Instead of not believing my eyes, I can’t believe my ears. Deranged! Whore! Unstable! These are just a few of the names that Miley Cyrus has been called as a result of her MTV Video Music Awards performance.

Don’t get me wrong — I didn’t like the performance. I thought that it was raunchy, over the top and overly sexual, but it was sadly reflecting today’s teenage pop culture.

I’ve been seeing this kind of dancing and behavior at my high school dances and on MTV for years. This culture is a confusing meld of both sexual shame and pride, where a girl’s sexuality is viewed as her most-prized asset and a cultural taboo.

During Miley’s duet with Robin Thicke, she became the “player” and he became the object. She touched him, he didn’t touch her.

I think that’s what offended people more than anything. Instead of stopping to think whether this outrage is the result of unjust social norms, people are condemning her for making them uncomfortable.

If we don’t discuss the ingrained psychological reasons for why this performance caused such uproar, we are wasting an opportunity for change. What frustrates me is that we are using Miley as a scapegoat.

We can’t accept how messed-up our culture has become — and the double standards that it glorifies. I hope that people will use this as an opportunity for discussion, not judgment.