I end every show with an editorial on one pressing and personal cultural topic. This week’s editorial discusses the Twitter feud involving Kanye West, Wiz Khalifa, Amber Rose, and Kim Kardashian that nearly broke the Internet. I give my take on what their juicy feud says beyond the gossip headlines and reveals our culture’s views on sexuality, respectability, feminism and much more. Watch the clip and read the transcript below:
Welcome back to So POPular! I’m Janet Mock, and yes, I am dedicating even more air and talk time to the social media soap opera that is Kim, Kanye, Amber and Wiz Khalifa. So for those who weren’t glued to their Twitter this week like I was — here’s a quick recap of what went down between the entangled exes.
So rapper Wiz Khalifa, who was married to Amber Rose, sent a tweet that included the letters KK, just after taking issue with the name of Kanye’s new album. Wiz’s KK tweet triggered Kanye. He wrongly assumed that KK was a subtweet in reference to his wife Kim Kardashian. Wiz was actually referring to his brand of marijuana – Khalifa Kush. Feeling slighted, Kanye sent derogatory tweets referencing Amber Rose who famously dated both rappers and had a son with Wiz:
“You let a stripper trap you…” Kanye tweeted.
“…I know you mad every time you look at your child that this girl got you for 18 years.”
I know. Eventually, Kanye deleted his tirade but the damage was done and Amber went on the defense with a clapback that claimed Kanye allegedly enjoyed having her finger in his behind during their relationship. She ended it with the hashtag (that kind of got all of the yas’s): #FingersInThe….well, you get the idea.
Ridiculous, I know. But these Twitter exchanges reveal something really deep about them, about us and about our culture. There’s many layers here. For one, Amber’s response to Kanye exhibits just how fragile masculinity is. Her booty play tweet was not meant to be sex positive. No. It was sent to shame Kanye because it feeds into the myth that enjoying butt play makes you less of a man. Similarly, Kanye’s obsession with degrading Amber exemplifies our culture of slut-shaming. Kanye bringing up his ex’s past employment as a stripper is not celebratory. No, it is mentioned in an attempt to make Amber appear to be less deserving of motherhood, of matrimony, of all things we deem respectable.
The irony here is Kanye’s own wife Kim also profited from the commercial sex industry, right? But Amber is the one who is overwhelmingly punished and shamed, rather than celebrated and compensated, due to the intersections of race and class – both of which Mrs. Kardashian West benefits from.
Regardless, neither woman should have to defend their sexuality. Still, when I sat down with Amber at her SlutWalk in October, she spoke about how Kanye’s comments about having to take “30 showers” after being with her launched her into feminism:
And as we all waited for this to unfold even more and watched our screens eagerly awaiting the next tweet and clapback in this saga, Kim Kardashian and Amber Rose took the reins of this tabloid narrative. On Tuesday, they ended the pettiness. Rather than fuel our appetite for the salacious — launched by the man they have in common – Kim and Amber united over a selfie.
According to Kim’s Instagram, they enjoyed some tea. It was a summit between two women, two mothers, two symbols and two pop culture icons.
The selfie is an intimate space. It is a space you share what you love most about yourself. It is a space you share with people you admire. Kim and Amber utilized their selfie to come together to make a resounding feminist statement: We will no longer be placed in opposition. We will no longer be compared. We will not longer compete. We will no longer be used as tools in our men’s petty feuds. This selfie is an act of pop culture diplomacy.
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