Yes, I am angry
My PTSD is aflame.
However, a large part of me doesn’t want to talk about why it is aflame for the same reasons this survivor gives, “because it makes everyone else so visibly uncomfortable”. Once people know you have survived sex abuse as a child, particularly by a family member, they sometimes redefine you as just that. I don’t like that. It gives my molester even MORE influence over the way I live.
Thus, I hesitated about posting this. Nevertheless, I think the issue is enough in the public consciousness at this moment that now is the time to speak up.
A large part of the reason I believe Dylan Farrow when she says Woody Allen molested her is because I have been a child victim as well and I recognize her behavior as similar to my own. I was six. My mom believed me and confronted her youngest brother, still in his teens. He confessed and then cried and begged her not to tell my Dad, who we all assumed would beat the Sweet Jesus out of him. When my uncle (we’ll call him Scum) started crying I freaked out and begged my mom not to tell Daddy. I didn’t want Uncle Scum hurt. I, like many victims, loved my abuser for who they were when they weren’t molesting me. I wasn't thirsting for vengeance against him. I just wanted him to STOP.
I had no idea how it would change my life when I told the truth. I didn’t know Scum – who was my favorite uncle because he played dolls with me and told me I was pretty and paid extra attention to me after my brother was born – would stop “loving” me. I just thought he would stop hurting me when Mom told him not to. Just like a teacher would tell a kid to give you back your pencil if they took it. I had no idea how much shit would hit the fan.
I told the truth, and suddenly I wasn’t loved as much. Mom was still busy with a new baby, and I was still a lonely six year old girl whose favorite uncle now shunned her and emotionally punished her for ratting him out. If Scum had ever been left alone with me again, I would have probably have let him molest me again – even put myself in harms way -- just to get him to “love” me once more. I was a CHILD. I wanted to be LOVED. It would have just been the confused attempt of a little girl who was trying to figure out what SHE had done wrong by telling on him, but I am sure he would have seen this as a “seduction” on my part. You know how seductive six year old rape victims can be. He could have comforted himself that it wasn’t that bad and I secretly wanted it. That’s how they think.
A lot of child rapists are indignant that everyone acts like what s/he did was SO BAD when clearly the kid was coming on to HIM.
Also, after the shitstorm I would have just wanted to undo the damage I felt I had caused by telling the truth. I would have recanted if asked, just to make everything go back the way it was. The abuse, which did not involve vaginal or anal penetration, did not hurt as bad as the gaping wound in my soul where my uncle had stopped “loving” me. It didn’t hurt as bad as feeling like I had a gross secret. It didn’t hurt as bad as the embarrassment I felt trying to tell Mom what happened without really having to tell her what happened. I remember squirming in shame as I tried to find words that didn’t make me want to crawl in a hole and die.
In short, Dylan’s story rings true because I have fucking LIVED it and reacted the same damn way. Our behavior was similar because this is common behavior for victims. It’s how kid victims act.
And yes, we are “emotionally unstable” afterward. Surviving that shit literally alters our brain. Our molester will go about his happy life, untroubled and knowing his word will be believed over the victim because SHE isn’t HE, but those of us who were victimized will hurt forever. Yes, I’m “angry” and “vindictive” because it isn’t fucking fair he can scar me for LIFE but I and I alone will pay a price for his crimes. Those who love me are also angry on my behalf. If Scum were being given a public award you can bet your ass they would send out “nasty” tweets about him. Then they would be accused of being bitter and vindictive and living in the past as well.
Golly, how unsurprising that the world just wants Team Dylan to STFU and so they don’t have to feel uncomfortable about their patriarchal advantages.
The only thing that makes Dylan’s case different is that the accusations of manipulation and slut shaming aren’t aimed at her. She is a little too credible a witness as an adult and is too clearly damaged. The smear campaign is aimed at Mia Farrow. When a man harms a child the default setting is that somewhere there is a woman lying to hurt this nice guy. When people talk about “innocent until proven guilty” they never think that they have already asked the victim to PROVE she isn’t guilty of lying because her word, as a woman, is not good enough.
There was this lovely piece of rape-apology patriarchal bullshit by Robert B. Weide in The Daily Beast. It managed to hit every note – Dylan is crazy, Mia is a slut who had an affair and has a brother who is a child molester, detailing only 1/2 of the court proceedings and implying that Mia had/has a “special” relationship with her fan the Judge who ripped Allen apart, Moses Farrow says Mia is all about the brainwashing and Woody didn't do it so of course Moses is more reliable that the woman who remembers the abuse (because other family memebers never turn on the victim for telling), and the final crème de la crème – Woody is such a NICE GUY. Because if there is one thing we all know it is that rapists are never charismatic or successful and never look like regular people or have friends.
There is the fact Stephan King, who is a political lefty, tweeted from his bubble of Rich White Male Privilege that “Boy, I'm stumped on that one. I don't like to think it's true, and there's an element of palpable bitchery there, but...”. Yeah, there ain’t nothing like suffering Every God Damned Day for someone else’s sin to make a woman have some palpable bitchery, sunshine. How dare she, as a woman, not be all sweet and non-bitchy about her agony.
There is Barbara Walters, who claims to have a “good relationship” with Mia Farrow, who went on national television and defended Allen as a wonderful father who might be under attack only because he is up for an award. Yeah, because because raping a child effected Roman Polanski’s awards so much.
Meanwhile, Woody Allen’s mouthpiece is telling anyone who will listen that the charges against Allen were "engineered by a vengeful lover". Camp Woody maintains that, “The one to blame for Dylan's distress is neither Dylan nor Woody Allen.”
Again, Dylan wasn’t molested because bitches be lying. Where, Oh where, have we seen this crap before? Could it be every time a rape happens and rape culture takes effect? As Aaron Bady put it so perfectly:
In a rape culture, there is no burden on us to presume that she is not a liar, no necessary imperative to treat her like a person whose account of herself can be taken seriously. It is important that we presume he is innocent. It is not important that we presume she is not making it all up out of female malice. In a rape culture, you can say things like “We can’t really know what really happened, so let’s all act as if Woody Allen is innocent (and she is lying).” In a rape culture, you can use your ignorance to cast doubt on her knowledge; you can admit that you have no basis for casting doubt on Dylan’s statement, and then you can ignore her account of herself. A famous man is not speaking, so her testimony is not admissible evidence. His name is Woody Allen, and in a rape culture, that good name must be shielded and protected. What is her name?
You know what? Let’s take a look at this Nice Guy who doesn’t diddle little kids and is such a wonderful father. We can even skip over the Soon Yi thing because the fact he was fucking his girlfriend’s teenage daughter (who has mysteriously gotten OLDER and OLDER at the time the Allen started humping her) is nothing like molesting a child according to experts like Weide and Walters. Let’s look at Woody Allen through his own words:
Here’s an excerpt of Woody’s quotes from a 1976 interview:
"It's no accomplishment to have or raise kids. Any fool can do it." … He goes on: "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."
Don’t give me any bullshit excuses about how it was a “joke”. When I want to imply I am a sex fiend in a humorous way, I go to Rugby Teams and being the center of a Sherlock Sandwich wherein Benedict Cumberbatch and Robert Downy Jr. are the bread. I don’t go to love nest with some kids. I don’t think, “Yummy! Some Sixth Graders!” Why? Because I am not a fucking child molester who thinks little kids are sexual tools for adults. Child molesters “joke” about sexual relationships with children because they seek to normalize the deviant behavior. It is a ginormous, glowing warning sign society often ignores because the victims are not valued as much as their assailants.
You know worth-less becomes over time? Worthless. That’s what it feels like people are saying about you when your suffering is deemed to be insignificant compared to the attackers “worth” to society.
Please remember, each and every person out there arguing that Woody has been framed by crazy bitches, that you are stabbing every single survivor in the stomach with a long knife when you trot out another uninformed statement about presumed “correct” victim behavior or rape culture trope in that bastard’s defense. Thanks to the everlasting damage of abuse, our guts are laying on the floor with Dylan’s.