I wrote many tweets about Sinead O'Connor's Open Letter to Miley Cyrus
, that looking back should have been a proper post.
Here are the tweets I wrote regarding this whole sordid affair.
The more I read Sinead's letter to Miley, the more I see that Sinead is talking specifically about her own personal experience & pain. 1:44pm - 4th of Oct 2013
I don't like what she wrote all that much. I'm pretty sure Miley Cyrus is incredibly isolated & thinks she's revolutionary & edgy. 1:45pm - 4th of Oct 2013
I think Sinead is protective to a fault when it comes to women artists & is blinkered regarding the way public sexual expression doesn't - 1:46pm - 4th of Oct 2013
- have to mean sexual exploitation. Sinead herself has always done what she wanted when it came to sexuality, candidly so. 1:47pm - 4th of Oct 2013
I also think Sinead herself was/is very vulnerable in a way that Miley perhaps isn't. Miley doesn't do anything rebellious. 1:50pm - 4th of Oct 2013
Miley is provocative in the titillating sense, her representation of femininity and beauty are extraordinarily conservative. 1:51pm - 4th of Oct 2013
Add to that her appropriation & objectification of black women's bodies, you have a whole lot of white supremacist entitlement. 1:55pm - 4th of Oct 2013
Sinead could have worded her open letter better than she did. I think Miley Cyrus proves she's an entitled brat. 1:58pm - 4th of Oct 2013
What surprised me the most about Sinead's letter is the fact that there was no mention of Miley's racism. 2:01pm - 4th of Oct 2013
Considering Sinead herself has spoken against racism multiple times in her music & in interviews. 2:01pm - 4th of Oct 2013
Sinead's slut shaming and whorephobia of Miley is wrong. And that lives side by side with Sinead's other points. 2:07pm - 4th of Oct 2013
It's obvious that I love Sinead & disdain Miley. I'm okay with that, I've always loved problematic things & I'll always disdain racists. 2:14pm - 4th of Oct 2013
Not to mention racists who think mocking someone's mental health is fucking hilarious. [TW] Miley Cyrus Mocks Sinead O'Connor: 'Before Amanda Bynes There Was...' 2:15 - 4th of Oct 2013
And that's what I tweeted. Amanda Palmer also wrote an open letter to Sinead
about Miley Cyrus, to which I tweeted:
Read Sinead's letter, read Amanda's letter. Still haven't read any white woman "Open Lettering" Miley to quit with her racist shenanigans. 12:45am - 4th of Oct 2013
Why is Miley Cyrus the hub of contention at this point in pop culture? What's she done, other than grow up isolated and entitled to deserve this kind of attention? I resent that I know so much about Cyrus when I have no interest in her music and persona, I really do.
She shouldn't be slut shamed, and Sinead's whorephobia should be accounted for, it disappoints me that Sinead can't find room for sex work and sex workers in her feminist point of view. I also don't think Miley Cyrus represents any kind of real feminism.
Her performance in the VMA awards really brought to a head her callous use of black women's bodies as props and as property, and it also brought to a head that she performs mainly for white women, utterly eschewing a persona that is in any way viable for the (white) male gaze, because if you look at the white men and boys in the audience of that performance, they are incredibly uncomfortable, while the white women and girls are chair dancing to her performance.
Her "sexual awakening" is a cultural moment, the same way Brittany Spears shaving her head was, white girls taking ownership of their bodies and their sexuality in a way that rocks a very unsteady boat of white women's agency in culture.
I think Sinead's own experience and her past railing against the music industry blinker her to the fact that Miley Cyrus is doing whatever the hell she wants in a way that may or may not be harmful to Cyrus, but is harmful to black women.
Miley Cyrus' reaction was heinous and disgusting, mocking Sinead's mental health and breakdown in 2012 is not something I feel is an appropriate reaction to anything.
Both Sinead and Cyrus are problematic is different ways, I don't much care about Cyrus, as she seems not to have a care in the world. I don't really care how she decides to express herself and while Sinead's policing is misguided and wrong, Sinead has been burned badly by an industry she views as evil. Does that excuse Sinead's slut shaming and whorephobia, no it most certainly does not, but I don't think that that position negates the work she's done previously and the care she has with regards to women and the way they are represented in the media.
More and more it seems that other white women are overly concerned with policing Cyrus' sexual expression, whether it's by slut shaming or by saying she has the right to express herself anyway she damn well pleases.
It's a double edged sword trying to talk about this, and it irks me that Cyrus is currently at the epicentre of this, because while yes she does have the right to express herself however she damn pleases, there is such a thing called accountability and she doesn't have an ounce of it.
Maybe that's why I'm willing to continue loving Sinead even as I side-eye her. She's went through actions that rocked the boat and was held accountable at the great personal and professional cost, she kicked up and was burned.
Cyrus kicks down. Therein lies the difference.Tumblr crosspost