Miley Cyrus and Kathleen Hanna Really Aren't That Different

They're both controversial feminist figures with a penchant for performing in their pants.

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Aug 11 2014, 4:02pm

On an average day, the internet is mostly cat exploitation and bullshit dick pics, but every now and again, it redeems itself by serving as a platform for some of the world's most unlikely yet beautiful encounters: Katy Perry asking Lil B to a non-existent prom, Kanye driving around live-tweeting every single poor fashion choice he sees made by a member of the public and, most recently, Kathleen Hanna pitching an album to Miley Cyrus.

Last week, Cyrus posted two infamous pictures of Her Riot Highness on Instagram: that one where she has "SLUT" written across her stomach and another where she's performing live in a glittery top and underwear, rocking a visible pubes situation. Spotting some undeniable career similarities, Cyrus captioned them "fuck yeah" and "coolest ever." A few days later, Hanna tweeted Miley saying "so sweet you posted pics of me… have an idea for an album that only you are daring enough to make"—which was really casual when you consider that sentence will part the Bikini Kill fanbase faster than a pair of legs in front of Sean Connery in the 1960s.

But if you think about it, there really isn't that much difference between Miley Cyrus and Kathleen Hanna. They're both controversial feminist figures with a penchant for performing in their pants. They're both unapologetic in the face of relentless criticism. The latter wrote a song called "I Like Fucking," the former reinvented her career based almost entirely on that statement. It makes total sense that they might end up working together. Hanna has already spoken in support for Cyrus' brand of feminism in interviews: "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... it means to them. Maybe for her it's about freedom of sexuality and freedom of expression."

Cyrus is yet to respond (at least publicly) to the proposal, but journalists and music blogs seem almost unanimously in favour of it becoming a reality, even writers for Jezebel, who not at all condescendingly hope that the experience might help Cyrus "learn a lot." But this is the kind of collaboration that will either be pure genius or a complete clusterfuck. Remember when David Lynch and Karen O made those really great songs that stood the test of time? Yeah me neither. So the question is, what might a Kathleen Hanna and Miley Cyrus album (that should absolutely NOT be titled Kathleen Hanna Montana) actually be like?

Here's several scenarios I've envisaged in my mind while day-dreaming about the day I'll be able to watch Miley and Kathleen share a stage together.

Pure Pop Feminism
Fusing Hanna's political intelligence with Cyrus' devil may care attitude towards her labia, the two enter the studio and lay down a load of MTV-friendly bangers with titles like "Dressed 2 Kill" and "Husbanned" and "Twerking Full Time But Not On A Living Wage." The cover art might feature Cyrus fellating an actual penis in the interest of avoiding any metaphors about subjugated women, dressed in a power suit with the ass cut out to reveal a tasteful tattoo of Simone De Beauvoir on one cheek and Kathleen Hanna on the other.

A Concept Album About Stripping
Are we all over the fact that feminist poster-girl Kathleen Hanna used to be a weed-dealing part-time stripper by now? Because if not, she should bust that shit wide open and do a whole narrative where a bunch of attitudes to stripping are explored by a bunch of different voices. Preferably with Miley doing something other than cumming on a concrete ball.

Miley Goes Punk
What if the past year of lewd finger gestures and tongue poses weren't just part of a yung-bae-thinks-she's-Tank-Girl PR stunt but actually subtle training wheels on her way to spearheading the biggest punk revolution post-Thatcher? Since Johnny Rotten is flogging butter now, how perfect it would be that the millennial answer to the Sex Pistols would arrive via a living meme.

Aggressive Self-Parody
Could this be the musical retaliation to all the backlash and criticism both figures have collected throughout their careers? Will they validate every accusation of racism and bad-female-role-modelling ever thrown at them? Will they imitate Yonce by taking important speeches about feminism and getting them narrated by Robin Thicke?

A Genuinely Really Fucking Good Album
With Hanna's battle scars and ability to write fierce pop songs coupled with Cyrus' next level vocal ability, this could be the record we've all been waiting for without realising it. It could be the record Lily Allen tried to make before she alienated all but one demographic. It could be the record many female rappers have already made but with the added commercial benefit of a built-in fanbase that spans several generations. It could be the moment Kathleen Hanna and Miley Cyrus each altered the course of the other's careers just by being gracious and enthusiastic—a message that would be at the core of anything they made together. Or it could bomb more aggressively than Cee-Lo Green on the toilet after a night at the Cheesecake Factory and result in a long and painful process of creative distancing.

Follow Emma on Twitter: @SickBae

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