I sit down with model and actress, Amber Rose, who founded the annual Amber Rose Slut Walk, in this episode of The Scarlet Letter Reports.
We use “slut” as a blanket label for women we want to delegitimize by weaponizing their sexuality against them. Ever since Amber dated Kanye West, many have written her off as a “slut” and a “gold-digger;” she has been defined by the media and the public as a woman whose success—and whose very existence—is dependent upon the men in her life. After their break-up, Kanye promoted that characterization, saying, “If Kim had dated me when I wanted, there wouldn’t be an Amber Rose” and that he “had to take 30 showers” before becoming intimate with Kim.
At the same time, Amber herself has not shied away from controversy, and talks openly about how she leveraged her own sexuality to help establish her career. In doing so, she was simultaneously labeled as “nothing but a stripper.” So, Amber decided to reclaim her own narrative, and help other women who had also experienced abuse, harassment, and victim-blaming through her annual Slut Walk.
Amber understands that women should be allowed to embrace their sexuality without being shamed for it or defined by it. I understand what it’s like to exist in this controversial space. My frankly vanilla sex life was twisted out of recognition by my prosecutor and the tabloid media and the image of that invented succubus (“man-eater,” “she-devil,” “Luciferina”) was used in court to convict me of a crime I didn’t commit. And that was only possible because the tabloid readership salivated at the idea of a feminine monster, a hyper-sexualized femme-fatale.
Is Amber “guilty” for leveraging her sexuality as a part of her identity? Or are we guilty of reducing her to merely a sexual object, and punishing her for being out of our control?
You can watch the full episode of The Scarlet Letter Reports now on Facebook Watch.