Amber Rose Claps Back At Slut-Shamers, Remains Our Feminist Icon
Amber Rose is back at it. In a revealing new interview with The Daily Beast, Rose takes on double standards, slut-shaming, and of course, Kanye West. Rose, an entrepreneur/model who initially became a celebrity through her high-profile relationships with West and Wiz Khalifa, has become a feminist icon, and it seems that every move she makes these days is in service of the movement. Don’t slut-shame, says Rose. Stop blaming women and celebrating men for the same things, says Rose. We’re fully onboard.
Rose’s career trajectory has long-fascinated the American public. She became a household name while dating West, and went on to marry and have a son with Khalifa, all while building up her fame and personal brand. But throughout the entirety of her public life, Rose has been subject to ugly attacks, including comments from West and Khalifa—she’s frequently been called a slut and a whore, with references unfairly made to her past as a teenage stripper (Rose began stripping at 15 to support her family, which one could argue actually makes her a sexual victim).
In the Daily Beast interview, Rose hits on key double standards that have negatively impacted women. “No one gives a fuck that Channing Tatum was a stripper,” she said. “He’s an established actor who’s at the Vanity Fair parties and the Oscars, but for me, no matter how far I go in my life, I see these stories that keep referring to me as a ‘former stripper.’ No one says ‘former stripper’ about Channing Tatum, or ‘former McDonald’s worker’ about Brad Pitt. No one does that to men.”
Rose most recently made headlines for her acceptance of Kim Kardashian, who faced a great deal of public criticism after posting a nude selfie—in a tragic twist of irony, most of the clapbacks came from women, on International Women’s Day. “It’s bullshit, and this is the thing: They come at me and Kim so hard because I was a stripper and she had a sex tape,” said Rose. “So if we could sing, it would be OK if we were on stage half-naked. We all love Beyoncé, but she’s on stage half-naked and twerking all the time, yet people say, oh, she has talent so she’s able to do that. We don’t have the talent that Beyoncé has, so we get criticized as former sex workers, but at the end of the day we’re just women—we’re all women—and we should all embrace each other.”
The same week that Kardashian posted said selfie, much of the television-viewing public was caught up in a 20-year-old sexist scandal: the treatment of Marcia Clark as rendered on The People v. O.J. Simpson. The circumstances are certainly different—women like Kardashian and Rose are seen as paragons of modern beauty and their appearances factor highly into their brands, whereas Clark was a prosecutor trying to do a job that had nothing to do with her looks, and she was cruelly criticized for them—but it all feels sickeningly familiar. Clark was harassed by the judge, by her fellow lawyers, and above all, by the public. A nude photo of her was leaked that is still in circulation. At the time, it could have been easy to see how horrifically she was treated—the trial played on television 24/7. But it’s still taken 20 years to fully comprehend how rough it was; at the time Clark was a bitch, unapproachable, icy. What will we think of Rose’s life and experiences in two decades?
Kim K has been invited to attend Rose’s Los Angeles SlutWalk, which she threw last October to a fair amount of acclaim. At the time, Milk reported that “women who become famous for being around famous men are now being respected in their own right. They’re bussinesswomen, they’re activists. They’re notable not for their partners, but for themselves. And while this is less a change in those individuals and more a change in media coverage, it’s a step in the right direction of making sure women are seen as people.” Slut-shaming attacks that women like Rose receive every day show that we aren’t quite there yet. But she’s thankfully continuing to speak out. Yes, Muva has arrived.
Stay tuned to Milk for more feminism, because it is 2016 and we’re all onboard by now.