Opinion — What about #HimToo?

After the verdict came in from the Depp/Heard defamation trial, there was this influx of media articles and podcasts questioning the validity of the #MeToo Movement. These same recycled headlines followed former Governor Andrew Cuomo when he decided to fight back against sexual harassment accusations that forced his resignation. Is the #MeToo movement finished? How could a woman ever come forward again with her alleged abuse knowing her abuser will only try to discredit her publicly? How would the public react to her account of events? Will her accusations be challenged? Well, legally, yes. The definition of an allegation is “ a claim or assertion that someone has done something illegal or wrong, typically one made without proof.” Ladies, feel free to come forward with your accusations, but be prepared for questions. Questions about the timing of events or possible motives. It’s not just about you. If a man came forward those questions would still happen. But, you have to realize these political movements have very little to do with a court of law, and we should be grateful for that. Why? We can’t allow the court of public opinion to rule our court system.

If you are disappointed that Amber Heard’s account became blurry, you’re not alone. When Amber Heard first came forward with her abuse claims, the world rallied around her in support, which was the social media plan. She became one of the most vital voices of the #MeToo movement. Her accusations against Johnny Depp were repulsive, but can I ask you a question? Why are we so quick to believe her? Why did we automatically assume Johnny Depp did something wrong? Why were we so quick to believe Andrew Cuomo did something awful to these young women? It’s not so black-and-white-men bad; women good. Men lie. Women don’t. You submit a biased narrative by only presenting the one side — Believe ALL WOMEN. That is what those people say on social media, right? Ok, I guess that’s it. Case done. Good night, everyone.

The Depp/Heard defamation trial brought details of their incredibly toxic relationship that you wish you didn’t know. Did Amber Heard defecate on the bed? Did Amber cut off a piece of Depp’s finger? And what about all those texts that make me wonder if Depp is into necrophilia. Oh, Lord. I might never look at either one of them the same way. This case wanted you to know all the possible scenarios. Depp did raise his voice, but what was the context of the conversation? There was a video of Depp slamming drawers and cabinets that Heard took. She claimed it was in one of his drug-induced fits. However, he said that Heard had a smirk on her face while the video was recording. Maybe she was baiting him? Depp’s attorneys played audio of Heard admitting she hit Depp at least one time that we know about, but it could have been more. We don’t know for sure. Listening to his statement of events, Depp may have been the victim of abuse, and Heard manipulated the public perception of him to make herself look like a martyr for the #MeToo Movement. You can never know all sides of the story, and that’s the problem with our media at times. They want you to believe the one side — the poor defenseless woman who this big, evil man had wronged. But what if it was the other way around? What if the accused man is telling the truth?

Did the #MeToo movement become affected by the outcome? I hope so. We need it to become more balanced. I never liked how the mantra became “Believe All Women.” Women are not always the victim; sometimes, she is the abuser. False allegations come up all the time, yet we’re supposed to believe her because she recounts a story of abuse. Didn’t Black Wall Street go up in flames because a white woman accused a black man of rape? The truth was he never even touched her. So, is the #MeToo movement about believing all women, or is it about believing all celebrity women? At this point, I don’t know, and I feel it has lost all meaning. Wasn’t this movement supposed to be a safe place for everyone (women and men) to discuss when they were abused or harassed? Are there only certain voices that we’re supposed to be listening to? I never liked how the media and politicians manipulated it into a patriarchal device to divide men and women further, or should I say, the left from the right.

I believe women have the right to come forward. I think men should, too. It’s not like abuse can’t happen to men. It’s not like women can’t lie. If the truth is on your side, one would think that there wouldn’t be any issues. I wish it were that simple. Unfortunately, in the age of social media, anyone can post a claim of harassment. Not everyone is honest, but the press automatically jumps on it as if it IS the truth. The patriarchal stereotypes of men say they aren’t allowed to show emotions; women are. If a woman abuses a man, he must stay quiet, or his friends might question his masculinity. That doesn’t seem fair. Isn’t that the same for a woman? She feels she has to keep quiet because of how she might be perceived. The shameful part of all this is how society still makes people feel like they are less than human because they are not fulfilling the stereotype of their respective gender. Did we learn anything from this? No. The media will still politicize the #MeToo movement — BELIEVE ALL WOMEN! It should be about knowing abuse could happen to anyone at any time. It should be about empowering people to come forward. So, did Johnny Depp (or Andrew Cuomo) manipulate the #MeToo movement? No. He wanted his side heard, too.

Originally published at https://mersuniverse.wordpress.com on June 9, 2022.

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