What Miley Cyrus’ Recent Attack Teaches Us About Rape Culture.

Trigger Warning: Sexual Assault. In the aftermath of the #metoo movement, a recent incident involving singer, songwriter, and actress, Miley Cyrus, shows us just how far we have to go with eradicating sexual assault. Days ago a video emerged of the 26-year-old being sexually assaulted by a fan while leaving her hotel room in Barcelona, Spain. The video shows a large man forcibly grabbing Cyrus by her hair and pulling her into an unwanted kiss on the cheek. Not only is the attack disgusting, but so is the repulsive response of some people blaming Cyrus for the incident.

Miley Cyrus
Miley Cyrus | Photo by Jo Hale/Redferns

She is coming to set the record straight

Yesterday, Cyrus took to her social media pages to address the incident for the first time publically. Reposting a video that shows what transpired, the Black Mirror actress wrote the following, “She can be wearing what she wants. 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.”

Victim blaming

Still, after posting the video and her poised response, some people still had the audacity to blame Cyrus. Citing the way she dressed as a justifiable reason for the attack, men and women alike quickly started in on the victim blaming. Cyrus quickly fired off another tweet in direct response to a couple of negative comments which she screenshotted. “Don’t f*ck with my freedom. #stillnotaskingforit” the “Nothing Breaks Like A Heart” singer fired back to the trolls.

Luckily, there were some fans who supported Cryus and maintained a voice of reason. “Why would anyone think that a human being can be poked and prodded without consent? Miley Cyrus belongs to Miley Cyrus.” one sound-minded woman on social media wrote under endless comments telling the “Mother’s Daughter” singer to just keep her clothes on and insisting that she was just begging for attention by speaking out. We’re glad to see that some people understand that nothing you do or wear gives anyone the right to assault you for any reason whatsoever.

Rape culture

If there’s one thing that this unfortunate incident teaches us is that rape culture is alive and well. As a society, people are so quick to point finger at the survivors of heinous crimes rather than at the assailants wear sole blame belongs. Cryus’ outfits and musical artistry in no way justify what happened to her.

The more we try to justify disgusting behavior the more power we give abusers to continue abusing. Statistics have shown that clothing has absolutely nothing to do with sexual assault because it is prevalent regardless of age, appearance, clothing, sexual orientation, etc . Until we stop making the prevention of sexual assault the responsibility of those at risk and start teaching would-be assailants about consent, these incidents will only increase in number.

Don’t f*ck with her freedom

We commend Cyrus for taking such an awful incident and using it and her huge platform as a way to shed light on one of the world’s most pressing issues. We hope that she is doing well following the incident and that she is surrounded by those who love and support her.