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October 8, 2013


What is on my mind: At the moment, Miley Cyrus

Adrian Sipes

Staff Columnist What is on my mind at the moment is the new Miley Cyrus. The teen star gone rebel has taken the music industry by storm and has been grabbing media headlines recently with her outrageous stunts. I feel Cyrus should tone this down a bit. But, at the same time, the critics need to take a step back as well. Transforming rapidly from Disney stardom to what some may believe to be the raunchiest 20-yearold pop-star to this date, I think it is safe to say Cyrus is trying to make a statement. She first started turning heads at the innocent age of 15 when she posed for Vanity Fair appearing topless with only a sheet to cover her breasts, according to Rolling Stone. Two years post-Vanity Fair she is caught hitting a bong. Now she is “twerking” — a lot. Not just on YouTube videos or at home, but also at the MTV Video Music Awards. Miley Cyrus shead her “Hannah Montana” persona for the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards. I acknowledge the fact that the Photo Courtesy of

Letters to the editor

Response: How blurred are Robin Thicke’s lines? Deborah Mathes Guest Writer

An opinion piece ran in the Sept. 27 edition of The Slate that gave me pause, then distress. Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” certainly was cause for discussion across the board, frequently amongst those who consider themselves feminists (or, as most feminists are, people who want equality for everyone). What rubbed me the wrong way — across a few blurred lines, if you wil l— was the leniency awarded the song; the claim that “it is unfair to take bits and pieces of the song to argue for either side.” Herein lies a rather sticky situation: if some bits and pieces of a song hint that less-than-consensual, or nonconsensual, sex is OK, is that not enough to fault the entire song? Though the phrases “I

know you want it” and “Go ahead, get at me” seem like an invitation, they simply are not. “I know you want it” is not a question, it is a forceful statement. The concept of the song is that women, ashamed of their sexual desires, pretend to not want sex, wasting away in their towers of chastity until Robin Thicke swoops in and rescues them from the fire-breathing, consent-asking dragons that dare wait for their intimate partners to specifically indicate an interest in sex. How charming. “The way you grab me, must want to get nasty” is a particularly unfortunate line wherein the thought process behind it is venomous. Flirting and winking are not agreeing to sex. Dancing — even “twerking” — is not agreeing to sex. Kissing, fondling and oral sex are not agreeing to any other form of sex.

So why on earth does Robin Thicke transcend this principle? Why does Robin Thicke believe that the way another person grabs him is an expression of desire to copulate? Hint: He does not, and it is not. “We ought to focus on things that truly are significant,” though an excellent way to end an argument, dismisses the main issue with Thicke’s “Blurred Lines”: It is important. Songs that promote the blatant disregard for basic human dignities, such as consensual sex, are small but easily remedied tokens of a culture that lacks true equality. When people do not find fault in the insinuation of sexual assault, what would inspire them to find fault in the act itself? I think it is absolutely significant to teach everyone how easy it is to un-blur the lines Robin Thicke is singing about.

MTV’s Video Music Awards is not the most formal event and that the bar is set high to push the limit, but that was too much. Many of the viewers that tuned in that night seemed to agree as well. The performance with Cyrus and Robin Thicke stockpiled 161 complaints to the FCC, according to

Though, most importantly, I hope the critics give her some piece of mind and just let her be Miley. Rolling Stone. Some complaints went as far as to say the performance was potential pornographic material. That I do not believe, but it sure was getting close. Cyrus, in her recent interview with Rolling Stone, went on to say that the performance was the MTV version and it could have been a lot worse, which I unfortunately find very believable. Rolling Stone journalist, Josh Eells, who conducted the interview with Cyrus, made a good point in

the first half of his article by saying maybe the fact that no matter what Cyrus does, the world still sees Hannah Montana — and maybe that is the entire issue. Maybe the world, and myself, just cannot accept the fact that Hannah Montana is nothing more than a character and that Miley Cyrus is an evolving 20-year-old superstar just trying to show her independence. Regardless of what she is doing to make the point that she is no longer the girl next door, it sure is getting a lot of attention, especially after her interview with Rolling Stone and the release of her new album. Cyrus even made her way to CNN with scornful criticism over the recent article published in Rolling Stone in which she openly talked about her drug use and drugs of choice — MDMA and marijuana. I do not condone that. She does have fans, young fans at that, who continue to adore her. However, it is her life and her future. If she does not care how it will impact her fan base then so be it. She is human, you know. Though, most importantly, I hope the critics give her some piece of mind and just let her be Miley.

The Slate 10-8-13  

The Oct. 8 edition of The Slate.