This Week in Feminism: Johnny Depp Domestic Abuse Allegations Show that Victim Blaming is Still a Thing
This week, Amber Heard became the latest celebrity to accuse their partner of domestic abuse. Surprisingly (to no one), she has already been declared a liar and a gold-digger by large swaths of the internet. The news comes on the heels of Heard’s divorce from Johnny Depp which many claim is the reason behind her accusation– if she’s a victim of assault, she can rake in more dough. Now, let’s take a step back. A woman has just spoken up about physical violence she’s received from a man. Yes, the man is a world famous actor with a bazillion moneys; yes, she will most likely be awarded money in the divorce. HOWEVER: there is no way that Amber Heard lives in an alternate universe where women are always believed and men are always prosecuted in abuse cases. Heard KNOWS how rough it is to speak up for yourself in these situations, not to mention the magnification of the whole scenario caused by her position in the public eye. Yes, there is always the possibility that a someone is lying. Always. But if we don’t believe Heard, Kesha, or any of the other dozens of celebrities finally opening up about their abuse, who are we going to believe? This immediate distrust of womanly accusation is a driving factor in why few women do speak out against their abusers.The amount of people lying about assault is infinitesimally small compared to the amount of people speaking truths, and even these figures are skewed by the amount of people who never come forward due to fears of stigmatization, retraumatization, or victim blaming. If it ever does come out that Heard or any of her companions in this journey of healing were less than honest, we can take it. But for now, we must listen. They have to know that there is space for them to exist, be heard, and not break under the pressure of the world calling you a liar.
I don’t know about ya’ll, but I always feel a twinge of guilt and frustration whenever I read one of the many articles slinking around the internet about how everyone should “quit yr job to follow yr passion!!!!!!!” Or that “if you are doing what you love you don’t need to get paid!!! It’s all about getting experience!!!” Or that “money doesn’t matter!!! Be true to your heart and everything you do will be basted with glitter and positivity!!!!” Anyway, people are working on calling out this bullshit and these two articles put a lot of those feelings into words with a lot more sentence structure and a lot less exclamation points.
Newsflash: WOMEN ARE NOT THE ONLY PEOPLE WHO GET PERIODS. We have been working for YEARS to sway conversations about menstruation away from cis-centrism. Basically, we are sooooo over “free- bleed on the patriarchy!1!!!!” feminism. The ability to bleed involuntarily from your genitalia is in no way essential to being a woman, and, similarly, having bleeding junk doesn’t make you a woman! Menstruating can be cool, it should be de-stigmatised, but it is integral that we remember to keep space for those with mixed or negative feelings and connections to their uterine expulsions.
It’s okay, your fancy lattes aren’t what’s making you poor: it’s actually bad financial management and a shitty economy.
Finally, I believe it is not remiss to say that the majority of folks in America (and… the world?) are familiar with CPR. Even if you wouldn’t feel comfortable being served a suffocating human in a crisis, you likely know the gist of it– “ah, ah, ah, ah, staying alive, staying alive,” anyone? Regardless, while many people know the basics of dealing with choking, very few understand how to deal with basic symptoms of mental illness. This has caused huge issues, especially in law enforcement, where officers faced with psychosis react as they would toward a violent offender and people are killed. New York City is working to change that.