September 6, 2013

Richard Cohen’s belated and befuddled weigh-in on the Miley Cyrus kerfuffle [“Teen culture run amok,” op-ed, Sept. 3] shocked me — and I don’t shock easily. For example, I wasn’t shocked by Ms. Cyrus’s “Come on, do the twerk” routine any more than I was by Elvis’s pelvis or Madonna’s corset and conical bra. However, linking Ms. Cyrus’s dirty-dancing routine to the Steubenville, Ohio, rape case? Now that’s repulsive.

One more time, everyone: Dancing doesn’t cause rape. Celebrities don’t cause rape. TV award shows don’t cause rape. Rapists cause rape.

Andy Viner Seiler, Washington

I would suggest that Richard Cohen also examine the less-vilified Robin Thicke, with whom Miley Cyrus performed at those infamous awards. Mr. Thicke’s hit song of the summer, “Blurred Lines,” not only features gratuitous shots of partially nude women in its video but also implies, in title and content, that good women who send a message of “wanting it” are blurring lines between what is consent and what is rape.

Heather Skinner, Washington