because i *am* writing about kim kardashian but i’m at that stage of the writing process where the writing is being actively avoided, not because it isn’t going to happen but because i’m waiting for it to become MAXIMALLY UNCOMFORTABLE so that i will have no choice, mental-health-wise, but to do it, no matter how hard it hurts.
i am waiting for the pressure to become unbearable, so that i might dive in with my whole heart and cerebellum and dig around in the blood and guts and brain matter and pick at all of the wounds. until they reveal the thing they are there for.
fun times!!! (this is the part about writing that i do not tell my students. the reality that the thing you most want to avoid is, inevitably, the thing towards which you are running at full speed and also the thing you are fated to do AND ALSO the thing that will most extensively shatter your being.)
the writing i am not doing is about victim-blaming.
i’m not doing it because i’m aware that writing about victim-blaming and doing the deep dive required to write about victim-blaming is going to really fucking hurt.
because i’m aware of how i blame myself. i’m aware of how, on dates, even now, i think about how i dress. how, for dates, even now, i take care in how i dress. because i have internalized all of the awful things told me and, despite all of my efforts and chutzpah and love of fashion, still, i am not yet free.
in my london life (which feels like so many worlds ago), i used to go to these quiet days at an abbey. the vicar– who was apparently the inspo for the title character in rev— used to insist we put both our feet on the ground, that we not cross our legs. i do not know why this was, but simply assumed it was so that we might be more firmly rooted in god’s creation.
i mention this because i have inexplicably put on shoes to write this. though my legs are crossed. for i’m never rooted so much as loosely tethered, flailing about, beholding, in equal parts awe and dread.
i am always out there, well dressed but lurching, analyzing, albeit elegantly, forward, into the whatever of where we are right now.
i write about celebrity and precarity and feelings and feminism.
i write about how people write about life when they are in the middle of it, when they do not know what will happen to them, when the outcomes remain radically unknown.
the choices they make, the reactions, all of the stuff that, in retrospect, looks inevitable but which, in the living, is improvised.
that is how i started writing about kim kardashian. when she was assaulted in paris. because i proposed a conference paper on her silence, back when we did not know how it would end.
that is why i am not writing about kim kardashian now. because i cannot handle the uncertainty unfolding.
not because it’s new, but because it isn’t.
confession: i am actively avoiding this story. so i cannot write about it in any sort of educated way. i am deliberately ignorant, intentionally ignorant, actively cultivating ignorance.
because anyone who’s lived in fear of an ex (hi, it me!), anyone who’s lived in fear for their own safety or the safety of those they love (hi, again, it me again!), knows this story.
and, relatedly, anyone who’s lived in that fear can anticipate the reaction to such violence.
if ever you had any doubt, let us be real: we are, all of us, only ever just a joke.
know it, learn it, live it.
indelible in the hippocampus is the laughter.
i have nothing really to say here except that the abuse of this woman and her current boyfriend by her ex-husband is horrific.
because it’s happening at all, but also because it’s happening to her and still, STILL it’s treated as entertainment and not news. still, it is a joke.
she is exceptional and still she is treated in this way.
still, one of the most public women in the world can be bullied and threatened and harassed, PUBLICLY. and people who write supportive editorials have to leaven them with the fact that it’s still not ok despite it being her.
like there is a world in which this is ok for anyone.
what hope does that give everyone else, all of the rest of us, with exes who harmed us and hate us and want to harm us and the people we love? if even she is not safe…….