Memes and movies mocking Amber Heard expose the “deep hatred” and mistrust of ladies in addition to revealing the prevalence of misogyny, consultants have warned.
Campaigners from main UK charities and consultants advised The Impartial viral on-line responses to the lawsuit between Johnny Depp and Ms Heard make clear how many individuals assume ladies who report home abuse and sexual violence are mendacity.
Mr Depp, a Hollywood actor, is at present embroiled in a high-profile defamation lawsuit in opposition to fellow actor and ex-wife Ms Heard in Virginia within the US. Mr Depp sued Ms Heard in March 2019, claiming a column she wrote for The Washington Publish about home abuse was defamatory and requested $50m in damages. Ms Heard submitted a $100m countersuit.
Though the article doesn’t embody any reference to Mr Depp, his authorized group argues the piece incorporates a “clear implication that Mr Depp is a home abuser”, which they preserve is “categorically and demonstrably false”. Ms Heard is giving testimony on Monday after the trial took a week-long hiatus.
Charlotte Proudman, a outstanding household regulation lawyer who specialises in gender-based violence, advised The Impartial: “The jokes, memes and abuse of Amber Heard exhibits how deeply entrenched misogyny is in our society. These individuals aren’t incels, they’re your brothers, your mates, even your father.”
An incel, which stands for a mixture of the phrases “involuntary” and “celibate”, is a heterosexual man who desperately needs to have intercourse with ladies however fails to take action, consequently heaping blame on ladies for their very own lack of ability to type sexual relationships. Jake Davison, a self-proclaimed Incel, shot six individuals useless in Plymouth final August – along with his mom and a three-year-old woman amongst his victims – earlier than aiming the gun at his personal head.
Dr Proudman added: “It’s by no means acceptable to snicker and mock a complainant of sexual violence. Let’s not neglect that Amber Heard was discovered by a Excessive Court docket Choose within the UK to be a sufferer of home abuse by the hands of Depp.
“The memes serve to undermine her, and in doing so, they ship out a robust message to survivors that in case you converse out, you might be laughed at, and ridiculed, this would possibly discourage ladies from looking for help from associates or household they usually is likely to be reluctant to report abuse to the police.”
Dr Proudman argued the memes mocking Heard “are pushed by misogyny” and “a deep hatred in the direction of ladies” as she argued individuals are conditioned and “socialised to hate ladies”.
“To imagine that girls lie, to help males and really feel empathy in the direction of abusers,” she added. “The Depp case exhibits this in a microcosm.”
Twitter and TikTok have been inundated with memes and lip-syncs mocking Heard’s testimony concerning the alleged violence and abuse she suffered by the hands of Depp – in addition to looking for to show she is mendacity. Whereas misinformation concerning the case has abounded on YouTube the place one-sided movies have offered an unbalanced depiction of the trial.
Hashtags concerning the Depp Heard case have clocked up billions of views on TikTok – with hashtags titled “AmberHeardIsAPsycho” or “AmberHeardIsALiar” gaining quite a lot of traction. Memes have additionally surfaced that actively salute the harrowing, violent messages which Depp despatched about Heard.
In a message to Paul Bettany in 2013, Depp stated: “Let’s burn Amber.” He added later: “Let’s drown her earlier than we burn her. I’ll f*** her burnt corpse afterwards to verify she’s useless.”
Discussing the response to the Depp Heard case on-line, Jessica Taylor, a outstanding psychologist who specialises in sexual violence and victim-blaming, advised The Impartial: “The disinformation movies are partly deliberate.
“And partly a by-product of televising a complete listening to whereby thousands and thousands of individuals can watch clips and photographs of Amber and scrutinise each breath she takes, usually utilizing completely debunked strategies which declare to have the ability to use physique language and eye contact to detect deception and manipulation.”
Dr Taylor argued the physique language being wielded “to sentence and scrutinise” Heard is “getting used to defend and help” Depp.
Dr Taylor, who examines the pathologisation of ladies in psychological well being settings, argued the case has “actually has introduced out the worst in individuals” and uncovered the stark “actuality of contempt in the direction of ladies” in addition to revealing the trivialisation of home violence.
The psychologist, beforehand a senior lecturer in Forensic and Criminological Psychology on the College of Derby, added: “It’s been televised as if it’s a actuality TV present, like leisure.
“Individuals are revelling within the particulars and the scrutiny. Each misogynistic trope attainable has now been utilised – and each lady who has ever been abused or been by means of a court docket course of like this – or is awaiting a case listening to – is watching on in horror.”
Dr Taylor defined hundreds of ladies have gotten in contact along with her concerning the case – noting the trial has fostered a “sense of disbelief”.
“Even some main home abuse campaigners and feminists have relentlessly mocked Amber Heard, and created narratives of ‘actual sufferer’ versus ‘not actual sufferer’ which has scared many ladies,” she added.
“They have a look at Amber and suppose ‘however, I might cry like that too’ or ‘however I might most likely be like that in court docket too’ – and realise that they don’t match the ‘excellent sufferer’ stereotype both.”
Dr Taylor famous ladies who’re at present awaiting case hearings in household court docket and felony court docket have advised her they’re contemplating “retracting or pulling out” after witnessing the web abuse and harassment of Heard.
“They’re frightened by the best way amber has been pulled aside, mocked and humiliated,” she stated. “They realise that if that might occur to a millionaire actress with a authorized group, something might occur to them as simply regular ladies attempting to navigate a court docket course of.”
Dr Taylor argued the “merciless memes” about Heard stem from the actual fact “society doesn’t imagine ladies, by no means has, and this trial has revealed these actual biases and lack of compassion nonetheless exist and nonetheless encourage thousands and thousands of individuals while they fake to help victims and girls.”
A spokesperson for Ladies’s Support, a number one home abuse charity, advised The Impartial home abuse ought to by no means be laughed about.
The consultant added: “A home abuse case getting used as leisure for memes and jokes is prone to have a long-term affect on how critically individuals take home abuse.
“We all know that home abuse is skilled by 1.6 million ladies a 12 months in England and Wales, and we solely ever know the tip of the iceberg, as many survivors by no means inform anybody what has occurred to them.”
Between two and three ladies are murdered every week by their companions or ex-partners in England and Wales.
Ruth Davison, chief govt of Refuge, the UK’s largest supplier of shelters for home abuse victims, stated: “When massive numbers of individuals are looking for to discredit or mock a lady speaking about her expertise of alleged abuse so publicly, considerations survivors could have about not being believed will probably be amplified.”
Whereas Rape Disaster England & Wales advised The Impartial producing memes and mocking a person’s expertise of sexual assault “minimises, trivialises and normalises sexual violence”.