So I try to stay out of celebrity gossip, mainly because I have a life. But I have felt compelled to write about the Depp/Heard allegations on several websites’ comment sections, after reading some of the nasty shit being levelled at a woman who was courageous enough to come forward and speak about abuse at the hands of a beloved hollywood star.
I wrote this on one such board:
‘Imagine a utopian world where women feel safe enough and strong enough to report abuse because they are automatically believed by the society in which they live. Rare false claims would soon enough be proven false, but imagine how many more battered and abused women would come forward because there would be no victim blaming or shaming, no questioning of their motives or bank accounts, but instead an acknowledgement of the courage and and strength it requires to come forward and say ‘I was abused by the man I chose to love and it’s not my fault.’ How lucky would we be to live in a society that doesn’t automatically look to blame the woman for the abuse, or just flat out disbelieve her because we don’t want to admit this happens in our oh-so-civilised society and if it does happen it makes us feel better to believe she somehow did something to deserve it. Imagine that crazy world, hey?’
Of course this attracted the usual trolls claiming that every bitch who ever dared make a complaint about a man, particularly a rich, powerful man, is a lying, money grabbing whore bucket. Because we all believe, deep down in our tiny little hearts, that the movie star/director/boss/friend we love wouldn’t possibly ever do such a thing, and therefore we shall rationalise any icky thoughts away and the fastest way to do that is to blame the victim.
So let me make myself clear. I have no idea what transpired between Johnny Depp and Amber Heard and likely never will. But I won’t give up my wish that, one day (perhaps when the world is less populated by assholes) women and children will be automatically believed when they report abuse, instead of being viewed with suspicion and downright hostility as is the current sad-as-fuck situation.
Yes, some people may make false accusations. But such false accusations are a minuscule drop in the whopping great big bucket of actual domestic abuse that goes on in the world today right under our ignorant noses.
But false accusations ruin men’s reputations! come the cries from fuckwits everywhere.
Guess what? Making abuse allegations hardly enhances a woman’s reputation does it? All the money in the world does not make up for the victim blaming, character assassination, the shaming, and the calling into question of your mental health. And all this awesomeness is after you’ve managed to muster the courage to report the abuse in the first place and finally break free of what is a terribly damaging situation both physically and emotionally. Just ask Mia Farrow how well that went for her. While Woody Allen enjoys his continuing legendary status in Hollywood, she is painted as a lying mad woman who was bitter he left her for another woman, so she made up allegations of child abuse and brainwashed her children into believing them (amazing what the right publicist will do for you, hey?). Meanwhile he’s married to his own stepdaughter for fucks sake I mean HOW MUCH MORE EVIDENCE DO YOU PEOPLE NEED? And why all of this victim blaming? Simply so we can enjoy his movies guilt-free.
If women were automatically believed when they made abuse allegations, not only would more victims come forward, but the men involved would also be able to get the mental health assistance they need. Because you don’t abuse women and children without being a pretty fucked up individual in need of masses of help.
So instead of looking for reasons why this woman is lying, how about we as a society support her, and the other brave souls out there, who have stood up in the face of a shitstorm of abuse and cried out that this behaviour is wrong and cannot continue.
But that won’t happen, because, you guessed it, false claims and men’s reputations.
Therefore, it comes down to this: we live in a society that is more concerned about protecting men’s reputations than it is about protecting women from abuse. And that, my friends, is misogyny.