I finally watched Miley at the VMAs.
I kind of had to. I started to feel like I would not be allowed to comment on pop culture until I viewed this particular train wreck, which no one can stop talking about.
But I had a different reaction than most, and that’s probably because right before I watched the video, I happened to see this picture on Buzzfeed of Robin Thicke with his hand firmly entrenched in the landscape of a booty of a woman who is not his wife.
So I was feeling pretty grossed out about Robin Thicke.
And then I saw this girl, this Miley Cyrus girl. Damaged goods in Spandex. This is a human being whose parents thought it would be a swell idea to make her extraordinarily famous and filthy stinking rich before she was legally allowed to drive. And now the entire world that worshipped Hannah Montana is having this huge, weird, harvest festival human-sacrifice moment tearing her apart. What did you expect? You knew it was coming. You waited for it. When is she gonna implode? you wondered gleefully. It was a matter of time.
Thrust into the public eye as a pre-teen, given all the money and attention she could possibly want, she did what everyone else does in those circumstances: she goes bat-poo crazy. She decides to prove to the world she is not innocent, and does a seriously thorough job of it.
She goes on the MTV Video Music Awards and behaves like a total slut, and everyone is alarmed and disgusted or delighted and fist-pumpy.
And nobody says a single word about the dude.
Yeah, did you miss that part? There was a dude there. His name is Robin Thicke, and he was the, um, recipient of Miley’s twerkage. He is 37 years old and he is married to a beautiful 39-year-old actress named Paula Patton. (She was the hot biracial agent in the latest Mission Impossible movie.) Robin Thicke is also a father. He has a three-year-old son named Julian.
While everyone has been enthusiastically hating on a twenty-year-old whose parents destroyed her life before she even had a shot, the dude – as usual – has gotten a pass.
We are too often quick to condemn women for their disgusting behavior, and let the same behavior slide in men. Both Miley and Robin should be ashamed of themselves on a moral and aesthetic level, but Robin Thicke should be doubly ashamed. He’s not a damaged girl barely out of his teens. He’s a husband and father in his late 30s.
This whole thing – of course – reminds me of abortion. Because behind every abortion is a man who helped create that life. Sometimes he is oblivious to the fact that his child is being destroyed, or has tried to stop it. But all too often he is the financier, or at least the one cheering his wife or girlfriend on to free him of the burden of fatherhood.
And just like abortion, behind every woman acting slutty – in Miley and Robin’s case, literally right behind her – there is a man enjoying it or profiting from it, or – in this case – both.
So next time you hear people judging Miley’s VMA performance, remind them there was another willing participant in the downfall of Hannah Montana, and he was old enough to be her father.