By Susan Ciancio
There are some events in life that serve as a slap in the face. Not only do they make you sit up and take notice, but they fill you with resolve to make changes for the better. I hope this is one of those times.
Every mother knows that navigating the mother/daughter relationship can be difficult. As a mother, you strive to be a strong woman for your daughter to look up to. You want to give her the world, yet you want to protect her from all the evil within it. You try to teach her to be holy, to be kind, to cherish her faith, and to do things to make her part of the world better. Because it’s not always an easy road, you try to fill her journey with virtuous people, good books and movies, talks about the tenets of our faith, and so on. You teach her prayers, you go to Mass, and you lead by example. You hope that some of it will sink in and stay.
I have a daughter. She’s 20 and one of the brightest lights of my life. Not only is she beautiful and intelligent, but she’s one of the kindest people you’ll ever meet. I am truly proud to be her mother. I have no doubt that most mothers feel the way I do about their daughters.
But feelings and actions are completely different things. And we are not the only examples our daughters will see. That’s where life gets difficult.
My daughter and I used to watch Miley Cyrus in Hannah Montana together. She wasn’t a huge fan, but she liked the show. And, while far from quality TV, it wasn’t the worst Disney Channel show to have to sit through with a child. Though there was a lot of silliness, Miley Cyrus’ character was part of a loving family. And these days you can’t scoff at a show that portrays family as a father’s number one priority in life.
My children grew, and we stopped watching Disney Channel. They lost interest in Miley, and we only gave her periphery notice in our house. But she thrust herself into the spotlight recently with a disgusting picture of herself next to a cake that had “abortion is healthcare” written on it. In the picture, she is sticking out her tongue as if about to lick the cake. It’s hard to look at it without cringing.
If that weren’t misguided enough, she then released a new video for a song entitled “Mother’s Daughter.” After reading an article about it, I just had to see it for myself. Not only is the video disgusting, filthy, and pathetic, but it’s terribly sad. Yes, sadness was the predominant feeling I got after watching it and listening to the lyrics. In fact, I know it sounds strange, but I even got a bit teary. I got teary not only for a potentially lost soul, but for the countless number of girls who will watch this video thinking nothing is wrong with it and who will sing along with lyrics like “I’m nasty. I’m evil,” “I’m a witch, I’m a witch. Hallelujah,” “I’m a freak. I’m a freak. Hallelujah,” and about 10 repetitions of “Don’t f__ with my freedom.” I got teary because these children—and maybe even some of their parents—won’t be shocked upon viewing this video. Some may even think it’s a catchy song. This is their new “normal.” Evil is insidious. It seeps into our lives when we’re least expecting it.
As the video opens, we see Miley dressed as some sort of phallic symbol. She gyrates, grabs her crotch, and writhes on the floor. Images in the video include two silicon-like nipples rubbing each other, a woman’s crotch with a sanitary napkin visible, and transgender people with various signs on their bodies about being “free.” Interspersed with the images are phrases that flash on the screen for just a split second. These include “virginity is a social construct,” “sin is in your eyes,” and “tough titties.” Sadly, there’s even a nursing woman wearing a crown who most likely represents our Blessed Mother.
Toward the end of the video, Miley sits on the couch with her mother, and I have to wonder what her mother was really thinking. As they sit side-by-side, Miley sings: “My mother always told me that I’d make it. And I made it.” No, Miley, that’s not what “making it” truly is. You’ve made money, and you’ve made yourself famous. But at what price? There’s more to making it in life than grinding on the floor and licking cakes that support the murder of a child.
Is this what we want for our daughters—this disturbing version of feminism? As mothers, it’s time we say enough is enough! We all know that this isn’t feminism. Feminism is wanting women to be treated fairly and kindly both in the workplace and at home. It’s understanding that men and women were created to complement each other and that each have their own strengths and weaknesses. It’s understanding that we are all equal as children of God and should be treated as equals. But equal does not mean we are exactly the same!
We live in a world where, not only do people enjoy videos like this, but they tout her boldness and praise her for “empowering women.” Indeed, one of her lyrics says, “Look at her. She’s got the power.”
But, as we know, power can be either good or evil. If we ignore the evil that sneaks into our lives, we are allowing people like Miley and all those who advocate her sickening behavior to have power over our children. This video has been viewed over 22 million times. That’s millions of children perverted, tainted, and sensitized to the wrong kind of power. We cannot sit idly by and let Miley Cyrus and others like her usurp the power that enables us to teach our daughters that the power they have over themselves should be grounded in morality.
It is our primary job as mothers to nurture our children and to guide their souls so that they eventually get to heaven. Though we may stumble and fall in these attempts, we can always look upon the greatest example of a mother to have ever lived—our Blessed Mother. We can emulate her, teach our daughters about her, and seek her intercession.
This video, this behavior, and this mentality require us to take action. What will we do to combat this? As mothers, we need to get our heads out of our phones, press pause on the Netflix show, and teach our daughters the true meaning of feminism. We must show them what the proper power over their bodies is. We must teach them how to respect their bodies, how to live chastely, and how to build a culture of life in their own world. They will only learn this if we take control and become their examples. We cannot leave them to flounder without guidance. If we do, the ones whom they will emulate will be pop stars like Miley Cyrus.
“My mother always told me that I’d make it. And I made it.” Aren’t those the words you want to hear from your daughter as you greet her with open arms in heaven?
This article has been reprinted with permission and can be found at hli.org/2019/08/mothers-daughter.