Miley Cyrus was grabbed and kissed by a fan. Her response is an important lesson on consent.
She can be wearing what she wants. She can't be grabbed without her consent.
Miley Cyrus has always been an outspoken proponent of progress. And she's never been afraid to call out people whose actions hurt her, those she loves, and the communities which she's loyal, too. This week proved to be no exception.
During a recent event, a fan grabbed and forcibly tried to kiss Cyrus as she was trying to walk through a crowd with her husband, Liam Hemsworth.
The grab? Disgusting and inappropriate. The public reaction? Also not great. After the grab occurred, fans suggested that the artist — who's been known to swing naked on a wrecking ball or two — somehow deserved it. "You wanted to be sexy," one fan wrote on social media. "What did you expect?"
Cyrus had a clear answer: What she expects is respect. At all times. Regardless of whether she's walking down the street or singing about how much she loves Molly onstage.
"She can be wearing what she wants," Cyrus tweeted.
"She can be a virgin. She can be sleeping with 5 different people. She can be with her husband. She can be with her girlfriend. She can be naked. She CAN'T be grabbed without her consent. #DontFuckWithMyFreedom"
It's an important message for fans:
First, just because you love a celebrity, that doesn't mean you have access to anything outside of what they publish and sell.
Second, artists who own their sexuality in their shows, songs, and videos, are giving consent to show that side of themselves. They're not giving consent for others to touch them.
Third, it doesn't matter what anyone's wearing or doing. You never blame the victim for being assaulted. Because it's never about the clothes: It's always about power. And when we try to pin any kind of harassment on "what they were wearing," we're distancing ourselves, not getting to the root of the issue — which is that no one should ever touch another human being without consent. (And it doesn't matter how big a fan you are.)
Here's hoping that all of us (with the exception of Cyrus; she's good) can learn from this incident.