Rob Kardashian, the frequently overshadowed younger brother of Kourtney, Kim, and Khloé Kardashian, has recently taken to Twitter. As any mature adult should, he decided to tweet issues concerning his ex-girlfriend’s (British singer, Rita Ora) sexual escapades. Rob had a lot to say in his 140 character updates:
“She cheated on me with nearly 20 dudes while we were together, I wonder how many she will sleep with now that we apart? But I mean 20?!!!”
“How can a woman who is so busy trying to start her own career have time to be with so many dudes all while in a relationship?!”
“I’m actually disgusted a woman could give up her body to more than 20 dudes in less than a year’s time while trying to start a career.”
By the third tweet, Rob’s sister Khloé intervened and told him to “be nice,” which caused Rob to then delete the tweets. That didn’t stop him from getting a bit crazy with the keyboard for more tweets, though:
“When a woman cheats on you with one man I can live with that. People make mistakes, trust me. I have forgiven numerous times…”
“But when a woman disrespects herself by messing with more than 20 men all while being in a relationship with a Faithful man…”
“I just don’t get how a woman can do that to her body. And your career hasn’t even launched yet. I don’t put up with sloppiness. LOYALTY.”
“This is a lesson to all the young women out there to not have unprotected sex with multiple men especially while in a relationship.”
Rob, too, has since deleted these tweets.
Where do I begin?
Let’s start with the hypocrisy outlining all of this. Rob admitted to cheating on his ex-girlfriend, Adrienne Bailon. I’m certainly not saying that anyone who has cheated on someone deserves to be cheated on in the future, but I am saying that Rob’s scorned, immature way of dealing with this situation is very hypocritical. It would have been extremely possible for Rob to learn about being cheated on, cut ties with his girlfriend, and moved on (as Adrienne did following Rob’s own infidelity). Instead, he chose to slut shame her in front of 3,861,380 of his Twitter followers.
Secondly, and arguably more horrifyingly, Rob tries to use this situation as some sort of teaching experience for young women. I don’t know about you, but I certainly don’t want fidelity advice from a ridiculously rich socialite adulterer who is only legitimately famous for being born into a family of other socialites (oh, and there’s that sock line of his). Not only is his “lesson” coming from a place wherein he has no credibility as a person who’s been faithful in relationships, he is also a man condescendingly trying to “teach” young women how to behave. Listen, Rob, we live in too much of a patriarchal society as it is. We don’t need your patronizing, entitled, misogynistic tendencies to steer us even further into that direction.
Next problem is the blatant slut shaming that Rob seems to think is acceptable. Slut shaming comes from both men and women, though, in my opinion, it feels more insulting when it’s from a man. It all stems back to the familiar paradox: men are congratulated for having slutty tendencies when women are shamed for those same tendencies. Ever notice the derogatory terms for a “slutty” woman (slut, whore, easy, sleazy, skank, loose) clearly outweigh the derogatory terms for a “slutty” man (…man-whore? which is just an altered version of the word “whore,” a term used to describe women)? If the event were reversed and Rob had been caught sleeping with 20 women, even in the midst of how he’d be painted in society, there would inevitably be congratulatory praise on Rob for being able to score that many sexual partners. Though it is understood that Rob and his girlfriend were in a committed relationship (Rob was a “Faithful man”), it seems that the problem in the relationship wasn’t the fact that she cheated on him, it was because “a woman disrespects herself by messing with more than 20 men.” The argument Rob is trying to make, I believe, is that women shouldn’t cheat on their boyfriends; but if they do, one is something that a guy “can live with,” but once that number becomes any more than one, it’s suddenly no longer okay.
You’d think that if Rob was really trying to teach a lesson to young women, it’d be to not cheat on their boyfriends; but it’s not. Robert Kardashian would like to give a message to young women everywhere: cheating is forgivable, but don’t do it with 20 guys because it is “disgust[ing] that a woman could give up her body to more than 20 dudes in less than a year’s time.”
The reason Rob’s glimmering advice is problematic is because it’s not coming from a sincere place. He’s manipulating the event of his ex-girlfriend’s supposed infidelity into some sort of proverb that young women should abide by, and in doing so he’s shaming millions of women. It’s nobody else’s business how many people a young woman sleeps with besides her own. I also find it odd that Rob knows his ex-girlfriend was having unprotected sex with multiple men. Did she tell him that herself? Or did he hear it from her reported 20 partners? If a woman decides she wants to have sex with 20 men, unprotected or not, that’s her decision. I don’t see anybody going around telling Rob Kardashian how many partners he should have annually, and I expect the same respect from him.
Rob isn’t saying that the most important issue at hand is that Rita was in a relationship (though he obviously does mention that), he’s says (five times in seven tweets) that the issue is sleeping with multiple men; which leads back to the paradox.
The thing that astounds me throughout this is that Rob seems to be baffled by the fact that she had the time to sleep with that many people while trying to start a career. As I recall back in 2009, when Rob cheated on Adrienne Bailon, he was in the midst of trying to get more airtime on Keeping Up With the Kardashians, as well as trying to find a way into the fashion industry. Sounds like trying to start a career to me.
The conclusion from all of this is nothing new. We’re taught that male “celebrities” go to their social media sites before their PR agents, have no problems being hypocritical—especially when it’s towards women, and possess a startling sense of entitlement.
Rob Kardashian won’t be punished for his hypocritical, misogynistic, pretentious slut shaming antics. The opposite will likely happen: people will praise him for speaking up and then turn on Rita Ora.
…Wait. This has already happened: “Rita Whora” began trending on Twitter soon after Rob’s tweets.
Nothing like a clever nickname to support the oppression of women’s equality! Too bad “Sob Kardashian” will never trend; as all he’s accomplishing by airing his dirty laundry on Twitter is sympathy. I just cannot find it in my heart to feel bad for him for getting cheated on. If there’s anything I feel bad about, it’s how awful his beloved sock line turned out. Better luck next time, Rob.