If you’ve watched reality TV or followed pretty much any mainstream celebrity drama where someone is clearly in the wrong over the past few years, you’re probably all too familiar with the expression “my truth.” No, not “the truth,” but “my truth.”
Truth is defined as the body of real things, events, and facts, also known as actuality, which is inherently objective. However, over the past few years I’ve noticed more and more people admitting that there is actual objective truth and then there is also their own subjective truth when using the expression “my truth.” Unfortunately, this has now become a widely accepted manipulation tactic in which someone can quite literally change the reality of a situation based on their own perception in order to avoid blame and even pin the blame on someone else. Case in point, we just witnessed this tactic in one of, if not the most high-profile celebrity defamation court case in history: Amber Heard vs. Johnny Depp.
#MeToo a.k.a. Women Can Lie Too
Just this week, a jury awarded Johnny Depp $15 million dollars in compensatory and punitive damages after he sued his ex-wife Amber Heard for defamation over a 2018 op-ed she wrote for the Washington Post, in which she vividly described the domestic abuse she endured from her ex-spouse. While she never explicitly named Depp in the article, it was blatantly obvious that she was referring to him. He claimed that it cost him lucrative acting roles which led to this high-profile celebrity court case that I believe single-handedly destroyed the popular notion that we should “Believe All Women,” no matter what.
Women are human beings, and all human beings are capable of lying and distorting the truth to fit their own narrative or to prove a point, whether or not the actual reality of a situation supports this narrative or point. The well-known “#MeToo” movement made waves a few years ago when many victims of sexual harassment and assault came forward to share their stories and enact social and legal change. While I believe many of these women were telling the truth and unfortunately endured these terrible injustices, I also believe many women took advantage of this situation and lied to paint themselves as victims for personal, political, and social gain.
Women are human beings, and all human beings are capable of lying and distorting the truth.
Unfortunately, as it can be difficult to prove assault without concrete evidence, it can also be very difficult to prove someone is lying, so I believe we must handle each situation differently, collect the facts that we can, and then ultimately draw a conclusion to determine who we should and should not believe because, unfortunately, people lie and people lie often. We can’t just use a blanket statement like “believe all women” when we don’t even know if all of these women are telling the truth to begin with.
Amber Heard’s “Truth”
Amber Heard is now a prime example of one of these women who twisted the actual truth to push her “own truth,” which turned out to be a lot of lies. Although this court case revealed actual video, audio, and testimonial evidence proving that Amber blatantly lied about much of the abuse she claimed to have endured, there are still many people and even publications defending her.
In the midst of Amber Heard’s reputation turning from domestic abuse victim to villainous liar in both the actual court and court of public opinion, Vogue released a very controversial article entitled “Why It’s Time To Believe Amber Heard.” The writer admits that while we may never know the absolute truth of the situation, we must believe Amber’s version of what happened because otherwise actual victims of domestic violence will be afraid to come forward if this notion of “believe all women” is proven to be faulty.
The writer admits, “Though I’ve felt myself veering toward it, I can no longer ‘both sides’ this. It’s time to draw a line. It’s time to believe women – all women. It’s time to believe Heard.” In other words, it’s more important to believe a lie that supports your political or social causes than it is to believe the actual truth, no matter what is at stake for the person being accused of such acts.
It’s important that we value facts and truth, and put our own biases aside when interacting with the world.
The Vogue article also states that “We certainly don’t want to believe that this entire court case is a precise and conniving operation in discrediting Heard, regardless of what she has to say, regardless of her truth.” This line truly makes my skin crawl because it essentially validates that you can ignore actual truth and reality in order to accept someone’s subjective and even false notion of truth and reality.
This is a dangerous manipulation tactic in which you can change a story and place unwarranted blame on someone else in order to avoid such blame yourself. To see such a large publication like Vogue that many impressionable young women read validate this tactic is not only concerning, but dangerous. I worry that Amber Heard is just one of many people who will get away with lying as long as they use “my truth” as a defense mechanism to cover up for their lies.
Saying “my truth” instead of “the truth” is an automatic sign that someone is not actually repeating the truth, but just their perception of it. I believe this is one of the most dangerous manipulation tactics that anyone, man or woman, can use to try to prove a point, whether that point is based in reality or not. It’s important that we value facts, truth, and even logic and put our own biases aside when interacting with the world around us.
We need to stop saying “my truth” or even allowing other people to say this expression, because the more it is socially accepted, the farther away from actual truth and facts we move as a society. The long term damage of more people constantly lying to push their own agenda could be substantially greater than a 15 million dollar defamation settlement and some juicy celebrity tabloids.
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