Open Letter to Miley Cyrus
My name is Rachel Jessee. I’m the director of GoTopless, a women's rights organization fighting for the legal right to go topless in public wherever men have that right. We do this on the basis of the gender equality guaranteed by the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
I’m also involved in Clitoraid, another women’s rights organization. Its humanitarian goal is to assist victims of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in obtaining surgery to rebuild their mutilated clitorises so they can experience sexual pleasure and regain their dignity as women. Clitoraid also works toward the worldwide elimination of FGM.
All of us involved in these two liberating women's organizations are cheering the way you are now fully embracing your body and your sexuality in your artistic voice and public performances! Your bold VMA performance was just riveting, and your analysis of your life progression over the last 10 years that was recently published on Hollywood.com was superbly insightful. You deserve big kudos!
What’s more, you’re an inspiration to all young women trying to escape the confines of this sexually repressed, puritanical society in which we live. The lyrics of your song “We Can't Stop" perfectly convey the path to freedom and liberation. "This is our party, we do what we want; this is my mouth, I can say what I want.” Yes! Yes! Yes!
The rigid Judeo-Christian values so prevalent in this country pressure young women to be “good girls,” meaning Disney-like, asexual mannequins. Your message, along with those of GoTopless and Clitoraid, breathe life back into those mannequins. “This is MY body, I can do what I want!” Yes. It’s time to live as a complete woman, not as a cartoon cutout.
But the road to female freedom, pleasure and dignity isn’t always easy. Our organizations get many letters from women who would love to free their bodies and sexuality but feel guilty about it. They often “medicate” their guilt with drugs and alcohol. That reality led professional women in our group to launch a service called “Freedom Coaches,” which helps women of all ages navigate through the liberating process. Our Freedom Coaches overcame the hurdles of breaking through taboos in their own lives and can now help other women avoid pain and suffering as they launch their personal Movements.
You may be wondering how GoTopless and Clitoraid got started. Both organizations stem from the vision of spiritual leader Rael (rael.org). Rael is a staunch defender of all aspects of women's rights, especially those pertaining to women's bodies and sexuality. For most women, these are the most repressed aspects of their existence, and no other organizations are willing to be so vocal about this.
Rael says, “Femininity will literally save humanity.” But first, femininity needs to break free from the shackles of shame and guilt.
A similar vision was conveyed in Amanda Palmer’s letter, when she replied to Sinead O' Connor who had published a letter of concern about your sexually charged performance: “I want to live in a world where WE as women determine what we wear and look like and play the game as our fancy leads us [...] We are all fragile humans with little time on this beautiful, sexually-charged, ecstatic planet. Let’s share it to the fullest extent that we can and make the playing field for all of us the size of the whole earth.”
Each year, GoTopless holds its increasingly popular “GoTopless Day” on the Sunday closest to August 26, which is Women's Equality Day. Next year, the event will be held on August 24. We’re planning our very first “GoTopless Pride Parade” for that date in New York City (where it’s already legal for women to appear topless in public). Appropriately, this parade will end at Times Square because this is an idea whose time has definitely come!
We would be honored if you could attend this groundbreaking event. Amanda Palmer and other female performers who embrace their bodies and sexuality in art are also welcome.
Once again, we commend you on this remarkable Movement you’ve started in your life. Inside and out, you are embracing the woman in you in all her beauty and wonder. Let us strive for all other women to do the same!