It has been a several days since Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth announced their separation. Now, the story is being spun every which way in order as every speculates about what happened. Vanity Fair even posted an entire article about how Stonehenge factors into the equation. It’s understandable to be curious about what happened. I’m less interested in why they broke up and more interested in who broke up with whom. Relationships are complicated, and there are often a number of issues that lead up to a breakup. Is there someone who wanted it more? Even if it’s mutually agreed, someone had to have initiated the conversation. Who was it in this case? This early in the game though, there are still conflicting stories.

For example, apparently Miley cheated with Kaitlynn Carter, but she also was the one pushing hard to go to therapy prior to their split. Liam is apparently heartbroken and sad, but it also wasn’t shocking because they’ve been having troubles for months. But while there isn’t much consistency in what’s being reported, there does seem to be a pretty clear narrative emerging from the mess, and I’m not sure how I feel about it.

Back in 2013, when Liam and Miley cancelled their engagement, Miley was blamed for the breakup. It was because she twerked at the VMAs and Liam was mortified. It was because she didn’t want kids. It was because of her new style and attitude. It was a Miley hate party. A lot of people seemed happy to ignore the fact that Liam was rumoured to have cheated with January Jones and perhaps some other people. In fact, people seemed to forget about that so much that the whole narrative of their reconciliation focused on Miley becoming more domesticated and palatable for Liam.

Now, six years later, the story isn’t all that different. Liam is the sad, heartbroken victim who is spending some quality time with his family during this difficult period. Miley on the other hand is in the studio making music, sucking face on Italian beaches with beautiful women, and vague posting about mountains on Twitter. There’s even a Radar story that Miley was bored with Hemsworth sex. (How does one get bored of Hemsworth sex? I’m happy to investigate and let you know.) In 2019 however, these stories can be read in two different ways. One is that Miley is an empowered woman with agency who is choosing to liberate herself from the traditional gender and sexuality roles associated with marriage. That’s how Halsey saw it, when she defended Miley from a bigoted, biphobic asshole on Twitter.

On the other hand, a lot of people probably see her as a godless, bisexual harlot who refused to fulfill her duties as a wife. That Hemsworth sex article is trashy, but it’s a great example of the kind of language that’s being used right now. Here are some choice quotes:

“She really did try her best to fit into this wife role at first, but she is just not ready to be a domesticated housewife.”

“According to the source, ‘heartbroken’ Hemsworth ‘was completely caught off guard’…”

“…Miley’s parents wanted nothing more than for her to have some children so they could have grandbabies.”

On Monday, Lainey predicted that the storyline for this breakup would be about the “Untameable” Miley Cyrus. If that’s what the spin is, is it a case of feminist empowerment or classic misogyny?

Yesterday, People reported that a source close to Miley says that there’s a possibility that the two might get back together, and that “they are having a break right now because they needed it.” Like Ross and Rachel? That’s very Miley and Liam too. Even when they were off and on, they always kept the door open. So, when they inevitably get back together, what do you think the story will be then? Domestic Miley needs to prove her worth again? Or Traditional Liam needs to loosen up?