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PALM BEACH, Fla. – The highly sexualized performance by Miley Cyrus at MTV’s Video Music Awards over the weekend would not be causing such an uproar among women in media if Cyrus gyrated with another woman instead of a man.
That’s the conclusion of radio giant Rush Limbaugh, who said a lesbian theme would have prompted fewer objections.
“Would these erudite, elite women be as upset if Miley Cyrus had twerked with another woman instead of Robin Thicke?” asked Limbaugh Tuesday on his national broadcast.
“It would not be an issue. I’ll bet you a dollar, and I have a few of those, that it would not be an issue.”
Limbaugh even suggested there would be contact from the president.
“Obama might have called Miley to praise her for her heroism had she twerked with another woman.”
On Monday, Limbaugh opined on Cyrus’ performance, saying, “She did a stage routine with Robin Thicke last night that was just this side of on-stage pornography.”
“What do you think was just depicted there with that guy standing behind her as she bent over and she’s wearing a nude-colored two-piece? … All kinds of sexuality and sex is being stimulated on stage. … No matter how you look at this, it was pure, unadulterated rot.”
MTV itself promoted the sexual performance, reporting: “Miley embraced her role as the new twerk queen as she stripped off her bear-emblazoned leotard to cavort with Robin Thicke for a performance of the singer’s Pharrell Williams-produced mega-hit ‘Blurred Lines,’ which is in the running for Video of the Year. With Thicke clad in a black-and-white-striped suit, Miley gave him an up close and personal private twerk show as the song climaxed.”
Many in the media have expressed surprise that such a provocative show would be aired.
Appearing on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” Monday night, Sherri Shepherd of “The View” was asked if Cyrus’ performance was “over the top, too much.”
“She goin’ to hell in a twerkin’ hand basket, that girl,” Shepherd said. “When I was growing up, it wasn’t called twerkin’. They got these cute artistic names for it. That was called a ho move right there.”
Limbaugh asked, "Why is anybody shocked over this? Why isn't this being praised as great performance art?"
"I'm shocked anybody's upset about it. Even the people on the left were kind of blown away. I mean, this is exactly where this culture's been headed for the longest time. Could it be that they finally reached the bottom? Fat chance.
"But the reaction to this, nevertheless – you know, in a socially, culturally analytical way – is somewhat interesting in that this was even too much for some of the people who are responsible. I mean, some of the people who had put this show on are responsible for this kind of thing happening. She didn't just do this in a vacuum. She thought it was what was gonna take to get mentioned, which worked, get noticed – which worked."
One mother, meanwhile, has taken the blog route, writing an open letter to her daughter titled: "Dear daughter, let Miley Cyrus be a lesson to you."
Kim Keller writes:
Yes, this is what happens when you constantly hear everything you do is awesome. This is what happens when people fawn over your every Tweet and Instagram photo. This is what happens when no responsible adult has ever said the word “no,” made you change your clothes before leaving the house, or never spanked your butt for deliberate defiance.
If you ever even consider doing something like that, I promise you that I will run up and twerk so you will see how ridiculous twerking looks. I will duct tape your mouth shut so your tongue doesn’t hangout like an overheated hound dog. I will smack any male whom you decide to smash against his pelvis – after I first knock you on your butt for forgetting how a lady acts in public.
Why would I do that? Because I love you and I want you to respect yourself. Miley Cyrus is not edgy or cool or sexy. She’s a desperate girl screaming for attention: Notice me. Tell me I’m pretty. See how hot I am. I know all the guys want me. All the girls want to be me.
You probably know girls who will emulate this behavior at the next school dance. Don’t do it with them. You are far too valuable to sell yourself so cheaply. Walk away. Let the boys gawk and know in your heart that they see only a body that can be used for their pleasure and then forgotten.
Keller also apologized to her daughter if she has ever "felt sad because I haven't gushed over everything you've done."
She indicated a mom's job is to "praise when praise is due, but also to offer constructive criticism and correction when it is needed as well."
"Dear daughter, I am going to fight or die trying to keep you from becoming like the Miley Cyruses of the world," she concludes. "You can thank me later."
Ironically, while MTV had no problem with the sexual nature of Cyrus' act, it did censor a veiled drug reference.
The Huffington Post notes that as the singer performed, her reference to "molly" was notably absent.
"MTV bleeped out the 'dancing with molly' line during Cyrus' 'We Can't Stop' performance," it reported.
"It depends who's doing what. If you're aged 10, [the lyric is] 'Miley,' if you know what I'm talking about then you know. I just wanted it to be played on the radio and they've already had to edit it so much," the 20-year-old singer told the Daily Mail when asked about the controversial lyric this summer. (There had been some debate over whether Cyrus was referencing herself or name-checking ecstasy.) "I don't think people have a hard time understanding that I've grown up. You can Google me and you know what I'm up to – you know what that lyric is saying."