Saturday, June 25, 2022

Emmy Griffin: Toxic Feminism in Hollywood

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If feminism was ever rooted in something good, it has long since strayed from that path. Today’s particular wave of feminism has created man haters and abusers. The person who is in the spotlight now is actress Amber Heard.

Heard is the ex-wife of actor Johnny Depp, and he’s suing her for defamation. To understand the undertones at play in this all-too-public imbroglio, we need to grasp their relational timeline.

They were married in 2015 and divorced in 2016. In the divorce, Heard cited domestic abuse as well as substance abuse (the domestic abuse allegation is key since this was during the height of the #MeToo movement). Heard and Depp came to a settlement out of court. In 2018, Heard published an exposé of sorts in The Washington Post claiming she was a victim of domestic violence. While it doesn’t name Depp directly, the allegation was clear. Depp sued Heard for defamation and loss of work as a result — the biggest loss was his role as Captain Jack Sparrow in Disney’s “Pirates of the Caribbean” franchise. The trial began on April 12 of this year. One of the biggest moments so far was an audio clip presented as evidence in which Heard is berating Depp for being a baby about her hitting him. Many other instances have come to light that paint Heard as the actual abuser in the relationship.

So far, the evidence and testimony at trial have revealed Heard to be manipulative, violent, and hateful toward her former spouse and potentially other male partners in her past. This is hardly surprising in a culture where women are told they are oppressed by men. Political pundit Liz Wheeler says: “The feminists tell us that feminism is about achieving equality under the law for women first, and then equality of opportunity. They want equity, in a sense, for women. … They say it’s not about man hate, not about degrading men, but clearly it is.”

With the equity idea thrown into an already warped perspective, today’s feminists believe that men can’t be victims of abuse because they have all the power. It fertilizes the ground for these women to take advantage of the system. As Wheeler put it, “Amber Heard, even though she was physically beating Johnny, there’s video proof showing her admitting this — ‘It’s not abuse’ — because she wasn’t in a position of power.”

Wheeler also cites other famous women taking advantage of the current zeitgeist of feminism such as actresses Jada Pinkett Smith and Meghan Markle.

Actor Will Smith made headlines not too long ago for slapping comedian Chris Rock for making a joke about his wife, Jada. Later, video surfaced of Jada videoing Will in their home against his wishes. This manipulative display on Jada’s part shows a degree of toxic feminism in an effort to exploit Will’s name and image for her own advantage. In doing so, she attempts to shame him.

Meghan married a British prince. Instead of assimilating into the royal family, she accused the royal family of racism and took her husband back with her to the States, isolating him from his family. This sort of feminism destroys families.

Yet another example is the women on the U.S. national soccer team and their recent “victory” of getting equal pay. They reached an agreement in which the women and men’s teams will split World Cup bonuses. This in spite of the fact that the women’s team has a significantly lower viewership and revenue. In a way, this is the exact same form of toxic feminism playing out again. The men “hold the power” (i.e., they have more viewers and therefore more revenue in the prize pot), so giving the women’s team half their bonuses isn’t considered abuse.

This idea of equity as an equalizer for power imbalance is rife with abuse. And toxic feminism, if not consistently called out and opposed, will only get worse.

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