Stop taking the piss out of Kim Kardashian, it’s misogynistic and disgusting
We easily forget she’s a real person, like we do with other women
Television personality, socialite, businesswoman, reality TV star, legend, desperate wannabe. Call her what you will, there is no escaping Kim Kardashian.
Her fame fed by a society addicted to all-things-celebrity, she is one of the most divisive women on the planet. Much criticism of her comes from other women, many of whom claim her provocative selfies put forward the regressive idea that women are defined by their bodies.
But we know women are not, and nor is Kim, for a quick google search brings up an expansive list of her businesses, all of which led to her pocketing $53 million in 2015 alone, independent of, and therefore not reliant on, men. It seems contradictory that we as a society are so quick to praise successful businesswomen for their accomplishments, from Yahoo’s Marissa Mayer to Facebook’s Cheryl Sandberg, but are so hasty to denounce and denigrate Kim Kardashian simply because she had a slightly different, and somewhat unorthodox route to the top.
In fact, I would argue that she is a modern-day feminist: a reincarnated Mary Wollstonecraft or Emeline Pankhurst. Many of her critics do not realise that the vast majority (68%) of her Instagram following is female. She is not choosing to publish her images for the sexual benefit of men, but is in fact reclaiming the idea that a woman’s body is their own, and they should be free to do with it as they please.
This is the kind of message progressive students put forward on a daily basis, and yet we have been so far reluctant to admit women like Kim into our intellectual circles.
It is the patriarchal hypocrisy surrounding Kim Kardashian that baffles me the most. On the one hand, men like Piers Morgan denounce her for exposing her body, patronisingly tweeting “want me to buy you some clothes?”, a statement that is incredibly ironic considering he worked for The Sun newspaper and its Page 3 feature for 6 years, whilst on the other hand, a recent study published by the Telegraph found that the average smartphone user in the UK watches 348 pornographic videos every year.
As a society, we criticise a progressive and successful woman for exposing herself in a non-sexual, liberating manner, but are accepting of the fact that the majority of people regularly watch women with unrealistic bodies being degraded for sexual pleasure. Surely this, not Kim Kardashian’s antics, should be our primary concern. It’s time we got off our high horse and recognised that by joking about Kim, as if she is far removed from our kind of feminism, we’re perpetuating the problem.
Perhaps the worst criticism of Kim came in the days following her recent robbery, when an online costume store started selling a ‘Robbery Victim’ Halloween outfit inspired by her ‘to make people laugh’, featuring a ‘fake gag’, ‘two inches of rope’ and a ‘white short sexy robe’. Because, of course, it’s completely acceptable to find humour in, and sexualise, a victim of assault.
Some even had the audacity to justify the robbery on the grounds that Kim had recently posted a picture to Instagram showing off her jewellery collection, something that scarily resonates with the opinion that provocatively dressed victims of rape were ‘asking for it’.
No, the crime here is that, in the social-media-obsessed, celebrity-saturated world we live in today, many have failed to realise that Kim Kardashian is a real human being who deserves our empathy as much as anyone else. In fact, the sad thing is that many people nowadays still fail to realise that women in general are real people who have real feelings.
A recent study found that 77% of women at Cambridge have or will experience some form of sexual assault during their time here, so even in one of the most supposedly intellectual, liberal and youthful places in the UK, the problem is still very real. If Kim’s experience can exist in an unreality, worthy of derision, so can the experience of many other people – which is exactly what campaigns like Cambridge for Consent are asking us to challenge. Her fight is also our fight.
Yes, the Kim Kardashian piss-take was misogynistic and disgusting, epitomic of a society still regressive in thought and with so far to go. We really should start taking the piss out of ourselves, and the way we’ve reacted to her ordeal.
It seems that our current attitude towards women is as hollow and empty as her jewellery box is right now.