This is not about Woody Allen

Photo of Woody Allen from CinemaNET Facebook page

I can’t talk about the Woody Allen / Dylan Farrow thing anymore. That I’m even calling it a “thing” is horrible but it’s become a thing, a thing about a famous person in the world of hypothetical instead of a very upsetting case involving a child and, as far as I’m concerned, the most horrifying way you can destroy a person.


Photo courtesy of static.bellanaija.com

I’m so tired of hearing about how Allen was never charged and how Dylan was brainwashed and how it’s not right to look at Allen in a critical light because there is no proof. Jesus Christ. This isn’t cheque fraud. This isn’t even murder where there is a body and evidence like fingerprints or murder weapons. This is sexual abuse. For which there is rarely evidence. What evidence do you want? (Evidence in a sexual abuse case IS victim testimony.) For which it is often next to impossible to gather proof. Which people, usually men, get away with for these reasons and more.

One of the main reasons they get away with it is because it is incredibly hard to accuse someone. It’s uncomfortable, it’s embarrassing, it’s shameful. The majority of victims never accuse. Despite this, they carry the abuse with them every day, always. And because people blame victims, either for the abuse itself or for waiting to report it like they are probably making it up if they didn’t dial 9-1-1 right after it happened. Even if they were children and their abusers were adults in a position of authority or trust.

And mostly, offenders get away with it because our justice system sucks. It either ignores the victim and/or makes the process gruelling for her…and then usually lets the abuser go free. If you don’t believe me, try actually talking to ten women in your life and see what facts and statistics you can gather from your representative sample group. Or Google some stats about sentencing for abuse. But I have to warn you, it will make you sick.

Start with an article like this.

Or consider that, for instance, in Canada…

The following cases illustrate that child sexual assault offenders tend to receive relatively lenient sentences:

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Comments

False allegations happen, and probably here too.

But 'uncomfortable' or not, there are reasons to lie, and false allegations of sexual abuse are a good way to make some money and get coveted 'victim status' via pseudo-feminist media. 

But 'rape experts' agree that their income depends on inflating the number of rape allegations, and pushing the legal system and media to assume guilt in these cases is a good way of ensuring that their funding will continue to flow. 

Rape victims have reason to lie?

Mr. Johnson,

You mention reluctantly, it appears, that rape victims do have reasons to lie. Well, what would those reasons be? To be humiliated in their communities or in the press? To risk harassment from their friends and acquaintances? Or, is it that they will likely be considered liars by most people in the public eye?--Much like you just suggested she is.

You should keep in mind that

You should keep in mind that at the time the allegations were made, it was the 1990s and the nation was rocked by alleged daycare sex abuse cases.  There were innocent people sent to 240 years in jail (yes, the USA has a much higher sentencing standard than Canada).  This article talks about the cases and how children's recollections and memories can be altered.  http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Day-care_sex-abuse_hysteria

I'm not saying that's the case with Dylan, but there's enough reasonable doubt that I do not believe the entire contents of her letter are facts.  She needs help, treatment and support.  I hope she gets it.

Woody Allen

Judging by a universal standard of truth and justice, if Woody were a Catholic priest, he'd have been serving time in prison for some time now.

 

reasons

Steve Schuit wrote:

Mr. Johnson,

You mention reluctantly, it appears, that rape victims do have reasons to lie. Well, what would those reasons be? To be humiliated in their communities or in the press? To risk harassment from their friends and acquaintances? Or, is it that they will likely be considered liars by most people in the public eye?--Much like you just suggested she is.

 

  Oh. Destroying a persons life from a sense of vengeance, accusations do that. Getting a nice juicy out of court settlement in a country that sues for looking at you funny. There can be any number of reasons a person would falsely accuse somebody of anything.

  You'll note though, that there has been no high priced team of lawyers threatening defamation lawsuits, nor issuing cease and desist orders under threat of them. Nor even an offer to clear name via polygraph. Things that do happen when someone has been falsely accused.

  Nor do I give his Hollywood support ANY weight. They also love and support Roman Polanski, and he WASN'T falsely accused. He plead guilty of stat rape and ran before sentencing. No ambiguity there. Nor does Hollywood care. If you are their cherished kin, you can do whatever you want, you are an artiste. There are so many examples of that, past and current, if you can't find them yourself, you are willfully avoiding the attempt.

Thank you for writing this.

Thank you for writing this. I've made the same points on more occasions, and to more people (overwhelmingly male), than I can count. It's surprising and horrifying to realize how many of them know, in an abstract way, almost all of what you say here, but have never put it together. A lot of otherwise good and thoughtful men I've talked with over the years truly believe that, because they and other men they know would never sexually abuse someone, and because they don't consider it a crime to be taken lightly, that our culture as a whole doesn't wink at sexual assault. Sometimes, I can explain the unfortunate reality to a man who labours under such misapprehensions. The shock and horror on their faces at the moment they put it all together is sad to see. But at least they get it. I wish more did; then maybe op-eds like this wouldn't have to be written. The problem is that I rarely succeed in my efforts. Most people with whom I've had this particular discussion don't wish to arrive at the conclusions to which the facts inevitably lead them. Whether because they don't want to have to acknowledge what's happening around them every day, don't want to admit that so many of their fellow-men are sexual predators (sometimes even their friends, who would "never do that!"), don't want to have to look at the ways they view & treat women, don't want to deal with trying to change it because it's hard and depressing, or any other reason you care to name - whatever it is, most men don't want to think about what it all adds up to and what that means for the everyday lives of women. That's what has to change before the culture can begin to do so. The only problem is, I don't know how to make it happen. I'm hoping that pieces like this will be a good start.

thank-you, my 2 cents

I had repressed memory. Came about from teaching grade two.

It was psychological and physical abuse. 

The adult dreams wouldn't go away.

When I sent a letter to my mom she denied getting the letter for decades. Pleading that I only had a child's memory to explain...tell me you were too young to be a parent, tell me you had anger problem ..anything I need to make closure

Then later told me she would never admit anything that was a bad reflection of herself.

The painful lesson for me was there is no perfect ending to something that isn't perfect. Just make closure for yourself.

I always believe the victim unless proven otherwise.