You’re not feministing correctly!

Following the ruling that pop artist Kesha Rose could not leave her contract with Dr. Luke after her accusations towards him of sexual assault, the internet went a little crazy sparking the hashtag #FreeKesha. Across social media there was outcry and an immediate dialogue was opened regarding the matter, the fact that this was causing a discussion surrounding sexual violence itself is a pretty good thing. 

However, with this came social media users querying where any form of solidarity or discussion was from Kesha’s peers; other pop artists. Not just any artists, but female artists.

Suddenly twitter became a-blaze with people asking where Lady Gaga’s feminist views were now when it really mattered. Or why America’s sweetheart Taylor Swift had yet to make a comment. Almost every high profile celebrity had come under fire for not speaking up for Kesha. Initially, this was kind of great thing. High profile celebrities have a huge voice in society and the more they condemn this ruling and the entire stigma surrounding sexual violence the more educated their fans can hopefully become.

taylor swift kesha

This however, just felt more like witch-hunting. Where was the call for male celebrities to stand united with Kesha? People like Jay-Z, Coldplay, Justin Timberlake and Justin Bieber have just as big a fan-base to make an influence with their comments. Especially in an industry that clearly favours men over women, could they not have had even more power if they made comment? Celebrities, predominantly female, did eventually step forward and proclaim their solidarity with Kesha, with one notable exception of Taylor Swift.

Swift did however make a donation to Kesha of $250,000 following the news that legal bills had put Kesha in some financial troubles. This led to quite a stir with fellow pop star Demi Lovato who decided that this wasn’t ‘good enough’ and that money doesn’t solve everything and made this abundantly clear on her Instagram and Twitter accounts. The media took this and ran with it and Taylor vs Demi was massive news for a good few days.

This caused a big problem. Although feminism has now finally reached the masses and has become rather mainstream, we see here that now instead of being the most popular or getting the most likes on Instagram, celebrities also have to be the most feminist. Celebrities were being judged for how they contributed, exactly what they said, or how they said it with regards to social and feminist issues. Whereas male celebrities were nowhere to be seen or heard.

It is great that Demi Lovato is so passionately vocal about this issue and feminism in general. It is also great that Taylor Swift donated money to Kesha’s cause and that she perhaps did this without speaking out to make sure the spotlight was not directed at her during this important time.

The entire debacle that ensued completely took away from the issue at hand. Whilst everyone was deciding which celebrity has been the most feminist or the more supportive friend, people like Chris Brown are still releasing music. It is great that celebrities are becoming more and more aware and vocal regarding feminism, but society should not condemn female artists for not speaking about every single social issue.

This is not a competition. This is a real person who is suffering. We need to instead collectively condemn Dr. Luke and the entire system that is currently in place which seems to value money above women’s lives.

 

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The Revolution of Kim Kardashian

If there is one celebrity, apart from Justin Bieber, who can divide opinion it’s Kim Kardashian. To some people she is the embodiment of a ‘nobody’ in society, famous for nothing and in the media for nothing and people are bewildered at why she continues to be relevant. However, to other people (myself included) she has become somewhat of a 21st century feminist without perhaps consciously meaning to.

Famously, KimK rose to stardom because of a sex tape which began circulating in early 2007, and by October of that same year, she and her family were offered their now world famous reality show ‘Keeping Up With The Kardashians’ which is currently in its ninth season. The tape was released by her ex-boyfriend, Ray J, without Kim’s consent and in turn betraying her trust; essentially attempting to tarnish her name and reputation. It’s also worth mentioning at this point that of course all of the backlash and judgement from the media was aimed at KimK and not at the boyfriend, go figure. Kim was slutshamed whilst Ray J received nothing of the sort. (Anyone else thinking of a certain Christina Aguilera song at the moment? No, just me? I’m just gonna leave this here).

Kim however, then uses this to her advantage. Instead of becoming a victim, which society expects and wants, she builds a career out of this new found fame and instead of feeling ashamed she fights back. And rightly so. Nakedness should not be an excuse to slutshame, degrade or refuse success to a woman. Modern society lives and thrives upon female nudity (advertisements, tv shows, films), yet as soon as this is used to benefit a woman, such as the success Kim has had and made for herself, and not for the benefit of a man, society is unsure how to react.

This brings us onto the enigma of Kim Kardashian. Given the recent celebrity photo scandal in which 4chan released hundreds of personal images owned by female celebrities, it became apparent how men truly believe the photos that these women have taken belong to them. That they are entitled to look at them. It is this entitlement that is linked to KimK’s sex tape. Society viewed the video, shared it, slutshamed and ridiculed Kim, and were then angry that she managed to carve a career out of this betrayal, this is evident in the way that she is treated in the media.

However, now Kim is in a committed marriage and she has a child, she now makes society feel uncomfortable. Whereas before she was ‘the girl with the sex tape’, ‘paris hilton’s friend’, ‘her with the reality show’, she no longer fits into a box. She continues to succeed in her business, her fame, her fashion, her marriage and embrace her sexuality AND seemingly be a good mother. She continues to challenge societies idea of how she should behave. She doesn’t dress like a ‘soccer mom’ or is photographed out buying groceries in sweatpants. She continues to be herself.

kimk and child I found this photo (left) on tumblr, where commenters likened KimK to this painting of ‘Madonna and Child’ which is universally acknowledged to be an embodiment of purity, virginity and innocence. KimK is wearing all black, vampy makeup, lace and a rather low cut dress and yet people have still made this comparison. The media continue to attempt to put Kim into a box, and so its refreshing to see individuals on the internet looking past what Kim is wearing because they know that it doesn’t matter. Ultimately, it fascinates me how Kim has managed to alter peoples views of her and become one of the most famous women in the world.