Kanye West’s Behavior Isn’t Funny – It’s Abusive

AAs much as we tried, it’s been hard to ignore the disintegration of the once fruitful marriage between Kanye West and Kim Kardashian. Although she appears to be on good terms since the reality star filed for divorce from her rapper husband in February 2021, recent weeks have seen West (now legally known as Ye) launch attack after attack on his ex-wife, his new beau Pete Davidson, and almost anyone who even dares to breathe close to their eye socket.

The 44-year-old rapper has used Instagram as his go-to platform to air his grievances against Kardashian, 41, in all caps, posting everything from his parenting decisions to revealing private text messages from her and Davidson to by his exhortation. fans to shout “Kimye forever” at Davidson in public.

West’s unfiltered posts went further than online criticism and shaming. On Valentine’s Day, he showed his 13.9 million followers the truckload of roses he sent to Kardashian’s house – a gesture he probably thought was sweet but was actually a perfect one. example of love-bombing, a type of behavior designed to make its subject feel compelled to respond. , and one associated with a cycle of abuse.

Still, some people enjoyed seeing the drama unfold in real time. When West’s rantings began, jokes were made about him being “embarrassing” or “dramatic”. Some fans cheered him on, leaving comments like “icon” or fire emoji under his posts.

But, to me, it’s become increasingly clear that West’s erratic behavior is a major red flag. This self-destructive display is more than just an opportunity to pass the popcorn to admire the messy inner lives of celebrities – it also bears the hallmarks of emotional abuse.

Kanye West shared screenshots of messages with Kim Kardashian on his Instagram

(Kanye West/Instagram)

The behavior appears to have escalated alongside West’s brief relationship with actor Julia Fox. The couple’s very public romance saw them join on the hip during Paris Fashion Week and West threw a big party for Fox’s 32nd birthday earlier this month, gifting $10,000 Birkin bags (7 £365) to her and her friends. After Kardashian American vogue cover was released last week, West made a very public plea to “bring their family together,” leading tensions to peak over the weekend, culminating with Fox confirming that she and West had separated.

However, West’s acrimony towards Kardashian continued to escalate. It even got to a point where Kardashian begged West to stop. But it was deeply uncomfortable when he revealed a text from Kardashian asking why he couldn’t keep any of their conversations private, and his response was, “Because I got a text from my favorite person in the world. I’m your number one fan. Why don’t I tell everyone?

This self-destructive display bore the hallmarks of emotional abuse

It was as if he was downplaying her concerns, calling her behavior flattery, and employing classic manipulative methods to make Kardashian feel guilty and acquiesce to her demands. In another screenshot, a message from a sender titled “Kim Other Phone” read: “You are creating a dangerous and scary environment and someone is going to hurt Pete [Davidson] and it will all be your fault.

It’s very telling that Kardashian openly described her ex-husband’s behavior as making her feel unsafe. Celebrity or not, West’s conduct speaks to a culture of abuse and manipulation that many women face on a daily basis. Aisha K Gill, professor of criminology at the University of Roehampton, adds that watching West come ever closer to abuse in such a public way without facing repercussions has shown how social media is normalizing and, in some cases, even encourage emotional abuse against women. .

This screenshot posted on Kanye’s Instagram was later deleted

(Kanye West/Instagram)

“[In] in analyzing this case, one thing that really struck me was the intersections between the public and private shame aspects of the abuse and how social media platforms contribute to the normalization of prejudice against Kim Kardashian,” said Professor Gill. The Independent. “West’s behavior should be called out, in terms of perpetuating socio-cultural norms that support and facilitate different types of violence – for example, the belief that men have the right to control and/or discipline ‘their’ women.

“It feeds a culture of violence that inevitably makes women vulnerable to violence from their partners,” she explains. “Furthermore, in my view, it shows how patriarchal values ​​increase the risk of gender-based violence.”

It seems West has finally realized he’s caused irreparable damage to the couple’s relationship, after he apologized via Instagram and deleted his old posts. But even in his apology he plays the victim and says he’s “working on my communication”. Sounds like a poor excuse for his meanness over the past few weeks.

Whatever we might think we know about Kardashian, West, Davidson or Fox, West’s repeated public shaming, love bombs, guilt and fake attempts at romance should be taken seriously. It’s not a grand gesture, something to swoon us over like her personal boom box moment outside Kardashian’s window, it’s a display of aggression we wouldn’t tolerate from anyone else. West showed us his true colors, now it’s time for us to vote with our feet and prove that we don’t tolerate him: unfollow, delete, block and call time for abuse.

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