If you don’t believe Dylan Farrow, that’s fine. Totally fine.
If you don’t believe her–even though she is now a 28 year old young lady, and is trying to tell you of her own accord, that her stepfather, Woody Allen, molested her at age 7—that’s completely up to you.
If you choose to believe, for instance, that she was propelled out of loyalty to her mother to keep nourishing a coerced lie with the intent to exact revenge on her famous stepfather….and that she willingly opened herself up to the continued scrutiny and doubt she KNEW from her mother’s experience that she’d face by once-again asserting that a societal icon isn’t really the guy we believe he is, then awesome. Go for it.
If you make the choice to cast doubt on a possible molestation incident because it makes more sense to believe the egotistical “woman-scorned” theory of a self-proclaimed narcissist; if you believe that nude pictures taken of 17 year old Soon-Yi in secret are completely non-indicative of his character; if you believe that the only thing a woman who has just discovered her partner is cheating on her with her daughter can think of to do is exact revenge by using her other children as weapons; and if you believe that a 78 year old white heterosexual male with lots of money and lots of famous friends needs YOU to step up to his defense so that he can get a fair shake in this world, then, for heavens sake, find your voice and say so.
Because in this country, we are free.
We are free to accept stereotypes and anecdotes as our only source for facts. We are free to believe that trauma is rare because it hasn’t happened to us. We are free to think that our cultural icons don’t do awful things. We are free to offend the victims, and assume that women can’t heroically withstand extreme betrayal, and to deny that nerdy, endearingly-neurotic filmmakers aren’t actually nerdy, endearingly-neurotic child molesters.
We are free to think that our opinion counts for something even when we’re totally full of shit. And we are free to be the most judgmental, blindly-misinformed, delusional, star-fucking, misogynistic assholes that this planet has ever seen.
But—in my world, in my daughters’ world, in my friends and families world–you can be violated. You can be molested by an adult who knows better and who lies about it. You can be a victim who asks for help and feels shame for asking. You can be a woman discovering awful, deviant things perpetrated by your partner who then tacitly invents your vengeful response. You can be protecting your child until designated a “scorned woman” by guilt-riddled storytellers who understand better than anyone that in using such a label the only actions society will ever expect from you are either attempts at winning “him” back or perpetual anger.
In my world, you can be a fantastic mother yet–after such a betrayal–the only conceivable reaction others can imagine you’d be capable of is vindictive and against all maternal instincts.
In my world, you can be a strong woman, yet there’s no way society could envision you wouldn’t dissolve into a puddle of emotional muck at the loss of something soooo special and irreplaceable as the man who betrayed you and broke your heart.
And in my world, such misogyny makes the air so thick that we can suffocate while finding our voices, gasping as if strangers on an inhospitable planet.
So don’t believe Dylan. Hang on to the belief that her scorned mother colluded in a lifelong ruse to bring Woody down. Believe that Dylan was lying–is still lying–to please her messed up mom. I don’t give a shit.
Because, for good or bad, this is the world that Dylan and I live in–a world where you either find your voice or die trying–and your delusions and lack of support don’t change the truth and sure as hell won’t keep strong people from speaking it.
Because in continually being forced to live in an unequal world, we’ve learned survival strategies and coping skills that have adapted our needs to suit the available resources.
And in learning that we can still speak even while we’re gasping for air we have come to accept that anything is possible. And that–unfriendly or no–this planet is ours to reclaim.
So, good luck to you, in your non-belief of dear Dylan Farrow.
Good luck. And welcome to our planet.