Monday was International Women’s Day. A day that, honestly, I would not have known existed were it not for Google. Late to the party, I was still feeling pretty happy to know that a day was dedicated to honoring women and all that we have done and still do for society. On such a day as this, you would think that many would spend time recognizing the accomplishments of women and learning of the inspirational triumphs of our gender. Rather, it seemed the only thing people could discuss was a nude selfie posted by Kim Kardashian with the hashtag #HappyInternationalWomen’sDay.
Reactions began to pour in from people expressing their disdain or support for Kim. Many people felt like she was sending a message of empowerment to women. Letting them know it was ok to love every inch of their bodies and not feel shy of showing who they are to the world. Tweets of women’s liberation rang out; “It’s her body”; “Everyone’s entitled to do what they want”. These things are all very true. We as women are blessed to live in a time where we do share a great deal of rights as individual and valued members of society. Yet this selfie was more than just an expression of Kim’s confidence with her body.
Rather than “slut-shaming”, whatever that is, I’d like to talk about why I think Kim K’s selfie is actually really bad for women and our culture in general.
Kim wrote an essay in defense of her selfie, declaring that she is “allowed to be sexy”. I completely agree, but it saddens me that her form of public sexiness is nudity. We all want to be sexy in a sense, yet we moderate it due to modesty and respect for ourselves. I don’t wear the same outfit to the grocery store that I wear in bed with my spouse. I don’t wear my birthday suit to a child’s birthday party. Certain occasions call for certain levels of sexiness. As women, we must have a gauge to know which situation calls for which level of sexy. Some of the comments on her picture read, “die” and “ugly bit&#”. I can’t for the life of me understand why anyone would allow access to something so valuable to those types of people. You wouldn’t give your credit card to an identity thief, so why would you show your most intimate and delicate areas to people who clearly hate you?
We as a society have lowered the value of the human life, body and soul. We desperately need to regain the true and absolute dignity of a woman’s body. In so many ways we as women have given up our value, given up the treasured nature of our bodies. We have taken something that was sacred and scattered it freely in the marketplace. As any good business woman like Kim K should know, the law of supply and demand is not only true in business, but in life as well. Not only has the oversexualization of our culture brought a decrease in respect for women, but it has also given men a license to act poorly and in ways below the honor and chivalry they are called to. Why should they treat us like a prized possession when we operate like a vending machine to them? The trend and behavior for women in our culture is to be sexual with men in a flippant and non-intimate fashion. One night stands are glorified through media and peer pressure, taught to teens as things they should strive for, with no mention of the adverse effects. Yet, when we teach men across our country that we will not only show them our naked bodies for free, but will sleep with them without their having to put forth hardly any effort, we raise a generation of useless men. Men who are not only unfit to lead families, but unfit to lead our country.
Numerous studies have been done on the effects of pornography on men’s brains and the tendencies it creates in them to see women as objects. Life is changing as social media becomes a part of not only our tech use but of our sex lives. So what’s wrong with Kim showing her naked body, black bars in place, confidently posing with her lips puckered? It’s the message it sends. Everything sends a message and that selfie, whether she sees it or not, does not send the message of “I am a confident woman” alone. It also sends the message of “You don’t need to do anything, or treat me any specific way to earn the right to see my body, I’ll show it to you freely”. It sends the message to little girls that THAT is what confidence is. Kim is seen as beautiful and desirable, rightly so. Yet it saddens my heart for little girls to think that they have to get naked to get love, to get followers, to be popular. What are we as a social media saturated culture doing to the hearts of not only our young women, but ourselves?
Those who take a stand and say that they disagree are called “slut-shamers”. NEWSFLASH! Being a slut is shameful. We need to help our little girls learn that they are beautiful, valuable and worth fighting for. They don’t have to compromise their integrity or their dignity in order to earn love from a man. We need to raise men who don’t seek to get all they can out of women, using them as objects without a single obligation to provide anything for them. Kim K’s selfie leads us in the direction of a social economy that I would not want my daughter to grow up in. She does have a platform, and a responsibility to those watching her whether she knows it or not. Things she does are seen and spread like wildfire and rather than using the opportunity to draw attention to women who are champions in their field of expertise or civic duty, she draws attention to herself and adds to the decay of our culture. A culture that is rotten with pornography and void of modesty and morality. If chivalry dies, it will be because we, as women, have killed it.