When we asked Gloria Steinem for her take on Sinead O'Connor's open letter to Miley Cyrus at last night's Women's Media Awards, Steinem first made it clear that she didn't think their feud was a "catfight" — "I think they’re disagreeing on substance," she said — but then seemed to lean decidedly Team Sinead: "I think they have different views of the world, and I would much rather be O’Connor," she said. "I mean, she’s a serious human being. Perhaps they both are, but we don’t know that yet." Miley is only 20, we point out. "But you have to remember that Sinead’s background — she’s been sexually abused. She was courageous in pointing out sexual abuse by the Catholic church. I’m sure it does pain her to see a young woman being oblivious to the endangerment of sexuality."
Rosario Dawson, who was also on hand at the event, had more sympathy for Miley: "For some reason, when men [express their sexuality], it’s kind of like, cool, and masculine and mannish. But when these girls do it, it’s like, ‘You’re too young.' And there’s this responsibility that’s put on them just because of being female, that they’re supposed to be these role models. And I am interested in the idea that they’re kind of flipping the bird to that and just going, ‘I’m doing my thing.’" In general, she's not into the kids these days mentality. "I’m kind of trying to take in the information so I can be helpful, rather than just shooting from the hip and [having] knee-jerk reactions to their behavior. Because I don’t know what it’s like to be a young girl in America these days, you know what I mean? It’s a different world. It’s fascinating. And I kind of dig some of the ways these girls are twerkin’ it."