Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Slut-Shaming Feminisim: The Konundrum of the Kardashians, and Caitlyn Jenner

The Kardashians are not as bad as you think, and Caitlyn Jenner sucks.
I saw a few memes this year essentially depicting the Kardashians as cock-hungry she-demons who use their enormous butts like siren calls to entrap (mostly) black men. If you push for a deeper explanation of these memes, ones that say things like “American Whore Story” or “The Only KKK That Will Allow Black Men In”, you hear comments akin to what you hear about most single women in public:
  • They have no shame.
  • They’re sluts, because of their pitiful marriage records.
  • They’re always sleeping with multiple people.
  • They are trying to “trap” a man.
  • They love black men too much.
The first one, “They have no shame”…that is the only one with which I agree. They have had more reality shows and series than they have siblings. Kim is always trying to “break the internet”. She has an entire book of selfies. On her 18th birthday, it seemed like Kylie Jenner IMMEDIATELY ran to the first magazine and did a pictorial wearing assless pants, getting manhandled a creepy older model, and posing in a wheelchair, just to make sure pretty much everyone is pissed off. Kardashians have no shame, and they have no problem monetizing the exploitation of their bodies, or at least the most prominent parts of their bodies. In conversation, I often interchange the word “Kardashian” and the Star Trek race “Cardassian”. Both are originally from foreign lands. Both are very opulent and shallow. Both are primarily known for large natural protrusions coming off their bodies. The real issue about them having no shame: why do you care? They exploit their own bodies. That means that they are in control of them. They know what the public wants to see, and they tease the public with tidbits here and there.  Maybe they’re exploiting themselves for fame and fortunes, but that is their prerogative. If the Cardassians Kardashians decide that they don’t want to do any more reality shows, they can just walk away after their contracts are up. Kim can decide not to grease up her butt and pose in Mapplethorpe-esque poses anymore. She has a book of selfies, not someone-elsies. THEY are all in control of the flow of what you get from them, and they are letting it flow right now, and making money off of all of us.
Are the Cardassians Kardashians promiscuous and trying to “trap” guys, due to their collective multiple failed marriages? That depends; is this 1950s middle-American society, or 1800s Western Europe, or nearly any patrilineal society before the 21st Century? Back in the day, divorce was illegal, because unlike same-sex marriage, divorce actually DOES destroy marriages, because that is what it is by design. Once divorce was legal in all states, it was still socially discouraged, and women who got divorced were considered sluts for the simple fact of wanting a divorce. Divorced men were fine. Usually the question to them was, “What did SHE do?” So you can be in a dangerously abusive marriage. You can fear for your and your child’s life. Even in those circumstances, you were expected to stay in the marriage, and it was somehow your fault that your husband was so terrible to you. If he was a chronic cheater, it was YOUR fault that he wasn’t satisfied at home. If you separate or divorce, then YOU are the slut. Looking at Kim Cardassian Kardashian alone, she was married three times counting Yeezus West. In between those marriages she dated a few people, most famously Ray J; we all know about the sex tape. If you look at the Kim K. relationship timeline, there is no overlap.
There are only gaps. The gaps are wide and small, but they are gaps nonetheless. That doesn’t sound like a “slut”; it sounds like a serial monogamist. The same can be said of the other Cardassians Kardashians: no overlap, just gaps. That sex tape says nothing of how slutty one is, because she was in a monogamous relationship with Ray J, and a lot of people tape themselves having sex. If anything, you can call her a narcissist. A lot of their spouses/boyfriends, however, have quite the Venn diagram of relationships. No one discusses their habits, though. The Cardassians Kardashians suffer from something from which all of us single people suffer sometimes: shitty judgment of first impressions. They did dissolve those
relationships eventually, though. If being in multiple monogamous relationships that have fizzled out for various reasons makes one a “slut”, then every single person who has had at least one relationship in the past is a slut…that designation is only reserved for gay/bi men and single people with uteruses, though. Straight men usually get a pass, no matter what they do….Well…straight white men at least…
The Cardassians Kardashians’ penchant for dating black men has become a lightning rod with which to judge them for a while. There are a few problems I have with this. For one thing, they do not exclusively date black men, unless there is a secret Nick Lachey is hiding, and we’re going by the One-Drop Rule. My other problem is precisely why people are so quick to mention the Cardassians Kardashians’ black relationships. During American slavery, black men were literally bred like dogs. They called male slaves bucks. They forced them have sex with women slaves in order to make stronger babies. I doubt everyone was willing in this situation. This is likely one of the few cases where both the perpetrators and victims of the forced sex were simultaneously sexually abused. After slavery was abolished the “mystique” of the black man as a virulent specimen of untamed, unquenched sexual stamina persisted. People acted like black men were uncontrollable animals who would steal your children and rape them in the night. Hundreds of black men were lynched and castrated, accused of horrendous sexual crimes, whether a crime happened or not. When people point out specifically how many black partners the Cardassians Kardashians have had, and equate that to them having insatiable carnal desires, they not only perpetuate that 200-year stereotype of
the black sexual beast, they make the pushback against said stereotype so forceful, that cases where a black man actually HAS raped someone will be defended by people aware of this history, and their defense usually includes a healthy dosing of slut-shaming of the victim. This toxic environment makes true victims of sexual assault by anyone not want to come forward, and people get away for their crimes for years, until a group of victims band together and step forward, at which point the statute of limitations is long past, so the perpetrator is pretty much free. ...But enough about Bill Cosby. Back to the Cardassians Kardashians…beside the fact that they do not exclusively date black men, they might just have a general attraction to darker hued people. They are Armenian. Armenians would pass a paper bag test, but they are definitely not the social understand of “white”. Perhaps they are attracted to the people who would also most likely appreciate their darker skin. I would love to claim that as a black man, I am a smoldering monument, chiseled from a Vulcan monolith carnal sexual prowess, waiting and willing to explode, but I have a mirror and enough disappointed exes who will attest that this is not the case. Bringing up the Cardassians Kardashians black partners is not an indicator that they are “sluts”.
The Cardassians Kardashians may be many things. “Sluts”, they are not. Even if they were sleeping all over town, I doubt that would preclude them from being bad people in general. Frequency of sexual partners does not denote a good or bad person. They are quite rich for various reasons. They seem shallow, self-absorbed, and vapid. I do not enjoy hearing them speak or seeing their TV show. There is one thing that I notice in all of the coverage of them. They do stick together. All the blood relatives stick together through thick and thin. That definitely cannot be said of many families, and is an enviable trait. They may or may not be bad people, but they at least have that strong value. The only person I cannot stand in that extended clan is Caitlyn Jenner.
I am not supposed to say that Caitlyn Jenner didn’t deserve the Arthur Ashe ESPY Award. I am not supposed to say she doesn’t deserve Glamour’s Woman of the Year award. Don’t worry; I haven’t gone Full Huckabee; I don’t believe she is a NOT woman. I don’t think she is “playing dress up”. She says that she is a woman now, I’ll respect that. I’ll respect that her name is now Caitlyn. It takes a lot of courage to come out on a global stage like that. I do not hate on her for that. I am egregiously faulting her for not speaking up about transgender/transsexual rights. Her speech for the ESPYS had many platitudes. She mentioned two transgender teens who died, one by suicide and one by murder. She highlighted the works of Laverne Cox and Renee Richards in their respective fields of show business and sports. Everyone clapped, some teared up, and most of us expected big things to happen. Jenner appeared in a few public places, but her greatest accomplishment is a new Cardassian Kardashian-based reality mini-series called I Am Cait. It is as vapid as every other reality show. She said that the hardest part about being a woman is “figuring out what to wear”. Really? Getting your fashion game on point is the hardest part? Not the fear of being ostracized by your family, or winding up on the street, or having to prostitute yourself in order to get barely enough food to survive, or having an overall fear that any time you’re in public, no matter what you’re doing, someone may pick you out of a crowd and beat you, or even kill you? 21 transwomen were murdered this year in the US. A transgender woman is murdered every three days worldwide. Most of these are beatings. Can you imagine being beaten to death? I suppose coming out while being worth nearly $100 million shifts one’s priorities.
A minority person’s wealth and fame are not necessarily a dictate that they must now be a representative for the minority person’s group, but if they are going to be public about their identity and use that fame to garner more money awards, they should probably do something to respect and honor the people who came before them who were showered with derision and death instead of rewards and a TV show. ESPN and Glamour giving Jenner an award reminds me of when Barack Obama got the Nobel Peace Prize before he was even inaugurated. HE HADN’T DONE ANYTHING YET. He even said that in his speech. He was rewarded for not being George Bush and that’s it. Caitlyn Jenner was awarded before we saw what she would do with her publicity. Also, let us not forget that SHE KILLED SOMEONE WITH HER CAR. That definitely happened, and it has been pretty much ignored. A woman, who trivializes the plight of other women of her ilk, barely recognizes that transgender people are dying nearly every day, and has yet to show any remorse for killing someone got multiple awards and is now stumping at the UN. Let us all hope that in 2016, she starts doing something of substance for her community. That does NOT mean another reality show.

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