t be salvaged from that.

            And we’ll see where it goes, but the discussion, no matter what you think of how others handle it, is important.

            Even the most ignorant people saying the dumbest, *edgiest* things can walk away a bit less ignorant when presented with new information and perspective, whether they like it or not.

          • Polypsyches

            I’m sorry, I stopped reading after the word “most”. A discussion is taking place. What does it matter what else is going on in the room?

          • Gangle

            I’m sorry. I stopped reading after the word ‘sorry’

      • Dan Avenell

        I love Sinead, but let me stop you at ”I have no idea what sinead was trying to achieve. She is intelligent enough to know that publicly shaming Miley like she was a naive girl in need of ‘mothering’ that it would not go down well.”
        First, Sinead does what she feels is right. Feels, not always thinks. And it has broadly gone down well because we are in an age of prudery.

        I think it is shaming, by an older Catholic lady who is also a priest who always felt sexuality in music was about being exploited I felt Sinead’s letter was half a nice gesture, and half a counterproductive warning that she’d better put some clothes on or there would be all boys masturbating over her. And I think Miley is self-aware enough that she knows that, and wants that, of her own mind, not because she’s being manipulated. Lots of women want to celebrate their sexuality, and have done through pop music, and rarely in feminist approved ways either.

        I still think she’s an insufferable brat though.

  • Princess

    For someone I really admire, I’m sort of embarrassed that Ms Palmer appears to believe the obviously sexualised hammer licking imagery Ms Cyrus has given us, is just her carving out her own piece of the field – on her own terms. Sinead quite clearly addressed Miley using her own agency to expose herself as ‘pimping’ herself. So Amanda’s comments (imo) come across as more hot air – an over self explanatory excuse for supporting what she perceives to be freedom of expression, when in fact it’s nothing more than a cynical ploy to shift records.
    I think someone honest enough to say don’t allow yourself to be exploited instead of relying on your talent, isn’t prudish or judgemental as Amanda implies. It’s also slightly hypocritical of someone who didn’t want to be objectified for her own nudity by the press, to express that it’s what Miley wants and is personally instigating, so let her be. When I read Sinead’s letter I knew Miley would give a suitably stupid response, because I can capably see that Miley’s image isn’t necessarily her way of using her freedom of expression as an artist but more of a contrived effort to keep press attention on her, and ensure the money keeps coming in. Doesn’t really matter if it’s her or her team making that decision, it is what is.
    And that’s not just an assumption but a well tread pattern of behaviour of child stars transitioning to adulthood – particularly Disney child stars. No one’s particularly impressed by the offering that is Wrecking Ball apart from her fans and the press who keep going on about it. There’s nothing wrong in calling a spade a spade. Amanda has added nothing of value to the situation apart from come across as a self absorbed apologist for crap modern pop culture. Which I’m sure is not her intention. As I said I really admire Amanda and her balls, but Miley isn’t cut from the same cloth, I don’t feel she needs defending at all (help maybe). Especially if she is using her own agency to pimp herself, it’s very public, looks scary and if she falls like so many have before her, where will Amanda be when she’s in rehab? Probably not on the end of a phone reassuring her she’s ok, that people didn’t understand she was just expressing herself…smh

    • amerika

      “Amanda has added nothing of value to the situation apart from come
      across as a self absorbed apologist for crap modern pop culture.”

      I would call it McDonalds Culture.

      Oh Gee, let’s all support that.

  • Phoeline

    Whilst I agree people in general should be free to express themselves (at least up to the point where it begins to be harmful against another), I’m not sure this sentiment is applicable to Miss Cyrus here. I haven’t followed her career at all, I’m not interested in her, but from what I’ve seen in the media lately, I certainly can’t rule out the possibility she’s going for a meltdown. In which case, she should possibly be protected against herself. Should you be allowed to carve out your own place in the world in the way you want to? Up to a fairly high degree, yes. But I do think it’s a different thing if an adult does this, or a kid/adolescent/young adult who has proper backup in the shape of good caretakers and absence of exploiters, or wisdom beyond their years, then someone who is in the position Miss Cyrus seems to be at currently.

    The lash out she had towards Ms O’Connor, dismissively referring to her mental illness, certainly does nothing to steer me away from the impression of “meltdown waiting to happen”.

  • jenne

    Great letter Miss Amanda and also, so happy to know you are doing something for Girls Rock Dallas – i have volunteered with Girls Rock Boston for 2 years now and it’s one of the greatest groups I have ever been a part of. ROCK ON.

  • HatfieldRed

    So there’s also this: http://gawker.com/so-much-for-sineads-advice-miley-goes-topless-for-unc-1440753240 These pictures just look exploitative, especially given the history of
    the photographer. But maybe that’s her message? I’m going to look like
    I’m being exploited to prove that I’m not exploited? Which, while I’m 100% behind her doing her thing, it’s just getting a bit hard to see the talent for all the tongue sticking out.

    It’s like going to an amazing art gallery that’s lite like a rave bar, you have to really squint and wait for the disco laser lights to hit the painting just right to catch the artist’s brilliance.

    And I’m having trouble to seeing what she’s trying to communicate in repeatedly sticking out her tongue, licking random things, and being in various stages of undress. I’m not saying don’t get naked and push boundaries, just realize that if that’s all you do it loses its effect and your message is lost. Again though, maybe that’s her plan, to make a comment on the music industry and being visually biased towards acoustic art, but long term I think it runs the risk of her ending up as “that sexy naked chick who sometimes sings” rather than “that sexy singer chick who sometimes get naked”.

    But as I understand pop stars, she might well show up next week wearing nothing but Victorian period dresses, complete with ruffles, broad brimmed hats, and a long hemline to hide her ankles.

  • VN

    Thanks for this. So much. I struggle to understand why people immediately think that as a woman, she is obviously not responsible for her own doing and surely MUST be manipulated by some big, male- oriented corporate.

    • Polypsyches

      Then again, people could be thinking that not simply because she’s a woman, but because she’s an artist in the entertainment industry, which seemed to me more what the letter was about. But the point is valid in general.

  • Aileen Donegan

    Great piece.

  • http://www.behance.net/StephanieStanko Stephanie

    right on.

  • Anamika Dudvaani

    This person probably didn’t get O’Conner’s letter.

  • Dr Rapunzel

    Miley Cyrus was manipulative and disingenuous when she said in the Rolling Stone interview that Sinead O’Connor was her role model and she has shown by her response that she neither knows or has bothered to find out anything about Sinead. She certainly lacks knowledge of Sinead’s music, values or sense of solidarity for those in the world who are exploited. She should at least listen to ‘Real VIP’ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=82cKHqQjoLg
    Amanda appears to have failed to do any research about Sinead’s childhood, which in many ways was far worse than being an adored and successful child star — look it up if you don’t know the story. And incidentally, Sinead did her first recording at the age of 15. One of the issues Sinead raises is the actual one of obscuring MUSIC through the focus on appearance. As for Amanda Palmer she is still clearly committed to the notion that to be a successful musician requires a promotional ‘uniform’ – which she wraps up in the “total liberation” position that everyone should be free to do what they like. That is such a copout. It must matter what moral/sexual/political/environmental message is projected through the presentation of the artist’s body and its adornment — otherwise why bother at all! Miley Cyrus has admitted that her choice of presentation was “strategic” — that sounds like marketing, not art.

  • Sonya

    “We females all do this, to some extent, and we just want to feel like it’s our hand on the joystick.” – This is the line I have the biggest problem with. While I feel that, even if it may have come off somewhat patronizing to its intended audience, the letter Sinead wrote to Miley was intended to help her focus on what she actually WANTS, a career she can be proud of and not humiliated by, now and later in life. This line that suggests that “all females” take advantage of their youth/sexuality/whatever is NOT a beneficial addition to the conversation. (Taking that line out of context for a minute, it’s part of the problem with our culture, and specifically sets the field out for the rape culture we are all trapped by that says “all females” behave one way or another.) My interpretation of this as it is written is either projection of personal beliefs/behavior, or that it is just unnecessary. Men and women both take advantage of their own skills at different points in time, in different ways, and I’d say probably everyone wants to feel more in control at different times. The rest- I can’t comment on authoritatively, just from personal impressions/ideas. I don’t really know if Miley is in charge of making her creative decisions or not- I suspect not as in control as she believes herself to be, in any case, although I don’t listen or watch whatever it is she does. Am I happy about it? Well, to be blunt, no, but that is because I’m 25 and I have a lot of friends I care a lot about who are younger than me. People who grew up with Hannah Montana and frankly deserve better than yet another re-heated half-naked sexpot for a role model. I do what I can, here on my level. I am myself. Sometimes I wear clothes to make me feel more or less appealing. Do I think that constitutes “taking advantage” of my youth, sexuality, or whatever? No, I do not, I think that constitutes being a person who makes decisions in order to have fun and enjoy life. What separates me from you, Miley, and Sinead is that my actions don’t impact a nationwide audience. And no, you, Miley, or Sinead don’t “owe” that audience anything- shouldn’t allow your actions to be dictated or retrained by what they think, how they might react. You absolutely should be there to push the lines, try something new. But should you be serious about knowing the possible repercussions of your actions? I think that’s fair to say. You’re in a field where you have the potential to reach SO MANY PEOPLE and to tell them so many things- potentially beautiful things- they matter, they are loved, they are important, they should have faith in themselves, they should take every opportunity in their lives to be happy, to party, to make friends and let go, they should cry when they need to cry, they should cope how they need to cope, SING, whatever- it seems wrong to casually mention to all the ladies, they’re in a box they can never escape from where their actions might be viewed as manipulative, right down to the clothes they choose to wear. I love what you do, Miss Palmer, but I really hope you didn’t think about that sentence a lot before you threw it in the rest of this. I think we’re getting a little far from the point, here. The point is that I don’t think anybody but Miley knows “how” in control anybody is. If I was in control here, I’d make that point loud and clear, but all I’ve heard her say is she’s proud of what she’s done because it caused controversy and made people talk, not that it was solely her brainchild and that she put love and effort into it. (That’s one of the reasons I like and pay attention to what you do and I don’t worry about what she does- lolling her tongue out like she’s an American Apparel advertisement doesn’t feel like effort or love to me. Your music touches the emotions in me.) If I was in a field and people couldn’t be sure my work was attributable to me, I’d feel the need to change how things were being done- I’m a person of integrity and I want/like to be recognized for the contributions I make and actively don’t want to take credit for work done by others. But again, I can’t speak for anybody else, I can only form impressions based on what I’m exposed to. I feel that Sinead has Miley’s best interests at heart, because she is a woman of incredible integrity, as well. And Miley is at the age where she is entitled to make mistakes, try new things. All of that is true. I wish we could have this conversation without taking it to a place of ‘all women use their sexuality to their advantage’ because that just sounds, I assume, so much skeevier than you meant it. Would you have meant to say that we’re all entitled to use our sexuality to our advantage without having it seen as a black mark against us? Am I misinterpreting something, here?

  • Momo

    ‘The Jaded and Indifferent’ blogged about this: http://thejadedandindifferent.tumblr.com/post/63073567642/the-wrecking-ball

    It is interesting how _important_ Miley suddenly has become to everyone..

  • b(i)anca

    So I’ve been giving the whole continuing Miley saga a lot of thought lately and have often come to her defence over whether or not her clothing/nudity/image are inappropriate or damaging. If she wants to roll around naked, if she wants to fellate a sledgehammer, if she wants to twerk and gyrate with a big foam hand (also, let’s not forget the Leibovitz shoot shit-storm way back in 2008), so be it. Stigmatising that will just continue to perpetuate the notion that nudity and sexualisation/exhibitionism is somehow morally wrong, especially when the body in question is female, which is bullshit. Even drawing negative comparisons with sex work just enables the stigmatisation of that industry (how new and original), as well as conflates two different practices.

    BUT

    I’m not one to totally excuse Miley, because she is FAR from being unproblematic. Comments such as making ‘black sounding’ music, her inappropriate and immature response to Sinead by bringing up very public distress over her mental health, choosing to work and perform with dubious (if not falls-somewhere-on-the-spectrum-of-sexual-assault) figures such as Rob Thicke and Terry Richardson. These are the choices that bother me, not the nudity.

    So while I agree with Amanda far more than I do Sinead, I think there are more nuances that need acknowledging.

  • ariane

    Big mistake, this. Another one. Who cares what this non-entity thinks?

    • Tiffany Little

      Why the hell are you here then?

      • MileyFan

        Maybe they listen to something other than Amanda’s awful singing? Maybe they listen to Miley’s music which is far superior to anything she has made in the last few years.

        • Tiffany Little

          Bollocks. This contributed nothing to the discussion but was a personal attack on Amanda, launched safely from behind an fairly anonymous moniker. I couldn’t give a stuff whether or not you or any other person listens to or enjoys the music I enjoy-whether it be Amanda’s or Miley’s or whoever! People are allowed different tastes and can be capable of discussing differences of opinions without trashing each other. I have no problem with people respectfully addressing their differences of opinion. What I take offense at, is people needlessly trolling/attacking others and this comment and yours are a case of the latter not the former. You apparently lack even the conviction to use your real name? I know I shouldn’t rise to trolling but I don’t know why you seek out someone you dislike just to have a go at them? Beyond me.

        • amerika

          I find both hard to listen to, to be honest.

  • Hilary

    Someone wasn’t getting any attention?

  • ariane

    “what I see is Miley desperately trying to write her own script; truly trying to be taken seriously”. What uneducated garbage.

  • Hilary

    Secondly. Sinead O’Connor – well known name. Miley Cyrus – well known name. Amanda Palmer…. er….

    One of these doesn’t fit.

    • Polypsyches

      Yet here you are, reading it. Hmm.

  • Lena

    Miley is in the wrong profession, she is an atrocious singer, and if she feels the need to take off her clothes then as we all know there are other professions out there for her to consider. Kids who may feel she is their idol are dillusional, and they clearly don’t understand music. Maybe its up to the schools to educate these kids properly about music after all the ‘music in the charts’ today is shit and its because of fat record producers etc. Looking at the comments made and the way that she is acting up shows to everyone that she is going through some potential crisis, and will no doubt be in meltdown at some point (so she shouldn’t mock people who have had mental health issues, as she may find herself in the same situation at some point in her life) She may want us all to think she is running the show but with whom, most people out there think she is an idiot…she is not shocking at all, she is pathetic, and needs to grow up, and stop hanging around with a sex harasser, who is pimping her out. Sinead O’Connor is a true artist and musician and speaks volumes to people who really care about music FACT….

  • Stephanie Crocker

    You are amazing. People say you’re being naive. I say, this is exactly what’s up.

    “In other words, let’s give our young women the right weapons to fight with as they charge naked into battle, instead of ordering them to get back in the house and put some goddamn clothes on.” <–that.

    Right there.

    I'm too old to *really* be a Miley fan, but damn if I'm not ecstatic that she's providing a platform to get young girls thinking about Feminism!

  • Ay-me Wok-er

    I absolutely disagree with this blog post somehow being naive or narcissistic.

    You can’t control how people interpret what you put out there. What you can do is own the terms under which you express yourself. I think it’s B.S. to give men or the anger/fear over how they perceive women any control of how we come to those decisions at all. I could care less who’s jacking off in a corner to what–I’m going to be and do whatever I want, and suppression is akin to censorship no matter how it’s packaged. Also, not liking the machine doesn’t mean anyone is going to kill it–that is what’s naive in my book. It’s so one sided to jump on the women train here, anyway. How is this ANY different from how men are sexually represented? Like there’s some mystical shortage of guys ripping off their shirts or something! Puhleeease.

    *This is all IMO of course.

  • Jess Haight

    I think you’re both right- two sides of the same coin being flipped into space. You’re both amazing women who inspire the world. Like Neil says, “whatever you do, make good art.” : ) ~ Jess
    https://www.facebook.com/haightjess

  • Caroline D

    Yeah Miley can make her own choices, but her choices do not exist in a vacuum. People who take Amanda’s line of thinking (“it’s her choice y’all end of story!!!!!!”) don’t seem to get this. I think what Sinead was trying to do was bring to attention the influences surrounding Miley, whether it be from music industry folks who directly benefit from Miley’s work, or Western society at large as it pressures us women to commodify and exploit our bodies. I don’t agree with Sinead’s letter 100%, but I definitely agree with it more than Amanda’s.

    Also, when are we actually going to give more discussion to Miley’s blatant appropriation of black culture and racist tendencies?

  • ald7th

    I do want author to acknowledge that the song “Wrecking Ball” was written by five men, and one woman. The production of the song was handled by two men. If Miley herself had written or produced some of her music, I would be more inclined to think she had more control over her music and music videos.

    • Gangle

      And while she is at it, she should acknowledge that ‘Nothing Compares’ was also written by a man. Your point is?

      • bridgetvoid

        is that the only song sinead ever performed? no. for the most part she writes her own stuff. milely realistically doesn’t write anything, but instead is primped and prodded and waxed and stripped and shown off like ratchet skipper. there’s no artistic expression, there’s no meaning to this stuff, it’s just money.

        • Gangle

          I don’t really care who writes the material for Miley. I wasn’t planning on spending any of my time listening to it. For what its worth, I don’t think her stuff displays artistic expression or originality either – I don’t think any mainstream music being made these days does, which is why I really don’t listen to it. But if she wants to treat her career as a money making enterprise rather than being creative, so be it. I’m not the thought police.

    • amerika

      “I do want author to acknowledge that the song “Wrecking Ball” was
      written by five men, and one woman. The production of the song was
      handled by two men.”

      So many people for that garbage ?

  • Ricky

    I think most everyone agrees with the majority of points made by both Palmer and O’Connor. The real polarizing issue here is just whether or not you believe Miley is in control. If she is… great. Let us all shout FREEDOME OF EXPRESSION! If she isn’t, then O’Connor hit the nail on the head. I think Palmer Addressed it well when she aknowledged that no label would be displeased with Miley decideing to parade bare-ass all the way to the bank. In this sense, you can’t deny that the existence of both channels of control are true. Regardless, Miley believes she is in control, so an open letter would be seen as patronizing. There is probably more effective way to truly get through to her.

  • SweetRPea

    Spot on, Amanda. Could have been said with fewer words, but I agree with your points entirely. I had the exact same response after reading Sinead’s letter. I knew it wouldn’t go well with Miley and judging by her incredibly rude and childish response, it didn’t. I really hope that both of them get to read your balanced perspective that respects both women as artists and people and contributes in a caring and civil way to a conversation that should be an open dialogue about women and for women artists and what their interests truly are/what is best for them, rather than something that degenerates into a highly public cat fight where women tear each other apart, claws and fur flying. Thank you for being such a smarty pants, for caring and continuing to rock! xoxo, P

  • racismsexismismiley

    I really like what Sinead said because it is unambiguous… sometimes being used and using oneself is JUST That. All women are sexy, Sinead knows that… but there IS a responsibility out there to not just be sex objects. It affects way more girls than just Miley. Also, a lot of her recent work has been blatantly racist as well. We aren’t even going there with this discussion… Miley isn’t determining anything – the market is, and so is racism and sexism. This isn’t about Miley’s clothes at all – I think, rather there was a reference to her licking a jackhammer – or performing rimming on black female dancers… its about her actions and what sexuality is associated with.

  • Insane World

    I think Sinead and Amanda have both made relevant points. Miley had advisers that should probably be doing more than they are even if they don’t profit as much from good advice. Ultimately, it’s Miley’s call on what she does. Hopefully she’ll enjoy a long life and career during which she can look back and cringe at some of these less than stellar decisions. That’s really what being 20 is all about.
    I do believe Amanda got it right though that Sinead was assuming that Miley is being controlled and directed in this way. No record exec in their right mind would encourage the twerking. That one predictably lost them sales from the judgmental parents without getting them enough corresponding sales from the other end of the spectrum. That one was Miley, good or bad.

  • Bk249

    I actually don’t get the impression Miley is completely controlling everything. I think Pharell has a lot to do with cultivating her image and convincing her THIS IS who she is. I watched a bit of her documentary and when asked “why Miley” his answer was very telling… “She’s an American by product”. Plain and simple. He is gassing her head by bringing in heavy weight producers, and working out collaborations with top artists. This “movement” she refers to actually seems to have a lot of men paving the path.

  • kelly

    “What O’Connor says is (mostly) right: “Women are to be valued for so much more than their sexuality. We aren’t merely objects of desire.” And she deserves to be listened to and respected, not mocked.” -Meghan Murphy

    http://feministcurrent.com/8074/sinead-oconnor-is-mostly-right-about-miley-cyrus-let-the-ageism-and-sexism-begin/

  • kelly
  • Natasha

    I really tried to like Amanda Palmer because I like Neil so much. This is yet ANOTHER example of her saying “Me, me, me!” trying to jump into the spotlight, like she did with that insipid terrorist poem, like she knew what he was thinking. Come on, Amanda! At least you’re right about one thing, you are free to be as foolish as Miley, there’s room for everyone. Ugh. I was just hoping beyond hope this letter would be awesome.

    Oh, and don’t forget to give her MONEY MONEY MONEY at the end.

  • schmoj

    I have a question. Who is Amanda Palmer?

    • Greater Cornholio

      Ooooh sick burn.

    • b(i)anca

      Your question really should be who killed Amanda Palmer? That’s the true mystery.

  • Some Person

    Okay, listen, two things are important here.

    1. Sinead’s letter was condescending and slut-shamey, which is not very cool. If Miley wants to prance around naked, she has every right to do so.

    2. What is NOT cool, and what people should be focusing on rather than the amount of clothes she has on at any given time, is the fact that Miley is directly profiting from the appropriation of black culture.

    I’ll just leave these here

    http://groupthink.jezebel.com/solidarity-is-for-miley-cyrus-1203666732

    http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/anne-theriault-/miley-cyrus-vma-performance_b_3819177.html

    http://www.vice.com/read/miley-cyrus-needs-to-take-an-african-american-studies-class

    • Polypsyches

      Why can’t both of those things be important? I just saw a wonderful movie in three dimensions earlier tonight–we can do that now, really well–so why do you think we have to focus on only one dimension of this issue?

  • Emily Thomas

    I’m so glad you’re offering another perspective on this situation. I found quite a few things to disagree with in Sinead’s original letter, and I’m really glad someone took the time to point this out.

  • Keri

    Just wanted to say how much I loved Sinéad when I was younger, too. She also played a large part in the soundtrack of my youth. Back around the time that Sinéad ripped up the Pope’s photo on SNL, I was doing pageants, because where I lived, pageants were one of the only places you got to sing in front of people, and I wanted to be a singer. In pageants, you have to fill out this form where you list your favorite things and such and then the host will read off some of the things while you strut around the stage in your evening gown. I answered the “Who is your biggest influence” question with Sinéad and got an evil look from one of the older woman judges. I wonder where she is now and whether she has read Sinéad’s letter. I’m sure she’s judging Miley up one side and down the other. AFP, I’m thankful for women like you who really get it. It’s not about what people think of you. It’s about being yourself, and screw all those uptight, power-suit-wearing judges that give you evil looks when you say what’s on your mind.

  • Jane

    Remember Sinead is 47 years old, she is a mature woman and her opinions should sound refined. Of course she’s not all for “anything goes” as Amanda and Miley are. I agree with Mr D, Amanda sounds incredibly full of herself. This feels like just an attempt by Amanda at being heard and thrusting herself into the spotlight. Amanda, you’re not helping our cause any, please stop defending the objectification of young women. Please don’t support this sort of gross behavior. The goal is not so that women can dress however they want at any age, it’s so much deeper than that, Amanda. Don’t you see that by defending Miley’s behavior you are enabling this sort of exploitation to go on for ever and to grow worse and more complex? Please, do us a favor and STFU, thanks.

    • Joshua Hostetter

      Because slut shaming is great! Sinead was totally right, Miley is just a whore, being pimped out by the men in charge. She’s obviously just vapid and a life of being controlled has left her with no opinions of her own and no ability to help steer her career the way she wants to go. If she would only put some clothes on all of the problems women have in the world would disappear. If Miley Cyrus would just stop getting comfortable with her sexuality after years of being forced to play the ‘good girl’ all of the sexism would disappear. Then we’d only have wholesome role models.

      Seriously? Not helping ‘the cause’? Why are you trying to get rid of oversexualized women instead of helping to offer an alternative? Assuming Miley’s fine with what she’s doing (And she seems to be reveling in it) then what is so horrible about it? Miley is far from the only female pop singer out there, and there are plenty of women with a far more conservative bent to help balance it out. It’s not as if every woman in music is overly sexual. Don’t you see that by supporting this kind of slut shaming behavior you’re encouraging people to bottle up and develop mental issues that make their lives worse? Please do us a favor and shut the fuck up.

      Thanks

  • WalksWithFlowers

    This sums it up pretty good (via Lainey Gossip):

    So Miley Cyrus said her Wrecking Ball video was inspired by Sinead O’Connor’s Nothing Compares 2U. And Sinead was contacted by all kinds of media asking for comment. She decided to write Miley an open letter instead. You can read that here.

    Miley responded on Twitter by comparing Sinead to Amanda Bynes, posting Sinead’s old tweets from two years ago during which she appeared to be having a mental breakdown.

    Sinead answered back with another public letter and threatening to sue.

    Miley returned to Twitter to tell Sinead that she was too busy hostingSaturday Night Live to deal with her drama but “if youd like to meet up and talk lemme know in your next letter. :)”

    Sinead replied on Facebook, or whatever social media, who can keep track at this point?, by insisting that Miley apologise, “in between g-string changes”, and that she wouldn’t waste her time meeting her.

    In other words, they’re both f-cking assholes.

    Sorry, does that disappoint you? Am I supposed to be pro-Sinead just because Miley’s all about her body and her tongue these days? Look, Miley was a dick, a total dick with the mental illness shaming. It was a low, LOW blow.

    But it wasn’t the first punch, was it?

    An open letter isn’t exactly kind. Especially not when variations of the word “prostitute” are used five times in the post. Sinead’s calling Miley a whore and she’s telling Miley not to be a whore for male record executives getting rich off her tits. Fine.

    But…

    Guess who’s going on tour next week?

    Oh, hi Sinead O’Connor.

    And who’s using Miley now to generate publicity? Who’s gaining from exploiting Miley? Not just male record executives. Not anymore.

    Because there were other, more private ways to reach out to Miley, non? Don’t tell me an open letter was the only method. But slut-shaming is best performed with an audience, you know? Otherwise, these awesomely misogynistic phrases could never be enjoyed. Like when Sinead tells Miley that:

    “You ought be protected as a precious young lady…”

    And that:

    “Your body is for you and your boyfriend.”

    Again. Sorry. I can’t support that. I can’t support language like that. Miley’s mockery of Sinead’s mental health struggles was a c-nt move, yes. It was one c-nt move in a series of c-nt moves that both of them are throwing at each other.

    Is Miley’s recent behaviour concerning? Sure. To me though, it’s no less concerning than the fact that she was allowed to become a star when she was a child. THAT has to be just as concerning as all the photos you’re seeing of her shoving her various body parts up on the camera. I’ll say it again – it is JUST AS CONCERNING as Hannah Montana. Letting her become Hannah Montana, and boxing her into an image that society considers “safe” for young girls, under a spotlight, constricted by fame, is tantamount to child abuse.

    And what’s confusing about it all is that the reason why she’s so offensive to so many right now is because she was expected to stay trapped in the wholesome f-cking coffin of the all-American sweetheart. If Sinead O’Connor doesn’t think the “new” Miley is the “real” Miley, the truth is, the “old” Miley wasn’t the “real” Miley either.

    What is Miley now? Who is Miley?

    Miley is wrong to associate “adult” with “sex and nudity”.

    Or Miley is taking ownership of her own sexuality, and controlling it for her own gain.

    Or Miley is confusing control with exploitation.

    Or Miley’s agency over her own body is empowering.

    Is it sexist to assume that just because she’s not wearing much clothing that it’s not of her own will? That’s an interesting feminist debate I’d love to have at the Faculty of Celebrity Studies. Because right now there is no consensus.

    • Animator606432

      Still not seeing how Sinead is a asshole here. Again, if Cyrus had a problem with what Sinead said, she could have easily done what Amanda has done. It’s not as though Sinead made herself out to be unapproachable. But she didn’t, she responded by making fun of those with horrible mental diseases and by insulting someone who she so called “admired”.

      • Polypsyches

        Don’t forget that she responded on Twitter. Using the lowest number of characters possible to convey her message, and hence not really needing to think through the process beyond 140-character quips. Bad form indeed.

    • Polypsyches

      This is a problem I have been detecting in feminism for quite some time and I can only hope that people will be able to look past Miley’s involvement long enough to focus on the real issue it addresses: is it more “feminist” for a woman to “take control” of her sexuality in a public forum, or to hide all traces of sexuality from public scrutiny and pretend they aren’t there at all? I think it’s time to fight this out and formulate the third option.

  • BarryNorton

    Fucking A. I loved Sinead’s letter, but I was aching for the counterpoint. And that counterpoint had to be made by a credible female musician, nothing else would have had any impact. Nicely done!

  • Pere Ubu

    I think O’Connor’s letter was utterly patronising.

  • Aimée

    great words, but it does strike me as a little idealistic… sure it’d be great to live in the hypothetical world you describes near the end. but i think it’s more likely and realistic that the majority of sex-pot pop stars dress and behave in the way they do just because they know it’ll get attention, bring in money and also because they are actually in competition with all the other sex-pot pop stars, of which there are many. and whom they have grown up seeing on tv and magazines since they were very young girls. if i thought they did it through genuine artistic and sexual expression i’d support it, but yeah…. i just don’t tbh.

  • Betty

    Is Amanda pulling down comments she doesn’t like or are they just mysteriously disappearing? Either way, Amanda, please stop defending the sucky, sex-sells, objectification of women, and PLEASE don’t call it “artistry” as you did in your response letter. You’re not helping our cause one bit. We need to pull together and take a stand against the exploitation of women, not endorse it by running to it’s defense when someone chooses to use it to sell records and t.v. appearances. Sinead called it, and you’re trying to use this as an opportunity for your own self-exposure. Please let us feminists do our thing. While you and Miley go play “who wants to be a star”.

    • b(i)anca

      Excuse me, but please don’t think your brand of feminism is everyone else’s. Amanda is a feminist, I AM a feminist, but I certainly don’t agree with you or your condescension and belittlement. Haven’t you heard? It’s feminisms – plural.

  • Katie

    The Daily Mail sides with Sinead O’Connor. If you find yourself agreeing with the Daily Mail it’s time to check yourself. Thank you AFP for writing an articulate letter which I agree with wholeheartedly. x

    • amerika

      Yeah. Their sidecolumn supports that “truth”.

      Get outta here.

  • concerned citizen

    an
    open letter to the three of you..: to
    say, people who don’t wanna endanger themselves, should put on more
    chlothes is victem blaming.. and to tell us for whom our nakedness
    should be saved for, is just making decisions for
    us, that no one besides us should make.. so sinéad, good idea but bad
    job.. amanda, your more right, but the problem at hand is rape culture..
    and miley encouraging femals in the idea of only existing to please men
    sexually, is promoting rape culture.. i don’t see her having orgasms or
    telling us about her clit on stage.. or talking about how many men are
    not able to please femals sexually because they don’t know what a clit
    is.. or do what ever she’s comfortable whith to tell the world that
    females enjoy good save sex aswell.. i want to live on a planet of freedom of
    choice, too.. where every creature is treated witch respect whether it’s
    naked or not, but to reach this we have to stop selling records with
    uncommented sexualized female nudity.. if you don’t tell them what you
    mean to express, you’re just selling your body to those who only see your
    body and not you as a person or artist for that fact.. so miley, if you are in charge of your
    public appearance and live shows please show them a) you’re an
    independent woman and b) how good consentual sex is done.. and please dance around
    naked as crazy as you can while doing it.. but you gotta stop bowing
    down in front of a guy, who sings songs about how cool rape is, on
    stage..

    http://thesocietypages.org/socimages/2013/09/17/from-the-mouths-of-rapists-the-lyrics-of-robin-thickes-blurred-lines-and-real-life-rape/

    http://www.policymic.com/articles/56585/robin-thicke-s-blurred-lines-gets-the-feminist-response-it-deserves

    and my personal favorite..:

    http://vimeo.com/70304632

  • Christie Mathis

    I have to disagree with how you viewed her letter, AFP. She addressed the fact that Miley may be making her own decisions, she didn’t assume someone was making her decisions for her. Her wording was all encompassing. MCs actions are a desperate cry for attention and respect. Sinéad simply suggested she pause and go forth armed with better information. She also suggested that she focus more on the art than on selling sex. You view this as limiting her. I find that confusing as I see MC feeling that sex is the only way to voice artistic expressions is actually the thing that is limiting. I don’t think Sinéad could have worded the sentiment everyone was feeling anymore perfectly. It was given with love and respect, and I love and respect her for it.

    • Joshua Hostetter

      You can’t lovingly and respectfully call someone a whore.

      • Betty

        But lets face it. The industry has turned her into one. There’s no hiding from the truth if we want to resolve it.

        • Joshua Hostetter

          Being comfortable with your sexuality does not make someone a whore.

          • Greater Cornholio

            The comment had nothing to do with her sexuality. She was saying the industry was prostituting Miley as a gimmick for their own personal and financial gain at the expense of her long-term, sustainable success. She was not calling Miley a prostitute for acting slutty.

          • http://www.iterativearts.com bud latanville

            hence, my comment above, re: pimps and whores.

          • Jenny

            well amanda knows all about pimps and whores.. she was a stripper so it makes sense.

      • Christie Mathis

        If you didn’t understand the content of her letter, I can’t help you with that. She said it as clearly as it can be said.

  • tanira

    Amanda <3

  • doni-marie

    The Wrecking Ball video bothered me not one wit. The first strong feeling I had was how glad I was that Miley didn’t appear to have a boob job and proudly showed boobs that were not filled with silicone or pushed up to her chin underneath, displaying a coy and unnatural cleavage underneath “clothes.” Miley has Power right now, and she’s using it. We react to it because: It’s pretty damned sexy. Okay, It’s at least sexual, if you’re not into the licking, or to the perfect makeup or whatever turn-off kills the turn-on. It says a lot to me about how Miley feels: I want you to see ME. She’s young and the danger is real that she will confuse her sexual beauty as WHO she is. All power is dangerous in particular when it’s taken from you and based on your looks. I think that’s what Sinead is speaking to. The dangers are aplenty, but they are built into our culture. Not Miley herself. I’m glad Sinead has given her “motherly” warning, but Miley isn’t going to hear that now, as Amanda points out. But it will stick, because it’s Sinead, whom Miley pointed out as an influence. Not anyone else. NOW I hope Miley hears what Amanda says, because Amanda is maturely talking to Miley from the place Miley is at RIGHT NOW, not the woman she may or may not become as a result of a video. It would be fabulous if Miley, or any of the other gazillion sexpot artists would become the first 50 year old with her eventual “ragheap” body and show us something artistic and mind boggling and perhaps, even sexy. You know, I saw this video, because my sixteen year old son wanted to know what my opinion was. He was uncomfortable as I watched it. He was visibly relieved when I told him it was a highly stylized piece of art with a very beautiful woman made to look even prettier by her stylists. VERY sexy. A conceptual piece that purposefully displayed the way a pretty girl felt when she gave her BODY and SOUL and did not receive RESPECT in return. “Yeah, he said, I think she’s pretty.” She’s HOT, I asserted, and the wrecking ball looks sexy between her thighs…I’m sure that helps sell her work. It’s called packaging.”Yeah,” he said, “what’s with the licking of the sledge hammer?” Well, that’s symbolic don’t you think? (nervous laughter)- “it doesn’t bother you?” Nope. Unless I was worried about it, making me a lesbian, which I’m not. It also doesn’t look like it tastes that good (relieved laughter)….POOR KID! He was worried he was a rotten person for being turned on by this. He’s a dood. Why does it bother women so much that doods LIKE looking at youthful beauty? Because we worry that we have to be like that as well, or more to the point, look like that? Or that we have to pretend we aren’t aroused when we are? Are you being honest with yourself about any of this? I wish my body looked like that…or do I? Don’t I just wish I could sit on a wrecking ball and feel good about myself? No matter what you think? Hell yeah, that’s what I’d like. I’d like to be able to dance like FikShun and swim like Michael Phelps too. PS. This same kid stood in line this summer in Denver to buy his mother Amanda’s CD. He’s gonna be okay.

    • amerika

      I don’t even think of sexy when seeing her or her videos. More like a kid who is still growing up and hasn’t found her sexuality yet, like a little kid humping a dog and wanting the adults to look and find it funny. Whilst sporting a 90’s housewife do, through oversaturated visuals and predicable, swimming on the surface moves, pushing a highly mediocre and formulaic song. Nothing about it is sexy or stimulating.

      • doni-marie

        Please note: you do refer first and foremost to sexuality, however mature or “sexy” or appropriate you judge it or not. When judging, we keep in mind, who is being hurt.

  • mnumber5

    Amanda interjecting herself into something that’s none of her business.
    deaddove.jpg

    • Hope Enprae

      It appears that you don’t understand the meaning or purpose of an open letter – like the one Sinead wrote, so I will help you. One purpose, of many, of an open letter is to start a wider dialogue on a subject……..which is what has happened here…..see? You’re welcome.

  • http://www.iterativearts.com bud latanville

    I can respect whores. It’s pimps I can’t stand.

    that said, Sinead’s first album came out when she was 18 or 19 – younger than Miley is right now – a fact that could have been determined with a little google-fu…

    • Polypsyches

      It’s not about when her first album came out. If you look her up on imdb, you’ll notice she was the star of the (apparently) wildly successful “Hannah Montana” starting when she was 14. And her first credited acting role was when she was 9. And her father was some sort of country singer or something and very famous, from what I understand.

      • lentower

        Her father is still a country music singing super star.

        • lennyisaturd

          Lenny is still a turd.

      • http://www.iterativearts.com bud latanville

        I acknowledge that Miley’s been in the biz from an earlier age, perhaps, than Sinead or Amanda.
        But I was simply filling in the info that Amanda didn’t have.

  • ScientololoonsAgainWTF

    Getting a little publicity starved Amanda? How utterly ridiculous to stick your nose into this dialogue. You are not worthy to address Sinead at all. She is light years ahead and above your rinky-dink music. But it got you attantion and some page hits, eh? LAME

    • Polypsyches

      Yet you, person with a made-up name, you are worthy to address Amanda? And without a shred of the respect she deferred to her “better”? Hmm.

  • MissMJ

    A great conversation except for the AFP hate. Irony much?

  • Krista Keating

    Miley can do whatever she wants. True. But what Miley is doing is not just “ripping a page from stripper culture.” What Miley is doing is taking a lifestyle often led by women in a disenfranchised and marginalized social location (i.e.: poor or not white or undocumented or addicted) and trying to make it seem like it is something “fun” and “youthful.” She is appropriating a lifestyle she knows nothing about or why it came about or why women choose it, chewing it up and spitting it out and trying to call it “art.”

  • L.Croft

    Great letter. Women should be free to do what they want and express themselves however they want. But should a woman be allowed to dress like a little girl and promote Pedo Bear on stage while wearing a teddy bear leotard that represents the Pedo Bear she’s dancing with? Everyone talks about Miley and her free will and how her free will effects young girls due to her over sexualizing her persona, but she does have free will and all women should and I think that is her point. BUT everyone seems oblivious that in her twerk performance on stage Pedo bear was dancing and performing and making a statement also. I think no one is saying anything because they don’t know what Pedo Bear is. It’s a big pink bear that has come to be known on the internet as a bear representing pedophilia. That’s what people should be talking about. Who cares what Miley does with her own sexuality but look: A grown woman, dressed like a little girl, dancing with Pedo Bear. Just saying.

    • Princess

      Pedo Bear is an anti-peadophilia mascot – and Miley’s no 1 fan you know

      • Princess

        And is brown not pink – people need to know

  • http://abhimanyughoshal.com/ Abhimanyu Ghoshal

    My issue with Miley’s performance is that it was purely to get attention. What is she borrowing from stripper culture for? Is she making real statements about anything in her music? There’s no connection between the image she’s trying to cultivate and the music she performs. It’s as if this is the only way she can differentiate herself from her similar-sounding peers in the world of pop.

    As to whether the VMA bit was her idea or her label’s – it looks like we’re all speculating,Sinead and Amanda included. But this is nothing like an artist experimenting with her music and her look/image and her performance — you can’t compare Miley to Michael Jackson, for example. In Jackson, we saw a genius at work. In Miley, we see someone trying too hard to wear a mask that doesn’t fit. Make art, and people will respond to it — that’s what you should be in the music business for. Shocking people with something shallow will only make you famous for, well, shocking people with something shallow.

  • Sarah Henry

    I disagree with this completely. I normally love Amanda Palmer but I think she is way off the mark here. She is saying women should have the right to express themselves any way they want, but Miley Cyrus is not behaving the way she is because she’s trying to figure herself out or because this is who she is and she has a right to show the world. She is doing it because she wants instant fame. She wants to be infamous and she does not care how she does it. She’s being controversial for the sake of being controversial. She want millions of hits on YouTube just for the hits. She is not trying to make a statement that needs to be made, she is not being herself and she is not inspiring other women to be feel liberated. And the sad thing is she is not reinventing music or rewriting the script. She is being ridiculous. She is not adding anything new to the table but instead she is taking away from it. And to me it seems like Amanda Palmer is so adamant on women being able to do whatever the hell they want (which I agree with) that she is ignoring the fact that as HUMANS we have a duty to make a difference for the better, try and push the genre (or whatever we do for a living) forward and make a lasting change that will help not only women, but all of us be better. And in terms of her using Jagger and Richards as examples, people see them as a joke now. Just like Miley. But the difference is they made a difference to music and she definitely has not. We should do what we do out of self respect rather than desperation. Motivation should be the deciding factor and not the outcome.

    • Chrysis Cirrhosis

      I was not aware you had taken on a second career as Miley’s cortex.

      • Polypsyches

        I was not aware anyone saw Jagger or Richards as jokes. I mean, the way they are now, maybe, the fact that they’re still trying to act like they did even at their age. But the fact that they did it back then? Nope. My peeps still give ‘em props. Or something.

    • amerika

      Jagger and Richards aren’t jokes. What is a joke is how musicians are treated by dim folk once they pass a certain age.

      • Sarah Henry

        I paid over 200 to see the Rolling Stones this summer, so don’t preach at me about them.

  • Patrick Stewart

    I’ve got an idea. Why don’t we 1) stop assuming that we KNOW Miley, 2) stop assuming we know what’s best for her while sitting judgmentally assessing her “future” from afar, and 3) stop pretending that we believe, under any circumstances, that we are here to make decisions for her. Amanda’s right in a sense…let the girl do her thing! But even for Amanda to posit why she either is doing, or should be doing her thing is wrong, too.

    Amanda is spot on by stating, “As much as we may not want to see it this way – because, from a far
    distant she looks like just another airbrushed hottie from a lite beer commercial – we gotta give Miley (and every female) space to try on her artist’s uniform. It’s like a game of cosmic dress-up, but the stakes are high. If we’re allowed to play it, we’re empowered. If we’re not, we’re still in a cage.”

    But here, too, while the “giving” of space is important, we shouldn’t at the same time, be telling them what to “do” with the space, how to “use” the space, and for pete’s sake, we shouldn’t be assigning our own politics to the space.

    Live and let live…it’s the entertainment biz.

    Oh, and PS…I do truly love Amanda’s work…ROCK BANG!

  • Mr D

    Oh dear, another open letter…. http://tinyurl.com/psrzpp4

  • Kala Joy

    I honestly can see both of their points of view…for me as an artist, I choose to be sensually and sexually free in my expression. I don’t know if Miley chose this too or if she has been manipulated. I support women in expressing themselves in the way they choose to do so. And for those who are manipulated, I choose to support their ability to get out from under another’s foot and rise to their own brilliance. Both points of view feel right to me and both views are also wrong, depending on the individual situation. Sex is beautiful and our OWN to do with as we truly WILL, and I would like that message to be the prevailing message for women and men who choose to work with that energy.
    6 minutes ago · Like

  • Tiffany Little

    Young women shouldn’t need to be taught to censor themselves to keep them safe from those that would take advantage of them. It’s the re-education of those that would manipulate that is required.

    It might sound like a naive statement but this whole episode to me is a bitter reminder of current cultures of ‘victim blaming’… Young girl goes out dolled up to the nines and is greeted with sexually threatening behaviour – making her feel vulnerable and ashamed when she had stepped out feeling great and empowered. It’s not her fault, and she shouldn’t have to adjust the way she dress to avoid this kind of behaviour – why are rape or assault victims quizzed over what they were wearing when attacked? It doesn’t make a fucking difference what someone was or wasn’t wearing – the attacker is the one at fault. Yet this story and similar pops up countless times on the everyday sexism project (http://www.everydaysexism.com/).

    Miley was likely a sex icon even before she began to market herself as such, fuck, depressing as it is, Hannah Montana was likely some sort of sex icno – when a young woman is in the public eye, chances are there is someone somewhere thinking ‘yeah I’d tap that’ regardless of whether ‘that’ was age appropriate, fully clothed or not.

    I applaud Miley for asserting herself in such an aggressive way – it’s not something I could do personally but I appreciate it. I also appreciate your openness and acceptance Amanda, because all too often women end up pitted against each other… I hope that by all of us charging forward together we can combat all the bullshit machinations of those that’d hold us back.

  • PinkNinya Yammer-blastLil

    things I love about this:
    1. the tender nuance of honoring that fertile, wild, early canvas where you could knock around and fail and sniff out ur truer honey lines (so effing important to the creative process)
    2. the gentle reframe on Miley’s experience, and how it soothed the dissonance i felt and allowed me to soften into valuing Big, Wild, Bigger Becoming
    3. The fun of valuing diverse expression and how lifegiving that is. Diverse ecosystems are the thrivingest!
    4. I liked how lovingly you came out swinging, the inclusive language, the invitation in in in…. Thank you dear one

  • http://www.facebook.com/soohyen.park Soohyen Park

    Why is this being over-thought to death, and the most obvious, ignored? Miley just isn’t that talented. Cher gets it:

    http://youtu.be/Sf368WpUCjM

  • Chloe ~ HoopStatic

    Thank you immensely Amanda Palmer for speaking up for choice, because ultimately that’s what this is all about.

    Personally I think Miley Cyrus is brilliant. Kali incarnate, naked, tongue, wrecking ball destroyer and all. Whether intentional or not (and really does it even matter), she has started a much needed dialogue about women’s sexuality and for that I applaud her. I’ve personally found all of her performances recently to be incredibly thought-provoking. Let’s face it, dancing provocatively with children’s toys and foam football fan fingers while objectifying a man who is famous for objectifying women says so many things about our culture that need to talked about in open and honest ways without slut-shaming a 20 year old woman who is doing exactly what 20 year old women do.

    Miley Cyrus you are awesome.
    Sinead O’Connor you are awesome.
    And Amanda Palmer you are awesome.

    And Madonna and Britney and Beyonce and Debbie Harry and Lady Gaga and every other woman who is brave enough to survive in in their own ways in this male dominated world.

    I salute you all. You go girls! We all need more Kali in our lives anyways. There’s got to be something else out there for women besides just Maidens and Mothers and Madonnas and Whores.

  • Bruno

    It’s about people finding peace with themselves.
    All the lust and frustrations resurface, from just one girl trying to feel brave in her own eyes.
    A strip club is a slow burn , and you get zombie type of audience.
    While at concerts you get chastity defence . The reaction stems mostly from people who never were at the concert. From people who felt they did not belong to the unifying moment.
    If you stir people up, people with serious lust issues. Then at least find a way to put them down. To cool.
    It’s like not allowing your partner to climax. Frustrating beyond belief.
    The audience doesn’t know what it is. But you do. Otherwise you wouldn’t start it. . .

    • amerika

      ” The reaction stems mostly from people who never were at the concert.
      From people who felt they did not belong to the unifying moment.”

      Are you serious ?

      The whole spectacle and audience looked boring as fuck.

  • John Gibbons

    Miley Cyrus is quite obviously a puppet doing the bidding of her handlers.

  • Mr D

    Oh dear, another open letter…. http://tinyurl.com/psrzpp4

  • Pixie Rose

    This, OMFG, THIS!!!! Every. Single. Word. Of it! Trying to break into the “Boy’s Clubs” of both comedy and screen-writing, I more than understand the pain and frustration that female musicians (and pretty much all female artists) feel. Miss Palmer nailed it.

  • Evelyn B

    AMANDA..U R Fuckin brilliant.. i thought i loved ya before, but i adore u now..<3 Why assume Miley is a damsel in distress? Why can't she be captain of her own ship? I think the chile does what she wants to.. so get used to that..

  • kp

    this was so perfect. the exact response i was attempting to articulate

  • reallythough

    Anytime a young(ish) fairly attractive, if not perfect, bloke/boy takes his shirt off, we all know he wants attention solely for his body and looks. What is with all this silly reasons for nudity nonsense? We see the bloke/boy as shallow. We see the woman as shallow.

    Because it IS shallow.

    I’m a woman btw. A non-delusional one. I know what I’m doing…..

    Sinead wore no make-up, no sexy clothes and shaved her head. Yes she looked beautiful. Shallow – no. You do that Amanda and see how liberating it really might be for you. You are delusional in your current thinking.

  • StunningPR

    Because it’s so relevant, I quote Caitlin Moran talking about Rihanna (but could be Miley, Ke$ha, blah blah blah), “Every time we see Rihanna on her hands and knees with her coccyx hanging out of her knickers, my girls will shake their heads, sadly, and say, “It is a great song – but we feel sorry for Rihanna. If she was really one of the biggest pop stars in the world, she’d be allowed to wear a nice cardigan once in a while. Poor Rihanna. Poor, cardigan-less Rihanna.”

  • Guest
  • Mr D

    Oh dear, another open letter…. http://tinyurl.com/psrzpp4

  • Estelindis

    Great response, Amanda. I think you strike the right balance, or as close as it’s reasonably possible to get.

  • StunningPR

    Once feminists burned bras. Now they want to show them off. I think we should start a ‘Give a pop girl a cardigan campaign’ and get Caitlin Moran to be the figurehead. Just a thought…

  • Shashkes Sarit

    Amanda I love this post and completely agree with you. I was disappointed with O’connor’s letter it had a lot of slut shaming (and prostitute shaming). Through out history women have been told what to do and not to do. Moving forwards means giving more freedom not less giving more knowledge, tools and supports and allowing each women to experiment with her own boundaries. I was a litter apprehensive before reading this letter because I have always admired what you wrote and I admit I had my doubts and what you’d say but once again you’ve outdone yourself. You clear and concise way of putting words together is an inspiration. A friend also noted that you managed to write this post without being condescending towards O’cconer, something she did not manage to do towards Cyrus, so good on you! And I’ll be following :)

  • A

    Seeing all the hate around this and around your response to this is heartbreaking.
    When feminism and hate come together it just makes the whole thing into all those other “isms” which are about control and fear and anger. The only people who have ever made me feel shitty about being a women have been people doing it and the guise of “feminism.”
    I’ve read your blogs so many times and thought “someone out there thinks like I do, someone else agrees about which parts of the world are fucked up” and then I’ve watched your opinions turn into “controversies” and watched the hate fly. And that hurts. And god knows how much it must hurt for you. So I want to say thank you for braving the critics and the trolls and for being strong enough to talk about what matters.
    Only love, A. xxx

  • shelley

    I love this. One of the biggest problems stemming from misogyny in this society is that women are expected to fit into tiny boxes that men have outlined for us — girl next door, sexy bombshell, dowdy, whatever it is. While I think Miley’s actions have been over-the-top (to say the least), I like that she’s breaking out of those boxes and just doing what she wants to do, despite what society expects her to be. I’m not saying all female pop stars should be walking around naked, because I don’t agree with sexual exploitation, but Miley has the right to exploit her body if she wants to. It’s just a shame that sexuality is such a commodity for men in our culture.

  • Adrianna Muse

    Oh thank goodness. The woman tearing down woman thing needs to stop. Thanks for being one of the few people who doesn’t think tearing down a young girl is somehow “OK”. Slut-shaming and teaching your children to slut-shame is not the answer.

  • Mr D

    But what about Miley’s swipe at Sinead’s illness? Another open letter… http://tinyurl.com/psrzpp4

  • Hardyhard

    No surprise that Amanda Palmer is taking the time to turn something completely irrelevant to her into a ME ME ME fest.

    • sagecreek

      No kidding! Amazing how she does that.

      • AmandaThief

        Amanda could have at at least waited until Miley had replied before hijacking it. Now we will never know what bountiful intelligence actually exists behind all that spittle tongue waving and rude chained ball riding. The real Miley. The abused child star Miley. The Miley who is just like everyone else Miley. Pity. :(

        • TerryRichardsonIsEvil

          I laughed so hard snot came out my nose! hahaha.

  • Angie J-s

    This folk singer’s open letter to you (Amanda), Sinead and Miley is beautiful. And I have to agree – so grateful just for the damn discussion of women, music and the beauty and conflict of that creative combo.
    http://www.famontheroad.com/2013/10/an-open-letter-to-miley-cyrus-sinead-oconnor-and-amanda-palmer-from-a-hard-working-unknown-folksinger/

  • opalnova

    Miley has never been a role model for my kids. This goes for both her child and adult personas. They’ve just never been fans in the first place. So, I guess if someone had children who were once a fan; I could see how there would be a concern and a need to make Miley’s behavior a teachable moment.

    I don’t necessarily mean because of the sexual nature of her behavior because there are too many societal hangups about sexuality and no adult should have any other adult following them around saying *you are too sexual and therefore, you are clearly a prostitute!* We could say that about women in many professions. The reporter with her blouse unbuttoned enough. A librarian who decided to wear a skirt. The construction worker who’s tshirt might have been a little too small that day. Our daughters, as adults, should be able to wear or do what they wish without fear of someone stifling their creativity or innovation via slut shaming.

    If there are behavioral issues that concerning Miley as a role model to young girls, I would consider a conversation around accusations regarding disrespect, culturally or to those under her employment. So, it is complicated, but it also evokes the need to discuss many sensitive topics our within a families.

  • csilla

    i am really surprised. there is not a common point: ‘art’ vs ‘music industry’. boobs did not sending the same messages, ladies: ‘breasts on minds’ vs ‘boobs on mtv’.

  • Mr D

    But what about Miley’s swipe at Sinead’s illness? Another open letter… http://tinyurl.com/psrzpp4

  • Christy

    Amanda, thank you for this. This is brilliant and you are brilliant.

  • Animator606432

    I don’t agree, but respect what you opinions are. However, I’ve given up on having any thing positive to say about Cyrus the moment she decided to make fun of mental illness. Fuck her. Some may view Sinead O’ Conner’s letter as bordering “slut shamming” (a word thrown around far to much these days) but you can tell it was coming from the heart. Cyrus COULD have responded like adult and offered a countering opinion about sexuality and femininity in art as well as society, but she didn’t. She responded like a spoiled brat who thinks anyone who disagrees with her is against her.

    Also, she made fun of those with MENTAL DISORDERS! I mean, comparing her to someone who has a terrible mental disease? Especially when she so called, looked up to her? So if she’s in charger of her own image or if she’s being used as a puppet for the industry (I believe the latter) I don’t give flying fuck. Once she give this ugly and unnecessary tweet, she can fall off a cliff. I may be a few years younger then Miley Cyrus but even I understand how to give a different opinion without being a shithead.

    • shelley

      Based on the fact that you said she should fall off a cliff, I disagree with your statement that you know how to “give a different opinion without being a shithead.”

      • Animator606432

        It’s called an exaggeration. Plus, there was a typo as I forget to finish the rest of the sentence. I didn’t call her a slut, I didn’t even say what she was doing career wise was wrong. I simply said, she could die today and I wouldn’t give a shit. As a person who suffers from autism, maybe I was a bit rash but I don’t care. Fuck her, regardless.

  • Maggielox

    Amanda, why did you not send your letter to Sinead privately? She is easy to contact. Why did you want to do it publicly? I agreed with much of what you said, but it seems you have jumped on the bandwagon. And successfully, too – because here I am, never having heard of you, watching your video on your blog. Well done.

    • shelley

      I believe you just answered your own question.

      • DerpyDerps

        because amanda WANTS ATTENTION. You didn’t get that from the clown makeup?

        • Polypsyches

          I think we all want attention. That’s why we’re on twitter and facebook, and reading and commenting on famous people’s blogs. Why the hell would we not want attention?

          • What

            Attention from a small set of people. I’m on twitter to find information, same on facebook. Furthermore, what is ‘fame’ ? To me it doesn’t come into the equation when writing here, I mean when you say “and reading and commenting on famous people’s blogs”. Well, it probably means what kind of attention. Personally I’m not interested in the ‘look at me look at me’ without any need for a deeper discourse type of attention, so if you mean that kind, um, certainly not.

          • Polypsyches

            In my experience, it’s difficult to have any meaningful discussion, or any discussion at all, really, with anyone, if they are not looking at you. “Attention seeking” gets a bad rep, but show me a viable alternative. If you’re in a class-room and have something to say, you raise your hand. If you’re on the internet and have something to say, well, there’s no teacher out there to call on you. Anyone the Internet considers as worth listening to has, at some point or other, pulled a “stunt” to “get people’s attention”. I don’t see why we fault them for that. Quite a few of them are worth listening to.

  • Guest

    Boo! You’re part of the problem, Amanda. Don’t use sex to sell your music.

  • Jehefinner

    I haven’t got the time to write a long reply here, but I saw Miley interviewed by Alan Carr, she quite openly admitted that the video director told her to do the stuff she did in the Wrecking Ball video.

    And for the record, it’s not the nakedness that’s the issue for me, and I think the imagery in the video of her wielding a sledgehammer dressed only in her knickers and vest is clear and clever, vulnerable yet still powerful and strong, it’s the sexing up with a hammer and licking everything. It’s creepy and wrong, and as Alan Carr says to Miley in the interview, no doubt the (middle aged male) director probably got more out of this than Miley did.

    Poor Miley, she’s working her way through her first major relationship break-up, and unfortunately she has the whole internet to do it on, and millions of people who are watching, many of them laughing at her, way to many of them slut-shaming her, not nearly enough of them showing her any empathy or support.

    The issue for me is two fold: Dignity and Self-respect. I’m not seeing much of either of these in Miley’s recent music videos. I’m comfortable with skin, I’m good with sexy, but I suspect Miley will look back at this behaviour, face-palm and say “what was I thinking?” rapidly followed by “why didn’t anyone stop me?”

    Underneath all the words and ideals, this is what Sinead O’Connor is saying.

    • virginia

      The director of the video (Terry Richardson) is the same person who photographed Miley recently in a leotard barely covering her lady parts. I think she could have said no to either of those things.. But you’re right, it’s not the nudity here.. it’s the way she chooses to present herself.

      • Oh how “art”

        Terry Richardson is wellknown for getting models to give him blowjobs for work. Look it up.

  • You’re gross.

    Ugh! What a world.

  • sagecreek

    Pshaw. It’s not about you, Amanda.

    • DerpyAFP&herDerpyFans

      Why not? Everything usually has been for the few years?!??!?!

  • Charles

    I find this letter really naive. Ms. Palmer I think you are brainwashed, and I find your attitude grossly negligent. Sinead has a good head on her shoulders, you should take the opportunity to learn something instead of trying to reinforce the disgusting state popular music is currently in. Shame on you.

  • http://www.theunexpurgatedpress.tumblr.com/ Chester Whelks

    The biggest tragedy in all this is that we’ll never see Miley say “Amanda Palmer? Who’s that?” One google image search, wrinkled nose, arched lip and Valley Girl “Eeeww!” later, Miley has her answer.

  • LizEN

    Nice of you to once again take a moment to hawk your own performance. Really highlights how very much you care about an issue or a person to self promote at every turn.

    Also, for you and Sinead each to publicly take a moment to make assumptions about Miley’s personal motives, journey or choices objectifies her as much as anything else. Care to write about your reaction to her choices? Sure, but how could either of you possibly know what she’s about? If either of you cared to know, a private message to her may have meant a lot to her. Or not. But of course that doesn’t garner national press.

  • Cochon

    thank you for saying this

  • NellaLou

    Appreciating your perspective here Amanda but the dig at Madonna? Not cool. At all.

  • Josh

    There’s nothing brave or sexy in Miley’s behavior or antics.

  • Wilder Dayze

    Thank you!! Miley at the Grammys was Olive in Little Miss Sunshine…doing her own thing, obliviously and happily stripping to Superfreak while we are the helmet haired, psycho pageant lady screaming “Get your daughter off this stage!”. All of the hypersexualized moppets, Robin Thicke as the scary host singing to the little girls is warped. All of those self satisfied, self congratulating stars appalled by her. All of these entitled young men applying the boner meter to her. She is doing her own thing. Sinead, slut shaming is the same as shaming people for mental health issues. We’ve raised girls to think their primary value is how they stack up against porn stars (nothing against porn stars) and then slut shame them for it?! And now young men are taught to expect sex, and women feel pressured to compete with porn stars. How is that going to play out in rape culture? But all these years of “sexual freedom” while at the same time forcing repression on women because of Dworkin, and the 70s “objectification” policies (dress and act like a nun so you don’t play into men’s demands) only repressed women. Actual objectification is worse now than ever, so it didn’t work. Quit slut shaming and figure out how to embrace women’s sexuality without demanding it. That is freedom.

  • Dani R

    just wondering if you’re still here in Texas.

  • Suzy Soro

    All the people mocking any one of these 3 women musicians has clearly not been in the music business, or in any show business equivalent. Because if you had, you’d know Amanda’s words about women in the business is spot on. To quote Ginger Rogers: “I did everything Fred Astaire did only backwards and in high heels.” And who do we remember from this dancing duo the most? Astaire. Rock on, all of you. And take that flannel schmatta off.

    • amerika

      So you’re a fan of McDonald’s culture ? Not sure what is “Rock on” about that.

  • Charlotte

    No matter if Cyrus makes her own choices or is a music industry puppet, her reply to O’Connor was disrespectful in many ways. Apart from the fact that she ridiculed her inspiration (which means that she ridiculed herself, because she took elements of Sinead and placed them into her style), she made fun of something that she shouldn’t. Nobody choses to be ill in any way, but even in they did, there’s defenitely nothing fun about that.
    She’s trying to get rid of the Hannah Montana image while she’s sticked together with it, when she responds like a 15-year-old, just like her Disney alter ego.
    I adore you, Amanda, and I respect the things you say. Most people can’t understand what you wanted to say with your reply and are losing the point of it completely.
    But, as soon as Cyrus choses to act that way, so be it.
    First, it proves that you were right: she didn’t say “holy shit, they’ve been taking advantage of me this whole time!.
    Secondly, now she can’t say that she wasn’t warned, if things turn out badly.

  • Fan

    Prince wrote Nothing Compares…not Sinead. She got the fame for it though.

  • http://soundcloud.com/mreggmusic Ken Adams

    I thought Amanda’s letter was very much in keeping with her principles and also very thought out and insightful. I got where she was coming from and I found it constructive.

    My only beef is when in her PPS she kind of semi advocates “torrenting” Sinead’s albums (of course based on Sinead’s possible future guidance of whether or not to) which I find to just not be helpful. It promotes the culture of “free music/content” that IMO is a more important one than whether or not Miley is twerking on a wrecking ball, etc. If Amanda wants to give her music away and she has other revenue streams to make her recordings possible and even “OMG” profitable, that’s her choice. But I would hope Amanda would help stop the herd mentality of “content is free, just torrent it… but Oh I’m gonna go buy Grand Theft Auto…” that is driving the ability of musicians to make a living to the bottom.

    Otherwise, a great read.

  • DrCaligari

    Miley who?

  • ScottBourne

    Seriously – I love the genuine spirit with which you approach this. But let’s be honest. Would anyone EVER have heard of – listened to – signed Miley if she wasn’t the daughter of a famous person and if she wasn’t outrageous and naked and twerking and whatever? Hell no. I understand marketing. I have nothing against it. But don’t pretend Miley is an artist. She’s a shrewd young woman who grew up in a business that she knows well thanks to her father’s fame and she’s using that – and her perfect body to make some money. Maybe later she’ll take time to show us who she is as an artist. I look forward to that. I am sure almost anyone reading this couldn’t care less what I think. But I have a right to my opinion just like Miley does – just like Amanda does. And my opinion essentially is this. Don’t be fooled into thinking Miley is an artist. She’s a sideshow. And where Amanda nailed it is in saying Miley has a right to be a sideshow if she wants to. That’s nobody’s business. I look forward to finding out someday if she IS an artist or something more than a sideshow.

    • x

      Most people think that Amanda Palmer is a sideshow too. Same reasons.

    • lentower

      Isn’t the Disney Company using her for the Hannah Montana role,
      what made Miley famous?

  • Nicollai

    When did this conversation stop being about race appropriation? I mean I understand that the public sexuality of this young woman is of concern, but what about the entire culture that she’s exploiting to do so? Where did that conversation go?

    • Polypsyches

      It can’t be about both? She can’t be a) making a sexual non-statement AND b) exploiting black culture? We seem to be talking about a) here. If you want to bring up b), that’s fine, but if you don’t want to talk about a), I’m afraid this is not your thread.

    • Boo Boo

      She’s appropriating different things there, not only “race” (or from an ethnic group that’s largely part of a westernized culture).

  • delia

    i still don’t think it’s cool for miley to treat WOC like props, appropriate ratchet culture, and mock mental illness. girl can wear what she wants, but those things haven’t gone away.

    • Heather Ure Dunagan

      Yes, I wish that both Sinead and Amanda had addressed this. These are the women being most egregiously “pimped” in all of this, not Miley.

      • RobinThickeBigDick

        Well the blonde lady at the VMA with Robin Thicke’s hand completely up her behind doesn’t really help the argument much :o/

  • Kim

    And another Miley/Sinead mashup here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rDcTgaoVwvs
    I had never actually seen/heard the Miley song but Amanda’s blog prompted me to do it; it’s actually rather good and I think this mashup with Sinead shows her holding her own pretty well.

    • amerika

      I think it’s terrible, awfully generic and very hard to listen to (the Miley part, I mean, Sinead’s is wonderful). What a load of rubbish.

  • Selina

    If anybody takes anything away from this at all: Amanda sounds fucking amazing in that video.

    But onto the controversy, naturally. Personally I think Miley is playing the right cards for where she wants her career to be. She wants to be a big name with a shock factor. She did just that, and she seems quite proud of it. It just so happens that (perhaps this is controversial all on its own) Miley also has a decent voice. Does all of her work showcase that? Maybe not. Miley is still young, has made mistakes and will continue to make mistakes. I don’t think that necessarily means anything. Just like Amanda and Sinead have a loyal fan base, Miley does as well. She has catchy hits, and sometimes that’s enough for people. People are not always going to love everything you do, no matter HOW famous you are – something that Amanda and Miley definitely have in common, as well as you and I. Is this whole issue about morals and respect for oneself, or is it about respect for each other? Of course there is a chance that Miley is being taken advantage of, etc, etc but why as the general public are we concerned? Yes she is an influence on many, but how many more truly realize how immoral her actions truly are? I think Miley knows exactly what she is doing. Miley knows that swinging naked on a wrecking ball is going to create a fuss, and that is what she wants! She’s young and grew up with cameras in her face. The cameras went away for a while and she wants them back because she doesn’t quite know a life without them, and it seems that she will do just about anything to get them back.

    To each his own; I don’t necessarily think anybody is at any sort of fault here.

  • BryanCUFF

    Once again Amanda Palmer misses the point.

  • psychomom

    So why is it that men can sell millions of records without shedding one stitch of clothing? We who grew up in the 60’s fought so hard to have women recognized for their actions, not their mammary glands. For that reason, we “old-timers” have a hard time accepting the idea that a woman has to be a stripper to have her music validated.

    • Polypsyches

      Are you saying that just because men do not shed their clothing, that means that they are not being sexualized? I know there’s a lot of controversy when it comes to whether or not women are turned on by naked men the way men are turned on by naked women, but though I wasn’t around in the sixties, my understanding is that Elvis and especially the Beatles were seen as devastatingly arousing figures by their fans, not to mention the Stones, etc. all the way up to that Bieber kid everyone seems to be complaining about in my late-twenties generation. The point is not that men don’t have to take their clothes off to sell records, the point is that sex is what sells. Sex is what makes Music into Pop. And apparently, men don’t have to take their clothes off to be sexual.

      • psychomom

        Exactly — men don’t have to take their clothes off to be sexual, but women have to shove their crotches, breasts and buttocks into the audience to be sexual. Don’t you find that a bit troubling?

        • Polypsyches

          Personally, I don’t think that women do “have to shove their crotches, breasts and buttocks into the audience to be sexual”. As a heterosexual male in my late twenties, I think they can be just as sexual just standing there fully clothed, under the right circumstances. Miley Cyrus swinging naked from a wrecking ball may be vaguely tittilating for me, but it’s nowhere near as sexy as the sounds of Florence and the Machine, or Megan Jean and the KFB, or Morgan/The Romanovs.

          But I’m confused about what you’re objecting to, here. You expressed concern above that women have to strip to be “validated”. My objection (and, from what I can tell, the objection coming from both AFP and Sinéad) is that “validation” in the music industry must come from the sex appeal of the singer rather than her talent and skill or the quality of the music.

          Again, I wasn’t around in the sixties, but my understanding is that the Beatles were always loved for their music first–I know that’s the case right now. I don’t know too many people in my generation who admit to having naughty feelings about John or Paul, but I know even fewer people who don’t like the Beatles’ music to some extent or other.

          The idea that “sex sells” seems to be a necessary evil in the marketing machine of the Music Industry, but there’s a difference between using sex as a marketing tool and using sex as the entire basis of the music, to the exclusion of all else.

          So to answer your question, what troubles me is the fact that the music industry seems to think that if they sell sex, they don’t have to put any other effort into making good music (particularly when it comes to female artists). They’re trying to teach us that sex music=good music, rather than making good music that also happens to be sexy.

  • Ceegee Parfois

    Oh Amanda: you are the artist I would be if I were tall, could sing in crowds and had a bit more music training; and wasn’t busy keeping half of america’s graphics artists and their IT communities in a job.. Thank you for saying what was on my mind when I read Sinead’s letter. A million times.

  • George

    Too long, didn’t read.

  • Jess

    Amanda,

    You know she doesn’t write her own music, right?

    • lentower

      Doesn’t make a difference to making art.

      Most actors don’t write their own plays.

      Most diva’s don’t write the opera roles they sing.

      Singing and performing is still making art.

      • LennysDirtyUnderpants

        Well you know, Amanda doesn’t write her own music either so they very similar in that sense.

  • Rich White Record Exec

    I completely agree with Amanda on all of this. Now if you don’t mind, I’m off to Barbados with Todd Palin…

  • anna

    I was genuinely interested to see what Amanda would have to say about this whole debacle, but something about this response is…off… I would be curious as to whether any of it has changed given the response to Sinead from Miley.

    Sinead did not offer an unsolicited opinion – she was imitated in a video and name-dropped in the press who then came calling to her door. Her letter is in response to this, not some self aggrandizing ploy to garner some attention by “slut shaming” Miley. I think anyone who has followed Sinead at all knows that if Sinead needs public attention, she is quite capable of getting it for herself.
    While it is unnecessary and unkind to speak of other people’s suffering as though on some sliding scale, I think what happened to Sinead post-SNL is at a level that only perhaps Natalie Maines can comprehend. If Sinead had been running around doing whatever the 90s version of twerking was or swinging around naked with her tongue out in music videos prior to SNL, I don’t think any semblance of her career would have survived. It seemed to me all Sinead was doing was trying to caution Miley to take care that while she is “running around like a maniac” she is not harming irreparably her potential to be taken seriously should she have a larger point she wishes to make with her talent later on.
    Amanda has always been very clear as to how important her own context is to her, and I am not sure this letter entirely respects the context in which Sinead works and creates.

  • Jack

    You’re right Amanda. Sinead has got Miley completely wrong.
    “Assumption is the mother of all f**k ups”

  • Truth

    All i see is 3 chicken clucking. Move along everyone, nothing to see here…

  • JustAnOpinion

    I think one of people’s main issues about Miley Cyrus’ video is how people think it may influence young girls. This makes complete sense to me for obvious reasons, however I don’t think this is the main problem. The main problem for young girls aspiring to be musicians is that we have hardly anybody to look up to – this is why when someone as loud and brash as Miley Cyrus comes along she has a massive impact upon us. The fact is that there are hardly any female rock stars to influence us and help us grow as artists. You may disagree with me, but take a look at the next rock band you listen to-the chances are they’re ALL MEN. What does this tell us? Sure, there’s always going to be Miley Cyrus, Sinead O’Connor, Amanda Palmer and many, many others to show us GIRLS CAN DO THIS SHIT! And then they’re all victimised unfairly… I think if there were more women who did whatever the fuck they wanted, just like men seem to be able to do with no problem whatsoever, life would be so much easier for young girls.
    Personally, I don’t believe girls should be told that certain ways of life are GOOD and certain ways of life are EVIL, but shown both sides of the story in equal fairness. I believe we should be allowed to choose how we live our lives, as we want to and in a way that makes us happy, not as society dictates. If that means we live fast and die young or end up a mess in a gutter, who cares? It’s our life- we can do what we want. Obviously I don’t advocate these things, but if a girl wants to do drugs or film a video of herself naked then let her! Judging her only makes the problem worse and people will get hurt. If we choose to live a controversial life, be it like Miley or Sinead or Amanda, I don’t think we should be abused for it…and yet, in this modern day and age, we still are. Now ask yourself, is this fair?
    Obviously, this is just my opinion, I wasn’t trying to offend anyone, and if I did I’m sorry.

  • Marlen
  • Ale

    Just the current Flavor of the Month off a social calendar that specializes in swinging sub-cultural trends into the for mainstream for a quick thrill and a fine profit. The greatest shock resulting from this exhibition is that anyone felt shocked at all. These panting scandals has been ongoing since the first French Waltz circled an English Drawing Room, Elvis shook his pelvis and Wendy O. Williams decided to do The Who one better by chain sawing guitars to pieces on stage while mostly naked. Now a Pop princess has apparently taken a real shine to the Atlanta Hip Hop music scene (and associated lifestyle) and she is now tailoring her act to impress her new peer group. No big deal. I find it far more interesting that I haven’t read where the critics blasting Cyrus for her new incarnation are equally turning a disapproving eye toward the established Atlanta Hip Hop acts from whom she is lifting her material…I guess when someone like Lil’ Kim does the same thing at the VMA’s, no one blinks. (Yeah, I know Lil’ Kim isn’t out of Atlanta, but you get my point.)

  • Shelly Shocke

    Madonna was never the first to realize sex sells… women before the Victorian era realized that. Hence, prostitution is one of the oldest trades in the book. And how do any of these three women affect you directly? Do any of these women’s actions make you suddenly have to run naked through the streets or hump inanimate objects? The answer: only if you are an extremely easily swayed idiot. What all three are promoting is the idea that you should be able to do what you please without being told to go bake something or being patted on the head and told,” Oh it’s so cute when she thinks she’s people, too.” Men have been doing all the things these three have been, are doing or/and will do in the future for what seems forever without any backlash. But women are still constrained by Judeo/Christian ethics and morals that have little to no place in today’s society. Ask yourself: are these women causing harm to anyone? Real harm, not the moral outrage of the repressed. No. Do their actions immediately affect you? No, not really. Just through media coverage which does nothing but stir up hate and fear amongst the general population. By breaking down barriers and rigid century’s old preconceived notions of womanhood, will this maybe benefit you in the future? What about your future daughters, sons, nephews, nieces, and/or grandchildren? I think yes. If men and women can learn that sex is not something to be used to subjugate either gender, but to celebrate humanity as a whole, we might have a slim chance at a better future. It is the reason I can’t believe in feminism solely. I am a humanist who believes we must have men and women striving for understanding and equality together. I believe in People. Gender give us all a unique perspective but at the end of the day we are all still People. Or so DNA and science tells me. I truly feel the entire world would benefit from reading Ursula K. LeGuin’s The Left Hand of Darkness, and then stopping to think of how you could define a society or humanity if you had no gender or gender stereotypes to fall back on. It’s fairly mind-bending.

    I meant for this to be a short post of concise logic. I somehow expect heated backlash to a cool and fairly emotionless post. If not, even better. Since I can’t say I really care about anything said on the internet. Since it isn’t really a place and all.

    Have a nice and creative night folks.

  • TLLens

    I posted before, but I have one more thing to add. (Sorry!)
    I did not at all get the sense that Sinead was shaming or mean-spirited. Just the opposite. I read it like the way my big sister talks to me sometimes – with love and much-needed candor.
    I don’t think Sinead’s letter could have been written better or from a more knowledgeable perspective. The industry absolutely is making it seem as if Miley is making her own choices, being her own person. While it does appear she is having fun and putting in a lot of her own personality, one would be foolish to believe this 100% her idea.

    Interviews from just a few months ago capture a different Miley, a different person. People change, grow – especially in our 20’s, but to witness such a radical transformation in such a short amount of time would stop and give anyone pause for concern ‘in real life’.

    Miley is an actress. Let’s not forget this. This new character is problematic because, like you said, there is no meaningful point. There is no art. This is shock for shock’s sake. I feel that Sinead was saying that when she’s done playing this character, by her own embarrassment, the public’s boredom, or the industry’s source of the next trend, where will Miley -the PERSON- be?

    There is nothing empowering about anything I’ve seen her do recently. The Miley/Rhianna’s of the music world only make it harder for female artists to be taken seriously for their music. That trickles down to regular folks in the boardroom or behind the checkout counter. Women are seen as sex objects, period. That’s the world we live in, and pretending to ‘flip the switch’ by being hyper sexual does nothing but drive home the point that women are simply sex objects.

    I just read a really sad article about Britney toning down her latest video, and feeling pressure to be overly sexual. Her manager and Father quickly released a statement undermining her statements.
    Amanda, you are brilliant, and I know you understand the inner workings of the industry. You are well aware of the manipulation and deeply complex mind control issues artists at a certain level face. I know you know this, and I suspect you’ve made your career choices as you have to avoid much of that darkness. Don’t encourage it or pretend it away for any reason, personal or professional.

    I’m an artist as well, and I value my freedom. I also value my self-worth, and the blessing of expressing myself publicly. I value all our lives though, and I understand the affect of messages one tiny person can send. Being an artist is being an artist, cultivating fame & celebrity is another thing. The ladder is dangerous – for the individual and the receiver.

    Sinead had it right now and back then.
    Wearing a turtle neck, minimal makeup (and a refreshing zit or mole, if I’m remembering correctly) made a statement. The statement was “I’m singing an incredible song that has real emotion for me, I have an incredible voice, and I want you to hear it.” We got the message and THAT was empowering.

    • Selina

      I agree that perhaps Sinead’s intentions of her letter were to be “sisterly”, with love, concern, etc however, I think parts of her letter could have come off as otherwise. I think a lot of Miley’s inappropriate response to the letter was her thinking that she didn’t need the advice, and taking it in a more offensive manner than intended. There’s a chance that Miley felt wronged by Sinead, since she did just claim to have been inspired by her, and then her “inspiration” sort of dissed her from left field (in her mind).

      You bring up that Miley is an actress, young, etc but that her change is too radical. I obviously don’t know how much you know about Miley, and I am by no means claiming to be an expert however she kind of fascinates me. Miley was engaged at 19 for x-amount of time (a year maybe?) and then all of a sudden the couple split. Taking such a loss (no matter who’s decision), being young in the spotlight, etc, I think has the potential to turn a person around very quick. I think she’s actually very vulnerable right now, and as a result is “lashing out” as an artist via nakedness and whatnot. As I said, the whole situation fascinates me a little bit, especially where I am Miley’s age and can see it from a younger point of view in terms of influences and ever changing perspectives! Not to say that anybody “older” is wrong; everybody has been at this point in their life!

  • JSColley

    “(YOU’RE MADONNA! YOU COULD HAVE MADE AGING SEXY GODAMMIT AND YOU DIDN’T!!)” Yes, a missed opportunity and disappointing. But, you’re right, it is HER decision.

  • saray lane

    love you and your thoughts, almost as beautiful as your eyebows :)

  • Mr D

    But what about her crap response to Sinead?! Another open letter today… http://tinyurl.com/psrzpp4

  • Caroline Dixon

    Amanda, whatever you have to say on the topics of art and feminism lost all credibility when you pretended to rape a Katy Perry impersonator onstage with Margaret Cho. Please fuck off forever. Narcissistic piece of shit.

    • MusicExecutive

      Nothing says slut-shaming like simulated rape.

    • survivor

      AGREED. I dissociated watching that. Female empowerment, my ass. It was an episode of narcissistic self-entitlement. I hate how female narcissists call whatever they do female empowerment. Amanda Palmer – everything she does is “feminist” – case in point.

  • Nettrice

    Whenever I hear about Miley Cyrus I think of her use of black women as accessories on stage and in her videos. I want someone who supports Cyrus to address that.

    • GFX

      Samsonite luggage comes to mind and the airport baggage claim area for lost luggage.

      • Nettrice

        Whatever it is it disparages black women and black culture.

        • Janice

          If that is her inward reflection of herself, it is called self-destruction, not empowerment.

  • Lucas Teixeira Ferreira

    I can’t read the whole conversation, but i’ll state my opinion because I read something that I disagree with: The one that Miley’s not 100% in control of her career and Amanda’s wrong because she doesn’t know how the industry works.
    Well, I don’t think ANY labelled artist is 100% on control, actually not even the indie artists are. But Amanda’s point is not about if she’s been controled or not. What I think is that she is not being FORCED to do what she’s doing. I mean, she may be controlled somehow (and I do believe she is), but spitting disaprovement at her will only make her believe she is doing it right, she is calling attention and there are people loving it and people who just “wants her to go home and put some real clothes on”, but they are just too old or not cool enough to understand. I believe counseling is way better than just pointing at her saying “hey, you’re being manipulated, now stop being an idiot”. This just doesn’t work AT ALL.She may be manipulated by the industry, but she’s still a human. She can judge things by herself. Saying she’s not doing something consciously is the same as calling her headless. And she’s not. It’s not about telling her what to do. I think Sinead has a point and she is right on what she says, but the best approach should be “I see what you’re doing and it’s ok to do it. I’m not judging, but do it wisely. Know your game. Then choose what’s best for you. I am the old one and you can count on me if you want some advice” instead of “I’ll give you an advice: stop letting yourself be manipulated and your body is for you and your boyfriend”. This is the part I disagree w/ Sinead and agree w/ Amanda, though some people may have misunderstood her point of view.

    Thanks, and sorry for the broken english, I’m from Brazil and I’m not a professional english speaker.

  • Mr D

    But what about her crap response to Sinead?! Another open letter today… http://tinyurl.com/psrzpp4

    • Patience Virtue

      Agreed. She is not the victim. She has been using her privilege to oppress women, oppress black people, and now to oppress those with mental illness. So she doesn’t have the male privilege that Robin Thicke does: she still has every other privilege in the fucking book, and to pretend that she’s suffering under all this critique, like it’s martyrdom, is downright ridiculous.

  • Patience Virtue

    Shame on you, Amanda Palmer. Miley’s “twerking”, her stereotyping and appropriation of black culture and use of black women as props is so shamefully and flagrantly racist that I can’t believe you would say something like “I want to live in a world where Miley (or any female musician) can twerk wildly at 20.”

    You should know better, Ms Palmer. Shame.

  • robingee

    I am sure everyone here knows a lot more than two women who have been in the music business for many years.

    • RobinBlahBeeBlah

      I think you just don’t have an argument or care to waste the time defending such a stupid topic in the first place. Derp!

  • Mr D

    But what about her crap response to Sinead?! Another open letter today…http://tinyurl.com/psrzpp4

  • Peter Cohen

    Amanda Palmer, you are smart, talented and thoughtful, but how can you moralize about anything when you are crossing the most important picket line of our time? Spare us your talk of pimps and prostitution when you are directly supporting the murder of children, the displacement of families, and the ongoing deprivation of the rights of an entire population.

    When the cruel and dehumanizing system of Apartheid in Palestine falls and justive and freedom are finally won, your name will stand among those who supported oppression and ignored the pleas of the oppressed.

    • lentower

      You’re welcome to your values and

      • Anon

        It is kinda scary when Lenny is right sometimes. It almost makes me want to rethink my entire life in case I made I mistake.

  • Anonymous

    Sinead’s letter was better. Its obvious Miley can make some of her decisions, but to what extent? All major “pop stars” are manufactured by their companies to some extent. Of course her record company has a say in her image! And they’re not helping. Exploring your femininity and sexuality is one thing, but exposing yourself like that publicly is another. Miley is so trashy I can barely see the distance between her and a stripper now. And not a very attractive one at that either. Whether celebrities like it or not, they are role models. They want money, fame and attention – well all that attention does come with responsibilities when you have millions of people (including kids) observing you or looking up at you. They may not want to be role models, but its not a choice. Im a young person Miley’s age and everyone I know was able to find themselves without resorting to Miley/Rihanna-type of behaviour. Of course parents should also be role models to their kids, and parents should be more strict these days. But there’s no denying that the media is everwhere these days and kids/teens are often exposed to celebrities they sometimes look up to. Miley is taking money and attention from these kids, but clearly she doesn’t give a crap about them because she doesn’t care how many horrible examples she sets. To me Miley does not seem to be exploring or discovering herself, no she is trying much too hard for that… She is attention seeking. She wants people to think she is cool and edgy. She doesn’t care what example she sets to her fans, she just wants the fame and money – at the cost of her own dignity and self-respect. But I guess as the saying goes “What shall it profit a man if he gains the whole world but loses his soul?”

    I just hope people tire from Mikey’s desperate antics and don’t give her the undeserving attention that could be better spent on important issues or talented artists.

  • Mr D

    But what about her crap response to Sinead poking fun at her mental illness?! Another open letter today…http://tinyurl.com/psrzpp4

  • Funkytown

    OH wait, wait, wait…….I totally agree with you Amanda but….wasn’t there something in there about something Miley must have said, (I say this because I haven’t seen all of the print on this) concerning mental problems? I mean…..I know she was telling Miley to put her clothes on but I didn’t see anything earth shattering until I saw the article where Sinead was PISSED about something having to do what an apology to her and to Miss Bynes………*confused*

    • Lucas Teixeira Ferreira

      I don’t think Amanda aknowledges this already. But yep, Miley’s response was disturbing

      • lentower

        Didn’t Amanda tweet about Miley’s response?

        Might have been after this post.

  • racismisntedgy

    Great letter AFP (for the most part). I am all for women supporting each other and against slut shaming…HOWEVER I am not all for insensitive and frankly racist cultural appropriation. Miley Cyrus has come out saying she wants the “black sound” and then uses Black women as PROPS in her videos and performances. That is despicable. She can swing around naked and confront her sexuality publicly as much as she wants (and if it was in a performance arts context it would be considered playing it safe, even). Unfortunately she felt the need to be racist in the process. It is sad that her lack of clothing has gotten more attention than her using her naive and narrow minded view of “black culture” as a way to feel okay about being overtly sexual. She has not had to deal with the issues black women face on a daily basis with the stereotype of black women as the “jezebel”, yet she can use this unfair and fucked stereotype and seem “edgy” and “controversial”. She is perpetuating deep rooted prejudices at the same time as using women from the culture she supposedly emulates as props. She can dehumanize black women on stage and have amazing performers like Amanda Palmer giving her props for it? Miley has had to deal with publicity and fame from a very young age, and that cannot be easy, but she is 20 years old and needs to be held accountable for her actions (not as a woman exploring her sexuality but as a white woman of extreme privilege perpetuating ignorance).

  • Tim Haws

    Good job straddling the fence and not offending anyone…. yawn…….such an inconsequential issue… except for those who watch TMZ.

  • stacey peak

    I would donate right now if I had the money. I know that may not mean much but I just really wish I could.

  • Suupz

    Compares Miley to the Rolling Stones get the fuck out you muppet. The reason people still wanna see the stones is because they play good music not because of the shit they might wear.

  • stacey peak

    Support Miley’s and everyone woman’s choice to wear what they want. But before you say you support Miley in general I think you should read about how she responded to Sinead O’Conner. It’s very repulsive. Amanda Palmer you are amazing. Sinead is out of line. Miley is atrocious.

  • nunya

    who are you and why do you think you belong in a conversation that no one asked you to join?

  • Mr D

    But what about her crap response to Sinead poking fun at her mental illness?! Another open letter today…http://tinyurl.com/psrzpp4

  • jasonkemp

    Good points but is Miley self aware enough to know if she is really following her own muse or just exploiting herself. I hope so but her comments about “the tears were for my dog” are pure comedy gold and response since then don’t seem that (self) perceptive.

  • Guest

    Completely agree with you, Amanda. Let Miley do what she wants. Just because people don’t agree with it, they jump to the conclusion that someone must be manipulating her? I did an unpaid internship and my mother was convinced my boss was exploiting me. Maybe he was. So? Maybe it was exploitation, maybe it wasn’t. Either way, it was my freakin’ choice. I’ll put myself in any position I want to, dammit, even if it’s not necessarily favorable. #freedom #choices

    • Guest

      p.s. “favorable” in inverted commas. “Favorable” is subjective depending on what you want to achieve.

  • Mr D

    But what about her crap response to Sinead poking fun at her mental illness?! Another open letter today…http://tinyurl.com/psrzpp4

  • mel

    i just really disliked the patronizing overtones of sinead’s letter…. it’s like, the minute someone gets naked that automatically = prostitute. if you’re for a women being able to do what she wants with her body, then you’re just that.. not öh yeah i support women being able to whatever they want, but if they do, then there’s something wrong.. or yeah i support that, but just not miley cyrus.

  • Frida Lux

    What about the music? Does anyone care about the art (not) being made here? The difference between Sinead and Miley? One makes great F’ing music that influenced and will continue to influence generations of people to live another day or to write another song, while the other… twerks and will ultimately be remembered for getting the DJs at NPR and the rest of the world to discuss the definition and significance of the word “twerking.”

    And yes, “Keith Richards and Jagger go out there night after night and shake their asses and everyone oohs and aahs that they’ve managed to age and maintain their spot at the sexy table….”

    BUT THEY ALSO MADE GREAT MUSIC FIRST.

    “Big” music isn’t about music anymore. It’s about being the biggest flash-in-the-pan spectacle that you can be for as long as you can so when the next flash-in-the pan spectacle comes along, you’ll have had your day and hopefully be remembered while drowning in piles of unearned cash. The industry has gotten so good that you don’t even have to write or sing songs or play instruments ]to be successful anymore. The industry can make more money selling an image than it can selling music.

    All musicians should be free to make whatever you want, but let’s not confuse shit with art. Shit is just shit. I’m also a woman musician that comes from 4 generations of women musicians and I love Girls Rock, by the way. We should empower young women artists to make whatever the F’k they want, but we should reward the young women who are making interesting, original, heart-filled music with loads of attention and cash while ignoring sensationalist and shallow showbiz acts that we incorrectly call musicians. Why don’t we raise our girls to shred like Hendrix or Prince and to sing like Buckley or Simone while writing songs like Cohen or Mitchell and being as sexy or unsexy as they’d like to be? Let’s get back to doing what matters… What made all of the best musicians every SEXY? Even if they were ugly or weird looking or kinda fat? Their music.

  • Mr D

    But what about her crap response to Sinead poking fun at her mental illness?! Another open letter today…http://tinyurl.com/psrzpp4

  • Polypsyches

    I tried to read all of the comments below to get a feel for the chaos, but there were just too many of them. As it stands, suffice it to say that while there are, as of this Saturday morning, a few possible holes in your assessment of Ms. Cyrus’s current public condition, I’m very glad you posted this. I think you quite elegantly swung the feminist pendulum in the opposite direction from where Ms. O’Connor took it, and now that you’ve let it go out into the world, I think the field is open for a very important controversy within feminism to be discussed and, hopefully, for a good middle ground to be found.

  • PowerWithRespect

    “I want to live in a world where WE as women determine what we wear and look like and play the game as our fancy leads us… If men and women don’t have a constantly open dialogue about how we do and don’t (or should and shouldn’t) manipulate and play with each other, we all lose. We are all fragile humans with little time on this beautiful, sexually-charged, ecstatic planet. Let’s share it to the fullest extent that we can and make the playing field for all of us the size of the whole earth.”

    Thank you for this, Amanda. An empowering and encouraging statement. Here’s to keeping the dialogue open, respectful, and playful.

  • Kate Buxton

    I’m encouraging my teenage daughter to read this, it is exactly how I feel. Thank you for helping make the world a better place for the next generation of women.

  • Rorkus Funkster

    TLDR

  • pablobi

    I believe A and S are right, they come as adults with experience, and from a good place in their minds; one as a cautionary tale, the other of finding yourself and your voice. C reacted as a bully, she showed a lack of capability to understand S’s message and I doubt she will understand A’s. S may be right where C will end, and if A is right, it will be by her own hand and fully aware of it.

  • Jade Burstall

    yes but the real question is ..now that the Mileys of the world have all the (sex)power…wtf are they DOING with it??http://jezebel.com/the-problem-with-all-these-half-naked-pop-stars-is-that-1441224725

  • Tank Thunderbird

    The ending is the best :-D http://youtu.be/rDcTgaoVwvs

  • Mr D

    But what about her crap response to Sinead poking fun at her mental illness?! Another open letter today…http://tinyurl.com/psrzpp4

  • Maggie May

    This blog has absolutely NOTHING to do with Sinead and Miley and has everything to do with Amanda.

    Amanda isn’t listening to any of you, that is unless you agree with her – if she was listening to her fans, she and her sugar daddy Neil would NOT going to Israel crossing picket lines and performing. Amanda is such a fucking hypocrite and all of you followers are being manipulated.

  • Lilith

    I’d love if Amanda Palmer would look at the exchange on the Alan Carr show and comment, in the light of her comment that “she’s been taking advantage of herself, of her youth, her fame and her sexualisty…and she knows it”. Obviously Cyrus may be knowingly playing the ingenue, but it doesn’t come over that way to me. http://www.channel4.com/programmes/alan-carr-chatty-man/4od#3576018 Discussion of the making of Wrecking Ball starts at about 40:00.

    Part of the exchange

    Carr: ‘Why do you find sledgehammers such a turn on?’
    Cyrus: ‘…I was kind of joking, but kind of serious. Cause I was there with Terry Richardson who shot it, who was like kind of down for anything. And like you can just kind of really be into whatever you want.’
    Carr: ‘Because he’s really pervy, isn’t he. He loves it.’
    Cyrus: ‘I just kind of started licking it cause he told me to do sexy shit and I was like, errr, I don’t know what to do so I’m going to lick this and I was kind of joking and then he was like “keep going, it’s great, it’s great, it’s great” so then I just kept making out with it.’
    Carr: Do you reckon he’s getting more out it than you are?
    Audience laughs, as does Cyrus while looking uncomfortable, bringing hand up to face covering mouth.

    be into whatever you want
    he told me to do sexy shit
    I don’t know what to do
    he was like “keep going, it’s great, it’s great, it’s great”
    …so then I just kept making out with it

  • Abigail Rose

    Amanda, you’re the reason why I’m proud to call myself a feminist.

    While I understand Sinead’s concern for Miley, I see the point you’re making irrevocably clear. Miley is behaving deliberately tacky, slutty and trashy. But why is this a bad thing? She’s trying it out. She’s exercising that power she has over people (particularly men) – reeling them in with her sexuality. Why, pray tell, is that okay for male pop stars to do and not for females? It works, doesn’t it?

    I suppose their argument stems from the false ideology that women can’t protect themselves when it comes to sexual matters. We’re the ones who get pregnant. We’re the ones always complaining we’ve been sexually abused or taken advantage of. To encourage people to fantasize about you, entice them with your body and use the body God gave you to compliment your art is BAD because you can’t protect yourself properly if or when it backlashes in a negative way.

    The truth is, we’re perfectly capable of defending ourselves. Give us a spear and the bear in the woods is less likely to harm us. We can still walk around in the woods the way we want. The media is just bent on not giving us that damn spear and then debasing us for not being self-sufficient. Just because it can. Just because it can get away with it.

    This is what I stand for: spitting back at that sexist brainwashing mind control.

    Give me a fucking spear, you sad, oppressive motherfucker. I KNOW how to use it. Don’t think I don’t when you haven’t even put it in my hands yet.

    I do feel sorry for Miley. She’s been scrutinized by the public eye the majority of her life. They want to keep her locked inside the Hannah Montana ball. She’s grown up now, she’s no longer a little girl’s icon. What she’s trying to do is break away from that mold and become her own person. The only problem is the context. She’s in the wrong crowd. She needs to join us, where sex isn’t a hushed conversation had in the girl’s toilets at school, it’s an expressive, empowering and beautiful part of life.

    Anyway. Impassioned feminist rant over.
    Bravo, Amanda :)

    WE ARE THE MEDIA!!!

  • alex15

    mmmm I don’t really think Miley is 100% in control…but I was really starting to feel SO uncomfortable with all this judging over Miley…suddenly we all get so disturbed because a chic gets naked and everyone’s like “slut” “bitch” “broken toy”….I think it may not be the best way to build a career and I don’t really find it tasteful but still…..urgh…morality…..Rammstein or Marilyn Manson are not tasteful plenty of times….say you don’t like it…but don’t judge her that way…..so ok…the point is…I do agree with you Amanda even though it has really made me think a lot….

    :3

  • Mr D

    But what about her crap response to Sinead poking fun at her mental illness?! Another open letter today…http://tinyurl.com/psrzpp4

  • BFLYsouljah

    Unfortunately for you, I don’t know who you are, nor do I necessarily really care, Yet, I felt compelled to say that this isn’t your battle to fight. What I gather from your letter is a bunch of feminist bull, and I consider myself a feminist. As you clearly state many times, Miley is an adult and given that it was Miley that referred to Sinead O’connor, it would be fitting for Miley to write her own letter. What i find you are doing is exploiting Miley for your own benefit. Shame…SHAME…

  • Gareth Hall

    I usually find Amanda Palmer’s artistical/political statements bang on…but this is the first time I’ve found myself unable to defend her :(

    She says she wants to live in a world where a female can do what Miley has done and hear the words “FAIR! POWERFUL! PLAYFUL! BRAVE! SEXY!” in her head.

    None of these words even remotely apply to Miley’s personal and artistic meltdown.

    The words that should be going through her head are: “CRASS! TASTELESS! EMBARRASSING! TRAGIC! SEEK HELP!”

    No Amanda, Miley Cyrus is not blazing a path to a better world where women everywhere can be proud of their sexuality. Her performances are cheap, trashy, misguided and desperate…who in their right mind can feel proud of that?

    Amanda suggests that Miley should be celebrated because “no one’s taking advantage of her, she’s taking advantage of herself”…since when was taking advantage of yourself a good thing, let alone a statement of female empowerment? Self-exploitation is still exploitation.

    Amanda Palmer is a great example of how a woman can display her body and/or be overtly sexual and walk offstage feeling proud, because her artistic intent is to challenge the taboo of female sexuality – to remind her audience that sex and nakedness is normal, natural, healthy and beautiful. Also – and this is a crucial distinction – no one goes to an Amanda Palmer concert hoping she’ll get her tits out. They come for the MUSIC. When a woman can stand naked/half naked on a stage, and make an audience realise what they are witnessing is not sinful, shocking or “slutty”, THAT is powerful. When she can captivate an audience with a song that expresses the beauty, purity and vulnerability of her body, THAT is brave.

    That, for me, is what Amanda Palmer does.

    As for Miley? Her artistic intent is exactly the opposite. She is TRYING to shock, TRYING to be “slutty”…she’s a stupid little girl singing empty, soulless music, desperate to rebel but clueless about what she’s rebelling against. When people see her “twerking” onstage, her music does not captivate…it is completely forgotten. All anyone is focusing on is a tawdry spectacle that leaves a bad taste in the mouth when the curtain comes down.

    She is a female artist who has successfully (for want of a better word) rendered her artistic output meaningless. No one gives a shit about her songs…we’re all just waiting to see what dumb, crazy stunt she’s going to pull next. Feminism needs more female artists, not less…it certainly does not need women renouncing whatever sliver of artistic credibility they had to play the part of a media freakshow.

    It’s a sad irony that Amanda Palmer is egging on Miley Cyrus as she debases herself in this way, when she could be inviting Miley to follow her own example. Encourage her to see that an artist of integrity bares their SOUL onstage…that is when nakedness is truly beautiful.

    No, Amanda, nothing Miley has done lately is “FAIR! POWERFUL! PLAYFUL! BRAVE! SEXY!”. And if those truly were the words ringing in her head as she cavorted onstage with Robin Thicke, then that is all the more reason why this silly, lost little girl needs to hit the brakes on her life – personally and artistically – and take a long hard look in the mirror.

  • Nath

    I don’t understand what posing (half/-) nude has to do with being a singer/artist/musician. I disagree with the cage thing Amanda is talking about. Are we really in a cage because we wear clothes? That’s absurd imo. I mean; having to use sex or nudity to sell or to be successful; THAT is being in a cage.
    Amanda Palmer says ‘’Sex sells’’. But if you’re a musician/singer/artist/etc. what is the
    success worth if it’s based on or helped forward by playing on sex or nudity?
    Not a thing, IMO.
    I think being naked has to do as little with being an artist as being naked has to do with
    working in a grocery store. Should women working in fx a store just walk
    around in bikinis or sit topless behind the counter if they want – because (you said it: )
    sex sells ? and are they/ we in a cage because we/they don’t?

    To me a girl wearing clothes is a lot sexier than a girl not wearing clothes. Being half
    naked, playing on nudity and sex – there is abs nothing about that that I find
    sexy, appealing or make me buy an album. And I’m saying this as a gay girl.
    There is nothing attractive about an artist throwing her clothes, whether it’s
    in a music vid, on a poster, in a men’s magazine or any other public area/
    media. So if the goal is to be sexy: women don’t need to throw their clothes in
    order to be sexy.

    And what about the signals sent to young girls and women; posing (half-/) naked and playing on sex in men’s magazines, posters, in music vids; this encourage to body and beauty
    over brain. Instead I believe one should encourage to brain over body, to
    talent and work instead of ‘’throw your clothes off and that’s how you get
    attention and success’’.

    I don’t see how being nude or playing on sex empowers women nor equality. I don’t see how it
    helps not to see women as objects, or how it helps to respect women for their
    talent and brains.

  • Mr D

    But what about her crap response to Sinead poking fun at her mental illness?! Another open letter today…http://tinyurl.com/psrzpp4

  • Laura Murphy

    I don’t think my comment posted, so I’ll try again…apologies if this is already in here:

    I commend your letter and think you make very valid points, however I think you miss one crucial one. When you were growing up and pushing boundaries as adolescents do, then finding your artist’s voice, you had a caring mother to remind you to value yourself. I don’t know Miley’s world, but her behaviour of late makes me wonder if she has such a luxury.

    My understanding of Sinéad’s letter was that she’s aware that Miley may be making her own choices, but they’re made out of the world in which she grew up where men ogle women and that makes money; a world in which women are valued mainly for their sexual appeal and talent is seen as unimportant, or even disposable. A world which intelligent, forward-thinking women want to leave behind in favour of a potential world where we are seen as equals. I commend Sinéad for trying to show her another perspective, to encourage her to value her talent without feeling the need to make pornographic videos in order to be heard or valued. It may be soft porn, but porn it is.

    To my knowledge Jagger and Richards have never yet made a music video of themselves naked – please do correct me if I’m wrong – so I don’t see the validity of the comparison per se.

    I don’t believe it to be condescending to see Miley as a vulnerable adolescent who may benefit from the guidance of someone, a woman, who’s worked in the industry for 20+ years. Whether Sinéad should be that person, I’m not going to join that debate at this point, but at 20 years of age, Miley is almost certainly going to be in that dangerous headspace where we’ve all been (anyone over 20 that is), where we believe we know best, better than those who’ve experienced a bit more of life, better than those older than us that we we almost invariably see as “past it”.

    Yes, we need to find our own way, yes we need to learn for ourselves, but I’m glad I had my mum, my brother, to let me know when I’d crossed a line, when I was a potential danger to myself. I’m glad I had someone to give me some guidance, even the guidance I rebelled against and even the guidance I still rebel against. It showed they cared enough to come and express their concerns to me. I’m not saying we need someone to shout and scream at us for making idiots of ourselves and demanding that we do as they say, but rather to calmly, rationally explain that there are aspects to this world that we may not yet be aware of. We still need to learn it for ourselves and make our own decisions, but we may listen to that little voice in our head a little easier, a little quicker and a little more confidently if we’ve been given rational arguments as to why we may not be making the best decisions for ourselves.

    I think both you and Sinéad are saying what you’re saying for the right reasons. I understand Miley’s feelings at a piece of unsolicited advice, although I don’t condone her vile response and I believe she owes an apology not just to Sinéad, but to the millions of people across the globe who she has indirectly mocked for having mental health issues. Miley’s extreme over-reaction to Sinéad’s advice makes me think that perhaps her behaviour and decisions of late aren’t really sitting very well with her, but she’s not yet ready to admit it to herself.

    Just my thoughts on the subject…

  • Carole

    I agree. I don’t think anyone is controlling Miley. I think she’s totally out of control. These are usually the antics fall back on by those who have no talent. She has talent, yet she has chosen the low road. Too bad for her. I hope that she will be able to survive this and become a serious artist.

    • PickleTits

      If amanda had waited until Miley responded for herself, she said everyone can eat her butthole as a response and doesn’t really give a damn what you people think. Child actors have issues, that is a known fact!

      • Betty

        It is like writing an open-letter back when Amanda Bynes was in that free-fall burn-out stage of her career. Nobody is going to listen to anyone when they are a crazy lunatic with millions of dollars to spend on blow and whatever she she does besides licking power tools from home depot. Amanda had the same problem a few months ago, but luckily was able to have a support network that helped guide her in the right direction again. I wish Miley, and Amanda the best.

  • SofiaWren

    Great post, I think this sums up my feelings over the letter exchange as well– it’s not my particular taste but it is rather patronizing to assume all of Miley’s antics have been made up by other people and she is naively going along with it. The nice part about wearing very little clothes, is exactly as you said, a lot of people will stare at you and google you and talk about you and here we are. Thanks for writing this letter Amanda, let’s take back our bodies and choices to be fucking nature as we were born to be or wear whatever the hell we want to. I went to women’s college and I that there is the feminist idea of the chauvinist pig as doing something harmful by being turned on so that his brain fluids have all sunk into lower territories– it’s not doing harm to someone by staring at them, just it could be degrading but it doesn’t have to be, yes it can be exploitation but it doesn’t have to be. The woman could turn it around and know she’s a work of art and now she can have everything. EVERYTHING. Let’s wake up and flip the switch.

  • Eva Amore

    Amanda.. I learned a lot from reading this. I need to thank you. I didn’t realize until I read this that I was using sexuality in the wrong way for my music career. I need to tone down. No one is going to respect me for accepting my naked body unless I respect my self.

    • lentower

      Glad you got more in touch with how you want to make music.

  • Magnolo Bugarin

    Wow thats a pretty long letter to write on a cell phone

  • Natz
  • Verdantsea

    While it’s inarguably true that Moley had enough clout in the industry to take the helm of her own ship I doubt she is doing it without some puppeteering. Nevertheless, her choice to post Sineads tragic personal cries for help via twitter during a mental health crises while using said tweet to shame both Sineads and Ananda Bynes fir there struggles with getting help for mental illnesses is nothing, absolutely nothing but the most grotesque, immature, cruel and ignorant behavior for which she deserves no understanding or pass. She is a model which young girls try to immolate. What do we feel for the young girl who is now struggling with depression or serious mental illness trying to find the courage and words to reach out for help who sees her message? That this is a condition to be publicly humiliated and spurned for? That it should continue to be shuttered behind stigma. I say bullshit. She is yet another product of an overindulged, artificially produced childhood who feels it is her right to say whatever she wants without regard.

  • Doctor Feelfunny
    • Laura Murphy

      What’s your point?

      • Doctor Feelfunny

        I’m saying that I think it’s hypocritical and self-inflating of O’Connor to appoint herself as a sort of guru of decency in music and a protector of women (by being unaccepting of their choice to express sexuality in their art).

        She herself hardly wore a burka for photo shoots…

        • Selina

          Not to say that you’re wrong, but perhaps Sinead felt like she had “been there” so she felt like she was speaking from experience…?

    • Doctor Feelfunny

      When it’s Sinead, showing some skin/bending oneself into a proto-‘twerking’ position is art.

      When it’s Miley, it’s exploitative and harmful to young women’s self-image and sense of worth.

      What a bitter old cow…

      http://www.myfabulousstyle.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/Sinead-O-Connor.jpg

      • Doctor Feelfunny
        • Laura Murphy

          You really think these photos, in which Sinéad’s “lady-bits” are ALL covered, compare to the naked writhing and sledge-hammer-tonguing of Miley’s Wrecking Ball video…really?? How odd.

          • ANon

            You know, after careful consideration, I don’t really think it is the female anatomy that is the problem, and instead just the random tongue waving and Miley’s being on the disney channel. No wait, I’m just kidding!!!!!

            Miley sucks. And everyone else just wants to hear themselves blather on.

  • http://www.thiswaytotheegress.com/ Saddle Sarah Egress

    It sounds to me, (mind you my opinion is a very humble one) that both, Amanda and Sinead are assuming a lot when it comes to Miley’s motives, intentions, feelings and who is in the drivers seat of her career. In fact most people are. But, this is how and why these women have clout in the industry, they are constantly and adamantly tossing their opinions around like I am in this comment and thats the great thing about art, music and our country, we can all sit here throwing about our feelings on this matter and no one is any more right or wrong then the next and still we all like to act like we “know” someones intentions or ambitions. Personally. I would take these “open letters” a bit more seriously if I knew that either of them had actually spoken -one on one- with Miley. However, I don’t know the facts, only the opinions of 3 women in the industry who have lived very different lives from each-other and myself. The only thing I know, is I can only hope that mine and others art and music can grow enough to touch the masses in the way these three ladies have. And I ask you if it were to happen, if my music or your music was to all of a sudden crawl out from the underbelly of artists trying to make it and hop its way into the masses, does it really matter what the artist’s motive is? Does it make my work or your work or Amanda’s or Miley’s any less worthy if I write songs people want to just dance too or eat, drink, be merry too, or protest or cry too? Does it matter if someone is less motivated by the art of music and more motivated to making a career by exploiting their body instead of their voice be it sexual or in protest? Does that intention change the nature of the beast that is ART and freedom of expression. That is really what we are all debating here. I could go on and on, I don’t even know how I ended up in this forum but everyone has something to say in this world and I figured this comment will more likely get more traffic and opinions thrown at it then any music my band or most bands could throw out at this point and THAT’S really food for thought.

    • amerika

      ” and I figured this comment will more likely get more traffic and
      opinions thrown at it then any music my band or most bands could throw
      out at this point and THAT’S really food for thought. ”

      Well, maybe you should do it like Miley then ?

  • Lindsay Katt

    My response to the Miley Nudity Discussion:

    (Please click the link bellow to view)

    This song is called:

    “Miley, Lindsay, Amanda, Sinead…an Homage to AFP’s Polemic on woman in Music.”

    http://lindsaykatt.tumblr.com/post/63191917468/this-song-is-called-miley-lindsay-amanda

    • lentower

      Excellent!

      • AbbyNormal

        I don’t see a polemic and I don’t see how any of those artists are really related to each other, with the exception that none of them have penises… Just because you don’t have a penis doesn’t mean you need to make it about your female sexuality either. Sometimes on the very rare occasion people just hate other people because they are right to feel that way. Maybe that is normality, and everything else is pretentious BS? Maybe Miley, Amanda, and the rest suck and people want to express themselves for how they feel about it? Not everything a perform does is supposed to be enjoyed and loved. Sometimes it is rotten, terrible, crapulence, and rightfully called out to everyone’s attention too.

  • Emmanuel

    So Miley takes advantage of herself. That’s healthy.

  • http://revsean.com/ revsparker

    All this complexity leaves me with delicious questions to ponder:
    1. How do we account for or unravel internalized misogyny?
    2. Is feminism about something more than freedom? More than equality? Respect? Empowerment?
    3. How do we teach people that rebelling/resisting oppressive and demeaning systems does not make one unprofessional? Can we teach people to engage in critical power analysis?
    4. Can we make peace with the fact that all art is about trying to get people’s attention? And then can we look at the fact that only women & other oppressed/marginalized folks are shamed for that?

    • Miley Cyrus

      Burp! Thanks for your money. I need to take a shower. Bye now.

      PS you sure talk alot!

  • Sirainia

    Everyone, welcome to the Miley Show. She knows exactly what she is doing…she has the universe at her feet right now. Also, to say she “isn’t sexy”, “doesn’t know what sexy is”, etc, has absolutely nothing to do with her performance. SHE WASN’T TRYING TO BE SEXY. She was clearly, and deliberately, playing the fool card for all of our enjoyment. And we have obviously had great fun being the spectators! Bravo, Miley! Good show, good show!

    • What

      Where was that a good show ? It was all kinds of mediocre.

  • suzi

    when i listen to the songs on my phone artists are clothed in voice, sound of musical instruments and studio/live acoustics so they’re all pretty much naked. isn’t everybody naked when you don’t look at them?

  • Mr D

    But what about her crap response to Sinead poking fun at her mental illness?! Another open letter today…http://tinyurl.com/psrzpp4

  • Roslyn Johnson

    Great mashup. But what was that song that wasn’t Nothing Compares?…that was Miley’s? I have never heard it at all. I’ve seen clips of the sordid looking clip vision a LOT, but noone actually plays the music. So….I think Sinead is right on about what will be remembered. It’s NOT the music.

  • https://plus.google.com/100492245023496395926?rel=author Adreana Langston

    Okay, here is the thing about that, IMO. If Vanity did videos like this back in the day and other than the usual complaints about pimping Black female sexuality (valid) no one cared. Why? Because Prince acted freaky – FROM THE START. It shocked and surprised no one that his proteges were acting in sexually explicit ways.

    Justin Timberlake was a Disney kid and now he is singing about “Can we discuss how fast you just got undressed” and I don’t care. In fact I love it. Why? Because Justin transitioned from Disney to NSYNC to his own man with sexually explicit musical material.

    Lady Gaga does naked this and nearly nude that and no one cares? Why? Because, again, she was coming out of the gate with all that stuff. Same as Madonna before her.

    But you can’t sell yourself to preteens. Let me repeat. You can not sell yourself to the PRE-TEEN crowd on Monday and then on Friday up and just start selling yourself to the strip club crowd. You have got to transition away from your Pre-teen audience. You OWE them that. They made you using disposable income that their parents gave them to spend on your products because the parents thought you were safe.

    Look at Selena Gomez. She is using her acting career to transition into an image of an adult woman. She is edging away from her safe, pre-teen persona. With her movie roles she is signaling to parents “Hey, my Disney days are over now and I might not be as appropriate for your younger child as I was for your older child when she was your younger child’s age now”

    Miley disrespected the parents who gave her audience money to buy her stuff by doing a sudden 180. She betrayed her audience, pure and simple. And that is where the hate is coming from.

    She should have edged away from her audience, not run away from it. I don’t begrudge Miely her whore phase. She is young, she is beautiful, she is rich and she’ll only be the first two things for a (cruelly and stunningly) brief amount of time. All she is doing is what Catholic school girls do once they get to university. But she is doing it on display and she needed to have been cognizant of that.

    • Anonymous

      She is no longer selling herself to preteens and as an adult woman she is not bound to remain parent-approved celebrity for whatever arbitrary amount of time you think is appropriate. She owes them nothing in regards to her image. She can change as fast or as slowly as she pleases. Her fans don’t own her, she didn’t sign any contract with them that said she’ll alter her image only to their liking. That’s about the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard. Being a public figure doesn’t mean you become a monkey who performs tricks on command. This is one of the major downsides to celebrity culture; people feel entitled to dictate what a person does simply because they’re famous. Nobody holds a gun to yours or anyone else’s head forcing you to invest in a celebrity on any capacity. You decide to pay for their music/movies/merchandise etc., you accept that your precious idol may/will do things you don’t agree with. It doesn’t mean they betray you when they do, it simply means they are their own person with their own opinions and goals and they aren’t your slave. Don’t like it, don’t spend your money and time on them. But don’t think for a moment that they “owe” you a specific image that suits your sensibilities because they fucking don’t.

      • https://plus.google.com/100492245023496395926?rel=author Adreana Langston

        If you are passionate enough about your thoughts on this to use all that profanity in your post why not own your comments by putting your actual name instead of posting anon?

        In my comment I did not say that what Miley was doing was wrong. I explained all that I explained and then said “that is where the hate is coming from”. I personally said I did not begrudge Miley her whore phase. I was just giving my opinion about the source of the backlash. I don’t buy her products and I am not a parent and do not personally feel betrayed by Miley in any way. But I could see how former fans or parents of former fans WOULD feel betrayed. And I explained how other stars that made their start on Disney transitioned into adult material without causing any backlash as way of illustrating how it COULD be done, not necessarily how it SHOULD be done.

        I don’t think stars “owe” their fans anything because I say so or think so. I think this because it is what the stars themselves say. Rhianna has said it, Lady Gaga has said it, Beyonce has said it. I am not a star and will never be a star. I don’t know anything about how they live or what they go through. I’m just trusting what other female music stars themselves say about what their relationship to fans. -Adreana Langston from Long Beach, CA.

        • Anonymous

          I only used profanity once, and it wasn’t even in an insulting manner. Geez, sensitive much? And why shouldn’t I post anonymously? I don’t use my real name on the internet because I don’t need for my identity to be known to the world at large. I’ve got a right to privacy, don’t I? Nitpicking two things that have absolutely nothing to do with my comment, yeah I feel so much more inclined to take you seriously now.

          And your original post definitely implied that you shared those beliefs. Really, go back and read it. Nothing in it hints that you were only relaying the opinions of others. Also, I’m well aware that you were stating an opinion. It’s not like I would’ve thought otherwise even if you hadn’t prefaced it with “IMO”. But people don’t espouse opinions that they don’t hold to be true, so my point still stands.

          • https://plus.google.com/100492245023496395926?rel=author Adreana Langston

            You own your statements (without stating your name), and I own mine. I have never purchased M.C. music and I did not follow her so I don’t feel betrayed. But there are music artists in which I made a financial and emotional investment. If Rage Against The Machine were to suddenly start singing lyrics about their pride in the rampant materialism and about every person being out for themselves and forget about community, I would feel betrayed. I’m sure parents who allowed their kids to have an emotional investment in Miley Cyrus and spent money on Cyrus products feel betrayed too. I would if I were a parent.

            Part of the appeal of music stars is much different than the appeal of movie and television stars. Screen stars start out with the conceit that they are “pretending”, playing a role. The audience understands who they see on screen is not who the actor or actress really is in person. Music stars trade on their authenticity. What they sing about and how they present themselves in videos is suppose to be “them”, not faked unless they explicitly say they are playing a role (Nicki Minaj and Eminem come to mind). So when fans make an emotional investment in who they thought the music star was, when fans emotionally connect to what the songs, I don’t find it the least bit surprising that they feel betrayed when the music star makes a radical change in the style of music or in the style of how they present themselves. So, yeah, I stand by my statements as well. – STILL Adreana Langston in Long Beach, CA.

            Yeah, I’m sensitive because this was presented as a board where mature women could dialogue about this and that in a civil manner without dealing with the kind of hostility and vitriol that is often targeted towards females on other internet boards. Yeah, I totally own my sensitivity just like I own my statements.

      • https://plus.google.com/100492245023496395926?rel=author Adreana Langston

        By the way, I started my post with “Okay, here is the thing about that, IMO.” That is pretty much the opposite of claiming what I was writing was some sort of edict.

  • Merline Fitzgerald

    No one seems to get the fact that Miley stated in Rolling Stone that her Wrecking Ball video was designed to be
    similar to the one for Sinaid’s “Nothing Compares”… Sinaid was then hounded by people to make a reply to this. She did so with love and didn’t deserve Miley digging into the archives to find something she could hurt her with. That was so nasty.

  • NAN

    LET’S GROW UP EVERYONE!

  • http://urbandon.com/ Don Urban

    It takes guts and talent to succeed in the music, or any industry, especially as a woman. I think you are spot-on: Miley is doing it herself. To suggest she is a puppet to corporate types is to denigrate her. I don’t like her music (or her tongue) but good on her for being successful.

  • Darby

    Thanks for your letter Amanda! Both Sinead’s and your letter are both needed to address the media representation and provide more intelligent perspectives!

  • Christie Thompson

    This letter is so egotistical my eyes glazed over with tears of boredom halfway through. Yaaaawn. And I really hate the line ‘we women are are own worst enemies’. Where is the statistical evidence for that claim? It just perpetuates a myth that women are trying to dictate/enforce paradigms of femininity. It’s simply not true, which was what Sinead’s letter was trying to say in the first place. There are larger patriarchies and commercial forces at work.

  • Cat

    the problem, Amanda that most women in the music industry seem to think that ONLY sex sells and men don’t just ‘gaze’.. they abuse and rape and use porn and violence as inspiration and that’s a ‘game’ women can never win.

  • Dominique Storni

    Dear Amanda, LOVE YOU EVEN MORE!!! Keep on keepin’ on!!!

  • Erin

    So eloquently written, so very true and you are just amazing! Thank you for your consistently raw honestly.

  • FunnyDuchess

    Shirley Manson reads and agrees with this blog of you :) https://www.facebook.com/shirleymanson/posts/10151932875766387

  • Emma

    Saying that anyone who knows the business know how hard it is and requires that female artists
    play on sex and throw their clothes to some extent if they want to succeed, and
    then say I throw my clothes and play on sex and with the male gaze because I want to.
    First saying the business it the one to blame then saying you do it just because you want to. Doesn’t make any sense. Contradicting.

  • Georgie

    The bell curve of the intelligence of the population in the world, that are unfortunately exposed to Miley’s behaviour that is saturating all forms of media, are highly unlikely to take Miley’s behaviour as her “exploring” sexual empowerment as art, or even understand, let alone agree with either Sinead or Amanda.

    Young women and girls, whether they see Miley as a role model or not, are being sent the most obvious visual message that her behaviour portrays, no matter how naive or intelligent they are. Miley’s explicit behaviour is telling young girls what behaviour is being seen as acceptable and “cool” and that it attracts attention. Her behaviour is interpreted by the young women that watch her, or hear about her, in their own way. There is no disclosure to them describing her actions as “art” or anything that Amanda has tried to explain her behaviour as.

    Madonna’s first MTV performance was controversial for the times, but she sent an empowering sexual message to young women. Miley is sending a derogatory sexual message to young women. No one cares about Miley, we care about the girls interpreting the messages she is sending.

  • Bender

    Your assumption that this is ‘all Miley’, like here is one 20-year-old who can escape all of the obvious sexualisation that’s going on and ‘coincidentally’ just choose to sexualise herself is further proven wrong by the fact that none other than Terry Richardson, notorious for depicting young women as underaged and hypersexualising them, is behind the visuals. See the latest shots of Cyrus turned into a prepubescent on speed at http://terrysdiary.com/ and then read http://jezebel.com/5495699/exclusive-more-models-come-forward-with-allegations-against-fashion-photographer

  • Keara

    strength is the ability to have self control over yourself.

    aggression is the ability to LOSE control over yourself.

    people who are aggressive always wanna fight,they feel they always have to prove to people that they are strong. People only have power over us if we allow it.

    a woman is not suppose to be who we as a society expects her to be, but Who she choose’s to be.

    As I have said time and time again ” My existence is not defined your validation” am me at the end of the day, So will Miley, Sinéad, and Amanda. This is what I will take away from this all.

  • Saray Ayala

    dear amanda,
    i think there are two things that are perhaps missing in the elegantly-reasoned position you expressed in your letter. These two things, when identified, make your position even closer to that of sinead. First, you are talking about an ideal society where women are not objectified from the very moment they are born, while sinead is rather approaching the situation as it is right now. Your claim is a claim about a (still ideal) just society, about how a better society should be. I agree with you in everything you say, but how do we get from things as they are now to that ideal society where women’s bodies don’t have the meaning they happen to have?

    Second, there is an important difference between the way you use nudity (when you have used it) and the way other women use nudity (e.g. Miley). You have empowered your naked body in a way that MIley is far from doing. You have created a political and moral meaning for your nudity that is clearly lacking in many/most of women nudity we see in ads and shows.

    You end your letter saying “let’s give our young women the right weapons to fight with as they charge naked into battle”. I agree with you: we all should work on that. You have worked on that. It seems to me Miley has not done anything remotely close to that (she is naked in the battle ground, not knowing what is the battle she is fighting). I think the main point of sinead’s position (independently of her own particular ideas or intentions) can be maintained together with the main claim of your letter: we should empower women’s bodies to create a better society for everyone.
    By the way, I admire you, a lot.

    • lentower

      When Amanda is naked in her art, she’s really being artistically nude.

      • Leslie

        Isn’t that the same excuse little boys give their parents when they are caught looking at pornography? I thinks so.

  • tiajuana

    OK…I just can’t leave this one without giving my two cents.
    It feels like pornography is mainstreamed for all ages now. However the tricky bit is do we apply traditional conservative roles for women (i.e. “Put your clothes back on Miley!”) and therefore align ourselves with conservative values which have oppressed women for centuries or alternatively do we happily stand by as our kids are treated to adult sexual images and behaviours in the latest youtube clips. My personal concern is that it tends to be an ‘adult’ sexuality that is projected onto younger children (and also one which they are likely to intrinsically copy/value). I don’t know if I can completely agree with Amanda. No matter how ‘empowered’ and ‘in control’ of her images and career Cyrus is, if part of the impact that she has is negative in relation to children (especially in light of her personal context as a child role-model/’star’) then it must be deemed inappropriate. As far as adults who have a choice to watch this go, I don’t really care, however, in the same way that I believe that pornography should be restricted from children and that adults who commit sexual acts upon children should be punished, I also believe that children have the right to have their childhoods. [And I don’t want to be a Miley-basher! It had to be someone who was going to take it to this extreme]. So where to now peeps??? Onwards & downwards?

  • Bender

    OK, so to be slutted is a freedom that must be retained, while speech is not. Illuminating that you resort to censorship on this matter, but to be expected from a so-called blog that opens with an advertisement and an incitement to shop. Let’s shop and slut our way to freedom.

  • bloop

    amanda needs to stop inserting herself into business that’s not hers. it’s getting ridiculous. the fact that she compares herself first of all to sinead o’connor, and then to miley cyrus is absurd. seriously?

  • http://andbis.tumblr.com/ Andres

    Amanda, I read your open letter to O’Connor with interest and wish many female performers were as boldly steping into the issue and adding their own open letters. Corporate media and its lower-rank environs (gossip websties and the like) call this kind of confrontation, between O’Connor and Cyrus, a “feud”, as if the exchange would be of primite blows and sentiments rather than the articulate ideas in both O’Connor’s letter and your own.

    Cyrus, however, has not engaged in any exchange of ideas, and did act as if it were a feud, responding with dismisive agression. By now you must be aware that Cyrus responded to O’Connor’s letter by tweeting a screen capture of some tweets made by O’Connor in 2012, when she was in need of medical psychiatric assistance and, by her own admission having exausted all other venues, asked for help to her tweeter followers. Cyrus also took that oportunity to mock Amanda Bynes, who is going through her own issues. She later tweeted to O’Connor that she had “no time” to write her an open letter as she had to perform in SNL.

    So even as it makes perfect sense that you write to O’Connor, given the personal feelings you express in the letter for her work and her self-empowement and what that has meant to you, since your writing engages in this as a debate on a social issue, isn’t a response to Miley also called for? I think confronting Miley is harder because I believe she is in the wrong. Not for geting naked in her video, or for the aseptic look of her perfectly slim and cultured body, but because she’s quick to drop O’Connors name as an “influence” for her video and later just as quick to expose her moment of weakness to her countless tweeter followers, who are also most likely uninformed of O’Connors particular situation.

    If that is not evidence that she’s being careless and irresponsible with the excess of visibility and its entailed power at her command, then what is.

    I think your work, on all leves, as an artist and a writer, is of tremendous value for this issues, your contributions are really great. But I also feel that on this issue your arguments can only be half-made if you don’t adjust them to Cyrus’ treatment of the thing. Please don’t let your call for egality and respect, openess and freedom, which are essential, cloud the complexities when they are present.

  • NAME HERE

    WHO IS THIS PERSON

  • lauragailpoet .

    Love! Need to go think about this some more.

    Also, if I was strolling through Harvard Square & heard you playing & talking I would stop for a while. When I was getting ready to walk on I would see what I had in my pocket for cash, and would toss that in your guitar case with a smile and a thanks. So, just checked my pocket & found a five dollar bill, which PayPal helped me toss in your case. Thanks for your art!

  • Patrick Park-Tighe

    Guarantee that the next generation of female musicians have
    a wider field that encompasses everything? Absolutely. No gender bias, freedom
    for all. Let the women with the courage and vision and talent enjoy the pure, uncompromised
    expression of their art. But I’m not buying Miley Cyrus as a shining example in
    that movement. Whether she’s exploited by a callous industry or orchestrates
    her own media manipulations–she’s not pushing boundaries, she’s re-defining
    limits that haven’t budged. Sex and controversy get noticed. Clearly, talent
    just isn’t enough. Not for artists, not for fans. So what is she giving us
    then? Biting satire that plays on our expectations of Southern white girls with
    a Disney pedigree? Is there a deeper
    social commentary or manifesto that she’s cleverly disseminating? No. The
    simplest definition of art is the creation of something new and true. There is
    nothing here that isn’t derivative or re-hashed. Sing “Wrecking Ball”
    while naked on a wrecking ball? That’s not genius. That’s not cleverly
    self-aware. That’s the lowest amount of effort possible with the maximum
    “look at me” outcome. Art should enlighten, challenge, infuriate. It
    should demand risk and commitment and passion from the artist. And as you’ve
    suggested, there’s something to be said for exploring and mastering your art in
    relative privacy. It’s a gift Miley needs and deserves. That chance to mature, to
    learn discipline. And in time, find the strength to push past the limits set by
    profit-hunger industry and the impossible expectations of a culture that
    thrives on loving and hating its artists without rhyme or reason.

  • nacoran

    Very well said. I tried to make a similar point on my FB page the other day; I didn’t do so as eloquently though. I’m all for people having choices, even if those choices don’t fit with my personal tastes.

    • lentower

      Consider linking to this blog in a comment on your FB status?

      • nacoran

        I did post a link to this later. My post preceded this one though.

  • HelloMiley!

    Miley wants to obviously step away from her Disney Channel past and reinvent herself.

    The fact that everyone’s talking about her and writing letters to her confirms that her plans have worked perfectly. She wanted attention, she got it. She wanted people to say “OH MY GOD! SHE’S NAKED”, they said it. She wanted people to complain about her weird TV appearances, she got plenty of those too.

    This letter is spot on and I couldn’t agree more with it!
    I mean, I understood Sinead’s point of view, I love her music too, but she’s not her mother. It’s not really any of her business.

    I think the people who manage her are a bunch of GENIUSES!!!!
    I know she’s not stupid, but her management don’t completely let her go either.

    She cut her hair because she wanted to appeal to people of all sexual orientations. People complained saying she looks like a lesbian so that she could reply “Being a lesbian isn’t a bad thing”. Like I said, FANTASTIC management!!!

    She teaches us about what the world is becoming. Things have to progress somehow in terms of fashion, music, art etc. and if that means she has to be naked on a wrecking ball then so be it. Dean Martin and poodle skirts can’t go on forever… The creative world is running out of ideas. That’s what the hipster trend is all about! Bringing back old ideas. She’s going BEYOND hipster, BEYOND anything we’ve ever seen!

    Let the girl grow up and show us what she’s got!

    I can’t wait to see what she does next!

  • Amanda Castillon

    I LOVED the Lion and the Cobra….Wore out the tape, moved on to CD, and have another copy of it today. I tried my hand at wearing different artists’ costumes…very difficult in Northern Minnesota in the 80s and 90s….

  • sam

    I am reposting my reaction to this blog: my 2 favorite singers (amanda palmer and sinead o’connor) are having this sort of public argument about myley cyrus’s wrecking ball video and they both say SHE’S TALENTED! i guess they feel some sort of motherly affection for her because she’s a confused rising star and they’re both older, but she sucks! I can be immature about it and say that cause i’m her age. the whole discussion is about whether it’s ok or not for her to be naked, but so many people are naked in music videos nowadays i don’t see what the big deal is. her main point in making the video was to be controversial, not to put forth good, original music, and she doesn’t even succeed at that. the biggest problem i have is the melody is a clear ripoff of “somebody that I used to know” which came out last year (right?) but not as good, and her metaphor is all mixed up… is SHE the wrecking ball, or is the media the wrecking ball wrecking her? I would go all writing-help-desk-assistant on her ass and bring in examples to back up my argument at this point, but i won’t because i just don’t want to listen to the song (then it will get stuck in my head and destroy precious brain cells i need so i can destroy them later in other ways) so just trust me, it makes no sense. I know amanda and sinead both want to be mature mentors and don’t want to abuse a child, but for the love of god, whether the media is controlling her or she’s doing her own thing is not the point. she sucks either way, and she needs to stop sucking before she has the right to reference sinead or pink or anyone with actual talent. chopping off your hair and being naked doesn’t cut it.

  • Oriah

    Thank you for this Amanda. Although I appreciated Sinead’s letter to Miley, it made me uncomfortable- particularly her reference to Miley several times as “a young lady.” She’s a young woman and she has a right to do what she chooses. I didn’t find her choice in this particularly attractive- so what. “Lady” implies a standard that others set to which we are to aspire. Hell no. Do what you want and take the consequences like the grown up you are- which is, of course, going to include sometimes being on the receiving end of others’ judgements. That’s like as an adult and Miley is an adult.

    • Oriah

      opps- typo- meant “that’s life as an adult. . “

      • Guest

        See…I think that it is on this point where Sinead could be granted the benefit of the doubt re: her context. Obviously I don’t speak for Sinead or pretend to know more than what she has told us in her music, but I did not take the “young lady” comments as offensive or dismissive in the least for a couple reasons really. Sinead has said repeatedly that she believes we are created by the Holy Spirit – that is what makes Miley “precious”, not some condescending attitude from Sinead on high. Also, I lived in Ireland for a while and when I would walk back to my flat wearing my gothed out clothes and knee high oxblood boots, an elderly neighbor would state that I was “such a young lady”. I did not feel shamed or dismissed in any way, I felt like I was *seen* and I was loved.
        I think this is another point where Amanda’s letter is actually disappointing – she linked the early albums of Sinead because they were what influenced a young Amanda Palmer and not the later albums which would perhaps give a perspective as to where Sinead is coming from as she speaks now. For instance, when I read Sinead’s initial letter, it seemed she was trying to share with Miley the lessons she sang to and about herself in songs like “Daddy I’m Fine.”
        If Miley had come out and stated something like “my video was influenced by Amanda Palmer because she is naked all the time” – after basking in the attention and offering Miley all the hugs in the world, I would feel as a fan that Amanda was remiss were she to not also offer something more in terms of advice re: the costs of establishing nudity as part of her own context.

  • http://call-me-ishmael.com/ Tom Kern
  • 80’sLady

    The problem I have with the defense of Miley’s standpoint is that she voluntarily violated a vital code of respect towards someone else with the response of mocking their most painful history of crisis and metal breakdown. Not once but twice, using Sinead’s breakdown and bringing in a third party (Amanda Bynes). To be honest I am not all that familiar with both Bynes and Cyrus’s fame and careers, and Miley’s music has never personally drawn me in to want to listen to her in contrast to having grown up listenning to Sinead O’Oconnor.
    However Sinead’s intentions were to address a bigger issue regarding the music industry in response to Miley’s interview in RS Magazine. Miley refuted not with any tangible, factual or even tasteful response in her own defense, but rather of a shallow, ignorant and hurtful one. One that in many people’s eyes, reflect a banality that has now tainted her character along with anyone defending her actions. No matter how patronized she felt, she could have answered back using basic developmental skills. Not trolling like some 4chan basement dweller using cheap tactics of photo-op and one-liner meme-like comments.
    The other problem I have is that there is no comparing Miley’s “musical” career to that of Sinead’s, and quite frankly, talent for that matter.
    And she demonstrates this by responding to Sinead without any argument or substance.
    Personally, I’m taking sides (as are many)…because for over two decades, Sinead has won my respect with her talent, beauty and best of all…her inner beauty.
    Sincerely.

    • Lanfear Mierin

      The problem is that Sinead O’Connor wrote the letter to Miley Cyrus personally. If she really wanted to address a larger issue in the music industry, she should have written the letter to RS magazine or such.

      Just because Sinead is older with a more prominent music career to date, doesn’t mean that her opinion on Miley is more valid than Miley’s own.

      I honestly don’t know what the big hoohaa is all about. A wide variety of talented and famous female singers have stripped and played up their sexuality. Madonna STILL does it today for example. Miley obviously wanted to get away from her Hannah Montana image and show the world she is an adult woman now. Yes, she went somewhat over the top, but seriously people, to condemn her constantly for doing what a borage of other female stars have done over the years, and not dissing them for it as well, is really one-sided and hypocritical.

      Is it because she was the innocent little girl and now she suddenly burst on the scene with her nudity and sexuality?

      Not a Sinead fan at all, although I do respect her talent… Not a Miley fan at all, though she does have a nice body… lol

  • stony

    If I had a hob I’d donate-honest. I only think you were a little off the mark on one thing. I am an aging woman and I can promise you that at this point healthy means more than sexy. I think Madonna could have done more for all women if she had espoused that goal. Love, Stony

  • Rachel E

    This is what I’ve been wanting to hear. I’m not a musician, just a woman. And I am free to make whatever choices I want. If you don’t like it, too bad. It’s not your place to criticize me, and don’t tell me that I’m being manipulated. The hatred that is being flung Miley’s way makes me sick. A bit of nudity and sexuality and everyone has lost their minds. The message I am receiving is that I need to put on some clothes and get back in the kitchen. You think that you are defending/promoting women, but really, you are limiting them to the same set of stereotypical ideals that you are pretending to use an an argument.

  • Tina

    I generally don’t follow the current bandwagons surrounding popular culture. Like many others, I find it troubling to see misogynistic tabloid journalists vilifying and dehumanizing female celebrities based on trivial matters that would have been ignored if they were the opposite gender.
    However, I’d like to applaud Miley Cyrus for manipulating the minds of the the media and her enemies into feeding her power. No matter what attention you give her- good or bad- she’s going to make money. She is not a “CRAZY ATTENTION SEEKING HARLOT WITH CELLULITE AND A BOOB JOB SCAR OMG” she’s an ordinary human being who is clever enough to earn a substantial living by pissing off the public eye.

  • Are You Kidding?

    Boy, could this use an edit.

    • Guest

      ..

  • delia

    I talked to some women tonight about the Miley Cyrus/Sinead O’Connor thing, and they were all conversant. When I brought up Amanda Palmer’s response, none of them knew who I was talking about. Kind of interesting …. I don’t think this letter matters at all really in the end.

    • lentower

      People asked Amanda on Twitter,

      what she thought.

      Her response, this open letter,
      matters, at least, to those people.

  • wizegie

    I think you give M more self-awareness than she has. She has grown up rich, privileged and famous. How can she be as aware as you say she is? Given her reality, it is highly likely her valuation of herself is completely based on external factors that are tied to fame. From her behavior, my sense is that she doesn’t really know who she is. She is an empty vessel. She has yet to fill herself up with herself because she is busy filling herself up with what will sell and be popular. And of course she is. It’s all she’s ever known. She, like the rest of us, has been shaped by the reality of her childhood, which was assuredly filled with exploitative people and influences. Experiences that taught her that it’s not what’s inside that will be loved, but what’s outside. Maybe she is consenting, but not because she’s aware.

  • Maya

    Throwing off their clothes and playing on sex is the easiest and least creative a singer/artist can do. They should be able to create an image with clothes on. If they have such a need to take off their clothes and pose semi naked or naked; they should change their profession. Maybe go be a glam model or stripper

  • sosiosh

    Oh, all that nudity stuff and whatever is no problem. It’s the cultural appropriation and using humans as props because of their background and skin color that is the real issue.

  • classicpolo

    Buy Trousers online

    Classicpolo is one of the best brands for exclusive
    collections . you can Buy shirts online, buy t-shirts online ,buy formal shirts
    online from our store @classicpolos.com. we have widest range of collections.
    you can choose the best pants . Buy pants online and Buy trousers online from
    the store at best price

  • classicpolo

    Buy pants online

    Classicpolo is one of the best brands for exclusive
    collections . you can Buy shirts online, buy t-shirts online ,buy formal shirts
    online from our store @classicpolos.com. we have widest range of collections.
    you can choose the best pants . Buy pants online and Buy trousers online from
    the store at best price

  • kes

    Good points. There is no right or wrong answer to this debacle. However you’re speaking for you, which is also fine – Miley can indeed flip the script whenever she bloody wants to – that’s what pissed me off and its what pisses a lot of women from a culture that has been stereotyped for so long and that she is deciding to adopt because it’s wild and reckless ” shit white girls think all black girls do/say” So no, she doesn’t just get to flip the script and get away without others kicking up a stink. It’s not as simple as freedom to do what she wants because there are a lot of women out their who will be feeling the burn of her actions because of who she is and how much influence she’s allowed to have.

  • berta.b

    “There is no right or wrong”. I cannot stand this any more. That’s, sorry, bullshit! There are things, that are deeply wrong – because they are violent, they are destroying, they are deathly to our souls, bodies and feelings. Womens souls, bodies and feelings.

    It is not, that Miley is running around naked. It is not Miley letting her tongue out like she is wrapping it around a dick. It is not Miley shaking her ass. I have no moral feelings about that.

    But what she is doing is not grown in her, but forced into her by all that stuff around her – around
    all us women, every day. So she finally accepted it, pretending it’s her own. As you wrote she did not have a chance to find out who she really is, being in the focus all her life, not being alone, not being by herself.

    So she accepted to have no bounderies, but to follow the rules of others what is “sexy”, what makes her “successful”, what makes her “desireable”. If you can’t say stop no more, if you are not
    able to set no boundary no more, if there is nothing left but follow some stupid porn stereotypes – that is where violence begins. When there is no choice left, no choice weather to share or not to share what belongs to you – you belong to others. She has to bare – and she does. That’s brutal, that’s violent and hurting. And it is sad. Miley never had a choice. Thats why i feel pity for her.

    That is what they are telling us concerning prostitution: If a poor women “decides” to prostitute herself – its “her choice”. But is not – because there had never been another way to go for her – to become a teacher or an artist. Society did not let her grow.

    On my opinion the core of a dignified life is: to have the freedom to choose, to really, really choose. Therefore you have to know the whole map of life – and not only the one way road. But what they are telling us – and they are using Miley for telling us again: This one way road is the
    whole world (for women).

    So we have to fight to make a garden – for everyone, for every women. And stop pretending that the bonsai-life is really ours.

  • Julia Speer

    Dearest Amanda, your heart is so full of love and compassion. I love who you are.

  • paul

    I think that Sinead O’connor made some good points. I think that Amanda Palmer makes some good points. What I find strange is someone like Ruth Fowler charging into the discussion, seeming to say, seemingly without a trace of irony, that O’connor is to be judged for attempting to judge Miley Cyrus!

  • http://slatewoman.blogspot.com/ Slatewoman

    yeah, i can say with absolute resolve that i have never once in my 30 years on this earth taken advantage of my youth or sexuality. perhaps i take advantage of looking like a hardass hooligan, but that’s a rather different story.

  • That Was Then

    Yeah, but why is that women are the only ones who feel the need to get naked? I rarely see guys do it, yet there are certainly rooms (including internet rooms) full of guys leering at the girls who do. Music or art is not their focus, is it? What do they remember most? The naked girl. Nothing more. The male gaze wins. The females who do this are not remembered for their art or their music.

    Give me Emmy Lou Harris any day. Pure talent, no need to take off clothes just to get attention.

    • grapeseed

      I hate to say it, but a there are some men who just don’t care about your intelligence or artistic ability, it seriously wouldn’t matter if you were naked or fully clothed, its not the clothes that make a man want to leer, its the distorted beliefs about females in the mans mind, its like blaming the victim for being raped, because he or she wore revealing clothing, and we all know that that is nonsense.

  • Laura

    Late to post, and Amanda you are pure genius; but what troubles me most about this whole Miley circus is the message from the industry that to be successful, one must be young & hyper-sexualized. As an aging female musician, who is a sexual being, I dislike this status quo perpetuated in the media. I am most thankful that we female musicians can create without a label, and you have paved the way; but valuing the irreverent behavior & disrespectful attitude shown by Ms. Miley towards other women does not benefit female evolution. “Women should be allies, not competitors” ~Ani Difranco

  • Kara
  • Doreibo

    I would love to see a popular musician to sing in something resembling a burqa, or in absolutely no make up, in their pajamas or something else just as unflattering. (I say resembling a burqa because of the inevitable religious conflicts)

    Though both Sinead and Palmer make very valid points, they are essentially in opposition. What I respect is Palmer’s openness and willing nature to allow people to do what they want, and in many cases, make the mistakes necessary to learn and do what they are meant to do. Sinead, however, also makes the very important point of respecting one’s self and holding integrity in the face of an oversexualised industry.

    What I want to see is some one, in the face of such a report and influence, be just as sexy as they want to be and ‘play the game’ but still hold their integrity and respect for themselves (because sometimes the respect of OTHERS isn’t worth it). I also want to see some one sell albums and records being just as unsexy.

    Miley has been very overzealous about her sexy image, as is her right if it is her decision, however it has cost her, and it is perhaps in her best interest to reevaluate this decision and see if it is really what she wants. If it is, go nuts and be who you want to be, but if it isn’t and it turns out to have too high a cost, then turn the tables. Show her fans, both those appalled and those cheering her on in her new moves, that you don’t NEED to be sexy and record a video clip/song/whatever at your most unsexy/unsexualised; In pajamas, without make up, in a bedsheet styled pacman ghost outfit.

    If you want to show the world you can be yourself without an image or label as Miley seems to be doing with her ‘wrecking ball’ then really wreck the minds of every one and draw some chaos out of the crowd. Break the image truly with something no one expects and then when the dust settles, show them who you are, unreserved, and with all your talent blazing, without the distractions of image, culture, gossip & judgment.

    It is the roles of those in power, those in the spotlight, to be an avatar, an ideal image for the public to see. They should inspire people, and as such they do need to hold themselves in esteem and not misguide those who look up to them, but it is always a slippery slope and power goes to people’s heads. The smallest step could break the glass roof they stand on.

  • Amber

    I’m not down with any of that. Miley Cyrus referenced Sinead Oconnor. She invited her to comment and when she did, not in the way Miley would like, she mocked her sanity. Classy. Why aren’t you writing an open letter to Miley Cyrus. You suggest keeping quiet is being supportive. I’m suggesting that’s just another fucked why to keep sisters quiet. I’m not pulling down the sisterhood, nor am I lacking in understanding of artistic expression as it pertains to female performers in the pop industry. I am saying that grinding up against a fully clothed Robin Thicke, in latex underwear emblazoned with cartoons, whilst singing, ‘Blurred Lines’ (tear my fucking ass in two) is a bigger conversation involving all of us. If it is just a matter of shedding Hannah Montana then it’s also incredibly ill informed, dangerous and self-absorbed. I’m embarrassed for her and I am afraid for us. Sinead Oconnor doesn’t need a scolding about feminism. Miley Cyrus does.

    • http://twitter.com/indeciSEAN indeciSEAN

      Context/timing, Amber. While Miley certainly didn’t keep things “classy”, this letter was written and posted before that point. After, it quickly devolved into a back and forth passive agressive/”argument” (from both sides) which in and of itself is addressed within Amanda’s original post. That said, I do agree with you that a bigger conversation amongst ALL of us is a good thing if it’s able to happen.

  • Chichi

    Sinead has albums that are older than miley. She is also far more beautiful. She must have resisted pressure to sell her music with her looks. She has had a career where she could have used her looks to get more attention, instead she spoke her truth, risking ridicule and estrangement from the music industry and miley has the timerity to insult her for this. Sinead instead has the courage of her CONVICTIONS. Amanda you have totally missed the point. Miley doesn’t believe in anything other than being looked at selling records and being tweeted about. yes, she is indeed prostituing herself, but this is even sadder because with all the money and fame she already has she still lacks something that would make her value her mileyness over and above selling her anonymous white clad porno form in her videos and passing this off as creativity. Miley needs love, the kind that Sinead was offering, she was being told that she is more than her body, and from miley’s reaction this is news to her. Miley never responded or reacted to all the put downs after her vma performance, public articles in the media, but she replied to his open letter in such a rude way, it clearly touched a nerve. Sinead did he right thing, clearly as miley copied her music and video, she respects and admires Sinead, so the lack of sinead’s approval hurt her, but Sinead in my feeling was honestly expressing concern and care and giving her view. she did not give false approval, she expressed approval of the music and praised it several times but miley is looking for approval for things which are just wrong, actions which are harmful to herself. My opinion is that, judging by the video where she sings about trying to break down some guys emotional walls, presumably, misguidedly with a sexual weapon, only to end up wrecked, miley is in pain, suffering from the fallout of a lust mistaken for love affair, and she is just doing this publicly, because she doesn’t have anybody near enough to help her understand it. The tears in her video are so real. There are deeper reasons why people act out, miley needed maybe a more private ear to whisper into or shoulder to cry on.

  • bizzy

    Amanda…. you are to me what Sinead was for you. (And I will go check her out, too.)

    Thank you.

  • Michel Hervé Navoiseau-Bertaux

    Thanks for this heartbreaking letter. Here’s mine to Miley, and you: http://mutil-abolition-droit-au-corps.blogspot.fr/2013/10/miley-cirus-femen-of-year_10.html

  • Bil Gaines

    I’m a huge fan of this open letter to Sinead. I’m pretty much a fan of open letters in general. And seeing as how it’s the hot thing right now, I wrote my own open letter to Miley Cyrus. It’s not so much in the vein of handing out advice so much as asking for a pony.

    http://www.bilgaines.com/an-open-letter-to-miley-cyrus/

    Deeper-level discussion here – when we try to figure out what society wants from Miley Cyrus, are we a) objectifying her further, or b) objectifying “society” into one single-minded entity? I’m pretty sure “society” both rejected and embraced AFP. Schizo?

  • meh

    I wonder if people came here in a bad mood and decided to read into this as they pleased. Most of you ended up missing the point of the whole entery.

  • Bellatrix

    I think Mileys performance has exposed how much fear, hatred and shame society has toward female sexuality, honestly if that was a male in the video clip instead of Miley, everyone would think he was a God or Stud, but because its a woman expressing sexuality, everyone wants to hang her.
    How violent and aggressive are the people’s response to this performance, this type of aggression towards female sexuality, demeans a persons existence and turns them into someone subhuman, Miley is still someones beloved daughter, lover friend she is still a Human Being, what she is doing in the video clip is a performance, it’s not an actuality, of course the media and the powers that be use it in what ever way they can, but that’s how all commercial businesses work, they porn all of us and turn us into slaves for their own greed, this is no conscience humanitarian world that we currently live in, it’s a dog eat dog, materialistic world, we need to find the problem at its root cause, talk to each other a whole lot more and talk about our sexuality and our desires, openly, as its part of being human, we should be able to experience these human abilites without feeling ashamed or wronged, we should always feel and be loved even if we are experimenting, learning, expressing how we feel and who we are.

  • Soph

    Meh. I don’t find this article particularly thought provoking or interesting.

    I find a lot of people are complicating the Miley issue. Miley lives in a world where women are objectified and their value is closely tied to their beauty and their sexuality. Miley perpetuates this horrible side to western society, but at the same time she is a victim of it. She thinks acting provocatively, perhaps like Amanda Palmer, makes her a strong beautiful and worthy woman. It doesn’t. It makes her a weak sheep follower.

    Amanda, the idea that your nudity ‘challenges’ people is completely inane. Have you forgotten we live in a completely pornified society? Actually, I’m sorry, but your ignorance shocks me to the point that I’m sitting at my computer feeling extremely frustrated at you.

    At every second bus stop there is a woman almost nude in a lingerie ad, there are billboards, there are naked women popping up when we surf the net. And you think YOUR nudity shocks people??? Please, you want to get naked because YOU want attention. You want people to look at you and desire you because you have been indoctrinated into enjoyed your own objectification by society. You and Miley layer up your nudity in strong female ideals when really, there is nothing strong about you at all. All you girls getting naked and skanky are not unique flowers, you are one in the same.

  • Domina Elle

    Miley’s target audience is little girls. UNDERAGE little girls. NOT adults. Why is it ok to promote sexuality to babies? I am not getting it. No Palmer, I do not agree. Sinead is RIGHT ON. Miley is a tool being used by her handlers.

  • A J

    Sinead
    wrote ‘Troy’ when she was 19 whilst pregnant. Miley rides a wrecking
    ball at 20. Talent doesn’t need any sort of gimmick. It’s not about putting your clothes back on; it’s about what you say whilst naked.

  • Bethany Pontsler

    Amanda, I think you are an incredible woman and an incredible human being. Your music and art definitely got me through high school (and Neil is definitely helping to get me through college). I absolutely understand what you wrote here, and I almost completely agree. However, simply adhering to the status quo of what is sexy (ie- straddling a giant ball playboy style, naked) is not what I consider empowering for this simple reason: she is not redefining beautiful and sexy. Those women you posted in your list; they are there for a reason. They changed what it meant to be beautiful, challenged us to see past our social stereotypes and gynofears and told us, “We will be sexy in our own way!” Miley is not doing that… yet. She needs time, and she may not get there and just get chewed up by the system. I am not her biggest fan, but I don’t condemn her behavior either. She is a young woman who is trying to discover her sexuality. Discovering your sexuality is an entirely subjective, sometimes frightening, and deeply personal matter, which, unfortunately for her, is under microscopic public scrutiny. As an amazing artist, I understand that you consider any personal expression to be art, and I respect that. However, I don’t think Miley is there yet. She hasn’t learned to make it hers yet. Art should be made with intention. She’s fumbling in the dark, and what she probably needs right now is strong, guiding hands from badass women and time to blossom. She needs to find the unique beauty in her own body, music, and art. Did I think Miley’s performance was a little raunchy and tasteless? Yeah. But who cares? We all sit back and shout our opinions about what Miley SHOULD and SHOULD NOT do with her body. What right do we have at all? (On a side note, how many of us grew up on Harry Potter? While there was titillation at Daniel Radcliffe’s nude turn onstage and subsequent pictures, where was the public outcry? He’s just as much of a role model to younger generations as Miley is. There is outcry only because she is a woman, and the media’s shaming of her is pure subjugation.) Whether or not we like her music or her dancing or her performances has never been the issue. No one is discussing her music. Someday, hopefully, she will learn that her sexuality can be expressed in an artistic way, a way that heightens her chosen artform, music. Until then, we will watch her fumble through that awkward college stage that the rest of us got to do behind closed doors and artists do out front in the open as self-aware, naked expression (e.g. Carolee Schneeman and countless other women who were deemed tasteless and pornographic for their art).

  • John Vanderburg

    I’m late; just saw this. Because people do things like post their opinions all over the internet for others who don’t want to read them, I’m going to contribute:

    I think the whole “this is Miley’s genuine and necessary exploration of self” argument would be more palpable if Miley was doing anything but behaving exactly as it is expected that a 20-year-old female in America should act. In other words, she is behaving exactly the way a female pop artist must behave to stay a relevant pop star and, because of that, we can safely assume it comes at the recommendation of some sort of adviser. There is nothing truly liberating about embracing the norm.

  • SweetRPea

    Gloria Steinham was recently asked to share her perspective on the “Miley Issue” and whether or not it indicates a step backwards for feminism. Here is her answer:

    “I wish we didn’t have to be nude to be noticed … But given the game as
    it exists, women make decisions. For instance, the Miss America contest
    is in all of its states … the single greatest source of scholarship
    money for women in the United States. If a contest based only on
    appearance was the single greatest source of scholarship money for men,
    we would be saying, “This is why China wins.” You know? It’s ridiculous.
    But that’s the way the culture is. I think that we need to change the
    culture, not blame the people that are playing the only game that
    exists.”

  • Puddle

    Being a 52, 52, fifty two and a half year old man, I felt dirty watching. Thank god I am not her target demographic. ~Puddle~

  • Michel Hervé Navoiseau-Bertaux
  • liesbeth

    I completely agree with Amanda. I want to live in the world she describes too, but we can’t make it happen if we keep ciritisizing each other. Female solidarity!

  • Poppy

    Thank you, Beate. My sentiments exactly. I am the mom above who says the same things to her 15 year old daughter walking out the door. I’m not proud of it, but thank you Amanda for putting words to my thoughts and fears. I also share Sinead’s views completely. But I do want to move society along, and I want to have a relationship with my daughter, so I am forced to be in this soup, and to figure out a way to have her be expressed, yet have her understand all the implications and possible consequences and what others may interpret, and how that could affect her. How can we move forward and be comfortable and proud of our bodies without having it be sexual, and an issue like this? If we are to get there, we must start taking the reigns, and so I share Amanda’s views completely as well.

  • Louise

    Why is it ‘degrading’ for a woman to be naked? It is only ‘degrading’ in our culture because a woman’s worth is in her attractiveness, sexual attractiveness and virginity. If a woman parades around naked, showing every man what she has – no man needs to work to get it – therefore she is degrading her worth. She is worth less, because every man has access to her with little effort. Its an outdated view of women. Women are worth more to the world than just an aesthetic pleasure. The amount women can achieve is great, and could be respected and revered. Then nudity would not degrade anyone.

  • roberto

    i disagree w Palmer. Miley cyrus represents everything that is wrong with pop culture…talentless, lowest common denominator, awful…just plain bad music flaunting sexuality for increased sales while teaching our daughters that to be a porn star is ok.

  • Anon

    Many seem to be missing the point that oversexualized stage antics send the message that it’s ok to be a sexual object. That to gain clout in this society, one has to cater to men. It sends a message that a woman’s worth is only in her appearance and sexuality.

  • http://eolake.com/ Eolake

    Very well said. Thank you, Amanda.
    Either side is either too hopped up on lust or rage to think clearly. And it pains me that I can’t find anybody writing about Miley who gives her any respect at all.

    Even though the sluttiness aspect doesn’t do much for me, I very much respect Miley. And I think she knows exactly what she’s doing and will turn out to have a lot more power and brains than anybody suspects.

    And by the way, Wrecking Ball is a really beautiful song. And she can really sing. I only found that out after the blood rush in my ears had subsided a bit at subsequent experiences of it.

  • Captain Piccard

    Geeze. Sinead, I don’t know who she is but she seems awesome. Point is, they are making this about “Miley growing up to discover herself” so that anyone growing up to discover themselves will relate it to the need to parade around naked licking sledgehammers. That’s the message they are using her for.

    98% of people, when they have a problem in their life, think to a TV character who they saw go through that same problem, and think about what that TV character did to fix that problem. As soon as I found out about this I stopped watching television

    To Miley it was probably never about her “growing up to discover herself”…it was probably about making money since they paid her to do it… THEY just made it about her “growing up” in a clever psy operation to demoralize people because some sick fucker out there paid them to do it to further some disgusting social engineering agenda. . So now, 98% of young girls wanting to discover themselves WILL in fact think about Miley and how she “discovered herself” but hopefully they will make better choices than what the media is telling them.

    Why does the media do this? Who is controlling them? Follow the money.

    Party and have a good time does not equal daily hard work to build an enlightened society, and while we’re all partying we now pay 50% taxes to the blowfish government. And if you follow the money from the government,…. there are corporations standing to make money from laws.. like the new “fast lane” internet laws… those companies are pulling the strings of the government and keeping you distracted with stuff like this while they drain every last cent they can. PANEM ET CIRCENSES, “Bread and circuses”.