When women are abused on screen — and how that shapes opinions about whose stories we believe in real life

Last week, Slate ran a story about a recently ousted White House aide and this was the headline: “Rob Porter’s History of Domestic Abuse Wasn’t a Secret. It’s Just That No One Cared.”

My mind immediately went back to a year ago, when the HBO series “Big Little Lies” premiered. I remember the preponderance of reviews — written by male critics — dismissing the show as soapy melodrama dressed up as prestige TV. And I wanted to go back and remind myself of the ways these cultural arbiters, with their influential platforms, engaged with the show’s portrayal of domestic violence.

“Do something!”

It’s what Americans plead after each successive mass slaying — in Newtown, in Orlando, in Sutherland Springs — sickened by the ease with which one man with a gun can massacre dozens of people