Kim Kardashian has announced her pregnancy with Kanye West. As a general rule of thumb, I try to ignore celebrity pregnancies since they are none of my business, but then I tend to feel that way about most women who are pregnant; the obsession with the contents of other women’s uteruses is the hallmark of the patriarchal control of women. However, Kim Kardashian is the quintessential Circus Freak Show Act in our Reality TV obsessed culture. She is a frequent object of ridicule with every minute detail of her life dissected in the media. Yes, she bears some responsibility for placing herself in the public eye but that does not negate our own behaviour in participating in this culture of bullying. I have no idea what Kim Kardashian has supposedly done to become such an object of ridicule; unless she’s a serial killer or funded the War on Women, I’m going to guess she doesn’t deserve it.
And, personally, I doubt very much that Kardashian agreed to release her “sextape”. Like Pamela Anderson and Paris Hilton before her, Kardashian knew all to well that she had no real legal recourse once the tape was leaked online. Once something is on the internet, there is no way to “unleak” it. Kardashian was a victim of sexual violence, just like Pamela Anderson, Paris Hilton and Kate Middleton. She may have settled her lawsuit with the distributor, but, let’s be honest here, she had no chance of actually winning the lawsuit. A woman’s sexual behaviour is always up for public speculation and insult. It is always for sale and, usually, without our consent.
Now Kardashian is pregnant, the slut-shaming will start again. Kanye West will receive congratulations but Kardashian will receive nothing but comments on her behaviour and her weight. Once she gives birth, Kardashian will be judged on her failure to lose weight immediately or on how fast she lost the weight. She will be judged for breastfeeding or not breastfeeding. She will be judged on her parenting skills. She will be judged for having the support of a night nurse or nanny or she will be judged for not having help. She will be labelled fat, selfish, and a bad mother and this is without acknowledging the issue of racism.
She will be judged.
She will be found lacking.
No matter what she does.
We all know that pregnancy is one of the most vulnerable times for women; even without the added risk of domestic violence. Our default position for *all* pregnant women should be one of support.
So, congratulations Kim Kardashian.
And, shame on those who are already lining up to insult, denigrate and mock you.
No one deserves the treatment you will receive over the next year.