"I don't want any man to have control over me"
- Sinead O Connor.
The modern world is conditioned to believe that women are constantly in competition. The cultural stereotype of the catfight reduces the lady, who is noted for her passivity and elegance, to a creature capable of stealth and crafty animalism; a creature called woman.
Whether Natural Vs Processed; Full-Figured Vs Skinny; Lesbian Vs Heterosexual; Black Vs White or Younger Vs Older, catfighting is belittling to an already belittled body of people.
Amusing, apathetic and erotic in equal turn, when media highlights catfighting it is intended as patriarchal proof that woman is a creature that could benefit heavily from containment in a social corset constructed to hold, shape and restrict the full force of the female aesthetic, autonomy and astuteness in a timely (hourglass) fashion.
The fact that this debate between Miley Cyrus and Sinead O Connor has taken on a heightened sense of controversy is because we live in a society where women are encouraged to catfight.
While men fight, like wolves, out in the big bad world, women are called to cook, clean and control (the children and the home) and so, as Sinead grapples the younger Miley for control of the contemporary woman's corporeality, all the male supremacists stand by and take great comfort watching the witches scream.
In Sinead's view, spilling out of the social corset (or PVC hot pants in Miley's case) is a fate reserved for subjects of a lesser value, not the talented Miley. It is a fate reserved for prostitutes. A prostitute, in Sinead's eyes is a classic dehumanisation, degradation and exploitation of the woman and the lowest form of female that represents a moral injury to female equality.
In aligning Miley with prostitution Sinead underlines how, alongside abortion and adultery, prostitution is one of the most significant moral dilemmas of feminism. According to Carole Pateman "people's bodies and sexual capacities are an integral part of their identity as men and women, the woman who works as a prostitute sells her womanhood and therefore herself."
Sinead's, "Your body is for you and your boyfriend" is telling evidence of both the antiquity of her expression and that she is working in the service of a popular patriarch by perpetuating a biblical ideal whereby woman's body is fine to be ogled just not polygamously or publicly.
An updated ideal that removes absolute ownership of her corporeality from the female and by giving him partial ownership gives the boyfriend (not husband) a share and a say in how his girlfriend's (not wife) body is utilised.
Sinead's problem is not with all men, but rather "the men oggling (sic)" Miley publicly. A colloquial compassion built on preserving the boyfriend's right to prostitute the female form as he sees fit.
"This is a dangerous world. We don't encourage our daughters to walk around naked in it because it makes them prey for animals and less than animals ..." she says. Sinead's concern is not for Miley (who she does not know personally) it is for Miley's public image and given in the very Roman Catholic "spirit of motherliness".
Feminist thinkers have long considered motherhood a patriarchal trap that restricts a woman to being pregnant, cook and carer. The same patriarchal trap and safeguard Sinead attempts to push Miley into by telling her how to dress, how to behave and how to save herself from a fate similar to her own of mental illness, four broken marriages, occasional lesbianism and the effortless moral panic she has courted by prostituting her opinions since the release of The Lion & The Cobra in 1987.
Sinead's well-intentioned letters occasionally use some brutal language to achieve civility. This is a typical Sinead tactic but this time, a tactic that may have been the downfall of her argument since it compelled Miley to feel threatened and so attack her mental state and it is these comments, made by Miley, that take this from a moral fight to a straight out catfight that will only keep these women divided and reinforce male supremacy.
Sinead's second and third letters call Miley anti-female, which I am afraid to say is inaccurate. The moment Miley refuted the spirit of (s)motherliness; Sinead switches from protecting Miley to sheltering Amanda Bynes and goes from upholding her to attacking her with legal threats and obscenities. While it may be uncouth and even amoral, Miley's responses are in the true spirit of the catfight she initiated whereby women pull out of their arsenal any weapon they can in an attempt to assassinate their opponents character. Sinead calls Miley a danger, but that is Miley's intention - to endanger Sinead, which it appears she is doing quite well because the more letters Sinead writes, the more expletives she uses and apologises for tweets dating back two years is the more she climbs into the madwoman's costume Cyrus (and her crafty handlers) have laid over the back of the chair for her to wear.
This is just another instance of #twittersilence feminism whereby white females attack one another with their privilege. Sinead is telling Miley not to behave like a whore because that is not a white woman's role and in return Miley is saying neither is the Angry Woman.
Besides, we all know black women are the angry whores. Right!
Miley is gifted and so is Sinead it's just a shame that both cannot see that they are fighting over a man (albeit a fictitious one) and so the wrecking ball continues.