Miley Cyrus has already garnered a heap of unlikely fans; she’s even set to release an album with the psychedelic rockers The Flaming Lips. But maybe even more surprising is the new proposition from punk rock feminist icon Kathleen Hanna, according to Hanna’s Twitter.
Hey @MileyCyrus so sweet you posted pics of me…have an idea for an album that only you are daring enough to make .
— Kathleen Hanna (@kathleenhanna) August 4, 2014
Miley posted photos a few days ago of Kathleen back in her early days as the lead singer of Bikini Kill — a band that founded the “riot grrrl” movement where women took center stage in the misogynistic world of punk rock.
One can only assume that Cyrus found Hanna from the popular documentary The Punk Singer, which chronicled Kathleen’s life. One of Miley’s photos of Hanna featured the tell-tale line:
f**k yeah… #girlsrule
While it’s surely possible that Miley dusted off an old Bikini Kill or Le Tigre record and ran a Google search to learn about Kathleen’s influential career, it seems a lot more likely that the documentary led her there, which probably makes Hanna extremely pleased. When she was asked about Cyrus in an interview with indie blog Tiny Mix Tapes, her reply was largely supportive of Miley — particularly of Cyrus branding herself a feminist.
“Well, I’m glad the word ‘feminist’ is being talked about and that influential pop stars are bringing up this conversation. If she says she’s a feminist, then who I am to stop her? I’m not the feminist police. I don’t get to determine that. I’m happy that young women are embracing that term, for whatever reason it means to them. Maybe for her it’s about freedom of sexuality and freedom of expression. For other people, it’s about ending oppression against everyone, not just women, but you’re starting from a woman’s perspective because that’s what you’re interested in.”
Cyrus has faced plenty of criticism for using the term feminist from other famed musicians, as well as general disdain — including a gigantic letter that Irish singer Sinead O’Connor wrote her last year in which she told the singer that the music industry was prostituting her and she needed to “put some clothes on.”
But despite all of Miley Cyrus controversy, getting love from hugely influential musicians like The Flaming Lips and Kathleen Hanna might be proving a lot of her naysayers wrong. After all, how many people over the age of 15 could recite the lyrics to any Miley song before “Wrecking Ball”? Critiques aside, any feminist would have to be blind to nor see what a great impact an artist like Hanna could have on someone like Cyrus, using her notoriety to spread a message to an audience Kathleen was never mainstream enough to reach.