How Johnny Depp Turned Abuse Allegations Into a Comeback

By 2018, Johnny Depp was bordering on irrelevancy—but he soon gained a tremendous fandom as a public trial unfolded, prompted by abuse allegations from his ex-wife Amber Heard. In December, Heard announced she would no longer be moving forward with her appeal because “cannot afford to risk an impossible bill—one that is not just financial, but also psychological, physical and emotional.”

Depp has paved a new path for accused men in search of cultural capital—and accomplished the very thing women throughout the ages have been baselessly accused of: leveraging victimhood to gain status. Depp, whose career was flailing, became not just a rallying cry for men’s rights and the supposed victimhood of being a successful, wealthy, white man in a changing world, but a newly hot commodity in Hollywood once again with a thriving fan base.

Sound the Alarm—Sweden Drops ‘Feminist’ and Returns to Mere ‘Foreign Policy’

While the Swedish government has reassured both domestic and international stakeholders that removing ‘feminist’ from the official description of its foreign policy will not affect its commitment to gender equality, there are many who mourn this change.

As feminist activists and officials working all over the world to advance this approach, we mourn the loss of the world’s first feminist foreign policy, an effort that has, in our view, had an important global impact.

Ms. Global: Protests Against Taliban Bans on Women’s Education; Iran Ousted From U.N. Panel; Increased Calls for Press Freedom in India

The U.S. ranks as the 19th most dangerous country for women, 11th in maternal mortality, 30th in closing the gender pay gap, 75th in women’s political representation, and painfully lacks paid family leave and equal access to healthcare. But Ms. has always understood: Feminist movements around the world hold answers to some of the U.S.’s most intractable problems. Ms. Global is taking note of feminists worldwide.

This month: Activists, students and professors protest the Taliban’s ban on female university students; Mexico’s Supreme Court and the country of Peru both get their first female president; a revised curriculum in South Korea removes reference to LGBTQ communities and “gender equality”; Brazilian women fight to end fatphobia; and more.

New U.S. Global Gender-Based Violence Strategy Says All The Right Things—But Action Is Next

On Dec. 12, the U.S. government launched its updated and long-awaited Strategy to Prevent and Respond to Gender-Based Violence Globally. On paper, the strategy looks great. But, as always, the questions we’re left with are: What does the U.S. government do with this document now? How is it implemented? Will funding increase and be sustained?

As the halfway mark of this administration’s current term approaches, we need to ensure that words are backed up with action.

On the Power of Choice and Imagination: The Ms. Q&A with ‘Women Talking’ Producer Dede Gardner

Already showing in select theaters and releasing nationwide on Jan. 27, Women Talking is both beautiful and harrowing: an ideologically captivating drama about how a group of women with very little agency navigate making a choice that will have profound effects on their lives, their children’s lives and their community. This extraordinary film features an equally extraordinary ensemble cast, including Rooney Mara, Claire Foy, Jessie Buckley and Judith Ivey, with Ben Whishaw and Frances McDormand.

The film takes place in 2010 in an isolated religious community, where it’s been discovered that men and boys have been drugging and raping the women and girls while they sleep; the story concentrates on the small group chosen to make a crucial decision for all the women and girls in the colony: stay and fight back, or leave. Ms. had the opportunity to speak with producer Dede Gardner about her work on the film and its reflection of the power of community, of choice, and of imagination.

How We Avoid the Rise of Another ‘Andrew Tate’

Most of Andrew Tate’s alleged criminal conduct took place in private. But his rise to fame—or infamy—took place in full public view. It is important to understand how and why all of this happened. Here are four “teachable moment” topics raised by the Andrew Tate saga:

1. Tate’s normalization of misogyny harms girls and young women.
2. The ideal of “manhood” Tate promotes harms boys and young men.
3. 3. For many uninformed young men, feminism is a hostile philosophy and feminists are caricatured villains.
4. There is a strong connection between misogyny and right-wing politics.

Denying Access to Abortion Is Femicide

It has been just over two years since the imposition of a near-total ban on abortion across Poland. The ban removed almost all conditions in which a woman can access abortion care, leaving millions of women in the dark when it comes to deciding what happens to their bodies. 

It is more critical than ever that we stand up to support access to life-saving abortion care, especially those with the power to liberalize laws. There are millions of lives depending on it. 

Andrew Tate as a Teachable Moment

Andrew Tate has been called “The King of Toxic Masculinity.” TikTok videos that feature him or his ideas have received an estimated 11.6 billion views. But many of his most controversial—and widely shared—pronouncements are those about women.

He says he dates women aged 18–19 because he can “make an imprint” on them. He said women in heterosexual relationships “belong to the man.” He once lectured a group of young women that their career aspirations don’t matter and that the “happiest women” have children and a man who is paying their bills. Tate has helped to normalize expressions of overt misogyny.

War on Women Report: Abortion Unavailable in 14 States; Harvey Weinstein Is Guilty; Tucker Carlson Named ‘Misinformer of the Year’

U.S. patriarchal authoritarianism is on the rise, and democracy is on the decline. But day after day, we stay vigilant in our goals to dismantle patriarchy at every turn. The fight is far from over. We are watching, and we refuse to go back. This is the War on Women Report.

This month: WNBA star Brittney Griner is home; abortion is unavailable in 14 states, the number of women experiencing police force is rising; Harvey Weinstein was found guilty of sexual assault; Fox News star Tucker Carlson was named ‘Misinformer of the Year;’ and more.