Last week, during the Women's Media Awards, Steinem was asked by Yahoo's Omg! Insider whether she thought Cyrus' risque VMAs performance and "Wrecking Ball" video were setting the feminist movement back. The icon and activist answered with a resounding "I don't think so." She expanded on that opinion, saying:
I wish we didn’t have to be nude to be noticed ... But given the game as it exists, women make decisions. For instance, the Miss America contest is in all of its states ... the single greatest source of scholarship money for women in the United States. If a contest based only on appearance was the single greatest source of scholarship money for men, we would be saying, "This is why China wins." You know? It’s ridiculous. But that’s the way the culture is. I think that we need to change the culture, not blame the people that are playing the only game that exists.
We're glad that Steinem sees the complex context of Cyrus' manufactured sexuality, and didn't resort to shaming the 20-year-old pop star. But we're even more glad to see Steinem's comment as the last word on the matter.