TW: child sexual abuse, Woody Allen, victim-blaming, rape culture, non-flashy animated gif
(also still editing to add more links as I find them)
So the sketchy creepy slimy nasty history of Woody Allen and his behavior around his daughters has come up again, and out come the peddlers of false balance who want to show us all how morally and intellectually superior they are for refusing to form an opinion about the likelihood that Woody Allen was (and therefore still is) a child molester.
I am upset.
This business where everybody is determined to go through any mental gymnastics necessary to avoid even seriously considering that Woody Allen may in fact be EXACTLY the kind of guy who would do the things he’s been accused of doing by his child and those who believe her? This whole thing?
It makes me want to take a shit in a bunch of people’s souls, only instead of that smooth sliding noise a good deuce makes on its way to the water, it is screaming like a bottle rocket with all the harsh shrill dissonance of my rage. That is what it makes me want to do.
I just don’t get why Woody gets such effort on the part of uninvolved parties to bend over backwards to presume innocence no matter what it requires us to believe or disbelieve, but nobody is willing to give even a tiny fraction of that presumption of good faith to someone who claims they were molested as a child by a guy who has thrown up all kinds of other red flags.
Quick unscientific poll for those reading. Imagine you are a parent of, say, a nine year old. Your neighbor is this guy.
“I’m open-minded about sex. I’m not above reproach; if anything, I’m below reproach. I mean, if I was caught in a love nest with 15 12-year-old girls tomorrow, people would think, yeah, I always knew that about him.” (Source)
Maybe one of his children came to your house to tell you this.
You maybe ask him about this, and the best he’s got for you is, “Dylan’s mom is just mad that I cheated on her with her daughter. Her other one, I mean.”
You aren’t a court of law. You are neither his judge nor his jury. You are just someone making decisions about your own safety and the safety of children you (presumably, though if this is too hard please try to pretend) give a crap about.
Do you let him babysit your kid? Yes or no? If you would let him babysit your own child, you may want to close this tab, open Google, and pre-emptively report yourself to child protective services, because you are unfit to be responsible for the safety of minors.
Further reading: Woody Allen’s Good Name
We are in the midst of an ongoing, quiet epidemic of sexual violence, now as always. We are not in the midst of an epidemic of false rape charges, and that fact is important here.
Do not fucking forget it.
If you want to fight the evidence to a position of false balance, so that you can tell yourself there’s no way we can really know and that therefore there’s no reason to weigh the evidence at all, you’re doing it because you want to. It’s not that we can’t know; it’s that you don’t want to know. I sure hope that if this issue comes closer to your life that you’ll at least consider taking things a little more seriously. After all, what would make you believe a survivor of childhood sexual abuse?
This is the enduring story of rape culture, the eternal lie: Give us the perfect victim, and we will believe you! That’s all they’re asking for—just one perfect victim, and then we can talk about all of this rationally! Send us someone we don’t have so many concerns about! This is a great deceit, and it is borne out of a cultural narrative that has no place for listening, only a place for victim-blaming, only a place for reinforcing stories that do not too terribly upset our Friday night movie binges.
Until then, people who care are gonna keep being pissed at you. If you still don’t understand why, here’s some more reading: An open letter those who feel the need to defend Woody Allen to their feminist friends
Now get out.
Edit: Found more good stuff, like Everything You Need To Read About The Woody Allen Allegations Is Right Here (which is actually true!) and A thorough analysis of Woody Allen’s letter in the NYTimes, written after he finally responded to the reappearance of these accusations.
Disgusted yet? Try Why Defend Woody Allen? You’ll get there.