An Industry of One's Own: Kim Kardashian Shows Wonder Woman How It's Done
If you’re looking for some kind of side hustle to bring in a little extra skrill, you might consider being a woman celebrity whose feminism is debatable. Wonder Woman continually gets traction for being a questionable feminist but, of course, the platonic ideal of turning kontradictions into kash is my absolute favorite heroine, Kim Kardashian. She's being written about today, yet again, and despite her rejection of the label, as maybe possibly a feminist. And so here I come, to pile on.
Kim hails from the halls of Kris Jenner’s Calabasas mansion, a modern-day Themyscira, home of the Amazons. As on that mythical island, men come and go, but never stay. The earliest evidence for the Amazons appears in the Iliad. Homer refers to them and their martial acumen in one of his famous epithets: Amazones antianeirai or “Amazons, women who are equivalent to men”. What makes these early women notable is that they are as good as men. Simply not (being perceived of as) sucking is remarkable.
Wonder Woman, of course, is our modern Amazonian darling, whose most recent incarnation is all too much like that of the ancient Amazons. She used to be a radical who literally fought patriarchy, in the form of monsters like Professor Manly, avowed opponent of feminism. But now she settles for being just as good as men. In her first movie role ever, Wonder Woman is allowed to tag along and fight Superman and Batman’s battle with them.
Having at last tested Wonder Woman’s celluloid marketability, DC has finally decided to give her her own eponymous movie, slated for release in 2017, a mere 76 years after her creation. Please compare this to the number of Batman and Superman movies that have come out since their creation. (No, seriously, please do that for me. I don’t want to do all of that counting. It’s boring.)
While Wonder Woman had to wait three quarters of a century before DC would deign to give her a movie, Kim Kardasian made her own, Kim Kardashian Superstar, when she was 27 years old. She didn’t wait for any man to grant her access to the means of production because she already owned the means production, in the most intimate way possible, if you catch my drift. Kim Kardashian Superstar made Vivid Entertainment $1.2 million a month from online sales alone, with the star herself earning at least $4.5 million dollars. Gal Gadot is making just $300,000 to star in Wonder Woman.
Building in large part on the success of Kim’s movie, her mom, Kris, established an impressive kommercial empire. The Kardashians have stores, clothes, beauty products, books, apps, and of course, television shows. Wonder Woman’s mom, Hippolyta, had no such foresight, leaving the marketing of her daughter to a male-dominated industry that has put more effort into pushing Spiderman, Batman, Superman, and the Avengers, making them the four most valuable comic book movie franchises.
If you’re looking for a feminist hero in 2017, sure, go ahead and check out Wonder Woman, in which Gadot calls another woman a slave because she is a secretary. But listen to this. Back in the (ancient) day the amazons used to get drunk, get married, and fight over clothes (a girdle to be exact, for which Heracles kills Hippolyta). If this doesn’t sound like the Kardashians to you, then you aren’t watching the show. So, if I’m looking for a model of success in this krazy kapitalist world of ours, I’m going to look for it in the realm of Kalabasas, that great gynocracy of modern warriors, the Kardashians.
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