I can’t say that I’m surprised at Rob Kardashian’s social media behavior these past few days. And while I hate add another log to the fire that this entire family has brought into mainstream pop cultural consciousness, I’m sick and fucking tired of ‘celebrity’ men shaming their ex-women publicly to make themselves feel better.
To recap, for those who have been avoiding Instagram these past few days: Rob went on an NSFW rant against the mother of his baby girl, Blac Chyna, on Wednesday, in an effort to publicly humiliate her. He posted private photos of her vagina and a video of her post-elective surgery — which were sent to him privately — to social media. He also accused her of cheating on him, doing drugs and of being an unfit mother to their daughter, Dream Kardashian.
In doing so, he took away Chyna’s right to dictate and regulate her own body. This is full-blown “revenge porn” (illegal in California) meant to harm yet another Black woman’s body and strip her of her dignity. We’ve been here countless times before: Leslie Jones. Rihanna. Amber Rose. Even Rob’s own sister Kim Kardashian, who maintains her sex tape with boyfriend Ray J was leaked and then sold to the highest bidder.
What a woman decides to do with her own body — whether it’s on a pole, between the sheets, or through her DMs — is just that: her decision. And no conscious choice that a woman makes with her body should ever be used against her to shame her into male-dominated submission, as Rob tried to do when he outed Chyna’s decision to have elective surgery after giving birth and declared that he “paid for her body.”
By making public what was an otherwise private moment shared between two consenting adults, Rob has butchered Chyna into pieces of meat — ass, vagina, nipples — and served her up publicly to a ravenous, misogynistic culture of celebrity to heal his masculine insecurities and bruised ego.
But this isn’t the first time Rob has laid claim to a woman’s power over their own sexuality for his own personal agenda.
When he and pop singer Rita Ora broke up in 2012, he used the same playbook as he did with Chyna. He went on a Twitter rampage about how Rita slept with “nearly 20 other dudes” while she was with him, publicly shaming her for alleged promiscuity while she was “supposed to be focused on her career.”
But what’s made this go ‘round far worse is that other boys who wanna be men are jumping on board.
Earlier today, struggle rapper and aspiring reality star Ferrari — the very man that Rob accused Chyna of sleeping with — threw himself into the scandal by posting photos of Chyna in bed, nipples exposed, on his Instagram.
Practically drooling over the spilled tea, megastar rappers weighed in, chucking Rob under the chin for going public even though he “knew what he was getting into” by getting with Chyna. “She is what she is, she was what she was,” said Snoop with faux wisdom, his own misogyny barely disguised. “You got worked bro,” wrote T.I. Even 50 cent (who seems to have an opinion on everything these days), offered up his “advice” by adding his voice and verbal assault on his past girlfriends, claiming that he too “dated a hoe.”
This is the same 50 who was ordered to pay $5 million to a Florida woman for leaking a sex tape involving her, and the father of her child, his archrival Rick Ross. The same 50 who started a public feud with his show’s creator Courtney Kemp Agbloh for using a full-frontal shot of him in an episode of POWER — a shot for which she had a signed release and verbal consent for, by the way. But tell me again how Blac Chyna is the hoe?
If “we a hoe” because sexually powerful women chose to have more sexual partners than your male ego is comfortable with, then you — 50 Cent, Rob, Snoop, and every male who has slept with countless women to feed said ego— are the whole damn lawn set. Our power is not yours to be commodified and our bodies are not up for cultural consumption.
What all these antics prove to anyone who is paying close enough attention is that boys of this caliber are threatened by the wild, untamable, and powerful woman who refuse to be molded or defined by male standards of purity. Powerful women, especially sexually empowered women, scare men so much so that the only way men feel they can keep sexually woke women in check is to demean them where it hurts the most: by using their bodies against them.
And as a culture that devours scandals and celebrity exposés, we perpetuate the problem by gobbling up the madness like greedy vultures. Every time we comment, share, like, and give unsolicited “advice,” we grant permission for the continual verbal and physical exploitation of women’s bodies.
Before Rob was deleted from Instagram (he is now using Twitter to continue his tirade), he posted a photo of his head photoshopped over Beyonce’s Lemonade cover with the caption, “You know I’m coming with that heat: My Beyonce lemonade album about to be fire.” Later adding, “I’m making a lemonade album for sure this year. I’m not playing, lol.”
But what Rob fails to realize is that Lemonade was not a revenge album on Jay Z. It was Beyonce channeling all her anger, hurt, disappointment, and thoughts into her work — with the full consent and support of her husband. If Rob wants to make his own lemonade, then he’s got to stop using women’s bodies as the lemons — and we, the cultural that consumes it, have to stop drinking it.