In Blac Chyna’s case, many seem to feel that her time as a stripper somehow negates her right to control her image.

By Shannon Miller

Another day, another Kardashian scandal. This one, however, exposes us as an audience more than it does the intended target.

Earlier today Rob Kardashian posted a short video that he allegedly received from his ex, Blac Chyna. In the short clip she can be seen kissing another man. It’s clear that she’s aware of the camera and thoroughly enjoying herself. As a single woman, this really shouldn’t be regarded as major news. However, Rob cites the video as a betrayal and proceeds to spill loads of unsolicited information surrounding drug and alcohol abuse, surgery, potential infidelity, and texts from other seemingly wounded men. In addition, he went the route of many jilted men who have dated public figures and released nude photos that were clearly meant to be for his eyes only.

The response to his tirade seems to be mixed among those who see Rob as the wronged, devoted father and those who support Blac Chyna as the grown, single woman in charge of her private life. The photos have garnered unsavory judgments from both sides, and they share a binding, erroneous line of thinking: the idea that a sex worker who chooses to reveal her body during work hours should be comfortable with her nude image being publicized in any capacity.

Related: KYLIE JENNER AND KHLOE KARDASHIAN JUST KEEP STEALING FROM BLACK WOMEN

That is not the case at all. In fact, this outlook is the product of a marriage between misogynoir and a continued lack of protection for sex workers, whether you’re against Blac Chyna or on her side.

When a hacking scandal resulted in the release of photos featuring Jennifer Lawrence, Ariana Grande, and Kirsten Dunst in 2014, the rightful roar of mainstream media ready to denounce the heinous act as a sex crime was bone-rattling. It also highlighted the noticeable lack of outrage for Gabrielle Union, Rihanna, and other Black and non-Black women of color who were just as violated. Women who are perceived less innocent – and yes, these women tend to be Black – are routinely met with indifference when they experience violent disrespect. Add in a few instances where these women may have chosen to pose nude at some point in their professional lives and forget about it–suddenly it’s as if they earned their fate.

In Blac Chyna’s case, many seem to feel that her time as a stripper somehow negates her right to control her image, and that belief undercurrents both the praise of Rob’s actions and the denouncing of them for not choosing a “more effective” route.

Related: FOR BLACK SEX WORKERS, THE DECK IS ALREADY STACKED AGAINST US

Whether you’re a fan of hers or not, this outlook is troubling. The choices a woman makes for her body are just that–her choices. The ability to respect any person’s boundaries shouldn’t be negated by a temporarily bruised ego. Furthermore, the notion that Rob may have violated California state laws that outline revenge porn as a criminal act should not be ignored for the sake of guilt-free entertainment.

Let’s be clear: taking a moment to witness the extremely public drama unfold isn’t a negative thing in and of itself–it’s a sensational distraction between adults. We should, however, take a moment to remember that there is a line that exists, despite your personal feelings towards the participants. Disliking an individual and recognizing very basic decency should not be mutually exclusive in practice.

 

Update: Instagram has now shut down Rob Kardashian’s Instagram account for violations. [5:05pm EST 5 July]

 

Author Bio: Shannon Miller is a writer who is an avid enthusiast of television, comic books, inclusive representation, and fandom culture. She’s the founder and co-host of the podcast Nerds of Prey and her daughter’s biggest fan. She is also very anti-raisin.

 

Comments