When I heard that Kim Kardashian was robbed at gunpoint, gagged and tied up in her Paris hotel room by masked men dressed as police officers, all I felt for her and her family was compassion. I imagined how terrified she must have been. I worried about her state of mind.
It was all too easy to put myself in her shoes because I've been robbed at gunpoint—and for much less than $10 million worth of jewelry. The kind of trauma that comes from an experience like that runs deep, and it doesn't go away.
Being a mother, it didn’t take long for me to wonder if her babies were with her when the robbery happened; thank goodness they weren’t. When I heard that Kanye West stopped his performance at Meadows Festival in New York citing a “family emergency,” I was like, of course he did. I mean, his wife just went through hell. Imagine how he must have felt.
Once I found out that Kim was physically unharmed, I channeled some well-wishes in her direction and then didn’t really follow the story anymore. That is, UNTIL I started hearing unkind comments directed at Kim Kardashian on social media regarding the robbery. People were actually trying to find a way to blame Kim for getting robbed.
Seriously, we’re still trying to find ways to blame the victim every time something bad happens to a woman? If she had been sexually assaulted, you KNOW the chorus of “well, maybe if she didn’t constantly post pictures of her naked self all over the place…” would have been heard loud and clear. I can’t even deal with that kind of nonsense.
It sickens me that anyone would be unkind to her over this, even if it is only via social media. Where is your heart?
It gets worse, though.
Fox "News" (yes, I put the news part in quotes because the thought of them being thought of as a credible news source makes me puke in my mouth a little every time I think of it) published a piece questioning her story on nothing but supposition—that is, with zero basis of fact.
Fox News spoke to "experts" who were nowhere near the scene of the crime and basically asked if the whole thing could have been staged, then they run a headline that says, “Kim Kardashian robbery story raises questions, experts say.” Uh, excuse me, but you are the ones who are coming up with the questions, raising the questions and then asking experts to explain how a faked robbery could have been executed.
Victim blaming and shaming is nothing new; what is new-ish is our ability to victim blame and shame savagely and without remorse via the internet.
I’m calling out Fox News, but they aren’t the only ones doing it. It's rampant. What sickens me the most about these pseudo-news stories asking experts to formulate theories of what MIGHT have happened is that the outlets pushing them couldn’t care less about whether the robbery was real or not. They're not doing a service to the public by uncovering the truth. Nope, they are fabricating doubt and growing it just because they want the clicks. They want the clicks from this very clicky story to keep coming so if they don't have anything factual to add to the story, then they foment doubt, create a story around that doubt and make the doubt credible by quoting a bunch of "experts" about what may have happened, or why it might be possible she made it up or exaggerated it, or whatever.
Opinions based on clickable headlines are not facts. You want to know what is a fact? Stories about Kim Kardashian bring in traffic. Why do you think you see so many of them all over the internet? Why do you think you clicked on this story?
Would I consider myself a Kim Kardashian fan? No, but she's a human being for crying out loud. I do consider myself a human being and because of that, I can have empathy and compassion for her.
I refuse to let cynicism and skepticism be my go-to reaction when I hear that someone, anyone has been allegedly assaulted. And if I’m wrong, well, so what? At least I’m erring on the side of compassion. At least I am modeling empathy and concern for others to my children.
I don’t want them to grow up to be the kind of people who hear stories about a woman being beaten and ask, “what did she do to deserve it?” I don’t want them to hear about someone getting raped and have them ask, “what was she wearing?” I don't want them to hear about someone getting robbed and say, "well, that's what she gets for flaunting all her nice things on social media."
Victim blaming and shaming is nothing new; what is new-ish is our ability to victim blame and shame savagely and without remorse via the internet. Let's not lose our humanity while we hide behind screens, people.