Unwittingly, however, Cyrus may have done us all a service by illustrating in a painfully embarrassing way how casually the music industry exploits women and how casually women in the music industry allow themselves to be exploited.
You can see why a 20-year-old up and coming pop star might be confused about whatʼs acceptable and what isnʼt when it comes to baring it all, or at least most of it, during a live performance. Apparently, itʼs okay to gyrate on stage in a bikini so long as you can sell it as art form or as an act of female self empowerment, even if itʼs anything but. Back in the early 1990s when Queen of Pop, Madonna, was pioneering the art of simulated masturbation on stage, she managed to pass it off as a grand gesture of female self determination. Itʼs quite a feat when you think about it, to cast oneself as a great feminist crusader while you perfect the art of self objectification and then go on to spend your entire career pandering to the male gaze. To Madonnaʼs credit, however, she did push the boundaries of female sexuality along the way and at least did so in a way that has been interesting to watch.