This past week has been a break in the headline-making trial between Johnny Depp and Amber Heard, but as we gear up for the second week of testimony, I know I’m not the only one who has seen aconcerning trend online.
If you’re like me, you’ve been following along with the trial as best you can. And while I expect articles and recap videos to pop up on social media, I’ve been shocked with how many posts and comments I’ve seen largely in support of one side while the other is mocked and ridiculed. And I’m not alone in seeing that.
No matter your beliefs on the trial, my colleague Alia E. Dastagir spoke to experts on the danger of turning an alleged victim of domestic violence into a villain:
The loudest voices on the internet may not believe Heard. But millions of women experience what she describes. When people mock her, experts say they’re inadvertently laughing at every person who says they are a victim of abuse. The 1 in 4 women who have experienced intimate partner violence are watching, listening and weighing the cost of voice.
“In the commentary, it’s almost as if people are forgetting that this is real life, that this is not a show that we’re all watching,” said Laura Palumbo, communications director at the National Sexual Violence Resource Center. “Many victims of domestic violence and sexual assault will go into a courtroom at some point and have an experience that is largely outside of their control, in a setting like this.”
Experts say public reaction to the defamation trial is triggering survivors and perpetuating stereotypes that muddle the cultural conversation on domestic violence, which still hasn’t had its own #MeToo moment. They suspect the case will contribute to silencing victims who worry about being disbelieved.
To read Alia’s full story, click here.
The dangers of dating as an Asian American woman
In honor of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, my colleague Jenna Ryu explored the dangers of dating as an Asian American woman, including the fetishization that can come along with it. Here’s an excerpt of her story:
For centuries, Asian American women have faced a lose-lose situation when it comes to desirability: They’re either labeled as undesirable according to Eurocentric beauty standards or gaslit into believing that fetishization is flattery. But like racial violence and discrimination, the sexualization of Asian women can lead to dangerous – even deadly – consequences.
“The idea that Asian women are desirable and exotic and passive isn’t just an innocent stereotype or a desirable trait to envy,” says Nancy Wang Yuen, a sociologist and author of “Reel Inequality.” “The shadowed side of that is they then become targets of hate, sexual violence and physical violence when they aren’t perceived as fully human and deserving of rights to be safe.”
With the rising popularity of Asian pop culture in America (as seen by critical praise for Pixar’s “Turning Red” and Netflix’s “Squid Game”), people seem more open-minded and appreciative. But not everyone has good intentions.
“In my experience, the people who give these comments (fixated on race) aren’t actually interested in (me),” Karina Chan, a 23-year-old from the Bay Area, says. “They just want to flirt with an Asian woman. It’s the feeling that you’re being treated like a body to be conquered that makes this kind of attention so repulsive.”
To read Jenna’s full article, click here.
My partner hates my friends. What should I do?
As an adult, maintaining relationships can be challenging enough without friends disliking our partner.
But what if our significant other doesn’t like our friends? Sara Kuburic, the Millennial Therapist, explains that it happens, and it’s OK.
She says it’s unrealistic to expect your partner to like them just as much as you. And while it can complicate social gatherings, it doesn’t have to be a deal-breaker.
If you find yourself stuck in a similar situation, here are a few tips:
Have a chat. Ignoring any problem or concern is seldom helpful. So have a conversation about it. Instead of immediately getting defensive, worried, giving ultimatums or rushing to solutions, get curious, and take time to hear your partner out.
Set a boundary. Even if your partner doesn’t like your friend(s), it can be helpful to set boundaries around how your significant other speaks about them. Ensuring that your friends are always discussed respectfully can be a worthwhile boundary to avoid unnecessary conflict or hurt feelings. There is no reason for your partner to use degrading or disrespectful language when speaking about the people you care about.
Address the tension. If the dislike is tangible, it might be time to address it head-on with your friend and partner (separately). Sharing your feelings and thoughts can help them become more aware of how their behaviors are impacting you, and how to move forward. Of course, we cannot control or force anyone to get along, but we can suggest some easy ways for them to make peace. Remember, give them some time and an opportunity to change their dynamic.
To read the full list of advice, click here.
Meet Kirby (8 weeks old) and Chester (2 years old).
“(They) are best friends already,” reader Laura Hildebrand wrote. “They play together and snuggle together all day long!”
If you’re a longtime newsletter reader, you may remember we first met Chester in February 2021 when Laura brought the floppy-eared gentleman home as a comforting pandemic puppy. We love seeing him grown up! And Kirby has got to be one of the cutest puppers I’ve ever seen – what an adorable pair!