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Amber Heard Is Mocked on TikTok: What Does This Say About Machismo Culture?

Amber Heard's recent statement has been the center of ridicule on the TikTok social network. While this may seem harmless, if we take a closer look, we will realize that this says a lot about the machismo culture that we are living in

Amber Heard

Photo: Law&Crime Network

LatinAmerican Post | Vanesa López Romero

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Leer en español: Amber Heard es la burla de TikTok: ¿Qué dice esto sobre la cultura machista?

The trial for defamation between Johnny Depp and Amber Heard has been one of the topics that have given the most to talk about, since it began, during the month that has passed, because it is a televised trial, its protagonists are celebrities, and because in court and in the media the main issue has been the alleged abuse perpetrated by both parties.

Throughout the trial, the opinions and reactions have not been long in coming and, of course, social networks are the meeting point for these, where one factor predominates: users defend Depp and accuse Heard, despite the fact that the Court doesn't determine yet if there was or was not abuse on both sides. For example, earlier this week Heard presented his statement, in which she spoke of the abuse he allegedly received from the actor. This statement led to a viral montage on TikTok. While this sounds very innocent, the part of the audio that is used is one in which the actress recounts how Depp hit her. To date, there are more than 16,000 videos that have used audio in the form of memes and mockery.

This is extremely worrying because it shows that, despite the fact that we believe that we are at a time when gender-based violence and machismo are more reported, it is still normalized for a woman to report an act of this type of violence, both so it gets to the point of taking it to a meme.

Also read: Johnny Depp vs. Amber Heard: celebrity trials in the digital age

The Two Sides of the Coin

In this situation, the question arises: why is Depp not the target of this type of ridicule? On the contrary, the actor is glorified and defended tooth and nail, and his productions show either a victim or a calm subject who is clearly relaxed during the sessions. This happens, perhaps, because the actor is recognized for having played one of Disney's most beloved characters, or because of his charismatic way of presenting himself to the media. But what makes him charismatic? A cynical and nonchalant attitude when explaining the text messages he sent to his family and friends in which he explicitly proposed to murder Heard and desecrate her body after burning it? Why are his statements, which can also become emotional and resort to pain, not replicated as a meme but as a reflection, as "violence against men exists"?

And it is that with this we are not denying that violence against men exists, that Depp is not a victim, or that Heard is not an abuser. It is enough to take your eyes off social networks and pay attention to the trial to understand that it is evident that both parties were both victims and victimizers. Although a conclusion has not been reached, it is what can be evidenced from the statements of witnesses and those involved.

What is problematic about all this is that the discourse of gender violence is being instrumentalized both by the former partner and by the media and social networks and that in this exercise it is evident that machismo continues to exist and continues to be strong and powerful. Heard is not becoming a meme because she is the victimizer, but because she is a woman because she has to lose because in these cases the woman must be the victim who suffers, singled out for not having left or spoken on time, or, on the contrary, and as is clear in this case, it must be the victimizer, the evil woman who made a poor man fall into her clutches who did not deserve what happened to him.

It is also evident, as in many other cases, that women are seen with a more critical and judging lens, and even one that can be mocked, unlike men. In this case, the man is just a funny character, charismatic and loved by the public, despite being as abusive as Heard herself.