Kim Kardashian West was robbed at gunpoint and twerps are seeing it as an opportunity to be cruel

It’s a horrible mix of the expected, misplaced righteousness and an added dose of sexism.

Sign Up

Get the New Statesman's Morning Call email.

Whenever a terrible, traumatic thing happens to a woman, you can be sure some people, somewhere, are trying their hardest to be twats about it. Whenever a terrible, traumatic event involving gun violence occurs, you can be sure that the somehow, somewhere, America’s National Rifle Association are trying their hardest to be twats about it.

So when headlines erupted with the news that Kim Kardashian West had been robbed at gunpoint while sleeping alone in a Paris apartment, the NRA were first to wade in with their view.

The snarky tweets refer to the fact that Kardashian West has been outspoken about America’s gun laws, and pushed for obligatory background checks following the mass shootings in a gay nightclub in Orlando earlier this year.

It’s a horrible mix of the expected, misplaced righteousness we see regularly from the NRA, and an added dose of sexism. As one pro-gun website put it so thoughtfully at the time, “Famous-for-being-famous Kim Kardashian went on a gun control rant earlier this year that was every bit as intelligent as you would expect for someone who shot to fame for a sex tape and stayed there because of the size of her butt.”

How dare a frivolous female celebrity like Kim K speak out on serious political issues? This all just serves her right.

This superior, belittling attitude has followed Kardashian West since the news of the attack broke. As her former bodyguard said to Good Morning Britain, “I saw this happening. It just had to with the way Kim flaunts her riches and her diamonds. She has nearly 50 million people who at any moment and on any day know where she is, and then she shows them this mighty great expensive rock on her hand a few hours before? She invites trouble.”

Isn’t this her fault? For flaunting her diamonds, for sharing her life and whereabouts so publically and constantly, for enjoying attention? Isn’t this the ultimate conclusion of a lifetime of sharing too much, of making too much money? She’s probably enjoying the attention right now.

It shouldn’t need to be said – no matter how ridiculous your diamonds are, or how much of yourself you put online, your privacy, your belongings, and your body do not deserve to be violated. That much should be plainly obvious to anyone who has ever experienced a fleeting moment of human understanding.

But these comments also display a basic misunderstanding of Kim Kardashian as figure, who gives the appearance of constant and complete transparency, but actually has an extremely controlled public persona, constantly rationing which parts of her life to give over to the world. Kardashian West’s career arguably started in a situation in which control over her body and her public image was taken from her when a sex tape was leaked. Since then, she has been a fearsome director of her relationship with the media and her fans. Any one in doubt of that should read Caity Weaver’s revealing GQ interview, which demonstrates how carefully every app update is screened for potentially problematic details.

The fact that Kardashian West has only made one brief comment to the press amid one of the biggest news stories that has surfaced about her in years just goes to show how she holds back as often as she discloses. Meanwhile, the media is in a strange limbo – desperate to keep covering an incident of huge international interest, but with no new details to feed on, leading to the bizarre proliferation of coverage like, “Kim's brother-in-law elect Tyga dealt with the scary news by engaging in a spot of furniture shopping.”

We won’t hear her thoughts on the horrible events of this week until she wants to share them. In the meantime, we’d do well to remember that Kardashian West is a real person who went through a terrible ordeal, and neither her attackers, nor the public, have the right to invade her life. Why be a twat?

Anna Leszkiewicz is culture editor of the New Statesman.

Free trial CSS