Sunday, 22 May 2016
The Troubling Reasons You Shouldn't Be Watching Kylie Jenner's Alleged "Sex Tape Leak"
So, there are a lot of sketchy reports about a Kylie Jenner sex tape. As the tabloids have it, a screenshot from said tape was posted on Tyga's website earlier and swiftly removed. There are also a bunch of details and about Kris Jenner and Kanye West threatening revenge upon Tyga's career / life in general, but all you really need to know is that looking at any such content puts you on a spectrum ranging from "Garbage Pervert" to "Actual Sex Criminal." Don't do it.
We've been through this with the Kardashians before, endlessly contoured prisms of cultural theory that they are. Remember that spread in W magazine when Kim was entirely nude despite being told she would be "fully covered with artwork"?
"You can see nipple, you can see my ass crack," she says on an episode of "KUWTK" addressing the issue. "Oh my god, I'm more naked here than I was in Playboy!"
The response to Kim's upset was relatively insensitive. We'd seen Kim's unclothed form before, if not in Playboy, in Paper magazine, or on her own Instagram. Some of those images came after W, but either way, I'm pretty sure I'm more familiar with the intricate details of Kim Kardashian's butt than my own naked body. Except, whether or not we had previously seen Kim's "ass crack" shouldn't really be part of the narrative. If she didn't clearly say, "Yes, post unfiltered nude photos of me," doing so is a violation. And that's just with an editorial spread, never mind something expressly private.
When Jennifer Lawrence's nude photos were stolen back in 2014, she called the hack a "sex crime."
"It is not a scandal. It is a sex crime,” she told Vanity Fair. "It is a sexual violation. It’s disgusting. The law needs to be changed, and we need to change. That’s why these Web sites are responsible. Just the fact that somebody can be sexually exploited and violated, and the first thought that crosses somebody’s mind is to make a profit from it."
Fortunately, the legal ramifications are growing stricter. Slowly but surely California's revenge porn law is being put into action, though it is often difficult to process. While it will take a lot more progress for a more fundamental change to occur, what we can do in the meantime is avoid these sort of images altogether. That's doubly true when they crop up as the dirty laundry of a failed relationship, as is allegedly the case with Tyga's posting. By watching or sharing revenge porn, we are complicit in propagating the idea that a sex crime is an acceptable response to a break up.
As for Kylie's situation, everything is still at Threat Level Rumor right now, so who knows if this will even become a thing. Although, if there is a sex tape featuring her and Tyga, the only way that should ever be released into the world is with permission from both Kylie and Tyga. The most important "explicit" element of a sex tape is explicit permission.
It all comes down to the politics of consent, which are less difficult to navigate than they apparently seem. Even if Kylie had already released a different, public sex tape with the aim of selling lip kits, it would not be cool to watch this one. There isn't a waiver for women's bodies, where, once you see part of it, you have an all-access pass. If that was the case, then I would be in a sexual relationship with everyone who was at the high school pool party where my bikini top fell off. Those people do not get an endless supply of images of my boobs. Consent is not like a lifetime membership to Costco. It has to be made in each individual instance of sexual expression in accordance with the specifics of the situation. We don't have automatic rights to people's bodies because they are in the public eye or have previously profited off of sexiness.
Regardless of your opinion of Kylie or the Kardashian-Jenner family in general, upholding consent is a crucial value in maintaining the integrity of all sexual endeavors. To seek out an unapproved sex tape is to disregard respect for the importance of permission, and doing so further perpetuates rape culture. If you have any morals at all and are still hoping to entertain yourself, there is plenty of legal porn, made safely, by consenting adults. Otherwise, I don't know, go to the movies and see "The Jungle Book." I've heard it's delightful.