by Ashia Ajani
A few days ago, Wiz Khalifa tweeted about a strain of weed known as “KK.” Kanye West, likely in hopes of manufacturing a publicity stunt, responded virulently, insisting that Khalifa was talking about West’s wife, Kim Kardashian. In a Twitter rant he managed to compare himself to a God (typical Kanye), bully Khalifa’s child, and drag Amber Rose (the mother of Khalifa’s child and ex-partner or both Khalifa and Kanye) into it. Although Kanye later apologized for badmouthing a child, Amber Rose quickly fired back this tweet, which began the hashtag #FingersInTheBootyAssBitch: later explaining that she never would’ve gotten involved in the feud if Kanye hadn’t brought her child into this.
Looking at the incident on its own doesn’t give much in the way of newsworthy material. It doesn’t seem fair to aggrandize the actions of a few celebrities on a platform rife with outlandish commentary. However, the journalistic responses to the Twitter feud shed an important light on how differently Black women are critiqued with regards to expressing anger compared to Black men.
Many journalists have glazed over Kanye’s sexist tweets and honed in on whether or not Amber’s exposure of Kanye’s sexual preferences is homophobic. Many times in his lyrics, tweets and interviews, Kanye has shamed Amber Rose as a bad mother, former sex worker and the development of her appearance since their break up. He has constantly stood by the actions of the Kardashians in endorsing Tyga’s controversial relationship with Kylie Jenner and even fetishized his own daughter by comparing her future body type to that of her mother’s. (It would take a whole different article to talk about Kanye’s obsession with light-skinned/non-white women).
To say that Kanye West got what he deserved would be an understatement. If one were to look at the demographic of people who have a history of standing by Kanye West, or just simply sidestepping to allow for further critique of Amber Rose, it consists mostly of notoriously misogynistic Black men (I’m looking at you Charlamagne) and white queer bloggers. And while the latter has an important voice in the politics of calling out homophobic and queer-phobic actions, I think it is imperative to hear the voices of Black queer authors on the subject. So I’ll take a jab at it.
Amber Rose is still growing as an activist and advocate for women’s liberation. While I never fully forgave Amber Rose herself for Light Girls, I’m still a solid supporter for all that she embodies in terms of body positivity, reclamation of womanhood and safe sex. Our responses to this Twitter feud speak louder than Rose’s initial claims. This article from Black Girl Dangerous sums up the need for Kanye to refute such claims, and why it is so harmful for appreciators of hip-hop culture to endorse the stereotype that ass-play is feminine and emasculating.
However, it still doesn’t really make sense to me to constantly attack her choices and her responses to Kanye West’s obvious slut shaming. When you look at Kanye’s history of blame and problematic behavior, and how we still regard him as an infallible artist, it exposes our own internalized sexism and inability to put the same boundaries on men as we do women, especially Black men. Critiquing his actions and his commentary doesn’t take away from his lyrical genius. What it really comes down to is Kanye’s inability to recognize is his own internalized homophobia and misogynoir, and Amber’s speedy ability to keep him humble. #FingersInTheBootyAssBitch” is a reminder not to cast judgment on someone else’s sexual history, when yours is just as- if not more so- colorful.