An Open Letter to Those Defending Woody Allen

When I read the article by Dylan Farrow, I was shocked at her bravery, honesty and resiliency.  I was surprised at how she was willing to stand up against someone who is revered by our society as a talented artist.  However, I was more shocked by those who are willing to defend Woody Allen, a man who has been accused of child sexual abuse by one adopted daughter and married the other one.  The myriad of reasons for this defense show a complete lack of understanding for the complex trauma of a child sex abuse victim.  Let’s discuss some of those reasons:

1.  She is lying because she wants attention.  As a survivor of child sex abuse, sometimes I am asked if I want to be on television or in the newspapers.  In reality, I do want to be on television or in the newspapers.  But I don’t want to talk about my childhood story of pervasive sexual abuse and trafficking.  I want be on television because I have won the Nobel Peace Prize or cured cancer.  Nobody wants to talk about being victimized, but there is a longing deep inside of a sex abuse survivor to speak the truth.  In many cases, speaking the truth may be necessary to heal from the abuse.  In some cases, speaking the truth may bring about the justice that was evasive for so long.  It is not about attention.

      2.  She is lying because she wants money.  I don’t know about Dylan’s financial situation.  She is the daughter of Mia Farrow, so she is probably not starving or homeless.  However, I can speak to my own situation.  When I choose to speak out against my abuser, money never crossed my mind.  I thought about my father fulfilling the thousands of death threats from my childhood.  I thought about retaliation toward my children.  I thought about all the nasty comments from people like you.  I thought about being excluded from my extended family for the rest of my life.  But the money wasn’t a consideration.  If you have lived a normal life without abuse, money might drive your decisions, but for me, avoiding death is pretty high on my list of priorities.

      3.  She wanted it.  This is probably the most ridiculous of all the defenses.  Children are not sexual beings.  They are not “promiscuous”.  They don’t wonder how long they have to wait until someone invades their private parts again.  Depending on their age, they may not even know what sex is, or that they are having it.  They may know that this is a form of attention or affection, possibly the only form that this adult is capable of providing.  But I guarantee they are not enjoying themselves.  They are scared.  They are children.  They want to play.  They want to learn.  They want to have innocent and trusting relationships with adults.  They don’t want to have sex.

        4.  He could not possibly sexually abuse.  He is too talented to do that.  As a society, we love to profile the pedophile.  It gives us all a collective sigh of relief if we can say, without any doubt, this is what a pedophile looks like.  I have some unfortunate news for society.  I was raped by a banker, a Colonel in the Air Force, a car salesperson, a housing contractor, and many other people who purchased me with their middle-class, college-level incomes.  I was never sexually abused by a creepy homeless person lurking in the bushes.  It didn’t happen.  That is not what pedophiles look like.  They are everywhere.  They are talented artists.  They are successful business people.  They are military personnel.  Stop putting your comfort level above the truth.  The truth is never comfortable.

      5.  In a court of law, he would be innocent until proven guilty.  This is true … in a court of law.  But there are rarely witnesses in sex abuse cases.  It is the child’s word against the adult’s word.  In our society, most are willing to believe an adult over a child.  In the cases where the adult is particularly famous or powerful, the child is even less likely to be believed.  In some cases, like the Allen case, justice may be avoided completely because of the defendant’s status but be disguised as benefiting the accuser.  “We are saving her from a nasty trial and the publicity that will follow.”  But in reality, children don’t lie about this.  They don’t make up sexual abuse.  They have no reason to make it up.  They want to be validated.  They want to be supported.  In a court, an abuser may be innocent until proven guilty.  But this is not a court room.  This is a child’s life.

Dylan Farrow is an adult.  She can take some harassment and intolerance because she has a support network and coping skills.  She will find a way to deal with the “Woody Allen defenders” though it won’t be without pain.  But if you don’t believe her, what does that mean for the abused child who might choose to come to you for help?  Will you stay in your comfortable world where bad things don’t happen to children unless they ask for it, want attention or hang out in dangerous locations?  If a child comes to you about their abuse, will you allow that child to continue experiencing trauma without support?  Will you make a difference by changing your understanding, no matter how uncomfortable?  Or will you perpetuate the pervasive scourge of child sexual abuse for yet another generation?

2/7 Correction: Soon-Yi and Dylan were not Woody Allen’s adopted daughters.  They were Mia Farrow’s adopted daughters.  Woody Allen was not their father.  He was their father figure.

Advertisements

84 thoughts on “An Open Letter to Those Defending Woody Allen

      • I never liked his movies. I thought he and the movies were kind of creepy. just a weird feeling about this guy. And then when he had sex with his adopted daughter and later married her, that set something off. I was young, so maybe my intuition told me something.
        What an ugly creepy pervert. I hope he suffers in prison or hell.

        Like

      • Reblogging and tweeting. Such a good piece with truths about abuse and abusers. I was abused by a policeman, known by all as an upright, honest, hard-working member of our community! Paedophiles are everywhere waiting for their opportunities to groom and abuse children and most live in a state of denial, exactly as Allen is doing and will continue to do.

        Like

  1. This is so good. I just read about Woody Allen last night. All I could think is that if he married his adopted daughter, wouldn’t that alone send warning bells off to the world that something is very wrong. He most likely groomed/brainwashed and abused her too. How sad. How sad the way society thinks. Thank you for making a difference!

    Like

  2. Many years ago I heard of Woody Allen and his relationship with his ‘step-daughter’ and I knew that I knew he had been up to no good… but he seemed to dodge a bullet…but now coming to light again…. It made me more than sad..it made me mad! Diane

    Like

  3. Child sexual abusers rarely answer for what they’ve done, doesn’t matter if their rich, famous or whatever. The child bears the pain and trauma of the experience(s) until they’re strong, and aware, enough to seek help. Sadly many never do and continue to suffer. Meanwhile, the abusers keep on abusing creating more traumatized children who grow into angry, confused teenagers who grow into dysfunctional adults, some of whom will perpetuate the cycle. I wish Dylan Farrow well and hope she has the support she’ll need to weather this ordeal. … And thank you for being brave enough to talk about this.

    Like

    • Thank you Dorothy! Exactly accurate. My father is not famous, but he loves to exert power to make others scared of him. Up to now, he has not answered for his abuse. However, that may change.

      Like

  4. He’s a sick bastard for marrying an adopted daugher. Some will say, “well she’s not his real daughter”. To them I say, Bull Shit. She is his legal daughter. Her Real father people. He has crossed a serious line with this daughter so he has shown that he is not worried about crossing the line with his children. That doesn’t make him guilty. It does speak volumes about his character or lack of it. Most people don’t seem to want to believe CSA is the monster that it is much less want to think a star is capable of commiting it. People will turn a blind eye to this until the get hit in the face with it, when it hits them in their family, when it is their child, when it is to late to stop it. There is so much take could be done. If every person with a child, cares for a child, teaches a child, protects a child, if every last one of us stood up and told every elected official that enough is enough. Get off your collective ass’s and change the laws. Make the punishment so severe and unforgiving that others will stop and rethink touching a child. Get laws passed that set a minimum federal set of standards. Make it so the offender can be prosecuted by county, then by state, and then by federal court. I have talked to Congressman Jeff Miller of Florida and was told by him personally he would check into what the Dept.of Justice would say needed to be done to make a national standard. That was years ago with no contact since. This is common for what I have gotten from Florida Legislators. Lots of words, no action.
    As for all of thosethat want to defend Woody Allen, take your daughter over to his house and let him baby sit yours kids if you think he’s so wonderful. Just in case you didn’t recognize it, that was sarcasm, don’t let him sit for your kids.

    Like

    • I really like that. I have had people tell me they weren’t sure if I was abused by my father, but they would not leave their children with him. What does that say right there?

      Like

  5. Nobody is above the law and sex abuse of a 7 year old is most definitely a crime and heinous. The worse betrayal of trust from your adopted father. I salute Mia Farrow for believing Dylan at the time and fighting her corner. I salute Dylan for her courage and for speaking out.

    Being sexually abused as a child is not something you boast about so why would you make it up to get attention?? Being ‘talented’ or famous is irrelevant. Hitler was highly intelligent but evil beyond words. Does it mean you can go round murdering people, it is a ridiculous argument.

    Like

  6. I am worked up about this news as well, it brought back all the buried ugliness from over 50 years ago. People need to believe, not doubt chldren. She was very strong to come out again, and your words speak many truths. I only hope someone will finally listen

    Like

  7. Thank you so much for posting this! I, too, was sickened by the comments I’ve read in support of Woody Allen. Sometimes I just don’t understand people — I really don’t. I guess it’s far easier to turn your head to a crime such as child sexual molestation and pretend it doesn’t exist than it is to believe the one who has lived with trauma and pain all of her life due to the most despicable wrongs committed on her.

    I’m mad. I can’t stand to look at Woody Allen. I didn’t watch his movies before this, and I surely never will now. I hope (and pray) that his day of justice will come!

    Just as an FYI, I was married for almost forty years o a pedophile who was molesting little girls. I had no idea, and I’m sick about that. Molesters are smart. They’re brilliant liars. And, they know how to build a world of followers. My ex-husband was loved by our entire community. But, thanks to the bravery of two little girls speaking up, he is now serving 30 – 60 years in prison (where he belongs).

    I hope Woody Allen is his cell mate.

    Like

  8. I read the article by Dylan Farrow and commend her. May your Blog reach all those who would benefit from your story. Excellent Blog!

    Like

  9. Thank you so much for this. It is about time society realised the seriousness of child sexual abuse and the implications for future generations each time people turn a blind eye. Well done to Woody Allen’s daughter. Every time someone is courageous there is hope and one day society will have to listen, I believe one day so many of us will be speaking up that society will have to begin to take notice.
    Thanks so much for all you are doing.

    Like

  10. The case of Woody Allen is this — yes, he has talent but that does not exonerate him from his crimes rather so it shows the full potential of his ability to seduce young children into thinking they are being loved, hello Humbert Humbert by Nabokov exhibited societal excellence and good erudition but really he was hurting Lolita and Lolita for a time did not know. Unfortunately she just wanted to be close to her ‘father’ and thought sex was an ok way to gain that intimacy as he imposed it on her too so she thought that was the way people got close for he made it seem so. Children may or may not have sexual desires but they are nascent not developed nor can you, as paedophiles want to do, train them (yuck). Children will grow and will have their own wants and needs and soon they will recognize you as a bastard. From what I figured a) paedos wanna just do kids — they are, from what I saw, not really interested in adults and even if they remotely like adults they might only like ones they think are like kids :/ this is very diverse statement from my POV meaning that one may be childish but has other elements of maturity and restraint in him/her but the paedo won’t like those parts and b) paedos have a history they want only young people because of some demented “love” when it’s actual just libido they feel to do only kids.

    And you are right. No paedo is a fixed case like no serial killer is. That jerk Ted Bundy looked relatively normal so did people like Jeffrey Dahmer so please don’t label a type but their might be symptoms of such cases and that ‘s how profilers try to work at times. What other people don’t realize is this Woody Allen also betrayed the trust of his wife Mia Farrow. How would you feel if you saw your spouse choose your offspring instead of you in the most bizarre ways imaginable — you thought they treated your offspring as their offspring too but as a romantic liaison? It feels kinda shocking especially when they feel they didn’t do you any wrong and that is how men and women feel when they trusted you so much but instead you decide to break their trust and then just attack them again by saying they are the ones in the wrong. At least be human enough to tell the truth. I know sometimes we are attracted to young people but the context and execution counts a lot so don’t just think he is an actor he is a good guy. Many actors have really bad personalities in more ways than one.

    Like

    • Thank you for your thoughts. I agree. I thought your comment about pedophiles only wanting the immature was fascinating, as my father was married to my mother, who was traumatized as a child, and therefore not fully matured.

      Like

      • Well, I just thought about it; paedos at the end of the day are stupid Elisabeth they want parts of people and not whole people as in not people themselves for example I can be immature and childish and my boyfriend can be a teen (just saying) but there is a difference in someone dating me for ONLY my immaturity so that they can control me and me ONLY going after someone like Humbert Humbert for their “teen-ness” you get what I am saying. I can’t date a teen thinking oh so young and yuck and basically I can’t just randomly date a teen person in general for their youth :/ that has fucked up (sorry for language) smeared all over it. I mean any love has both bouts of insanity but also a great range of reason nor else why would Shakespeare say there is a method to the madness concerning how Hamlet was acting?

        You should read this blog http://aussalorens.com/2013/10/16/ex-boyfriend-is-stalking-me/ Aussa Lorens may be young but she is like in her twenties and even she faced an abusive older boyfriend who was dating as she said older than her mom and her at the same time :/ I was hey cretin what gives? Not to mention that guy was really mean to her and yeah warning it has some triggers language 😦

        Like

  11. Reblogged this on Iconography ♠ Incomplete and commented:
    This article is important and I really think people should read it. My comment was this:

    “The case of Woody Allen is this — yes, he has talent but that does not exonerate him from his crimes rather so it shows the full potential of his ability to seduce young children into thinking they are being loved, hello Humbert Humbert by Nabokov exhibited societal excellence and good erudition but really he was hurting Lolita and Lolita for a time did not know. Unfortunately she just wanted to be close to her ‘father’ and thought sex was an ok way to gain that intimacy as he imposed it on her too so she thought that was the way people got close for he made it seem so. Children may or may not have sexual desires but they are nascent not developed nor can you, as paedophiles want to do, train them (yuck). Children will grow and will have their own wants and needs and soon they will recognize you as a bastard. From what I figured a) paedos wanna just do kids — they are, from what I saw, not really interested in adults and even if they remotely like adults they might only like ones they think are like kids :/ this is very diverse statement from my POV meaning that one may be childish but has other elements of maturity and restraint in him/her but the paedo won’t like those parts and b) paedos have a history they want only young people because of some demented “love” when it’s actual just libido they feel to do only kids.

    And you are right. No paedo is a fixed case like no serial killer is. That jerk Ted Bundy looked relatively normal so did people like Jeffrey Dahmer so please don’t label a type but their might be symptoms of such cases and that ‘s how profilers try to work at times. What other people don’t realize is this Woody Allen also betrayed the trust of his wife Mia Farrow. How would you feel if you saw your spouse choose your offspring instead of you in the most bizarre ways imaginable — you thought they treated your offspring as their offspring too but as a romantic liaison? It feels kinda shocking especially when they feel they didn’t do you any wrong and that is how men and women feel when they trusted you so much but instead you decide to break their trust and then just attack them again by saying they are the ones in the wrong. At least be human enough to tell the truth. I know sometimes we are attracted to young people but the context and execution counts a lot so don’t just think he is an actor he is a good guy. Many actors have really bad personalities in more ways than one.”
    I want people to know that sexual abuse is real can happen to girls but also boys. And yes. It can be done by many types of people of all sexes and genders. You must understand that even if the perpetrator says that you are his or her trigger or what not don’t believe that. That’s like saying you are responsible for my stomach growling or me sneezing out of reflex in a cold. People like this just cannot accept their crimes and sins thus blame it on others.

    Like

  12. I find it horrifying that, in spite of being accused of sexually molesting one adopted daughter (Dylan) and confirmed to have done the same to his now wife-daughter (Sun Ji) Woody Allen was STILL allowed to adopt two little girls. How, after seeing how Dylan has been labeled by Allen’s rich, powerful friends and the media for speaking out, will they ever find the courage to speak up/seek help should they be enduring their own nightmare of a childhood under his thumb. Who’s protecting those two little girls? Who’s making sure they’re growing in the healthy, loving environment every child deserves?!

    Like

    • Exactly. I have thought about those two little girls also. There is no way they are safe from sexual abuse in their current environment. And our society is doing nothing to help them … not one thing.

      Like

      • I truly believe that, in his sick, deluded mind the fact that none of these girls are actually his daughters by blood is what he uses, in part, to justify his behavior. It breaks my heart to think that Sun Yi (now an adult woman in her thirties), may be aware that she no longer holds his interest and see these two girls (ages 14 and 15) as the only way to keep him home.

        Like

      • It is interesting that you say that. I actually felt pressure from my mother on several occasions to satisfy her partners so that they would stay around. When I would fight back, she would give me a guilt trip. She would imply that it would be my fault if they left. It was such a sick disgusting love triangle that should have never happened.

        Like

  13. I have been a survivor or rape for over ten years. We are told by society, when this act happens to you, run to police/hospitals etc. and the law will protect you and prosecute these predators. My rapist was a close friend of mine who I use to play poker with. One night he went upstairs to his apartment to make me a drink — fast forward to the next morning and I wake up to him sodomizing me, no clue how I wad gotten there. When I came to, I asked “what the hell are you doing” (noticing my clothes folded neatly in the corner), his response “I thought you liked me”. I grabbed my clothes, ran out the door and flagged down police. They took me to the hospital for the rap kit, when the labs came back they found pot, cocaine, alcohol, and barbiturates. There was no way of proving the barbiturates were not self administered since they found other drugs in my system. A person with a drug problem cannot be raped? I got re-victimized through coming forward and the justice system failed me too. I did not leave my house for a year. I still have not accepted there will be no justice for my crime. A crime that my rapist, (who is now a lawyer), gets to go on with him life unpunished. While I am stuck here dealing with after effects for the rest of my life; severe PTSD, eating disorders, and agoraphobia.

    When I read Dylan’s letter I balled my eyes out. Her words rang very true for me. She is coming forward and speaking up for the 7 year old version of herself who cannot.

    These people rob us of our innocence and we are never the same. I believe Dylan, and I want her to know it is because of her coming forward, I am finally joining a support group. Her letter touched me, and so many others who have been suffering in shame and silence for too long.

    Like

    • I am so sorry that you had to endure this horrible crime and it’s after affects. You don’t deserve what happened to you, and he deserves to pay for what he did. I am sure that Dylan would be happy to know that her letter has triggered you to join a support group. I agree that she makes a huge difference by coming forward.

      Like

  14. Pingback: An Open Letter to Those Defending Woody Allen | National Domestic Violence Registry

  15. The adopted daughter Soon Yi, was written about in Vanity Fair Article. When adopted it wasn’t sure what her age was. She was the daughter of a prostitute and had serious disabilities. Her country wrote age 7 as a guess. Once in US Mia Farrow had a Dr do a bone scan which said she was closer to age 5. Woody Allen was witnessed by various family and friends engaging overly possessive and sexual relationship with Dylan. Vanity Fair goes into the details which includes Allen sleeping in bed in his under ware and wrapping himself around Dylan. Also witnessed by grandmother, Allen putting suntan lotion on a naked Child and running his finger down her buttock crack. The grandmother asked him then how he wanted to be remembered by his child? There are numerous other witnesses. Farrow also said she was afraid of Allen. I believe Dylan and think it’s very brave of her to come forward. She has no motive for doing so other than exposing a child predator. Wendy Murphy article speaks to why Dylan should be believed. I believe Dylan and I am very sorry she has had to endure the continued victimization by her abuser. http://womensenews.org/story/rape/140204/open-letter-woody-allen-say-im-sorry#%2EUvJaV3lQFB1

    Like

  16. Pingback: Before We Finish With Woody Allen | The Life Of Von

  17. Elisabeth – Thank you for addressing these points in a way that furthered my understanding of the specific issues and the nature of abuse, and also for the reminder that our debates about this case could be seen by and have an impact on children who are currently in similar situations. I appreciate your willingness to share about your own experiences, and it is an important part to me.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s