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In the past several days, Woody Allen has been accused of child molestation by one of his ex-wife's adopted daughters. Many have taken a hard line stance that he most assuredly must be guilty. I see their argument. It is far too commonplace for instances of sexual assault to never be reported, nor to ever be prosecuted. On college campuses, at parties, and in the company of acquaintances, women have been raped and assaulted. Their trust and boundaries have been violated. They must now try to cope with what happened. Few see justice in any form.

Those pushing strongly for Allen to face some sort of consequence see another instance of an evil man beating the rap. As is always the case in circumstances like these, feminists are some of the loudest beating the war drum. They wish to make an example out of him, using these lurid allegations as proof of his reprehensible deeds. Feminists see rapes and sexual trauma against women as epidemic. They ascribe to a view of guilty until proven innocent, even though our criminal justice system works in reverse.

Those who have been abused themselves have a very natural inclination to do all they can to bring offenders to trial. In this situation, the criminal justice system has little to offer survivors. The statute of limitations in this matter has long since expired. Woody Allen cannot be tried in anything more than a court of public opinion. Now, what is left of his reputation is under attack. Those with an ax to grind will not let up until he faces some negative consequence. Character assassination is the only avenue remaining. Many women have never forgiven him for the first set of similar allegations twenty years ago and subsequently his marriage to Soon-Yi Previn, who was substantially younger than he was.

I myself think there is ample evidence that Woody Allen resorted to sexual abuse. These, I should say, are my personal, private views. But I feel that the famed director has a right to the benefit of the doubt until all the facts have arrived. Those who would deny him that much are believers in a sort of groupthink justice, even if their motivations cannot be faulted. They will never be satisfied until violence against women ceases to exist, and while I certainly support the sentiment, this problem is large and all-encompassing. It dates back to the instant our mammalian ancestors crawled out of the slime.    

A comparison or two is needed. Propaganda aside, the so-called Boston Massacre of March 1770 was little more than a skirmish. It was a glorified street fight between a hostile, taunting mob and the British soldiers in place to enforce authority. Pelting the British sentries with snowballs and small objects for some time, the combined impact was enough to coerce some of the troops to fire haphazardly into the crowd. Five colonists died, three instantly, and six were wounded.

What history has always responsibly noted about this event is the American commitment to equal justice under the law. Opting for vigilantism was the most popular sentiment of the time, but not the fairest one. One of our founding fathers, John Adams, later President, insisted upon granting the British soldiers accused of murder a fair trial and the right to defend themselves in court. He made an unpopular decision to defend the accused, though it was the correct one.

Eight soldiers, one officer, and four civilians were arrested and charged with murder. Six of the soldiers were acquitted, while the other two were convicted of manslaughter and given reduced sentences. The men found guilty of manslaughter were sentenced to branding on their hand.

Feminists have called for a boycott of Woody Allen’s films, encouraging others to avoid seeing or purchasing them, whether they are shown at the theater or at a person’s residence. This kind of approach might be more successful, but it, too, has its limitations. Quakers participated in ethical consumerism many years before it was popular or even had a term assigned to it. They avoided buying cloth and dyes that were the product of slave labor. At times, they made their own garments, not unlike the actions of the colonists prior to the American Revolution. These new Americans did not wish to support Great Britain monetarily by any means.

Quakers are well-known for their embrace of abolition and their competent management of the Underground Railroad. But this is only part of the story. Once, believe it or not, Friends did own slaves. Slowly, but with time, slave owners gave up the practice, though some heavily resisted to the end. Within ourselves, we made great headway. I should note that we were, and are today, a small minority of the population. If only it had been that easy for the millions of others living in the United States. The country as a whole required a civil war to end the practice that we had concluded ourselves in relative peace.

I’m not sure how the Woody Allen affair will finish. Usually these sorts of controversies have their time in the sun. If no further charges surface, the issue will likely die out. As I said, popular opinion is where this battle will be fought. I do recognize the importance of defying the code of silence that keeps victims from reporting crimes. Yet, I’m not sure we’ve found the right tactic upon which to hang our hat. Prosecuting child molesters and violent offenders deserves new strategies. I never doubt the ingenuity of activists, but now is the time for new approaches.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Richard Lyon, Zorge, kalmoth

    I would not lead you into the promised land if I could, because if I lead you in, some one else would lead you out. - Eugene Debs.

    by cabaretic on Fri Feb 07, 2014 at 07:40:35 AM PST

  •  The problem with letting justice (6+ / 0-)

    take its course in matters of sexual assault is that we have so much evidence that the administration of it at all levels has a strong tendency to be biased by gender and racial privilege. The only way to readjust the balance is to apply political pressure.

    •  The Allen-Farrow situation is a 20 year old (6+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      yellowdog, roberb7, live1, kalmoth, Bob Love, buffie

      he said-she said in which there is no way to divine the truth of the situation.
        You are, in effect, advocating political pressure to ruin a person's career because of unproven allegations.
         Your ideology re "gender and racial privilege" doesn't overcome the fact that the information to make a judgment simply isn't there.
         You're making an erudite argument for lynch law.

      •  Those who are guilty may get by (3+ / 0-)

        with it if they can avoid prosecution long enough, but they don't become innocent with the passage of time. I expect that there never will be a clear resolution to the situation with Allen. That doesn't mean that we have a system of justice that works well in these matters. It is unreasonably difficult for victims of sexual assault to obtain justice. The system is tilted in favor of the perpetrators. You may find that an unpalatable ideological perspective, but there is substantial evidence to back it up.  

        •  And what is wrong with me, having my private (0+ / 0-)

          opinion and choosing to boycott Allen? I don't see the correlation to boycott = Lynching.
          I think that is a bit of a stretch. I can want justice, realize it won't come easy, or at all and still make up my own mind about what movies I will watch.
          I was in Middle School when Annie Hall came out, didn't know about the sexual allegations and guess what...still hated Annie Hall, still do not get what all the hype was about.
          Personal opinion, personal choice. I can do all of this and still write a diary about how I think he did it. Doesn't mean I wrote with one hand and held a pitchfork in the other.
          He creeps me out and I think he did it. And I hope the adopted daughter finds peace and justice.
          Peace and Blessings!

          For those abused, war torn and blood-soaked regions of the world: due to our apathy, our need for cheap shit, and our wars on terror and drugs, we apologize for the inconvenience.

          by Penny GC on Fri Feb 07, 2014 at 09:37:08 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  You can boycott anyone you want. I have only seen (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            couple of Woody Allen movies, so am I boycotting them?
               You are free to have whatever opinion you like, but the information you need to have an informed opinion simply doesn't exist in this case.
               Mr. Lyon seems to be advocating that Mr. Allen should be judged and persecuted even though there is no evidence whatever that what Ms. Farrow claims is true.
               This, he thinks, is justified because of perceived failures of the legal system.
                However, imposing penalties on a person based on inflamed and uninformed public opinion is exactly how lynchings occurred.

            •  What persecution did he incite? I guess I missed (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              that part of the diary. What penalties is he imposing?
              I just think he is stating an opinion. I do not see a call to violence of any sort. Did I miss the call to rise up in the streets with pitchforks and torches?! Damn, always a day late dollar short. Maybe I can be there for the next one...

              For those abused, war torn and blood-soaked regions of the world: due to our apathy, our need for cheap shit, and our wars on terror and drugs, we apologize for the inconvenience.

              by Penny GC on Fri Feb 07, 2014 at 10:17:52 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  NO! (0+ / 0-)

              Mr. Lyon is advocating for a more balanced administration of the justice system. I personally find Woody Allen uninteresting.

          •  I see nothing wrong with your having (0+ / 0-)

            your own opinion about the matter. What did I say to give you the impression that I wished to constrain your expression of that opinion?

      •  not sure about that (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Richard Lyon

        I thought the comment was aimed at reform, not abandonment of the concept of justice

        I think we should do candidate selection in a new way, only selecting people who will speak out to get the Senate leadership to push the Republicans hard in the media

        by GideonAB on Fri Feb 07, 2014 at 08:14:39 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Two mistatements: (5+ / 0-)

    1) Dylan Farrow was not Woody's "former adopted daughter".  She was (and is) the adopted daughter of Woody's former girlfriend.  
    2) John Adams did not "grant counsel" to the British soldiers accused in the Boston Massacre.  He served as their counsel.  "Granting counsel" is a perogative of the sovereign, in this case, the King or his magistrate, not of counsel.

    With the Decision Points Theater, the George W. Bush Presidential Library becomes the very first Presidential Library to feature a Fiction Section.

    by Its the Supreme Court Stupid on Fri Feb 07, 2014 at 07:56:41 AM PST

    •  And a misstatement of your own (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Mia Farrow and Woody Allen together adopted Dylan.

      So while it is true that she is the adopted daughter of Mia Farrow, she is just as much the adopted daughter of Woody Allen.

      Calling them boyfriend-girlfriend when they are the parents of three children--two adopted, one biological--is using a lightweight term for a twelve-year relationship with three children together.

      "Boyfriend-girlfriend" suggests two people who go to the movies together--not people who adopt children together.

      In my opinion, a "boyfriend's" status gets upgraded when he not only fathers children with the "girlfriend," but has a long-term parental role in the family.

      •  There isn't a name for their relationship (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Mia Farrow and Woody Allen did not get married. They didn't even cohabit - both maintained separate residences. I guess you could call them "co-visiting partners".

        If it's
        Not your body,
        Then it's
        Not your choice
        And it's
        None of your damn business!

        by TheOtherMaven on Fri Feb 07, 2014 at 10:10:23 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Depends on co-habiting definition (0+ / 0-)

          While they maintained separate residences, apparently he was around the family on a regular basis and it was common for him to stay over at her house. And it is to be expected that he would be in the home with the children, a lot, since three of them were his own children.

          They weren't in separate homes and scheduling meetings in the park, half-way in between, or at the coffee shop.

          What do you call a relationship when one person is often on the road for work and not home for dinner every night? Does it still count as co-habiting? Does it count as a real family relationship? I think so.

  •  I believe (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    yellowdog, kalmoth, True North

    the statute of limitations has expired on these alleged crimes.

    "A lie is not the other side of a story; it's just a lie."

    by happy camper on Fri Feb 07, 2014 at 07:58:23 AM PST

  •  I'm confused. What does the Boston (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    live1, Involuntary Exile

    Massacre and the Quakers have to do with whether Woody Allen sexually molested his young step daughter?

    And why the painting with the broad brush of feminists?  And assumptions about who believes his step daughter and who doesn't?  I believe Barbara Walters would be classified as a feminist by most, including herself, yet she doesn't believe it.  

    It appears to me that any lines that are drawn are based much more along who stands to benefit and who not to.  Barbara Walters doesn't want to believe one of her inner circle, one of the elite would do something like that.  It goes against her perspective of who she is and who she associates with.  Those who have been abused know how incredibly difficult it is to confront the abuser, and therefore believe it's unlikely anyone would choose to face the vitriol and accusations of being a liar that we all know will go with it.  Therefore, those who have been abused tend to believe the accuser.  Not because we have some deep seated belief that all abuse will be magically eliminated, but because we can't imagine anything that would make someone willing to deal with the aftermath of making the accusation other than the years of pain and suffering that watching a man who molested her receive accolades from the world over.  

    I don't think this is a situation for some kind of intellectual parsing.  It's a very personal and painful situation for those individuals personally involved.  And one for each of us to make our own decision on how we want to proceed.  I've long avoided anything to do with Woody Allen because I believed these allegations when they were first made years ago, when they were ignored by the police and media - because Woody Allen was much too important to care about some little girl he might have abused.  I have little doubt most of Hollywood will, like Barbara Walters, cast any concern for the victim aside, be happy to increase the harm she's already suffered by suggesting she has ulterior motives for making the accusation and is lying, and assure themselves and the world that they "know" Woody Allen and he'd never do anything like this.  Just like all the congregations of the world "know" their pastor or priest, all families "know" their grandfather, uncle, or family friend, etc.  They'll continue to believe what makes their lives easier to believe.  Period.

    •  I'll try to explain (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Both of the examples are included to illustrate vigilante (guilty before proven innocent) justice and the shortcomings of using economic boycotts. Both of these are found within feminist discourse at this moment.

      And listen, I've been sexually abused myself as a child. So I get it, but I think there are greater systemic issues at play. I'm responding to many feminists I know personally who have adopted a shoot-first, ask-questions-later opinion.

      I know the challenges myself, but I also know that what we're trying now isn't working.

      I would not lead you into the promised land if I could, because if I lead you in, some one else would lead you out. - Eugene Debs.

      by cabaretic on Fri Feb 07, 2014 at 08:07:44 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  So are the big, bad feminists out there (5+ / 0-)

        shouting to lynch him?  Or just what is this vigilante justice that are being "found" within feminist discourse right now?

        If people want to boycott Woody Allen, either because they believe this young woman or simply because they think he's a icky little misogynist, they have the right.  I don't think anyone's doing it because they have some fantasy it's going to end sexual abuse.

    •  I must say, I do not believe the allegations (6+ / 0-)

      against Woody Allen. There was a pretty compelling review of the facts in a piece on The Daily Beast. ( I don't have the link right now, but I'm sure it's easy to find. If necessary I'll find it. )
      The allegations were investigated at the time , by impartial professionals with no reason to let him off.

      If he is guilty, I'd want to see him held accountable.

      I don't watch Woody Allen films. I think he lost his charm about the time he made Annie Hall. I liked "Sleeper" and "Bananas".
      I'm not interested in protecting him, more than I would any anonymous guy out there. I do realize that false accusations are rare, but when they do occur most frequently are in custody battles or divorce proceedings, I think.

      I just felt like I should stand up and be counted on this.

      You can't make this stuff up.

      by David54 on Fri Feb 07, 2014 at 08:17:22 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  There's a whole world out there who doesn't (5+ / 0-)

        have any interest in reaching a conclusion, but who will be developing their opinion based upon what is said by those who do have such an interest.  And I'd include the Daily Beast in that.

        The investigation done at the time was pretty paltry.  Essentially, it was decided that a little girl's word didn't carry the same weight as the word of a powerful, respected member of Hollywood.  That kind of thing has never happened before, of course, including by "impartial" profesionals.

        There is no custody battle or divorce proceedings happening right now.  The fact that this woman is willing to upset her entire life right now to come forward, having virtually nothing to gain and everything to lose by doing so, makes me tend to believe her.  Particularly since there are other symptoms which suggest something very off in his psyche - marrying one of his step daughters when she was very young and after being a father figure to her for many years and the estrangement of the rest of his children and step children.

        Sorry, but I don't trust the system, especially back then, to have done a proper job in the investigation.  

        He could be innocent.  I'm not assuming his guilt.  However, I'm also not assuming his step daughter is lying about it for some mysterious, ulterior motive.  And that's what I'm having the biggest problem with.  People like Barbara Walters attacking the alleged victim as a liar, when she knows squat about the situation.

      •  Except that we do know that one fact is true (0+ / 0-)

        In 1980 he began a relationship with Mia Farrow.  At that time, Soon Yi was around 8 years old (no one knows her exact date of birth).  When she was 20 she moved in with Allen and later married him.  

        If you don't think there is something very wrong with that picture, then go ahead and buy tickets to Allen's movies -- all I know is that as the single mother to a daughter, if a boyfriend/partner I don't know how I would cope....

        •  Soon-Yi was about *ten* in 1980 (0+ / 0-)

          She had been adopted, at about age 8, two years earlier.

          Woody Allen never lived with Mia Farrow - he had his own residence and was a daytime visitor only.

          It's still skeevy, but spreading disinformation to make it worse is highly offensive.

          If it's
          Not your body,
          Then it's
          Not your choice
          And it's
          None of your damn business!

          by TheOtherMaven on Fri Feb 07, 2014 at 10:53:33 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  I'm not interested in Allen's movies, and my (0+ / 0-)

          opinion about Soon Yi Previn is not relevant to my point.
          I just felt like I would be a minority, and I had to register an alternate opinion.

          You can't make this stuff up.

          by David54 on Fri Feb 07, 2014 at 11:04:51 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  77% of accusations during custody trials... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        ..are not proven.

        I read this on a parental rights website last week.

        It's estimated that 77% of the time that molestation accusations that come up in the middle of a custody battle are proved to be false or no evidence can be found to back the charges up.

        It's quite common now for people to inject these accusations into a custody trial. I have no idea if that is true or not, but it has always raised my bullshit meter when someone does.  What a convenient time for this to surface.

        I don't know who to beleive, but I see millions of people choose to believe the girl in this particular case. As if people never lie about this. 49 people in Wenatchee, WA were arrested and tried or plead to a lesser after charges of a molestation ring came to light. People served time in jail. Only it never happened. All of the testimony was eventually recanted.

        So, I take it with a grain of salt unless there is physical evidence. Because children will lie about abuse.

        O great creator of being grant us one more hour to perform our art and perfect our lives. ::: Jim Morrison :::

        by Kevanlove on Fri Feb 07, 2014 at 11:06:41 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  i will only say (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    live1, another American, SharonNK, buffie

    there has never been any other accusation like this made against allen and that men who molest 7 yo girls don't stop at one.

    that's the one detail that gives me pause in all of this.

    hope springs eternal and DAMN is she getting tired!

    by alguien on Fri Feb 07, 2014 at 08:07:21 AM PST

    •  Indeed, think of Jimmy Saville. (0+ / 0-)


      But we can't really know, which for some people is intolerable.

      Shalom v' salaam; peace and wholeness

      by another American on Fri Feb 07, 2014 at 09:45:56 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  There are plenty of cases where this is true (0+ / 0-)

      Fathers who molest one daughter only.  And also -- we do not know hwne Woody began to pursue Soon Yi who was an 8 year old when he began his relationship with Mia Farrow.  We know what he says and what she says, but that is all.

      •  She CAN'T have been less than ten years old, (0+ / 0-)

        since she was adopted (by Andre Previn and Mia Farrow) in 1978 at about age 8, the Previn-Farrow marriage broke up in 1979, and Ms. Farrow did not begin a relationship with Woody Allen until 1980. (It was a rather odd relationship in that both maintained separate residences.)

        These are facts that can be looked up by anyone who cares to do basic research.

        So what else may be wrong about what "we all know"?

        If it's
        Not your body,
        Then it's
        Not your choice
        And it's
        None of your damn business!

        by TheOtherMaven on Fri Feb 07, 2014 at 10:46:44 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  he can have the benefit of the doubt from other (5+ / 0-)

    people. I have no obligation to give him any. He's a predator, and that's pretty much it for me.

    I've taken a side. I'm not sorry he's being dragged through the mud. I'm happy to see it happen. Next time, don't prey on your children.

    Dawkins is to atheism as Rand is to personal responsibility

    by terrypinder on Fri Feb 07, 2014 at 08:16:52 AM PST

  •  imho, Mr. Allen's marriage to an adopted child (5+ / 0-)

    was beyond the pale of accepted values, or adult behaviour.  It was not deemed criminal.  It's disgusting to me all the same.  

    Sorry, I always found Mr. Allen's humour more on the sick than the charming, childlike genius some think he is.

  •  Just to be clear... (4+ / 0-)

    It was not his adopted child. It was his girlfriend's. And, as far as we know, the "child" was an adult at the time the relationship with Allen started.

    Just another faggity fag socialist fuckstick homosinner!

    by Ian S on Fri Feb 07, 2014 at 08:31:10 AM PST

    •  About this "what we know" (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      timewarp, SharonNK

      What I know is that Woody Allen became involved with the family when Soon-Yi was eight, and was in a sexual relationship with her by the time she was twenty. During that time, he became the father of three children with Mia Farrow.

      He was certainly in a parental role with those three siblings of Soon-Yi. Maybe his interest in Mia Farrow's children did not extend to being in a stepfather role with any of them--just a disinterested "boyfriend" of the mother of his childen.

      How would anyone other than Allen and Soon-Yi know when their sexual relationship began?

      •  What you "know" ain't necessarily so (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        When Soon-Yi was eight, she was adopted from Korea by Andre Previn and his then-wife Mia Farrow. Woody Allen did not even enter the scene for at least another two years.

        Soon-Yi's account is that she didn't consider Allen as anybody she was or would become close to until she was about twenty. They did not live in the same household - both Woody Allen and Mia Farrow maintained separate residences, and it seems that he was always the one to come visiting and never stayed overnight.

        Everything has been distorted and misrepresented, at least some of it by Mia Farrow out of jealousy and vindictiveness - she could steal another woman's husband, but no one else could do that to her, oh no, not and get away with it....

        If it's
        Not your body,
        Then it's
        Not your choice
        And it's
        None of your damn business!

        by TheOtherMaven on Fri Feb 07, 2014 at 10:39:53 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  She wasn't a random "adult" (0+ / 0-)

      She was a little girl who grew up in his presence.  

  •  Woody Allen is a sleazebag (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    But is he a sicko pedophile? I have no idea. Thanks to that wacko Mia Farrow who has poisoned the atmosphere so much that it will be tough to tell who is telling the truth.

    even now, one of his and mia's sons(adopted or natural, I hav eno idea) has come out and said his sis is lying because his mother brainwashed them. So we are truly at a loss to determine what happened.

    •  And the other brother has a different view (0+ / 0-)

      Ronan, the biological son of Mia Farrow and Woody Allen, supports his sister.

      The views of a sibling do not give a definitive answer on what their mother was doing in 1992. Perspectives, and recollections, can differ.

      •  Mia Farrow cast doubt on that TOO (0+ / 0-)

        That is, that Ronan was the biological son of Woody Allen. She now claims that he may have been fathered by Frank Sinatra, who divorced her in 1968 but who, she says, never really left.

        If it's
        Not your body,
        Then it's
        Not your choice
        And it's
        None of your damn business!

        by TheOtherMaven on Fri Feb 07, 2014 at 10:13:56 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Three points... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SharonNK, buffie

    1. Talent, like a pimple, can grace any asshole.
    2. People can be totally disgusting assholes without doing anything illegal.
    3. Brainwashed child testimony was at the root of Salem witch trials.

  •  Umm... (7+ / 0-)
    Feminists see rapes and sexual trauma against women as epidemic.
    Well, that's because they are.
    Many women have never forgiven him for the first set of similar allegations twenty years ago
    Not just women. Some of us xy types found it pretty offensive too.
    John Adams, later President, insisted upon granting the British soldiers accused of murder a fair trial and the right to defend themselves in court
    Nobody's calling for Allen to be imprisoned w/o trial. People are being made aware that his behavior around young girls is, at best, untrustworthy. I'm sure a great many colonists said very mean things about said British soldiers. I'm sure that their feelings were hurt. And I'm pretty sure that John Adams didn't give a fuck. Probabley thought a lot of it was pretty funny.

    Yes, people are to be presumed innocent in a US court.

    A newspaper is not a court. A watercooler is not a court.
    A bar-room is not a court room.

    Question- would you want OJ Simpson dating your daughter? I mean, he wasn't convicted... so what's the problem?

  •  It's true, however, we can't really know. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kalmoth, SharonNK

    Those who are convinced that children never fabricate stories of sexual abuse or the like need know no more than that Dylan Farrow has accused Woody Allen. Forget about the Salem Witch Trials or, to take more recent example, the McMartin pre-school affair.

    For Farrow's most fervent supporters, or Allen's most determined adversaries, even to acknowledge that we can't really know what happened is, at best, a cop-out and, at worst, a sign of villainy.

    Nevertheless, those of us who weren't there can't know. Nor can we decide the matter either by saying that Woody Allen is innocent until proven guilty or, conversely, that Dylan Farrow enjoys a presumption of innocence that somehow requires us to believe her until convinced otherwise. Regarding Allen, this isn't a court of law; put otherwise, we're entitled to believe that O.J. committed murder, even while we respect his legal, jury-declared innocence. But regarding Farrow, Dahlia Litthwick cogently responded to Aaron Bady's talk about the "presumption of innocence" he wants for her:

    This is a nonlegal deployment of a legal notion that sets up readers to pick sides without hearing all of the actual evidence. ...
    What evidence? What standard? What court? We haven’t seen most of the evidence. Evidence in this case has been destroyed. Experts were never cross-examined. Different judges came to different conclusions. What evidence are we weighing? What “court” are we convening here, and what are the rules of the road? Do we even take conflicting evidence into consideration? What kind of evidence is “admissible”?

    * * *

    Recognize that dressing your personal opinions up in fancy talk of “burdens of proof” and “presumptions of innocence” helps clarify almost nothing and confuses a great deal. Mob justice often has all the trappings of an unbiased search for truth, but it’s actually just an (understandable) outpouring of rage and blame. We have statutes of limitation, not to punish complaining witnesses but because the legal system recognizes that memories and evidence are degraded over time, even as umbrage on both side burns brighter than ever.

    So, yes. I am troubled by Dylan Farrow's accusation. But yes, too, I can't simply discount the points Robert Weide makes at the Daily Beast. And no, they can't be dismissed simply because he has reason to be supportive of Woody Allen. On that principle, after all, we might dismiss Dylan Farrow's accusation on the grounds that she has reason to be supportive of her mother. Indeed, isn't that how her brother, Moses, invites us to reason in telling us that Mia Farrow engaged in brainwashing?

    If Woody Allen sexually abused Dylan Farrow, then we can only hope for her full healing and his being dishonored. But in the absence of solidly-convincing evidence the latter is unlikely, which may make the former doubtful. And if Woody Allen did not abuse Dylan Farrow, then who will give him back his reputation unstained by the lasting doubts the making of these charges occasions?

    Shalom v' salaam; peace and wholeness

    by another American on Fri Feb 07, 2014 at 09:51:45 AM PST

  •  As I read about this (0+ / 0-)

    I remembered my small children, and how very bad they were at lying. Comically so, most times, and with the first question it usually all fell apart.

    They were far better at startling, embarrassing truths.

    I thought of my sons at that age, and yes, granted our life was perhaps very different from those of kids in households such as Mia Farrow's, maybe children were exposed to more adult situations but....

    Having worked in daycare for many years, I've seldom known a child of Dylan's age that could make that stuff up, particularly in extended questioning, with any accuracy or continuity. There is something chilling when you are dealing with a child who has experienced sexual abuse, fatalistic acceptance perhaps? Speaking as though it bothered them but must be ok because it was a family member? The few times I suspected it were heartbreakers - the parent, when I expressed my concerns, usually exploded at me and angrily pulled their child.

    Life ain't like a box of chocolates. You pretty much do know what you're gonna get.

    by Nodin on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 12:55:26 PM PST

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