I repeat: Rob Kardashian hates women.
That wasn’t my immediate reaction in the aftermath of his attack on Blac Chyna, when he posted shot after shot of [private images] on social media. I thought his actions were disgusting, don’t get me wrong, but initially, I came at the news from gentler angles, “We need to talk about Rob Kardashian's toxic masculinity” was one thought I had. “Rob Kardashian's mental health issues might explain why he acts this way but they don’t excuse his behavior” was another. Neither thought absolved him of guilt but neither held him truly accountable either. I was wrong. Our collective tendency to soften or sugarcoat the cruel, damaging, and aggressive behavior of predatory men is what allows so many of them to get away with it. Rob Kardashian hates women. We should all be mad.
Rob's treatment of Chyna in the past several days is proof enough that he acts from a place of deep disdain for women. He posted nude photos of her... He accused her of using him in the pursuit of fame. He claims he spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on her and suggests that such an "investment" entitled him to certain treatment from her in return. Putting aside the unlikelihood that Rob has that sort of money to throw around — recent seasons of Keeping Up With the Kardashians showed him living in a house that Kris helped pay for, and another that Kylie owned — it's legitimately disturbing that Rob believes spending money on a woman gives him some sort of control or ownership over her.
It takes very little digging to produce even more receipts that Rob hates women, since he's behaved inappropriately in all of his public relationships. He cheats, as he did on longtime girlfriend Adrienne Bailon. He ****-shames, as he may have with Rita Ora, possibly accusing her of [being] with 20 other men during their relationship. And he always, always finds a way to be the victim, in any given situation. According to Rob, he's just a man who wants to find a woman who will let him treat her like a queen — if only the universe would stop repaying him with ******* and ******.
In ways large and small, Rob’s family is often the victim of his misogyny, like when he doxxed Kylie on Twitter for the "crime" of throwing him a baby shower and not inviting Chyna. Or when he called Kim "the ***** from Gone Girl” along with a bloodied photo of Rosamund Pike. Once you start to understand that Rob is operating from a place of misogyny at all times, even his more benign behavior becomes suspect. Those years Rob spent holed up in Khloé's guest room coincided with a period of great success for his sisters — is it a coincidence that he stopped being able to face the world when their prosperity so fully eclipsed his? There's no way to know, but there's an undeniable undertone of loathing in each and every one of his on-camera interactions with his family members, something I'd once attributed to him not enjoying the limelight, but which feels more sinister now. It's worth pointing out that the Kardashian party line has been to cite Rob’s mental illness as the reason for his time spent in seclusion or lashing out. As I said before: Those issues might legitimately plague Rob, but while mental illness or substance abuse might provide an explanation for Rob's behavior, they're not an excuse. Full stop.
Even though Rob's family is at times a victim of his behavior — and they’re certainly not responsible for it — the fact that they haven't publicly shown their support for Chyna, even in a low-key way, is questionable. I'm not expecting them to make a massive public statement and I can understand why the threat of legal action against Rob would make them even more reluctant to do so. But it’s hard to accept their total silence. Go all the way back to Keeping Up With the Kardashians' first season and watch the family's response to the leak of Kim's [personal] tape and [personal] photos of Kim and Kourtney. Kim and Kourtney were devastated (I still get teary thinking of Kim having to tell Kourtney her photos were leaked), and the men who released explicit material were vilified, as they should have been. That's a complicated way of saying that the women in Rob's family know, in a very real and tangible way, how Chyna must be feeling. But even if they didn’t, they shouldn't require personal experience to empathize with the victim of revenge porn.
The Kardashians don’t like to be attached to any sort of controversy (despite being regularly attached to controversy). Even the Pepsi commercial debacle somehow ended with Kendall being apologised to, rather than Kendall engaging with criticism about how tone-deaf the ad was. But certainly there’s a way to publicly reach out to Chyna without compromising their cautious brand. Here’s a free list of ways to do so: Share links about how to get help if you're in an abusive relationship. Post a picture of Chyna and Dream on Instagram. Tweet her a heart emoji. Do something. Literally anything. Take a side and take the right one. Because it currently looks like you think what Rob did was OK. It wasn’t.