Woody Allen and the Court of Public Opinion

Soon_Yi_Previn_and_Woody_Allen_at_the_Tribeca_Film_FestivalLet me say straight up that Woody Allen revolts me. He seems, to me, like a repulsive little toad of a man. Though it’s not his littleness that offends me; it’s the whole snivelling, ingratiating pseudo-intellectual package.
If it came down to me and Woody Allen as the last two people on earth, humanity would be over.
And do you know what all of that is evidence of?
My feelings about Woody Allen and his epic un-fuckability (in my eyes) are not evidence of anything. The most common word to describe the feeling Woody evokes is “creepiness. ” I know that is a word used to shame men who haven’t done anything wrong, but in this case, all it describes are my feelings: he’s a man I find the thought of fucking revolting. Sexual attention from him would disgust me.
I think a lot of women are as viscerally disgusted by Woody Allen as I am, but rather than understand that their feelings are their feelings, feelings that are their problem not Woody Allen’s, they are using those feelings to convict Woody Allen of child molestation in the courts of public opinion.
Nuh-uh. Your feelings haven’t got anything to do with it, cupcake. They’re your problem not anyone else’s.
Now, this case is complicated by several factors independent of anyone’s “feelz.”  Let’s take them one at a time.
Woody Allen married one of his previous lover’s children:
Soon-Yi Previn.  Previn.  Not Soon-Yi Allen.  Woody may have been in a long term relationship with Soon-Yi’s mother Mia Farrow, but he was not her father. Soon-Yi says she never thought of him as her father.  He was her mother’s boyfriend and eventually became her husband.
That hits lots of women hard.  The idea of being usurped not just by a much younger woman, but by your own daughter, carries a sharp barb.  It stings.  Getting tossed for a younger woman always stings.  The fact that older men have sexual access to younger women is something that pisses off lots of women.
No fair!  Men value beauty and youth and use their own assets of wealth and power to access that resource, and there is fuck all older women can do about it other than piss and moan.  Well, older women can also try not to be nasty slovenly bitches, but that’s asking a lot, isn’t it?
The fact that Woody married Soon-Yi (a marriage that has lasted 15 years and counting) is not evidence of anything other than Woody apparently likes to live dangerously.  Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.
Dylan Farrow “remembers” being abused by Woody
I have no doubt that Dylan Farrow believes she was abused by Woody Allen but that doesn’t make it true.  False memories are very real and Dylan was so young at the time the abuse allegedly occurred she would have been particularly prone to incorporating those memories as fact.
This is precisely the reason we have courts of justice in the first place.  The accusation carries such serious consequences that we must be completely unwilling to convict unless evidence beyond a reasonable doubt is presented. Dylan’s case was investigated and prosecutors declined to pursue charges against Woody.
Does that make him innocent?
Er, yes.  Yes it does.  No one is guilty of a crime, any crime, until they have been convicted in a court of law full stop.  The alternative is vigilante justice and kangaroo courts and those tend not to work out very well for anyone.
The question is not did Woody Allen molest Dylan Farrow?  The question is has Woody Allen been convicted of abusing Dylan Farrow?
He has not.  Dylan’s accusation that Hollywood is lauding a child molester carries no weight because we do not give weight to feelings when it comes to crimes of this magnitude.  Feelings are not relevant.  Facts are.
Mia Farrow is a piece of work
So, at 24 years of age herself, Mia had an affair with a 40 year old musician that resulted in her becoming pregnant, Andre Previn’s marriage ending and Andre’s wife Dory ending up on a psych ward getting electroshock therapy. Dory even wrote a famous song about it. Oh, and did I mention that 19 year old Mia Farrow had married 50+ year old Frank Sinatra before she had that affair with Previn? Yeah, might want to mention that while you’re pillorying Woody and Soon-Yi for a similar choice.
Yeah, sure, Mia.  Tell us how offended you are by younger women doing a bit of husband-stealing.
Her Valentine’s Day card to Woody in 1992 is charming too, no?
And letting Woody know through the media that she fucked her ex-Frank Sinatra while he was with her, and their son Ronan just might be Frank’s baby not Woody’s after all, is super classy.
Mia Farrow also testified on behalf Roman Polanski who pled guilty to having sex with a 13 year old girl he’d given drugs to.  But somehow that one was okay.  Mia had nothing to say about Polanski taking home the Oscar for The Pianist.
This all smacks of sour grapes to me.  Mia can’t stand the fact the that Woody has gone on to lead a happy and productive life without her.
Our favorite little feminist harpy Amanda Marcotte would like to see a new preponderance of evidence standard applied to men like Woody Allen.  Why? Because sleazy assholes make her feel feelings that are bad feelings and that is unacceptable. Because feels.

More to the point, it’s worth saying to yourself that if a guy that creeps people out and is known for crossing boundaries that often is accused of rape—or if a guy who is a sleazy asshole who emotionally abuses his girlfriend/wife in front of others and who she seems to be scared of is accused of hitting her—it really, truly is okay to cut the strings and let him go and offer your support to the accuser instead. Doing so isn’t taking away his freedom.

In other words, consult your feelings and convict away.  Shun that guy.  He’s creepy!  Always believe the victim.  Tell her you support her unconditionally and there is no need for irritating little things like evidence for convictions except feels.
There, there, sweetie pie.  Did that bad man hurt you?  We’ll ruin his life and make it all better for you.
Gee.  What could possibly go wrong?
Ultimately, I don’t know if Woody Allen is a child molester.  What I do know is the fact that he repulses me physically, married a younger woman and behaves in a way that I “feel” is “creepy” is not evidence of anything other than my own personal feelings.
Feelings are not evidence.
I refuse to see Woody Allen films because I find him a snivelling asshat who is not the slightest bit charming or appealing to me.  I don’t like him.
By some miracle, I am able to live in a world with men I don’t want to fuck without declaring them guilty of some crime.  I can be repulsed by Woody and still be capable of some objectivity when it comes to deciding if he is guilty of a heinous crime.  I can find him stupid and annoying and be insulted by his preference for younger women and still consider him innocent until proven guilty.
Because ultimately, I am not owed a world filled with hot men who conform to my personal ideas about charm and wit and appeal.
It is not a crime for a man to not appeal to me.
And until Woody Allen is convicted in a court of law, I will not call him a child molester.
I will however call him an ugly skinny irritating little motherfucker.
Because he is.
And that’s not a crime.
Lots of love,
Editorial note: Image of Soon-Yi Previn and Woody Allen used under Creative Commons “Share and Share Alike” licence, as noted here. –DE

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