The VMAs aired this past weekend, and it gave folks yet another chance to react to the antics of host Miley Cyrus. From donning a weave full of blonde dreads, to using the racially charged word mammy and tone policing/feuding with Nicki Minaj.
Should Miley Cyrus stop calling herself a feminist?
“From appropriating black culture to insulting black women and painting their valid displays of frustration as overly aggressive — she’s got White Feminism on lock. She’s following in the noble footsteps of the founding feminists of America. She’s not just feminist, she’s the feminist. Congrats Miley, you have reached peak White Feminism.” — Ijeoma Oluo
“I’m loath to declare myself Gatekeeper and Revoker of Feminist Cards; that would be a pretty bullshit White Feminist (TM) thing to do. However, I will come for my own when they claim the mantle and engage in repeated, purposeful cultural appropriation without apology. So…
Miley. Miley, my dear. Please, get your girl Taylor and have all the seats. Take with you ‘Feminist Books by Women of Color’ from Goodreads & Victoria Law’s ‘I Read 50 Books By People of Color This Year‘ list for Bitch. You can speak again when you turn in five book reports of your choosing.” — Sincerely, Katie Klabusich
“It seems to me that when we decide that a woman can no longer call herself a feminist, we’re basically saying, ‘She’s not our problem.’ The reality is, there are lots of self-identified feminists who behave problematically. All of us do, at one point or another. And rather than leaving feminism one by one, we should hold ourselves accountable and actively strive to learn and be better. I’m not excusing what Miley did and said, nor am I saying that she should be held up as a flawless example of feminism. She messed up, badly, and not for the first time, and she needs to be called out for that. I’m saying that owning Miley as a feminist means we also have to own our own problematic actions, and that is the first step toward actually bettering ourselves as individuals and the movement as a whole.” — Carrie
“Anyone can call themselves a feminist. As a sidenote: Miley is openly genderqueer and we need to stop discussing her in the context of being a woman. She identifies as a fluid gender. Right now she uses the pronouns she/her. Maybe she’ll change her mind in the future. There are very few gender fluid people in the spotlight. I think it’s great that she’s putting herself out there, and I have no problem with her in your face sexuality. None of these things conflict with feminism.” — Maria Mora
“Just no. Any woman whose outfit makes my 7-year-old say, “what are those things covering her nipples?” is kind of an automatic no for me.” — Mayim Bialik
“In the mighty words of Flavia Dzodan, ‘My feminism will be intersectional or it will be bullshit!’ Standing in solidarity with Swift at the expense of Minaj because Minaj isn’t ‘kind enough’ is tone-policing garbage talk. And then, when confronted directly, she couldn’t even apologize? She blamed the media for twisting her words around in the interview. So childish. Between all that bullshit and the mammy thing? No. She’s not a feminist.
TL:DR: Cyrus is not intersectional. Any claim she might make to the title of feminist is BS.” — Seraphina Ferraro
“Can I just use this as my response? Her look basically summarizes my feels of Miley.
Can Miley call herself a feminist? I mean, she already does and she can do what she wants. I think Miley is the epitome of a White Feminist ™. She uses her white privilege to appropriate Black culture all the time — especially when she first did it to show that she’s ‘grown up’ and is a sexual being. She continually messes up and refuses to take critiques about how harmful her appropriation is. So, yes, she might be a feminist in her mind, but her feminism is the epitome of the kind that make women of color feel unwelcome and unsafe in the feminist movement. She is not intersectional in the least.” — Wagatwe Wanjuki
“I don’t think it’d be useful for us to reject the idea that she is a feminist, because that means ignoring that this happens in our movements all the time. So yeah, I’m with Wagatwe Sara Wanjuki, she’s the epitome of White Feminism and shows exactly what can happen when you have power and influence and you use that to step over, instead of lifting up, women of color. We should be paying attention and letting other white feminists know this is exactly the danger of refusing to be intersectional.” — Maisha Z. Johnson
“She is a grown woman who says and does harmful and racist stuff. She can call herself whatever she wants, but if her feminism isn’t intersectional, it ain’t worth sh!t to me. The stuff she said about Nicki was straight-up racist respectability politics (which is especially rich coming from her). Feminism doesn’t need young white people who sh!t on black women. That’s what feminism has always done and it’s why the movement has been so marginalizing for POC.” — Syreeta Neal
“I love Miley Cyrus. Basically she heard an intersectional feminist argument from Nicki Minaj, tone policed it and made it about a (racialized) politics of respectability. Which makes her exactly like 90 percent of the white feminists I know, so… welcome to feminism, Miley! ‘On Wednesdays we wear pink.'” — Ashley Black