In my first installment of "Literally What Is Wrong With People?" (spoiler: so much), we need to talk about people attacking Chloe Bartoli after the Kardashian-Disick scandal du jour - their breakup.
I'm not going to comment or speculate about the breakup itself, because frankly, despite the over-exposed family's multiple television shows, instagram accounts, selfie books, etc., it's really none of my business, and there's no way to know the truth about what actually happened. But even if the rumors are true and Scott did cheat on Kourtney with his ex-girlfriend, Chloe Bartoli, there's absolutely no reason she should be getting death threats. (Yes. People are literally threatening to kill her.)
Bartoli, a celebrity stylist, is famous and successful in her own right and together with her twin sister and business partner, Marie-Lou, has worked with top design houses, magazines, and celebs before she suddenly became a household name; Miranda Kerr and Selena Gomez are among their roster of famous clients, so they were doing pretty well without Kardashian ties, thankyouverymuch.
Since the news broke, instagram users have taken it upon themselves to leave disparaging comments on Bartoli's posts, calling her a "whore", a "homewrecker", "ugly", and claiming she knowingly broke up a family.
Here's some of what's being said:
And perhaps the worst of all is this one, in which hecklers deign to call two small children "sluts", and then go so far as to call the dog (seriously, the dog) ugly, too.
There are also some seriously scary comments on the sisters' professional page, like these on an image of Miranda Kerr, which was posted to showcase their styling work.
One of the commenters here seems to be implying that she "deserves" this incredible amount of abuse because, after all, she was dressed like a "whore" (she was wearing a one piece bathing suit, on a beach) in the photos taken with Disick that ignited the whole debacle. This all just has distinct rape-culture vibes, in a "she deserved it"; "she had it coming" kind of way.
It's not all hate on the 'gram; there are some commenters who stick up for Bartoli, asking hecklers to mind their own business and leave her alone. But it's still quite alarming that people are taking their Kardashian fandom this far.
We're quick to write off the Family Kardashian (Jenner, Disick, et al.) as "trash TV" or cry out with incredulity "That is not reality!" in some attempt to feel intellectually superior. However, from an anthropological point of view, all they've ever done is...exactly what we've wanted them to. Their successes and fails are designed purely to satisfy our desires, and every "like" or retweet is an endorsement, empowerment, and another dollar (or million) in their pockets.
But now, it's gotten to the point where we're worshipping idols of our making, and that's where it gets dangerous - like threatening to kill for them.
And you know what this disproportionate witch-hunt reminds me of? This:
(Ok, so this was really supposed to be Hester Prynn from The Scarlet Letter, but she was way ahead of the times for cute gifs.)
And every other time there's been a sex scandal and the woman takes the brunt of it, from slut-shaming to threats of violence and worse.
Also, from a very personal point of view, I've been the other woman before, and I knew full well that the man had a girlfriend. I was young, and he was an ex of mine, and I had my own motives for letting it happen (read: not actively pursuing it, but not stopping it, either). Namely, to prove the suspicions I had always had that he was cheating on me while we were together. The fact that he easily cheated on his new girlfriend with me really gave me closure that yes, this guy was capable of cheating, and he probably did it to me, too.
But, as my close friends know, I don't really feel much guilt for being the other woman. I was young and single and free, I didn't have any commitments to anyone, and I wasn't disappointing myself or anyone I knew. I certainly didn't force him; he strayed of his own volition, and if it hadn't have been me, I'm fairly positive it would have been with someone else. Rather than feel guilty about it, I found it empowering to be able to get closure that was as close to the truth as I could get, and to be able to see his true colors freed me from any lingering regrets I'd had about our relationship ending.
Now, a friend of mine is currently involved with a married man. She, however, does feel guilty about it, and terribly so. I tell her the same thing I told myself all those years ago: "Not that you aren't a special, wonderful person, but if it wasn't you, he'd be cheating on his wife with someone else."
A cheater cheats. They know exactly what they're doing. The way I see it, it wasn't my responsibility, or my friend's, or Chloe's to say "Come on, man - you have a girlfriend/wife, what are you doing here?"
For example, if I make cupcakes, and my friend is on a diet but eats one anyway, is that my fault for being a bad friend? Or would it be the friends responsibility to say "Wow, I know this is tempting, but no thank you, I really shouldn't"?
So what do you guys think? Is the other woman/man ever to blame? And should Bartoli be subjected to death threats?