Rob Kardashian's Treatment of Blac Chyna Isn't a Slice of Reality TV Drama, It's Illegal

'Rob and Chyna', E!

This week, Rob Kardashian and Blac Chyna aired all of their dirty laundry on social media. In the midst of their horrifying online exchanges, Blac Chyna alleged that Rob Kardashian had physically abused her. The allegation didn't seem particularly unfeasible given everything else that was going on.

After enduring online verbal abuse from her ex -- relating to her sex life, spending habits, recreational activities, and parenting (among other things) -- the father of her second child went on to post photos of her that were so explicit, Instagram had to take them down. Twice. Eventually, the photo-sharing app was forced to shut Kardashian's entire account down to make him stop posting revenge porn.

While the dirty laundry aired by Kardashian online is shocking even by 2017 standards (even Snoop Dogg felt the need to weigh in), what isn't new is Rob's penchant for misogyny. The youngest Kardashian has a long and well-documented history when it comes to hating, and attempting to shame, women -- including his sisters.

Rob has been a regular on his family's reality TV hit, Keeping Up With the Kardashians, on and off since it launched in 2007. It has been difficult in that time not to notice the vernacular he uses any time he has a disagreement with one of his sisters -- his go-to word has consistently been "whore." The show has also effectively demonstrated that when Rob Kardashian is triggered, he lashes out quickly, aggressively, and in a manner that is usually startlingly uncalled for.

Even when his relationship with Chyna was happy, Kardashian referred to his baby mama in objectifying and dehumanizing ways online, most memorably:

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Little surprise then, that Kardashian is also a prolific slut-shamer. In his most recent rants about Blac Chyna, he said: "She everybody’s and it’s been that way." He once told Kim: "I hope your sex tape haunts you for the rest of your life." Another of Rob's exes, Adrienne Bailon, recently noted on an episode of The Real: "I absolutely never cheated on Rob... And the way it's said—it's like, 'She slept with mad people.' I'm like, 'Uh, I can't speak for anybody else, but I can assure [you] that was not me.'"

Similarly, when Kardashian and Rita Ora split, he went on an unhinged Twitter tirade that prompted the (appalling) phrase "Rita Whora" to start trending.

Every time Rob Kardashian breaks up with a woman, he publicly and viciously accuses her of sleeping around. His behavior is consistent, horrifying, and very familiar to anybody who has ever found themselves caught in an abusive relationship.

In an article designed to help individuals recognize whether or not they are in an abusive relationship, Helpguide.org describes a number of traits displayed publicly by Kardashian: "Abusive individuals need to feel in charge of the relationship. Your abuser may treat you… as [a] possession."

It goes on: "An abuser will do everything he or she can to make you feel bad about yourself or defective in some way. Insults, name-calling, shaming, and public put-downs are all weapons of abuse designed to erode your self-esteem and make you feel powerless.

"Abusers... will commonly shift the responsibility on to you: Somehow, his… behavior is your fault."

This last one is why Rob Kardashian is so focused on the sex lives of his exes -- it gives him an excuse to enact the aforementioned public put-downs that he wields in a desperate bid to shame his exes into submission and "feel in charge" again.

In Blac Chyna's Snapchat posts that allege Rob "beat" and "put hand" on her, she also exclaims: "I'm supposed to be quiet because you're a Kardashian." It is undoubtedly true that famous men have historically been given free passes when it comes to getting away with domestic violence, and, when it comes to this specific allegation, at this stage, it can only be Chyna's word against Kardashian's.

However, if Chyna wished to press charges against Kardashian for revenge porn, she would be well within her rights, as a California resident, to do so.

According to Whallin & Klarich Law Corporation: "Under SB 255, an act of revenge porn is defined as someone who 'photographs or records by any means the image of the intimate body part or parts of another identifiable person, under circumstances where the parties agree or understand that the image shall remain private, and the person subsequently distributes the image taken, with the intent to cause serious emotional distress, and the depicted person suffers serious emotional distress."

Further, "SB 255 classifies revenge porn as disorderly conduct, which is a misdemeanor in California. If you are convicted of this crime, a first offense could land you in county jail for up to six months and you could also be fined up to $1,000 fine under PC 647."

It is reasonably unlikely that Blac Chyna would seek to prosecute an individual that she co-parents with, but if she did move in that direction, it may teach Kardashian -- and other abusers, famous or otherwise -- a valuable lesson. Currently, Rob Kardashian thinks so little of the abuse he spews onto social media, he keeps doing it over and over again. Even Instagram's objections to the images he was posting did not to deter him from repeatedly posting them. There is a level of self-entitlement and privilege -- not to mention his own sense of being justified -- that should set alarm bells off for everyone in Rob Kardashian's vicinity, as well as everyone watching this whole sorry mess go down from a safe distance.

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Kardashian's behavior is both abusive and illegal. It should be recognized as such and not merely treated as another slice of reality TV drama.

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