Kim Kardashian West was robbed at gunpoint in the early hours of this morning. She was in her Paris hotel room, perhaps alone, perhaps asleep, when intruders forced their way in, tied her up, threatened her, and stole unimaginably valuable possessions. She didn’t die, she can most likely afford to replace her jewellery, but her prominence and fortune doesn’t erase the magnitude of the trauma she would have felt, nor the danger she was in.
Not all the tweets were disparaging and/or derogatory. But a recurring theme peppered through tweeters’ sympathies was the respect Kim demanded as a wife and mother, and how very close her children came to being motherless.
Just gonna quickly flog this dead ole horse again (although, is the horse actually dead? It only feels like a really really old piece of misogyny we should have purged ourselves of by now because it literally gets called out and corrected ALL THE DAMN TIME. So yeah, the horse is in fact very much alive): it actually doesn’t matter what a woman’s relationship to another person (particularly a man) is, because she is a living, breathing human in her own right and doesn’t need to be important to other people to validate that fact.
But I reckon the really interesting fact is that people feel the need to qualify their support or defence of Kardashian West with statements like the above, or, alternatively, and perhaps the most favourite of self-righteous internet users, “I don’t like Kim Kardashian, but…”. Or, “I don’t condone anything Kim Kardashian does, but…”. Or, “I REALLY HATE KIM KARDASHIAN SHE’S THE WORST but I guess it’s kind of sad for her husband and kids that this happened to her.”
Now I might be wrong (lol I’m not xo), but this sure sounds misogynist to me. This is mostly because people choose to fervently dislike her for completely for the wrong reasons – reasons like the fact much of her money is made through a strategically created reality show of her family life, posting a naked selfie on Twitter during her pregnancy, and who can forget the sex tape published against her will leading to a further rise to ‘infamy’ as some have deemed it, and her subsequently not letting it hinder an existing career.
If you hate Kardashian West for any of the above, then your hatred definitely misogystic, and stems from the societal prejudice against women who choose to make money from their lives, bodies – themselves, basically. This is all related to the horror that is felt when women have and freely express agency over their own lives, bodies and sexualities, which is especially palpable in discussions on sex work.
There are a bunch of real reasons to feel uncomfortable about Kim Kardashian West and this story, like her racist ‘break the Internet’ cover for Paper Magazine and the fact that this story has been breaking, front-page news for hours and hours when… there’s people that are dying.
Let’s not take gross pride in hating wealthy and famous women because they enjoy their bodies, or successfully market their lifestyles to make money (because it turns out actual hundreds of thousands of people lap that sh*t up). Let’s hate that new stories concerning the ridiculously wealthy are given priority coverage while the world ignores Syria. Let’s hate that white celebrities are praised for appropriating culture and that their prominence protects them being called out. Let’s address the fact that we ignore famouses’ racism just like we ignore the murder of PoC by law enforcers.
Let’s start seeing women as people all on their own.
Here’s a few links I’ve found discussing sex work: