Miley Cyrus has reacted online after being grabbed by a stranger—supposedly a “fan”—in Barcelona following a festival performance there last weekend. A video of the incident was captured by a friend of Spanish Twitter user @AlvaroSaucedo13, who promptly posted it. The video shows a man walking up to Miley and forcefully grabbing her hair before pulling her towards him. After wrapping his arm around her neck, he kissed her head without consent.
Absurd comments and victim blaming
The ridiculous thing, however, is that Miley actually received criticism on social media for “provoking” and “tempting” men with her outfits, lyrics, and demeanor. The “Wrecking Ball” singer quickly responded to the comments, saying that “She CAN’T be grabbed without her consent” under the hashtag #DontFuckWithMyFreedom.
After that, even more people replied with comments suggesting that the incident was her fault, asking her questions like “what did you expect?” and further criticizing her for “wanting to be sexy.” Miley rightly doubled down and replied with the hashtag #stillnotaskingforit.
Let’s be clear
Let’s make something crystal clear: a woman—or a man, for that matter—could be walking completely naked down the street if she wanted, and that still wouldn’t give anyone the right to touch her, let alone kiss her (or worse). No one is entitled to another person’s body in that way, no matter the outfit. Period.
Clothing (or lack thereof) is not consent. Being sexy is not consent. Being nice and friendly is not consent. Attractive people do not owe you sex. They do not owe you a kiss. It’s downright unbelievable that in this day and age there are so many people that still don’t seem to understand this.
Even if you argue that, while indeed no one has the right, it’s still the woman’s fault for putting herself at risk in a society filled with men who are inclined to such abuses. But even here, victim blaming is out of place. We should focus far more on why the action was wrong (and on educating people not to do it) than on how a woman might have prevented it. Things are not going to improve otherwise.
Unfortunate incidents aside, Miley Cyrus has been rather busy lately. Last month, she appeared at Radio 1’s Big Weekend, where she talked about the pervasive issues that women still face in the music industry. She is also due to perform at the Glastonbury Festival this month, and stars in “Rachel, Jack and Ashley Too,” the third episode of the fifth season of Netflix’s Black Mirror, which released just today.
Check out these other articles:
Toxic Masculinity: A Drunken Man Kissed Me On The Subway
After R. Kelly And Many Others, Is It Okay To Be Fan Of An Abuser?
10 Places You Cannot Visit If You Are A Woman