Lena Dunham was right to situate Kanye West’s latest video — which features Taylor Swift’s likeness laying naked on a bed — in rape culture.
I, not you, control who sees you naked, West seems to be telling Swift in “Famous.”
Dunham lashed out at West on Monday in an emotional post on her Facebook page.
“Now I have to see the prone, unconscious, waxy bodies of famous women, twisted like they’ve been drugged and chucked aside at a rager? It gives me such a sickening sense of dis-ease,” the Jewish actress wrote, after putting the incident in the context of Judge Aaron Persky’s slap-on-the-wrist sentence for Stanford athlete Brock Turner for sexually assaulting an unconscious woman, and rape accusations against Bill Cosby.
Dunham took the first step in comparing West’s video for the song “Famous” to rape culture, but I think more than being part of rape culture, West is actually perpetuating it.
It doesn’t matter that his video reportedly reportedly features a wax replica of the singer, because anyone seeing the photo would think it is her.
I, not you, control who sees you naked, West seems to be telling Swift in the video.
Swift isn’t the only naked celebrity in West’s video (“Famous” also featured Vogue editor Anna Wintour, Rihanna, Chris Brown and Donald Trump among others), but her case is unique because a trip down memory lane reveals that this is not the first time West has targeted the blonde singer with sexist remarks.
West made headlines in February, when he rapped about hoping to have sex with Swift: “I feel like me and Taylor might still have sex, I made that b—h famous.”
Not only does West refer to Swift in a derogatory and vulgar way but he also implies that his rude interrupting of her acceptance speech at the 2009 Video Music Awards made her famous, seemingly forgetting that she had been given the award prior to his mansplaining.
West seems to believe he has ownership over Swift’s sexuality and success. And this is precisely the kind of rhetoric that makes up rape culture — teaching men that if they desire a woman, they can have her, whether through distributing naked photos of her against her will or through actually touching her.
Anyone who spoke out against Persky’s light sentencing of Turner should not be quiet now. This is part of the same culture that lets men say or do what they want to women and then get off easy.
Contact Josefin Dolsten at email@example.com or on Twitter, @JosefinDolsten
Kanye has officially out-Kanyed himself.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know that Kanye West’s Twitter rants have gotten progressively unhinged. Over the last month, the rapper has asked Mark Zuckerberg for a billion dollar bailout, attacked former frenemy Taylor Swift and engaged in much criticized slut-shaming of his ex-girlfriend.
His latest victim is Canadian Jewish producer and musician Bob Ezrin.
Ezrin, who is best known for working with bands like Pink Floyd, Kiss and Lou Reed, wrote a scathing review of West’s new album “The Life of Pablo” in Bob Leftsetz’s newsletter. “Unlike other creators in his genre like Jay-Z, Tupac, Biggie or even M.C. Hammer for that matter, it’s unlikely that we’ll be quoting too many of Kanye’s songs 20 years from now,” Ezrin wrote. “He didn’t open up new avenues of public discourse like NWA, or introduce the world to a new art form like Grandmaster Flash, or even meaningfully and memorably address social issues through his music like Marshall, Macklemore and Kendrick.”
West did not take kindly to the review and went on an epic Twitter tirade on Tuesday night, making Bob Ezrin the most Googled name on the Internet.
Has anybody ever heard of Bob Ezrin???— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) February 24, 2016
What the fuck does he know about rap…— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) February 24, 2016
I’m tired of old people that have no connection with anything trying to comment on music!— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) February 24, 2016
Do something relevant… Please don’t speak on me bro ever again!!!— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) February 24, 2016
Your kids are ashamed of their dad… Sorry for speaking about kids… but could you imagine if you were Bob Ezrin’s kids…— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) February 24, 2016
I’m so sorry for them… I will send them free Yeezys to make up for the embarrassment that you have caused your family!— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) February 24, 2016
Bro you said Macklemore was more important musically than me… no offense to Macklemore, he’s a nice human being!— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) February 24, 2016
Bob please never speak in public again… you are everything that is wrong with the old guard …— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) February 24, 2016
it’s guys like you that run companies and don’t invest in Ye even if I’m your kid’s idol!!!— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) February 24, 2016
Rock and Roll was stolen… Rap was exploited…— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) February 24, 2016
I made Dark Fantasy and Watch the Throne in one year and wasn’t nominated for either and you know who has 2 albums of the year.— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) February 24, 2016
Welcome to pop culture!!!— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) February 24, 2016
Ezrin I truly feel sorry for your friends and family that they have had to suffer an idiot like you for so many years…— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) February 24, 2016
God bless the fools … all positive vibes!— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) February 24, 2016
West fans took to Ezrin’s Wikipedia page, updating it with some offensive and some just ridiculous fake Ezrin facts. As of this writing, the page was back to normal.
West’s trigger-happy Tweets came mere hours after he premiered his new song “Closest Thing to Einstein,” where he dubs himself this generation’s Albert Einstein. Sure, why not? You’ve already alluded to being our savior.
Who knows how deep this rabbit hole of ridiculousness West will go, but he summed himself up perfectly on Wednesday:
I’m not even gon lie to you. I love me so much right now.— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) February 24, 2016
Yes, and that’s the problem.
Rapper and fashion designer Kanye West, who says he is $53 million in debt, has asked Facebook Inc’s Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg to invest $1 billion into his “ideas.”
West asked his Twitter followers to urge Zuckerberg to support him. “World, please tweet, FaceTime, Facebook, instagram, whatever you gotta do to get Mark to support me … West tweeted.
The rapper also asked Alphabet Inc CEO Larry Page to help him with his financial troubles.
West, who claimed he was “still 53 million dollars in personal debt,” said that people do not give money to “real artists” like him but rather open schools in Africa.
World, please tweet, FaceTime, Facebook, instagram, whatever you gotta do to get Mark to support me…— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) February 15, 2016
Neither Zuckerberg nor Page have verified accounts on Twitter, the microblogging website.
Some Twitter users have reached out to Zuckerberg via Facebook Messenger asking him to help the rapper out.
On Saturday night, prior to releasing his eighth studio album and performing on TV comedy show “Saturday Night Live,” the rapper revealed via Twitter that he was $53 million in debt.
“I write this to you my brothers while still 53 million dollars in personal debt,” he tweeted. “Please pray we overcome … This is my true heart.”
West, who’s married to reality TV star Kim Kardashian, has been putting tens of millions into his fashion label. According to the Business Insider website, his latest clothing line is selling high-end coats and jackets for as much as $3,000 to $4,000. The Kanye sweatpants alone cost $510.
In a 2015 interview with BET, the controversial rapper said he incurred $16 million in debt from his fashion business.
Via online streaming, more than 20 million viewers watched West debuted his new album, “The Life of Pablo” and clothing collection during a New York Fashion Week runway show last Thursday.
After Kanye West performed in Israel on Wednesday night, he presumably had to sleep in a bed that he didn’t own. The declared presidential candidate may not have to suffer that indignity on his next trip to the Holy Land.
The Kardashian family, into which he is married, is among a number of non-Jewish American celebrities reportedly shopping for real estate in the Holy Land. Others include Madonna, Ashton Kutcher and Mariah Carey.
What does Israel have to offer these stars? The answer, it seems, varies from spirituality to family and friendship to money-making opportunities.
The Kardashian sisters, of reality TV fame, reportedly entered talks in January to buy two apartments for $30 million in a beachfront building in Tel Aviv. A spokesman for Kim Kardashian denied that report, but entertainment news website E!Online later reported that Kourtney Kardashian’s husband Scott Disick was in fact ready to buy a $5-6 million penthouse in Tel Aviv as a real estate investment.
Just three months later, Kim Kardashian and husband, West, visited Jerusalem for the baptism of their daughter, North, in the Cathedral of St. James, located in the Armenian Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem.
Also this year, pop legend Madonna entered negotiations to buy a $20 million penthouse under construction on Tel Aviv’s trendy Rothschild Boulevard, according to Hollywood celebrity gossip website TMZ. The project developer later said that the negotiations fell through.
Still, the Material Girl has been visiting Israel on semi-regular trips for over a decade to get spiritual guidance from her teachers in the Jewish mystical tradition of kabbalah.
Madonna clearly has an affinity for Jewish-Israeli culture. In her 2005 kabbalah-infused club song “Isaac,” she sampled a rabbi chanting the Hebrew poem “Im Ninalu” – written by 17th-century Yemenite rabbi Shalom Shabazi and made famous by Israeli singer Ofra Haza.
And in 2012, she launched her MDNA global concert tour in Israel.
Madonna isn’t the only kabbalah-curious Hollywood celebrity thinking of putting down roots in Israel. Actor Ashton Kutcher reportedly spent part of a business trip two years ago looking for office space on Rothschild Boulevard.
He’s also an investor in Israeli companies focused on developing new communications technology. Having consulted with Yossi Vardi about investing in Silicon Wadi, he appeared with the noted Israeli venture capitalist at a local high-tech event in 2013
Pop singer Mariah Carey and her billionaire Australian boyfriend, James Packer, aren’t known to be investors in Start Up Nation. But they’re pals with its first family, the Netanyahus. The Australian press reported in August that Packer was renovating a multimillion-dollar home he purchased last year next-door to the Netanyahu family’s private residence in the Israeli town of Caesarea.
The Israeli press has reported extensively on Sarah Netanyahu’s troubles with the help, but she apparently got along famously with the pop diva when they met backstage after Carey’s August show in Israel. Carey shrugged off efforts to boycott Israel at the time, saying, “I do what I want to do … I don’t care what other people’s political agendas are.”
Basketball fans and anyone who saw the recent hit Amy Schumer movie, “Trainwreck,” are sure to be familiar with Miami Heat power forward Amar’e Stoudemire. But few probably know that he is also part-owner of Jerusalem Hapoel and has openly mulled playing for the Israeli team after retiring from the NBA — which would seem to require that he buy a home in the country.
Then-Israeli President Shimon reportedly even asked Stoudemire to play for the Israeli national team in 2013.
Stoudemire has said that his mother was a Black Hebrew, an African-American religious group that claims descent from the biblical Israelites. Some of the members of the religious group have lived in Israel since 1969 and were the subject of 2014 documentary “The Village of Peace,” executive produced by Stoudemire.
Is all this celebrity investment good for Israel’s already overheated housing market? That’s unclear. But at least Kanye West can now claim Middle East experience in his 2020 presidential campaign.
Kim Kardashian has finally given the public a glimpse of her recent visit to Israel with husband Kanye West by posting photos on Twitter and Instagram.
After a tour of the Republic of Armenia (Kardashian is half-Armenian), the reality TV star and her hip-hop star husband visited Israel in April. The couple, known as Kimye, baptized their daughter North at the St. James Cathedral in the Armenian Quarter of Jerusalem.
According to the Times of Israel, hundreds of fans surrounded their car as they pulled up to the cathedral. “Baptizing North in Jerusalem in an Armenian church with our new baby in my belly was so special,” Kim captioned one of the pictures on Twitter.
Check out the soon-to-be classic photos of Kardashian in traditional garb below.
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