Kim Kardashian: Ball-Crusher of the Year
So say some angry men on the internet. Also: far-right wellness culture, posthumous IVF, and 'the testicle king' in the weekend roundup.
This week, Kim Kardashian graces the cover of GQ’s “Men of the Year” issue and some men are freaking out about it!
Technically, she was crowned Tycoon of the Year as part of the special issue, which honors several men. But Kardashian—savvy self-marketer that she is—tweeted, “I’m the GQ Man of the Year!” So, now she is Man of the Year, at least as far as angry doods on the internet are concerned.
She appears on the magazine’s cover in an oversize business suit, looking like a little girl playing dress-up in daddy’s closet, while holding a bag of Cheetos and sucking orange sludge off her finger. Inside, she’s shown lifting weights in high heels and boxer briefs.
This is being taken as a great threat to men’s power.
In response to Kardashian’s tweet, men weighed in with remarks about how gender roles are being “switched,” men are being turned into “sissies,” and this magazine cover (not Trump, the alt-right, or rising fascism) is why America is in decline. In these reactions, Kardashian is hit with the same ball-crushing stereotype so often leveled at women who challenge gender roles in any way, most especially feminists. As one guy wrote, “She’s castrated enough men that she’s finally become one.”
It’s not just that she’s the (self-proclaimed) Man of the Year; it’s that she’s a wildly successful entrepreneur. In a sense, the Man/Tycoon of the Year distinction is irrelevant; the recognition of her business acumen is emasculating enough. (Speaking of her business acumen, note that this GQ honor coincides with SKIMS launching a men’s line and that the cover story gives her plenty of space to plug her business.)
The outrage has jumped over to TikTok, too. One guy took Kardashian’s magazine cover as proof that feminism is “destroying the family unit” and “telling women that they can be men,” and now “there’s no place for men anymore.” Then he seamlessly segued into transphobia—as is so often the case—and referred to Kardashian’s stepmom Caitlyn Jenner as a reflection that “up is down, left is right and we’re all mixed up, you guys.”
Another TikToker with 2 millions followers spouted conspiratorial ideas about how this magazine stunt is part of a broader brainwashing attempt by the “hard left.” Said TikToker calls himself The Testicle King, because he went viral for eating raw animal testicles. Animal nut sacks, he says, have boosted his testosterone levels.
I don’t know, Testicle King. Are we sure Kim K is the one impugning masculinity?
OK, time for some links…
Ashley Reese on planning for posthumous IVF after her husband’s terminal cancer diagnosis. “I asked Rob if he could write a letter to our future kid to feel like he was involved in the process,” she says.
“In another life, Jeff Bezos was a TJ Maxx mom,” says.
Paternity leave changes dads’ brains. Too bad that only 5 percent of fathers take two or more weeks of leave.
Wellness culture overlaps with the far right. “The flip side of the idea that your competitive edge is your body is that the people who don’t have bodies as fit or strong as yours somehow did something wrong or are less deserving of access, less deserving even of life,” says Naomi Klein.
Advertisers don’t want sites like Jezebel to exist, specifically because they cover topics like sex and abortion. Apparently, shortly before the site’s closure, the ad sales team “asked if it could remove Jezebel’s tagline—‘Sex. Celebrity. Politics. With Teeth’—from the site.”
I’m plowing through Elise Gravel’s Olga series with my 6-year-old. We’ve fallen in love with the titular character of this graphic novel for kids. Olga is a messy and kinda dark girl who loves scrawling observations in her notebook and caring for little animals. My husband was quick to observe: “She’s you.”