I Believe Her
I thought a grown woman wrote a letter last week that put to rest speculations about whether or not her father, Woody Allen, sexually abused her.
I thought in the letter, 28-year old Dylan Farrow, wrote clearly about her life, father and the sexual assaults that happened when she was seven.
I thought the one person who knows best gave a first-person account.
Why don’t people believe her?
People aren’t saying directly, “Dylan Farrow is a liar,” instead, they are saying she believes she was abused even though she wasn’t which is so offensive and patronizing my head hurts.
Apparently, some believe the abuse is an idea, implanted so deeply into her brain that she doesn’t know she has been brainwashed. Apparently, she is a victim, just not of abuse but of stupidity or insanity or of mind control.
In other words, we don’t need to hear her experience of herself when we can make our own judgments or believe the spin of others. Just yesterday Woody Allen’s lawyer said Dylan is being used as Mia Farrow’s pawn. Notice how Allen’s lawyer didn’t say Dylan’s sister, Soon-Yi Previn, has also been brainwashed, exploited or is a pawn in Woody Allen’s twenty-year plot to protect his career and reputation.
And honestly, I’m glad people aren’t speaking for Soon-Yi Previn about her experience because she is a woman in her thirties who can and does speak for herself. She has been interviewed and said she never saw Woody Allen as a father figure. I believe her. That’s her experience she is talking about.
I also believe how pained and traumatized Mia Farrow’s other children were by their father’s relationship with Soon-Yi Previn. After all, she is their sister, was twelve when he met her at the start of his twelve-year relationship with Soon-Yi’s mother, Mia Farrow, who was their mother too.
The relationship between Woody Allen and Mia Farrow ended when Mia Farrow found “pornographic” (not my word but the words of the court in the ruling of Woody Allen’s custody appeal case) photos of Soon-Yi at Allen’s apartment. That is relevant because it those pictures, as well as concerns about his intense relationship with Dylan and then her disclosure which made Mia Farrow consider Woody Allen a pedophile.
When I read that Woody Allen said, just a few years ago, of his relationship with Soon-Yi Previn, which started when she was 19 or twenty, and him in his fifties, “What was the scandal? I fell in love with this girl, married her,” I felt sick. He still doesn’t seem to care about the pain he caused his own children and their siblings.
I know that Woody Allen denies the allegations. I know that one of her brothers believes her and another does not.
I believe Dylan Farrow is capable of knowing her experience and speaking about it with clarity. Her experience of herself and life is actually the most relevant one.
It was her I was thinking about when Woody Allen got a tribute at the Golden Globes. It is her I think about when I can’t watch his movies. When I hear people say he’s a genius or gets women, I don’t agree.
He doesn’t speak for me.
This isn’t fiction or a movie and we don’t get a vote in how it ends or need a director’s version of the story.Dylan talked about having been diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder not compulsive lying.
Woody Allen, the father she has accused, doesn’t get to direct her part.
He doesn’t get to tell Dylan Farrow how to play the role of his daughter.
He doesn’t get to tell the “audience” what her motives are or what her words really mean. He can speak to his experience of being her father. That’s it. He can’t speak for her.
I believe Dylan Farrow was abused because she said she was abused.
I have no reason to believe she is making it up. What she is saying is serious. Too serious to disregard as though it’s a political opinion from the side I didn’t vote for. A crime was committed against her which makes it more than an agree to disagree issue.
She knows best what happened in her body, house and childhood.
Her words, at least for me, are enough.
P.S. The Mama Bear Effect posted this link today from an article from 1976. In it, Woody Allen said, “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.” Allen pauses. “Nothing I could come up with would surprise anyone,”he ventures helplessly. “I admit to it all.” I admit that I had to go read the entire article to make sure it wasn’t out of context or in reference to a character. It wasn’t. He was talking about himself.
I guess I believe him too. Just not his denial.
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From Feb. 2014