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Recommended Reading: Solidarity is For Miley Cyrus: The Racial Implications of her VMA Performance

August 27th, 2013     by Julia Horel     Comments

There has been a lot of writing on Miley Cyrus’s performance at the Video Music Awards this past weekend, from all angles. This one is important.

From Ninjacate writing at Groupthink at Jezebel:

As a black woman, I feel like I owe a debt of gratitude to Mikki Kendall, of Solidarity Is For White Women fame for managing to so perfectly encapsulate years of subjugation of black women by white women. With those five words, she was able to instantly zero in on why Intersectional Feminism is so necessary if the feminist movement is to progress. Because Miley’s performance last night, and the subsequent ignoring of the racial implications of what she did is just the latest incident in the long line of things that shows me as a black woman, that white feminism does not want me, or care to have me. … Here’s the thing: historically, black women have had very little agency over their bodies. From being raped by white slave masters to the ever-enduring stereotype that black women can’t be raped, black women have been told over and over and over again, that their bodies are not their own. By bringing these “homegirls with the big butts” out onto the stage with her and engaging in a one-sided interaction with her ass, (not even her actual person!) Miley has contributed to that rhetoric. She made that woman’s body a literal spectacle to be enjoyed by her legions of loyal fans.

Read the whole piece here.

Tags: body politics, media savvy, race and racism, recommended reading

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