Nothing Compares 2 Youth
You are probably aware of the Sinead O'Connor V Miley Cyrus fight that is going on, and wow that is a sentence i never could have guessed i would ever write. Sinead was obviously prompted to act when Miley said in a recent interview that the Wrecking Ball video had been inspired by the Nothing Compares 2 U video. Of course, instead of contacting Miley privately, she wrote an open letter on her website. Because what the world needs more of is successful women criticizing other successful women publicly. Speaking of publicity, i thank Meryl every single day that i was not 20 years old when twitter and instagram and iphones and vine and facebook existed, and that none of the incredibly, incredibly, incredibly, incredibly stupid stuff i did was documented. I would hazard a guess that Sinead would probably feel that way as well.
Anyway, in her first letter she essentially posits that Miley is being 'pimped' and exploited in a way that is not empowering for young women, that a message is being sent that she is valued more for her sexual appeal rather than her (obvious) talent. She says that Miley does not care for herself, she should be protected as a 'precious' young lady, blah blah something about us not encouraging young women to walk around naked because of prey, that Miley is worth more than her body, that she will be really empowered when she refuses to exploit her body something something. Also the message she is sending as role model to young women is it is cool to be prostituted. You can read the whole thing here: http://tinyurl.com/ok45qjm, but that's basically the gist.
Of course, Sinead claims that all of this was said 'in the spirit of motherliness and with love'. Well guess what Sinead, you aren't her mother. She is however, someone who has written a public letter scolding a 20 year old pop star under the veneer of concern. She's written a letter full of condescension. A rant where she automatically assumes that because Miley is a young woman who uses her sexuality as well as her talent, that she must have no agency. That there is no possible way that she could be in control of her life, or the decisions that she is making.
She's ignoring the fact that the 'Miley' brand and every move she makes might be carefully plotted out to sell her product (and it works, and this is helping). She's saying that a young woman's expression of sexuality is wrong and that she has a right to advise against it. Not to mention all of the sex-workers that she denigrates over and over again which is hugely problematic and stop that!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Anyway, Miley responded to this with a few tweets (because of course she did), linking to a series of old Sinead tweets where she is asking for help with mental health issues. She also dragged Amanda Bynes into it, which was totally uncalled for (#teamamanda). Obviously mocking people for mental health issues is absolutely terrible and unacceptable, and she could have responded in a multitude of better ways. That said, i'm not sure if Sinead was expecting Miley to put on a mu-mu and ring her doorbell, crying and holding a tub of ice cream or something, but she was obviously not expecting a retaliation like that. So she wrote another letter. This time she totally drops the motherly love pretense, saying things like:
"It is most unbecoming of you to respond in such a fashion to someone who expressed care for you," (anyone should be able to say anything to you under the guise of concern and you should thank them for it)
"..taking me on is even more f--kin' stupid than behaving like a prostitute and calling it feminism" (wow it is so unclear what Sinead thinks of sex workers!!!!)
""[H]ave you any idea how stupid and dangerous it is to mock people for
suffering illness? You will yourself one day suffer such illness, that
is without doubt. The course you have set yourself upon can only end in
that, trust me. I am staggered that any 20 yr old woman of the 21st
century could behave in such a dangerous and irresponsible manner as to
not only send the signal to young women that its ok to act like
prostitutes but also to the signal that those who have suffered or do
suffer mental health problems are to be mocked.." (Miley shouldn't make light of mental health issues, also she is using her sexuality and this makes her a prostitute and will make other women prostitutes, oh and also it will definitely cause Miley to have mental health issues but don't make light of them)
""And worse that you are such an anti-female tool of the anti-female music industry." (Miley is anti-female possibly because she uses her sexuality to sell music, unlike other pop stars past and present).
and in response to Miley posting a picture of Sinead tearing the Pope's photo;
"You could really do with educating yourself, that is if you're not too busy getting your tits out to read." (FYI it is possible and sometimes comfortable to read WITH your tits out, just a little life tip for you)
[you can read the whole thing here: http://tinyurl.com/o6abqlm
So there we have it. Sinead ends on a lovely sentiment of slut-shaming, pretty much negating any of the actual sensible thoughts or concern she expressed. Of course it *is* possible that Miley is being exploited, because obviously exploitation exists in the music industry. It *is* possible that she is not in control, and that one day there might need to be concern. The problem lies in the fact that especially since her MTV awards performance, there has been an incredible amount of slut-shaming and sexism directed toward Miley under this same guise of concern.
Are there issues with the music industry and how it treats women? Absolutely. They have existed forever. Miley Cyrus is not the first 20 year old pop star to use overt sexuality to sell music. Has anyone watched the Christina Aguelira film clip for Dirrty recently? Where were her open letters? And why are these critiques of the men behind the 'pimping' of the stars and the people in control of the music industry even being directed at one young female pop star, and not to the people you think are behind it? think Sinead O'Connor could be a knowledgeable source of great advice and support to someone like Miley Cyrus if she were actually genuinely concerned, but this was not the way to do it.
ALSO COME ON BOTH OF YOU:
p.s how fucking weird is the world we live in?