Amouranth Never Led Anyone On

Amouranth Never Led Anyone On

When it comes to abuse, society places an almost insurmountable burden of proof onto the victim. Over the weekend, Amouranth tearfully revealed that her husband had been systematically abusing her, and despite the impossible standards, she seemed to have incontrovertible proof. Recorded phone calls, screenshots, abusive text messages – the streamer had a lot of evidence. And still, it was not enough for some. Amouranth hits the trifecta for undeserved hate; she’s pretty, she’s a woman, and she’s a Twitch streamer. Even years of systematic abuse is clearly not enough to garner sympathy from the most toxic quarters.

The bar rises to always be just out of reach. If Amouranth had no screenshots, then that would have been the bar. If only she’d had screenshots, I’d have believed her. But once she shows them, it becomes ‘screenshots can be faked, where are the texts?’. Except she has texts too. “Texts can be faked, where are the recordings?’. She has recordings too. So now it’s ‘why did she stay?’, or ‘why did she lead fans on?’, or ‘she’s probably faking it for drama?’.

The fact is most people just want a reason to hate Amouranth. When she’s happy and successful, it’s easy. When she’s clearly the victim of prolonged and hurtful trauma, it’s far more difficult, but as trolls are proving, not impossible. The claim that Amouranth has been ‘lying’ is as ridiculous as it is pathetic. As she says while revealing her abuse, she wanted to stream with her husband rather than keeping him a secret, thinking it would make their relationship better. He was the one who refused, using her as a brand and a cash cow rather than a wife. Whatever her reasoning, Amouranth owes you nothing.

She is an entertainer and part-time sex worker. Any money or views or promotion you gave her was your choice because you liked what she was putting out into the world. You would never stop listening to your favourite musician if they got married, or stop watching your favourite actor in movies, but we view Amouranth and people like her all too often as commodities. And being single adds to the appeal. Being single is like dressing as a schoolgirl or being a virgin – it presents another layer of salaciousness. Amouranth says her husband forced her to hide their marriage because of the “business model”, and the reaction has proved him correct.

It’s less that these people thought they had a real chance with Amouranth and more it was part of the image they had built up of her. You know those porn stars aren’t really virginal schoolgirls. Had Amouranth revealed her marriage in a happy, lovey-dovey stream I think the reaction would have at least been a little more balanced. That it comes via tears and pain is harder to deal with. The illusion is shattered and you are forced to confront that Amouranth is a real person who exists away from a webcam, and in your discomfort you turn on her. She’s lying, she’s doing it for attention, anything it takes to not face the reality.

Amouranth is not the only streamer to have been met with toxicity and jokes in a situation that only deserves our sympathy. Adriana Chechik recently broke her back in two places at TwitchCon, but the initial reaction was full of jokes about her past as a sex worker.

Amouranth deserves nothing but sympathy and support in what is a hugely difficult time, but unfortunately, a loud minority of trolls are never going to give her it. Instead, she’s being accused of leading fans on. The waitress doesn’t want to date you just because she smiled at you. Amouranth is incredibly good at her job, and part of that job is forming a virtual connection and providing entertainment. You were never coerced into giving her money, she never promised to date you, she owes you nothing. In fact, she needs our help. And unfortunately, she’s unlikely to get it.

For all of her success, there has constantly been a toxic groundswell of animosity around Amouranth. Now, at her most vulnerable, this brigade of trolls has broken through. Amouranth is hurting, and appears to have been for some time. She deserves nothing but our support, and I hope our voices can drown the rest out.

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