As part of the thing that Miley did, however, she wound up grinding her backside (and, due to her position at the time, her genital region) against Robin Thicke's groin while wearing spanky pants made of what looked like flesh-colored vinyl. No one missed a beat when she did this, including Robin Thicke, so I have to assume that it was rehearsed, and was part of the plan for the performance. Again, still not a good thing, but she didn't start throwing in the over-the-top sexual stuff on a whim: MTV approved this. Her backup dancers learned this. Robin Thicke voluntarily did this.
I have now heard three separate people say something along the lines of "Robin Thicke's wife should slap the shit out of her," and "she should be ashamed." What I'm not seeing, though, are people saying the equivalent things about him. It appears that, to many people, Robin Thicke just materialized on stage as an innocent bystander, where Miley Cyrus proceeded to grind on him, and he didn't push her away because he's a gentleman.
I know this is a weird example to use, but bear with me here: this is actually a really good demonstration of how we tend to treat female "characters" in both real life (celebrities, pop stars, people whose lives are turned into narratives by the media) and fiction. Belle stole Brina's boyfriend! Sharon is a skank! Cassandra is a coward! It's always the women who are to blame, and the men around them are blameless. It's not "Brian left Brina for Belle." It's not "Sharon had consensual sex with Steve." It's not "Connor threatened Cassandra's life and family, so she withdrew." We place the full onus for anything we don't like on the female participants, leaving nothing for their counterparts. And it's just not fair.
Miley Cyrus did a thing. Very few people seem to have liked the thing, and that's on her: she should know her audience better than that. But Robin Thicke did not accidentally wander into the performance. If there's blame to give here, it needs to go both ways.
We need to drop the double standard.