Original Post: The Message Movement
Unless you avoid all forms of social media, the recent Rob Kardashian and Blac Chyna drama was hard to miss. Rob took to Instagram (and then Twitter) to post nude photos of Chyna. While the couple is no stranger to the spotlight, Rob’s decision to air their personal relationship struggles to the world takes things a step too far.
Why did Rob feel these pictures and tweets were necessary? According to him, it was retribution for Chyna’s infidelity.
When Instagram shut down his account, deleting the photos, Rob turned to Twitter to continue his rant. In addition to the photos, he claimed that he spent thousands of dollars on surgeries for Chyna and accused her of consuming drugs while in the house with their daughter. The internet was captivated by the spectacle. Though some found it intoxicating entertainment, many believe that Rob’s actions were despicable and uncalled for.
Private relationships are just that: private.
And while being in the spotlight forces you to share many details of your personal life, some things should remain between those involved. While there is no condoning Rob’s behavior there are certain things we can learn from their public fight.
1. Think Before You Post
This should be obvious, but it’s not. Everyone makes mistakes from time to time — even celebrities. Being called out on a mistake isn’t fun. It can be hard to accept that you messed up. Plenty of celebrities have posted a picture or sent a tweet that came across as offensive. Assuming that it was not their intention to be offensive, we accept their apology. It may not always be easy, but admitting your wrongdoing or ignorance is a great start to correcting your behavior.
While not all mistakes can be stopped beforehand taking a few seconds to think before you tweet or post something can help.
Especially if you’re angry. When you feel frustration, or the heat of the moment swelling through you, take a second before you post. Ask yourself, “Is this going to hurt people? Is this really necessary to write?” In the moment, revenge can seem like the perfect solution. It feels good. Long term, is it your best option? There is little good that comes from publicly criticizing and insulting your partner.
Rob’s lawyer, Robert Shaprio, told TMZ, that Rob regrets his actions. In speaking to his family, Rob acknowledged that he could have handled the situation differently. However, TMZ also reports that Rob believes his sisters, who told him Chyna was “bad news,” were right. Unfortunately, apologizing and immediately following it up with an attack lacks true remorse. Is Rob regretful because he sees what he did was hurtful or simply upset he was called out on it?
Saying you regret your actions does not count as an apology. The entire situation could have been avoided if Rob’s twitter finger was not so primed. Just as you would in real life, there are times when it’s better to take a deep breath. What’s the saying? “If you don’t have something nice to say….”
2. Revenge Porn is in poor taste, AND Illegal in 38 States
In October 2013, California passed a law, making the release of nude photos without consent a misdemeanor crime.
A man named Noe Inuguez was the first person in California to be convicted of such crime when he posted topless photos of his ex-girlfriend on her company’s Facebook page. Then Attorney General Kamala Harris said, “We are breaking ground in California on an issue that is affecting people around the country, in particular, women.” But Harris did find issue with the term, “revenge porn.” Instead, she argued the designation should be, cyber exploitation.
What is cyber exploitation (revenge porn)?
Do Rob’s actions constitute cyber exploitation?
Chyna’s layer, Lisa Bloom, believes they do. She told the Daily News that she feels Kardashian should be sent away for six months.
According to California’s law, the victim must demonstrate that he/she suffered serious emotional distress. While Rob and Chyna’s relationship isn’t new to the public eye, his use of social media as a tool to shame her is particularly disturbing.
Whether or not this ordeal will see it’s day in court is up in the air. But Chyna is ready to fight: “I would like to just say something to all the women out there. You know you’re not the only one that’s probably going through something. So, I feel as though if one person speaks up, hopefully it will be a domino effect.”
3. The Internet’s Reaction is Part of the Problem
It’s easy to get caught up in the Kardashian drama. And while the Kardashian’s have a history of airing what most would consider deeply personal family issues – this is not the time to sit back, relax, fill up your tub of popcorn and let the drama unfold.
Whether or not Chyna was unfaithful to Rob is not the issue. His attack, and those who egged him on emphasizes the acceptance we have given to the policing of women’s bodies, especially black women.
This is even more problematic when claims of domestic abuse enter the equation. In a response that was later deleted, Chyna posted on Snapchat, “Rob u did all this but u beat me up and try to act [like] it never happen!!!!!” And then another that read, “U put hand on me I swear to god!!!! On my kids but I’m supposed to be quiet because you’re a Kardashian.”
Emily Lindin, founder of the UnSlut Project, explains: “But if you read tabloid headlines, it would seem that interrogating allegations of domestic violence and violence against black women’s bodies in general is not as compelling as content that’s focused on unpacking the outrageous counteraccusations of an alleged abuser. Headlines like ‘Rob Kardashian Exposes Blac Chyna — Leaks Nude Photos and Messages!’ and ‘Rob Kardashian Claims T.I. Had a Threesome with Blac Chyna’ reveal a disturbing tendency to adhere to the ‘slut- shaming’ narrative, thereby feeding into exactly what Rob wanted when he began posting Chyna’s private photos.”
Chyna’s body is her own, therefore she should be allowed to control how it’s portrayed on the internet. Her sexuality is not limited simply because she became a mother – as some twitter responses claim. And the existence of nude photos does not entitle anyone to comment on her body, sexuality, or call her a slut.
Rob’s representation of Chyna is a window into the lives of women who have dealt with a scorned lover. In many cases, women who have experienced these situations find their reputations ruined. Not only with family and friends but they aren’t able to seek jobs with their nude pictures easily searchable.
Slut shaming and accusations of domestic abuse should not be consumed as entertainment. The more we consume it as such, the deeper the problem will become.
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As of Tuesday July 11, Blac Chyna was granted a temporary restraining order on Rob. The next hearing in the case will occur on August 8th. In a statement after the hearing Chyna stated, “I’m just going to get back to co-parenting Dream.” We must remember there is a child involved. At the end of the day, her health and safety should be the main priority.