Tongues and Nude Bikinis.

I might be the only mother in America who doesn’t think Miley should be burned and fed to Satan. I’m okay with it.

I’m more concerned about Anna’s taste in music than the dancing that goes along with it. If Miley Cyrus wants to get down and funky busting out her stripper moves, good for her. How is that any different from Madonna, Michael Jackson and Prince who were grabbing crotches and grinding on their back-up dancers in the early 80’s? We’ve been seeing this for THIRTY years. Why is everyone losing their mind?

In my opinion, any time we shame someone for expressing their sexuality, we limit our own. When we repress others, we repress ourselves. Why would we do that each other? It makes everyone feel like crap. The person being criticized feels bad. The people doing the criticizing live in fear of being judged. Meanwhile, most men quietly wish their very upstanding girlfriends, wives and mothers of their child(ren) would be more confident and open sexually. How can we be open to that when we live in fear of being labeled slutty? No one is winning. Except Miley because the whole world is talking about her right now and she’ll probably get another seven-figure book deal out of it.

It disturbs me when something this simple gets our puritan nation up in arms. Miley has a vagina. We know this. She probably likes to use it. So what. So do most people who have a vagina. NOT NEWS.

It’s irritating to me that this international conversation is perpetuating the never-ending tiresome myth that women are supposed to appear almost asexual in public. We aren’t encouraged to acknowledge our sexuality, let alone express it freely. It’s a shame. Mainly because sex is an absolute basic need. Observe the bottom rung of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.

photo credit:

photo credit:

There it is at the very bottom: Sex. Along with breathing, food, water, sleep, homeostasis and excretion.

No one attacks girls for sleeping a certain way. Gahd look at her pillows – what a slut. I can’t believe she breathes so much. Whore. She drinks entirely too much water – where did her mother go wrong? And the way she uses the bathroom when she has to pee? Total toilet tramp. Don’t even get me started on how her teeth chatter when she’s cold and she eats food if she’s hungry. Society is breaking down.

But everyone freaks out if a woman shows any sign of being sexual.

I’ve been asked 20 times by people totally aghast at my nonchalant attitude toward Miley’s performance, “well would you want Anna up there dancing like that?!?!?!?”

Here’s my answer: If it makes her happy, then yes.

Gasp! But guys will think she’s a SLUT!

So? If she’s not having sex with them, then that would be a falsehood then wouldn’t it?

But. People will talk about her!

So? I hope she’s confident enough to know it would be bullshit and to tell people to fuck all the way off.

Someone’s style of dancing is not an indicator of how much they use their vagina or with whom. Well unless they’re on the pole at a strip club, but even then you still don’t really know. But even if you did, so WHAT? Guys don’t ostracize each other for getting laid. Why do women?

My personal opinion is a lot of the finger-pointing and judging comes down this: I would never be comfortable doing that, so I don’t want anyone else to be either. I can say this because that’s true for me. Just the first part, not the second. I took a stripper pole class with some friends and I was amazed at how self-conscious I was. In spite of the fact that it was a room full of girls only, who all paid to attend the class, who were all very positive about the experience.

When I think about going on stage trying to pull off what Miley did, here’s what I know would go through my mind: oh my gahd, what if I start my period when I’m all bent over doing the stripper shake? I should wear a tampon just in case, wait the string might show. I should cut the string really short to be sure, but what if I can’t get it out and I end up at the ER in a nude bikini asking a medical professional to fetch a lost tampon? What if when I bend over to grind on Dooshy Thickemonster my butt hits his junk too hard and I go ricocheting off him head first into the audience? What if repeatedly licking my own face makes my lipstick smear everywhere and I don’t know I look like drunken clown until I see it on YouTube?

See? Not sexy.

So when I look at Miley, and EVERY OTHER dancer getting their stripper moves on, I don’t judge. I marvel at how uninhibited they are. I’m inspired by their willingness to own their sexuality instead of renting it. I thank them for raging against the machine of prejudice that women can’t be openly sexual or sensual without being labeled a slutty tramp or valueless whore.

Instead of squelching a part of basic humanity with shame and fear, why don’t we embrace it and be nice to each other so the script is changed.

Otherwise, I want new writers please.


  1. Look at you all using science, well, not science but psychology, to prove a point that sex is natural sex is fun and that sex is best wait, sorry, I was sidetracked. I couldn’t agree more about not giving two shits about Miley Cirrus and how she dances. I guess it’s a bigger deal to people because she was Hannah Montana or whatever and everyone expects her to be that way forever? I don’t know. I personally think Madonna was a more capable slutty dancer and much hotter in her hayday than Miley could ever be, but that’s me. Ok, I don’t really have a point so I’ll go now.

    • That’s exactly what I’m saying. Sex is natural and fun and we need to do more of it. And yes Madonna was way hotter. She’s still hot. I respect it. Also, people need to keep in mind that Hannah Montana is a fictional character. Like Mary Poppins, who btw had sex at least three times. Defense rests. Everyone get naked.

  2. So with you on this. Michael Jackson can grabby grab in the 80s but Miley can’t do whatever that was.

  3. Amen!

  4. Sex is natural, sex is good. Not everybody does (professes to like) it but everybody should. George Michael (altered in pareneteses by me)
    I often make pithy comments regarding sex in conversation and sometimes in regard to children. Sex is something people are not comfortable with discussing, even in our “advanced” society.

  5. It’s their own sexual thoughts, those puritans cannot stand. They feel a failure to their own standards when they just know they are just a miracle away from sainthood. They blame the thoughts not on themselves, but on influence from outside. But what is going on in their heads is their own fault. They behave like children – everybody else is responsible for their thoughts – but not they themselves.
    A true innocent, like a two or three year old – would perhaps just ask why the woman does not wear enough. Or if she is feeling pain cause she moves so strange. I do not think those children would feel anything remarkable and they would soon forget about it – unless the parents make a big deal of it.
    You know what I would not like a child of mine to see? Cruelty against women. Or the sexual act itself. Private parts should be USED in private. But somebody wearing underwear and nothing else (Madonna did it back then and – hold your breath – is prudish NOW) – that is nothing to get heated up about.

  6. I don’t know. I feel there are limits. Age limits. In my (apparently) uptight mind, nine is too young to watch that stuff. Do you have a cut-off? Would you allow a 5-year old to watch that? Or is it all fair game? Some things are labeled slutty because…well…they’re slutty. I never thought of myself as puritanical but perhaps I am. How the hell did that happen?! I used to live in the drug-infested Lower East Side of Manhattan!

    Why is sexual intimacy and sex separated out in that pyramid? Is the base one more like masturbation and the other have deeper meaning and poetry?

    Hope you don’t mind the mild disagreement. You don’t just want a comment section full of sycophants, do you? That’d be so dull.

  7. Agreed to all the scolds crying about “What about the children?!?!?” My objection is that the performance/song/most-everything-about-MTV sucked. I will now shake a cane at some youngsters who are 100 feet from my front yard.

  8. Comments with opposing views are ALWAYS welcome on my blog. Agreed – otherwise, totally dull…After I saw your comment I showed Anna the video and asked her what she thought. Here’s the interesting thing. She doesn’t like Miley anymore. She likes her song we own the night (I think that’s the name of it – the one she performed in the video), but she thinks Miley is “weird” now. She also doesn’t like her haircut. Likewise, she wasn’t particularly moved by her dancing or her costume(s) one way or the other (you know I asked her string of questions without giving her my opinion one way or the other).

    I think she was nonplussed largely because most pop stars get strippery to some degree (Lady Gaga comes to mind, who I also love, but Anna finds “inappropriate”). But to answer your question, I apply limits with Anna according to what I believe she’s capable of negotiating emotionally. For instance, when she got in the car and asked me what suicide was 2 years ago, I told her we would pick that up in a few years because that I thought it would upset her. Because she knows I’m fair in that way, not babying her, when I say huh uh, she respects that and doesn’t push. Dancing is not something that can be scarring or create fear/anxiety (again, in my opinion).

    My parenting style right or wrong is this: she’s going to see or hear everything at some point – from other kids at school, at gymnastics, in aftercare, flipping through channels on TV, and gahd help us all with the internet. I’d rather be on the front end of those conversations than the back end. I keep that dialogue open with her so she feels comfortable talking to me, knowing I respect her opinion and am interested in her ideas. We may not agree, but I let her know I value her thoughts so she will value them, too (even though we’re not having ice cream for dinner or staying up all night, but we can totally have whipped cream on our bacon). This is getting way too long – sorry. Intimacy and sex are not the same thing to me because you can have one without the other. Maybe that’s why they’re separated on the chart. What do you think?

    Thanks for your sharing your thoughts and causing me to ask myself a few questions.

    • Here’s something I probably shouldn’t put out in the ether. Sex has never really been a great friend to me. I believe the two mentions in the pyramid are exactly what you suppose; an intamacy and a purely physical act. Personally, I’ve never been able to parcel the two out. It’s always been fraught with meaning to me. I could never stand breaking someone’s heart and surely didn’t like when it happened to me, and one of the two always seemed to happen. Wish it could have been a more visceral activity for me but I’ve got a defective chip. That’s why seeing it presented as two distinctive activities looked odd to me.

      • That makes perfect sense. And it’s probably healthier for all concerned. I wonder what the %s are for people who can and can’t parcel it out. You’re certainly not the only one. And not the only main. Fascinating. Maybe another post! Thanks so much again for taking the time to share your thoughts on the topic.

  9. Maybe it’s because I’m a burlesque dancer that made me not like it. In my company, we talk about how thin the line is between sexy and slutty. I’m caving in to exactly what you’re saying in that I never want to appear slutty on stage but sexy is a whole ‘nother thing!! I definitely get what you’re saying and I believe people are freaking out way too much about the whole thing. I guess I just like to ‘get’ the performance and I didn’t get it at all. The shaming of Miley needs to stop though. Period. Great post!

    • Burlesque dancing is much hotter to me. And YES, slutty and sexy are different. Baking cookies can be sexy if it’s the right baker. I didn’t get the performance either, or the bears, or the wacky hairdo and tongue wagging, but if she’s thinks it’s sexy then she needs to party on with all that and people need to stfu. Thanks for chiming in!

  10. I’m so glad you wrote this! My ex husband and I have discussed this to death and for once we agree! Would I have done it the way she did? Nope. but does that make it wrong? Nope! She got attention. She wanted attention. She expressed herself and that is what is important. As for the person who meantioned 5 yos and 9 yos I don’t beleive the VMA’s or anything on MTV is really there for that age group. I have a 19 yo daughter and back in the day wwe discussed openly and honestly and thankfully that means that today we still have the ability to talk. Anyway thanks for writing this! (and sorry I rambled)

  11. Honestly, I just can’t get over the tongue! What’s with the tongue.. very bothered by the tongue…

  12. I agree with your whole article. We are sexual beings, when sexuality is repressed then a whole host of other problems come about. Thanks for the tidbit about Maslow.

  13. I haven’t watched the Miley Cyrus performance and i have no desire to. I think people take it way too seriously – sure I wouldn’t want to be the one up there twerking to Robin Thicke’s groin but if she wants to do it, I don’t really care.

    As for the sexuality discussion, I completely agree with you. We don’t celebrate our sexulaity enough and for a female to talk about it and actually admit that they like/have had sex! EGADS! Scandal. And you know i don’t conform to that way of thinking.

    This was a great post Molly x

  14. I would argue that it isn’t so much that Miley was being slutty that has created this revolt, but that the routine was TERRIBLE. I have no way of watching the Madonna “Like a Virgin” performance objectively now as an adult. And as such I am unable to truly compare her talent to MIley Cyrus (although I do remember my mother saying Madonna’s pop was garbage). However, 30 YEARS AGO as you say, grabbing your crotch was titillating and new and attention-grabbing. Now, it’s just a way to distract everyone from the fact that you have absolutely no talent. For instance, if MIA or Beyoncé (or Michael Jackson) grabbed their crotch up there, it would be a lot more forgivable. When we were kids (if you’re a dinosaur like me) our parents weren’t all that interested in watching MTV with us. We are the MTV generation. But this is tricky because we are still interested and watching shit that is actually geared for less particular connoisseurs i.e. tweens. It’s all just another manifestation of our generation’s sense of entitlement: we expect better. You’re going to shake your ass on Robin Thicke’s crotch? For real? You have the attention of the world and those are the shenanigans you choose to pull? I think we are missing the bigger picture which is: why, when there is so much amazing talent out there, do we continue to showcase Disney prefab garbage? Create a new sound, a new dance, a new SOMETHING. Crotch grabbing is so 1982.

    • Christina says:

      Beyoncé would never need to grab her crotch. That is the difference between sexy and slutty. Crotch grabbing is so 1982 : )

    • And THIS is exactly why we’re super buds. I agree with everything you said here. Particularly the Disney prefab garbage line. It’s terrifying. They all sound, look, act and dance exactly the same. That truly is the much larger crime. Thanks for reading and commenting, Amy. It always make me smile when your name pops up. XO

  15. Not to mention Molly, you and I both know she did not act alone in this. How many choreographers, producers, directors, network execs, etc. signed off on this? She’s a kid, they’re selling sex…the backlash is not her fault. And YES we have been seeing this for thirty years and it’s MTVs JOB to test boundaries. No love lost for Miley. Only gained from me. It’s a tough life and she’s taking it on. Power to her.

    • That’s an excellent point Kristin. There were many, many people behind that 3 minute performance – none of whom have caught any flack at all. Is that how you spell flack? I’m too lazy to look it up. But yes, shock value is all the rage. Let’s keep it moving, eh? Thanks for reading and commenting : )

  16. Christina says:

    Thank you and breath of fresh air! I agree with you and I don’t. I thought it was just a bad performance period (no pun intended) but I do agree with most of what you said. Vaginas are good. Vaginas and peni (is that the plural?) together are even better. But I do think there is a difference in the way men and women liberate themselves sexually. There is usually a kind of desperate attention seeking quality to how women go about it. I would have a problem if my daughter were stripping on a pole. Using her sex as a commodity would be the easy way to go about things and in taking the easy way out she is in turn making the path for other women more difficult. It’s kind of hard to take women seriously when they’re always sporting a duck face or grabbing each other’s breasts. Yay Female liberation. On that note, I don’t judge Miley, I just hope her next performance is better. There’s a huge difference between sexual and slutty (although I hate the word slut because I was labeled that in high school for walking around during lunch with guys TALKING, also because I happened to be pretty and in high school pretty equals slut unless you’re part of the in crowd).

    • The performance was more shock than awe I agree. I hope my girl doesn’t end up on a stripper pole either, but not because it’s the easy way out. I think it’s just the opposite – it has to be pretty hard on your psyche to get dollars for being naked. Anywhich, I hate to hear you were labeled slutty when you were a girl. I was labeled stuck up, which couldn’t have been further from the truth. I was just afraid of my own shadow because of everything that was going on at home. Kids are dumb. Thankfully they grow up and become nicer. Mostly. Thanks for reading and chiming in!

  17. I agree with you Molly. Personally as a performer and dancer, I felt it was nothing to write home about, just kind of stupid, and I don’t think I care that much. The other part of it is that I’m a daughter of a stripper, so I saw it all. What Miley did was kind of ridiculous and yes she got attention, that’s what she wanted. This was rehearsed with Robin and backup dancers etc, and all knew what would be transpiring. Most child actors/singers rebel for many reasons. Some of them just end up with a mug shot and others do it on stage and get paid for it. I wonder how long her career will last. I don’t get the feeling that it will be a 30 plus one, but hey who knows.

  18. I liked even though my take on this was VERY different. Check it out (maybe you have already) and don’t judge. I will blame my views on my overprotective dad-like tendencies.

  19. The thing I was the most perplexed about was the clowning with her tongue, so to me it didn’t look like someone owning her sexuality but like someone being a clown. I guess it’s not fair to put the whole “role model” thing on her since she’s running away from her Disney image, but I still kept thinking of the way her little girl fans might perceive it: not so much a sexualized dance, but a message that sex is silly–don’t take it seriously–when in fact it often is very serious, especially for young girls.

  20. I thought she looked silly, but the slut-shaming crap that she got for it was unwarranted.


  1. […] us from marrying a nice boy (or girl – I hope same-sex marriage is legal in your state). The Miley slut-shaming party comes to mind here. Our sexuality is put on hold until we get […]

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