I feel so conflicted about the whole Woody Allen/Dylan Farrow scandal that’s happening right now. On one hand, I’ve been through some of what Dylan claims happened to her and had to deal with people not believing me, and that sucked. No one should have to go through that and then have half the world tell you that you made it up or were coached if you actually weren’t. But on the other hand, something about Dylan’s letter didn’t feel right to me. People who go through things like that at such a young age tend to block a lot of details out of their minds because they’re so traumatic. I’m not even sure of all that I experienced and to what extent, I only remember small things, and I’m pretty sure I was older than Dylan was. The way she talks about the exact things that happened to her feel inauthentic and fabricated and I know that even if I did remember some excruciating details I wouldn’t share them so vividly with the whole world, painting a picture as if telling a story. If I were somehow forced to speak out about it, it’d be clinical and short and to the point.
when I was seven years old, Woody Allen took me by the hand and led me into a dim, closet-like attic on the second floor of our house. He told me to lay on my stomach and play with my brother’s electric train set. Then he sexually assaulted me. He talked to me while he did it, whispering that I was a good girl, that this was our secret, promising that we’d go to Paris and I’d be a star in his movies. I remember staring at that toy train, focusing on it as it traveled in its circle around the attic. To this day, I find it difficult to look at toy trains.
This sounds like the plot of a lifetime movie, or ten. Now I don’t want to downplay sexual abuse and I’m not saying that she’s lying, because there are only two people who know for sure what did/did not happen, and that’s Dylan and Woody. And I think it’s completely plausible that even if nothing happened, Dylan could now 100% believe that it did, because it’s been in her head for most of her life. Children have false memories, it happens. Take this tweet, for example:
I am in no way sticking up for Woody Allen because even though I love his films, I think he does a lot of questionable things in his personal life and I don’t support that. But is he a child molester? I don’t know. I honestly don’t think so.
Have you ever been angry with someone so you told them a story of how something they did affected you, only you made it seem a lot worse than it actually was? I know I’m guilty of this. In high school I was in a fight with a friend who did something sort of childish and annoying, but when I told him how it made me feel, I embellished and told him that it made me cry and how betrayed I felt, etc. Because it made for a better story, and it made him feel really awful, which made me feel really good. That’s a pretty dumb thing to do, I know that now. But it’s something that we as humans do to other people sometimes to feel better when someone hurts us. I’m not saying that that’s what Dylan did, but that’s what I felt when I read her letter. I felt someone who had been hurt, and as in turn trying to hurt that person back.
Her story could be completely true, word for word, train set and all. But I can say that if I were going to write a letter telling the world what happened to me, it would be honest and simple and clinical and not at all story-like. Often a story is believed because of the number of specific detailed within the story. Dylan included a lot of details, but was that because they were true or because the details made it sound true? Again, I’m just trying to analyze the situation and I will probably never know the truth. But either way, no matter what the truth is, I don’t think Dylan is in the wrong. If she was coached or made it up and now believes it, or even if she knows it’s not true, I don’t think she’s to blame. And if she’s telling the truth, of course she’s not to blame. I hope, for her sake, that it’s not true. But if it is, shame on Woody Allen.
There isn’t enough evidence for either side at this point, and there may never be sufficient evidence, so I don’t think it’s fair for people to choose sides. All of the media surrounding the scandal is trying to create a divide and have people pick a side, but that’s not going to help the situation. Lots of people are treating it as the next hot topic like Miley Cyrus getting naked on a wrecking ball but it’s a lot more serious than that and should be treated that way.