Gina Mei
Updated Jul 15, 2015 @ 12:03 pm

Earlier this month, reality TV star and all-around famous person Kim Kardashian was the cover star for Rolling Stone‘s July 3rd issue. The decision was met with an immense backlash, and many took to social media to express their disapproval, claiming that, since Kardashian is not a musical artist, it was an inappropriate choice. In particular, legendary singer-songwriter Sinead O’Connor wrote a scathing post on Facebook about the cover — going so far as to call Kardashian the ‘c’ word and including the hashtag #BoycottRollingStone.

Rolling Stone has long been more of a general pop culture magazine than strictly a music one. Pope Francis graced the cover in 2014. Most controversially, the Boston Bomber was on the magazine’s cover in 2013. Claudia Schiffer was its cover star in 1990, and countless other non-musical celebrities have graced the cover since.

Sinead O’Connor’s call to action to boycott Rolling Stone feels less to do with the magazine killing music and more to do with the fact that she just doesn’t like Kim Kardashian very much. Which is fine, because that’s just like, her opinion, man — but it’s worth discussing why and how she chose to express this.

We love Sinead O’Connor a whole lot. She’s an absolute legend. “Nothing Compares 2 U” remains one of the most iconic music videos of all time. But this isn’t the first time that O’Connor has publicly slammed a woman for making decisions different from her own. Her first open letter to Miley Cyrus, while filled with some awesome critiques of the music industry, also continuously referred to Cyrus as a prostitute and implied that she had no self-respect. In both cases, O’Connor used the same hateful language that has been used to put women down since forever — and that’s just not OK.

Regardless of her personal opinions on Kim K (and, let’s be real, people have some very strong opinions on her), publicly calling her a degrading word was not very cool. It’s OK to be critical of other people, of course, but sometimes it’s worth challenging what those criticisms are rooted in. O’Connor has always been pretty open about the fact that she feels a sexualized woman is an exploited woman — but if a woman finds empowerment in owning her particular brand of sexuality (or whatever else), who are we to tear her down? There should be room for all of us.

You’re allowed to dislike other women (because duh), but publicly slamming them and calling them derogatory slurs is harmful to everyone. As always, let’s practice kindness and try to be a little nicer to one another. We’ll all benefit from that.

(Image via Facebook, Rolling Stone)