#MeToo Victims Are Not Just Women
#MeToo Victims Are Not Just Women
Depp v. Heard Verdict Marks a HUGE Cultural Shift
By now, most of us are probably familiar with the explosive testimonies of Johnny Depp and Amber Heard in one of the ugliest defamation scandals in the celebrity realm.
Regardless of Ms. Heard’s efforts to construct an image of her story and her team’s efforts to paint women as victims and men as perpetrators, this case is not about gender or stereotypes – it’s about people.
When Dr. Dawn Hughes (Ms. Heard’s expert witness) took the stand, she described her work in a field closely related with domestic violence. Yet, every case she described involved a male perpetrator. In fact, she could not describe or admit to experience with a single instance where a woman was a domestic abuser.
While it is true that women are statistically more likely to be victims of domestic violence, male victims have been all but forgotten.
“Believe all claims” might be an appropriate stance for therapy, for recovery, for treatment of someone seeking help. It is absolutely not an appropriate stance for defaming or punishing an alleged abuser. It’s the difference between rehabilitative and punitive.
The idea that women are not capable of abuse, physical, emotional, or otherwise, is absurd. And, honestly, kind of sexist. We are human, are we not? We have emotions, thoughts, jealousies, and rages just as men do.
So why is it that we hardly ever hear about male victims? Is it because they are truly less likely to be abused by women? Or is it because of our culture?
“In addition, an information sheet from the NCADV acknowledged that, anecdotally, the organization knew of women being the primary aggressor toward men but did not have data ‘that quantified how often women were identified as the primary abuser in the relationship.’” – Source
Particularly with the rise of the #MeToo movement, we have fixed our eyes solely on women as victims, ignoring and even blaming men for all abuse. This has turned a once real, true, and noble idea of feminism and equality into a man-hating crowd of “activists” that have a false sense of superiority and, simultaneously, victimhood.
Further, we have blamed men for “toxic masculinity,” for being harsh, for being tough.
The same culture that has raised a boy to “be a man,” to “be tough,” to not cry “like a girl,” has turned on that same boy – on all boys – who have grown into men that hide their emotions, that feel as if they can’t speak up against abuse without being emasculated. Because how could they let themselves be abused by a woman? And just like that, the tables have turned, and we’re back to victim blaming.
And now, men can’t do anything right. If they ignore us, they get accused of being rude or not respecting us as women; if they’re nice to us, they’re too nice and they get accused of sexual harassment. All it takes is one word from a woman. Just one, and no evidence. And as humans, we know an opportunity when we see one.
This essay isn’t about painting men or women in a bad light. It’s about the fact that we’re all human, we all have bad intentions as well as good ones whether we like it or not. So if we continue with the “believe all women” nonsense, how long before “innocent until proven guilty” is burned altogether? How long before young girls grow up believing that they’re one accusation away from being on top of the world, front and center, a beacon for other “victims,” a figure representing “abuse”?
Believing all women by one word but not men is not feminism, it’s not equality. It’s misandry and it’s injustice.
The Depp v. Heard trial is much more than a celebrity case that people are tired of hearing about. Yes, it had intense moments, funny moments, moments that many might consider entertaining. But more importantly, this case was about a cultural shift. The jury slapped this distorted feminism that has all but taken over our entire culture in the face, and I for one am thrilled. They reminded the world that this case shouldn’t be about a man or a woman, about sex or stereotypes. It should be about two people with completely opposing stories, their witnesses, and who has real proof of what did or did not happen.
Most of us have, or at some point will, know someone like Amber Heard. This isn’t a situation where we should believe all women except Ms. Heard, either. This is a situation where we should be acknowledging that there are people like Ms. Heard out there, who have noted our culture’s weaknesses and are looking to exploit them. The solution? Strengthen our culture. Make it about justice again, not about gender. Make it about proof and character, not one person’s word.
Ms. Heard has embarrassed the name of feminism and insulted every woman who has genuinely been physically abused by a partner. She has effectively instilled doubt in every claim of abuse following her own. Ms. Heard’s team tried to make this case about leaning into stereotypes and accepting them.
But every cloud has a silver lining. One male survivor of domestic abuse admitted that seeing the case “lifted a weight off” his shoulders (NBC). And there are surely other male victims who are beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel, as our culture rustles awake to see that men can be victims as well as perpetrators, that women can be perpetrators as well as victims. And that perhaps, in our flawed human desires, we’re not so very different from each other after all.
One of our country’s most important freedoms is that of free speech.
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