If you've been following all the Kardashian-West-Rose drama over the past few months, you know that, last week, Kanye West posted (and deleted) a few rude tweets that made digs at his ex-girlfriend Amber Rose and her child. And you've probably seen by now that, early Tuesday morning, Kardashian and Rose posted a selfie of themselves together at a club, Kardashian using the cheeky caption: "Tea anyone?"
The selfie suggests that the two women have had some kind of heart-to-heart, letting bygones be bygones after years of a public feud with too many twists and turns to list. And between West's Twitter feud with Wiz Khalifa last week, Amber's clapback insinuating West likes assplay, and the ongoing saga of Blac Chyna and Rob Kardashian, it's becoming more and more impossible to know if this is all a strategic hot mess or if it's the real deal. As for the selfie: Call it a publicity stunt. Call it damage control. Call it what you want, but regardless, it's kind of brilliant.
So much of this feud, of the cheap shots taken at both Rose and Kardashian, is steeped in sexism, proliferated by Kanye West himself. West once said he had to "take 30 showers" after dating Amber Rose, he's claimed that he made her who she is, he's also suggested that rapper Wiz Khalifa was "trapped by a stripper" after fathering Rose's child.
By West's logic, Rose, a woman he dated for two years, is a "slut" simply because her sexuality and her body are no longer tied to him.
In many ways, West's logic has slowly permeated into the way others see the model and writer. Yes, Rose has received praise for calling out rape culture and slut-shaming, but on gossip sites like The Shade Room and Lipstick Alley, there are hundreds of comments reinforcing the idea that she's a slut and a media whore.
In an essay for Time published on Jan. 28 Rose wrote:
"People would actually say things like, 'Who would ever love you? You were a stripper. Why are you in relationships?' And I used to feel like I had to explain that maybe it was because I’m a good person."
Kanye West is entertaining. His music is good, his egomaniacal ranting with sprinkles of motivational wisdom is amusing. This isn't an essay about how West is evil. But his blatant misogyny and apparent preoccupation with Amber Rose's autonomy is still worth calling out.
Yes, the Kardashian-West-Rose drama is largely frivolous. Of course, there are more "important" things going on in the world. But the selfie does feel like a tiny win. Whether or not this beef will stay squashed remains to be seen -- but the photo is a reminder that both Amber Rose and Kim Kardashian are their own women, and mature ones at that.
While West could only muster a vague, half-hearted apology on Twitter, Kardashian took matters into her own hands by speaking with Rose face-to-face, woman to woman. This doesn't mean they are about to be BFFs. We don't know what "tea" was actually spilled. But still, it's a reminder to stop pitting these women against each other, to stop building one up as the madonna and the other the whore.
It's strangely refreshing to see these women -- whose personas and celebrity have been so intrinsically tied to the ego and identity of Kanye West -- take a picture in solidarity without him.
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