Monday, August 13, 2012

Is It Sexist That We Keep Bringing Up Kim Kardashian's Sex Tape?

I was perusing Refinery29, in the same manner that I usually do on a weekday afternoon, when I came across a little article about Kim Kardashian and the fashion industry. It was entitled, "Will the Fashion Industry Ever Accept Kim Kardashian?" which I thought was a valid question, considering that most of her business ventures have been fashion related. I giggled and answered with a hearty, "NO," before I had even given the article a chance to contribute it's 2 cents. In case you were wondering, I was right, and according to the article, the fashion kids on the couture playground will always, always, always pick Kim last for dodge ball games.

The article's author listed Kim K's many successful business endeavors and punctuated it with, " ...all from the seed of a sex tape." I yelped. Jesus wept.

And then, after I was done being tickled, I thought, "Is it sexist that we keep bringing up Kim's sex tape?"

Understand that I'm usually the first to bring it up, randomly, even when nobody's talking or thinking about Kim or the rest of the K-Klan. Every time I see their show or a QVC presentation of one of their atrocious K-Dash "fashion" attempts, or one of them is interviewed, I think, "They all have Kim and her sex tape escapades to thank for all of this stardom." In fact, there was a brief period of time when I felt like maybe I was the only one that remembered that Ray J and K coitus production ever happened. It seemed like everyone had forgotten and maybe it was lost on the public that this was in fact the way in which Kim had been thrust into the spotlight. And yes, I intentionally used the word "thrust".

But recently, I've noticed that people have been bringing it up in a very random fashion, that often has little or nothing to do with the subject matter at hand. Oprah asked her about it in a recent interview. When she did, I had to get up off my couch and stand in front of the TV like I was at Sunday service and the Bishop was doing his good preaching. I felt gratified that someone had finally addressed it. Then, there was this article. However, I can't help but wonder if it would be a different scenario if Kim were a guy. Like, for instance, if this were Ray J in an interview -- well, assuming someone would ever want to interview Ray J to begin with -- would they be asking him about a sex tape he made back during the paleolithic age? By anyone's standards, 2007 was a long time ago. Is the tape still relevant? Are we (myself included) "slut shaming" Kim?

My guess is that the only reason that there is a resurgence in conversation about the tape is based almost exclusively on the fact that Kim has a va-jay-jay and not peen. I doubt that at this point anyone would care enough to bring it up if Kim were male. No one asks Hugh Grant about Divine Brown, nor has that incident been brought up in mainstream media in years. Kobe Bryant caught a case for rape, and yet, no one feels compelled to ask him about it in post game interviews. It happened and it's over and that's the general consensus among the public and the media.

Maybe we should leave Kim alone about it. She says she was humiliated by it. She says it's her biggest regret. Some have speculated that she or even her manager mom is the reason that the tape was released in the first place, but I choose (at least, initially) to believe what people say about themselves and their own lives. According to her, that's not something that she would have intentionally shared with the world. Honestly, I can't even begin to imagine how it must feel to have those images of myself out there for all of humanity to see, for all eternity. And I can't imagine how hurtful it would be to have people bring it up for the rest of my life. I'd be mortified.

It's fun to poke fun at people. And yes, I did use the word "poke" on purpose. But, I guess the more mature, compassionate, and feminist part of myself has to say that there's a point when pointing and laughing can cross the line and turn into something ugly, mean, and in this case, sexist. I can't promise that I won't almost always have flash backs to Kim and Ray J sexy time every time I see Kiki. But I'll try not to judge her for the questionable choices she made in her past.

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