By Vanessa Ifepe
A pop star by the name of Melanie Martinez was accused of rape by her former friend Timothy Heller, a former member of the band Dresses. This accusation was said against her on Monday and quickly after, she sent a tweet out to her followers stating the accusations were a lie and Heller agreed to what had taken place. The next day, Heller told Newsweek that she thinks Melanie became aware of the pending accusation a month before which when Timothy sent out a tweet saying she was debating telling her story.Melanie tried to contact her numerous times probably for the purposes of keeping her quiet. Although a truly horrendous story, it brings up a conversation that isn’t had enough. It speaks the hidden truth, women can be abusers too.
With all the recent sexual assault allegations in Hollywood, we only see men being accused for this horrible crime but the reality is, an abuser has no gender. Anyone is able to be a perpetrator just like anyone can be a victim. Heller even explains in the Newsweek article that she didn’t come forward because the fact that Melanie wasn’t a man made her feel like her experience was invalidated. When reading all the abuse stories under the tag #metoo, she couldn’t determine whether her story was classified as abuse. This is the problem with our society. We assign gender to everything and when something does not go the way society views it, we see it as impossible. This should not be the case. Just like many other sexual assault victims, Heller loved Melanie even after it happened and felt that it was her duty to protect her by keeping the incident a secret.
“Girls can rape girls,” Heller wrote in her testimony on twitter, “best friends can rape best friends.” Melanie took advantage of her during her weakest point and tried to make up for it by helping further her career in little ways. She let Melanie abuse her because she loved her, because she felt she owed her and mainly, because she just wanted it to stop. This is the underlying tone of so many other victims stories and it’s sad to admit that, the people who you love can hurt you the most. It doesn’t matter who they are or what gender they identify as, they can hurt you. In the words of Heller, friendship does not equal consent. Family members do not obtain automatic consent either. It’s important to understand that anything that violates you or makes you feel uncomfortable in ANY way, is NOT okay.
Melanie had the audacity to contact Heller shortly after saying that she should go meet a healer. If the allegations are true, that’s such q cruel thing to say to someone whose pain you caused! How convenient to be concerned about the friend you cut off ties with after they accuse you of rape.
I am so happy that Timothy was inspired by the recent sexual assault accusations and came out with her own story. It angers me that people would abuse someone’s trust is such a way and then pretend as if the emotional toil that comes after is not their fault. It saddens me that this story may get neglected and skipped over just because the accused is a women. The world shouldn’t be like this. This shouldn’t be assigned to a gender, it just doesn’t make any sense to me why the world operates this way. I encourage everyone who reads this to follow up on this story, read Timothy’s testimony on twitter and remember that, women can be abusers too.
I know fans of hers may be reluctant to believe these allegations and I get it. Nobody wants to believe someone they look up to would do something so horrible but I encourage you to set aside your bias and focus on the important message behind this allegation.
Nabaum, Alex. “Abuse.” theispot Stock, https://www.theispot.com/stock/search?search_stock=Abuse&search_stock_match=all&stock_subject=&stock_type=. Accessed 19 Dec. 2017.