Sinead O'Connor's Open Letter to Miley Cyrus and the Oppression of Women
By Dennis Loo (10/3/13)
After hearing Miley Cyrus compare her "Wrecking Ball" video to Sinead O'Connor's "Nothing Compares 2 U," Sinead penned an open letter to Miley that reads in part:
The music business doesn’t give a shit about you, or any of us. They will prostitute you for all you are worth, and cleverly make you think its what YOU wanted.. and when you end up in rehab as a result of being prostituted, ‘they’ will be sunning themselves on their yachts in Antigua, which they bought by selling your body and you will find yourself very alone.
None of the men oggling you give a shit about you either, do not be fooled. Many’s the woman mistook lust for love. If they want you sexually that doesn’t mean they give a fuck about you. All the more true when you unwittingly give the impression you don’t give much of a fuck about yourself. And when you employ people who give the impression they don’t give much of a fuck about you either. No one who cares about you could support your being pimped.. and that includes you yourself.
Yes, I’m suggesting you don’t care for yourself. That has to change. You ought be protected as a precious young lady by anyone in your employ and anyone around you, including you. This is a dangerous world. We don’t encourage our daughters to walk around naked in it because it makes them prey for animals and less than animals, a distressing majority of whom work in the music industry and it’s associated media.
You are worth more than your body or your sexual appeal. The world of showbiz doesn’t see things that way, they like things to be seen the other way, whether they are magazines who want you on their cover, or whatever.. Don’t be under any illusions.. ALL of them want you because they’re making money off your youth and your beauty.. which they could not do except for the fact your youth makes you blind to the evils of show business. If you have an innocent heart you can’t recognise those who do not.
I repeat, you have enough talent that you don’t need to let the music business make a prostitute of you. You shouldn’t let them make a fool of you either. Don’t think for a moment that any of them give a flying fuck about you. They’re there for the money.. we’re there for the music. It has always been that way and it will always be that way. The sooner a young lady gets to know that, the sooner she can be REALLY in control.
You also said in Rolling Stone that your look is based on mine. The look I chose, I chose on purpose at a time when my record company were encouraging me to do what you have done. I felt I would rather be judged on my talent and not my looks. I am happy that I made that choice, not least because I do not find myself on the proverbial rag heap now that I am almost 47 yrs of age.. which unfortunately many female artists who have based their image around their sexuality, end up on when they reach middle age.
Real empowerment of yourself as a woman would be to in future refuse to exploit your body or your sexuality in order for men to make money from you. I needn’t even ask the question.. I’ve been in the business long enough to know that men are making more money than you are from you getting naked. Its really not at all cool. And its sending dangerous signals to other young women. Please in future say no when you are asked to prostitute yourself. Your body is for you and your boyfriend. It isn’t for every spunk-spewing dirtbag on the net, or every greedy record company executive to buy his mistresses diamonds with.
As for the shedding of the Hannah Montana image.. whoever is telling you getting naked is the way to do that does absolutely NOT respect your talent, or you as a young lady. Your records are good enough for you not to need any shedding of Hannah Montana. She’s waaaaaaay gone by now.. Not because you got naked but because you make great records.
As Sinead points out, in the music business (and more generally), females are told that they are "in charge" when they pimp themselves for men when in fact they are adopting the postures, both figuratively and literally, that male supremacy wants of them. Robin Thicke, who performed with Miley at the VMA Awards to part of his hit song "Blurred Lines," wears all of his clothes while Miley is expected to parade around semi-naked and seem to relish being degraded, being screwed from behind by Mr. Thicke. In Thicke's video of "Blurred Lines" some of it is actually shot in front of a big dripping letters sign that says: "Robin Thicke has a big dick." Since he is fully clothed the whole time, we are denied (fortunately) the proof of this claim, but this video does have women parading about with vacant looks on their faces, topless and wearing only flesh colored bikini panties. Meanwhile all of the men are drooled over by the women.
My first thought about this song and video was that it was high production values dressing up the basest male supremacy. The fact that it's been nominated for rewards says a lot about how ugly the debasement of women has become. Rihanna has a new video out in which she pole dances and strips and in a Thursday interview Britney Spears expresses distaste at the sexy persona she's expected to assume in videos like "Work B**ch."
I encourage folks to read the entire letter from Sinead O'Connor and to read this letter from a revolutionary activist at Revcom.us entitled: "Un-Blurring the Lines: On Miley Cyrus, Robin Thicke, and the MTV Video Music Awards... and the Need for a Culture of Revolt Against a Revolting Culture."
The malignant shifts evident in the political institutions, economic institutions, education, and so on in which, for example, literally everyone is now a suspect spied upon by the government and you can be assassinated on the say so of the President alone, cannot help but show up in the realm of culture; they are all part of society's superstructure. The oppression of women and the open season on minorities, especially blacks, that the Zimmerman verdict announced so glaringly are all part of a whole ensemble of attitudes and practices that a parasitic Empire rests upon. Is this the kind of world that we want to live in? How big does the American flag have to be that they unfurl now before sporting events and how many soldiers do you have to assemble in these worship of all things military displays to cover over these ugly truths?