Monday, June 06, 2016

Why we should be taking Amber Heard seriously

I'm not usually one to follow celebrity divorces closely because I don't honestly think the end of someone's marriage is any of my business. However in the past week, coverage of Johnny Depp and Amber Heard's divorce has been positively inescapable.

When the announcement first came out I didn't really think much of it except maybe a passing thought of "oh that didn't last long", but apart from that not much. It was when I heard about the lack of prenup and denial of spousal support from Depp that I started listening in; I wasn't listening because of the gossip but because the world was starting to be vile to Amber Heard and I was trying to figure out why. The financial aspect had her being called a gold digger and fame whore etc. because obviously Heard doesn't have as much money as one of the most famous men in the world. Just because her net worth is a fraction of his does not make her intentions gold digging; they were in a relationship for a good few years and then MARRIED so surely it's not strange for her to apply for spousal support? It doesn't seem very sketchy to me.

But money aside, it was the abuse allegations that caught my full attention. Actually scrap that. It was the media and world's reactions to the abuse allegations that caught my full attention. When a woman with a bruised face comes forward saying she was abused she should be met with compassion and concern for her well being - not headlines calling her a lying bisexual fame whore (I mean honestly what does her bisexuality have to do with it? Do we really have to be that bigoted and backwards?)

There are many skeptics out there who see Heard's not coming forward sooner about the abuse as a sure sign she is lying but it's no secret that many victims of abuse take a long time to say something about it or simply say nothing at all. Abuse from a loved one isn't the same as someone punching your arm in class and you raising your hand and telling the teacher on them right away. It's a deep betrayal for many people and can cause incredible psychological trauma. Add the fact you're married to an incredibly famous and one of the most adored men in showbiz and you have a very difficult situation on your hands. Amber Heard wouldn't just be telling the police about the abuse, she'd be telling the world because it's Johnny Depp and the press finds out everything. The world is a big audience to face and it doesn't surprise me one bit she didn't come forward before if it's true.

Society has a tendency to protect powerful men and a tendency to rip apart any woman or man who taints their perfect image in anyway. The Heard-Depp marriage seemed so unequal in terms of pay, fame and adoration and unfortunately as the lesser holder of each, Amber Heard has been demonized and dismissed rather than listened to and taken seriously. Women (and men), famous or not, should not instantly be assumed liars when they come forward about suffering abuse. Universal love and adoration doesn't make Johnny Depp incapable of such an act and most certainly should not make him immune the justice system but sadly, if in this case he is guilty, I feel as though he will be immune.

I'm not sure if he did it or not but I'm taking Amber Heard seriously because honestly, she shouldn't have to 'prove' she was abused because that is wrong on so many levels. The world will not accept taking her word for it because it's Johnny Depp. The world probably won't take Amber seriously unless some test that doesn't exist is taken to prove that bruise came from Depp's iphone and that saddens me greatly. It saddens me that society is still so unaccepting of reports of abuse in so many cases and until this changes, so many people will continue to suffer in silence.

1 comment

  1. Totally agree. I hated seeing that because I have always loved Johnny Depp (Pirates has been my favorite film since I was ten--my blog is even named after it) but I honestly completely believe Amber. Just because I love his work doesn't mean he is incapable of doing what so many men think they will get away with. The media has gone crazy against Amber, claiming that her sexuality is to blame for something like this happening to her. It's just insane how misogynistic this world is. Even Vanessa Paradis stepped out to defend Johnny, as if the fact that he was married to her and never hurt her means he never could. Johnny's a weird fucking dude and he always has been, and unfortunately, men have been raised to believe that they won't be punished if they take their anger and aggression out on those around them. Toxic masculinity which has led to the awful abuse of woman no one believes. It's just disgusting and Johnny is totally at fault.



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