Why it's dangerous to call Dylan Farrow a liar.

I'm so sick of this constant Woody Allen news stream. I'm sick of people defending him, and then people defending the people who defend him, and then people defending those people. I'm sick of the speculation and the audacity that some people have to dismiss allegations based on their very limited experience of the situation.


It's true that we may never know for sure whether Dylan Farrow was in fact molested by Woody Allen as a child because we weren't there, but there are two major reasons why I've had enough of people suggesting that she wasn't...

1. Why would she lie? 

Why would Dylan Farrow lie about being abused? In this day and age, women and children are abused all the time but only sometimes come forward... when women and children are automatically called liars or sluts or confused when they do come forward... and even when they are believed, their abusers are often forgiven anyway. So why would someone put themselves through that if it wasn't true?   

Sure it's possible that Farrow was lying when she was younger. It's possible that she was coached by her mother (or "brain-washed"). It's even possible that she had created a false memory from somewhere. It's possible. But just because something is possible, doesn't mean it is likely. And she's a grown woman now, not a little girl... and her story hasn't changed. So if the story from childhood was false, why would she go public again with it now?

What would be her motivation to come forward again with the same story from her childhood if it wasn't true? She's not trying to sue Allen for damages, she's not trying to put him in jail, she's not trying to ensure that her mother gets custody... Basically the only outcome she can realistically expect is that Allen's fan club will call her a liar. Roman Polanski was found guilty and celebrities still work with him and defend him, so Allen probably won't face any major professional issues based on her accusations either. He will still be considered a legend and a genius and a blah blah blah. Even if this did hurt his career in some way, he's surely got enough money set aside that he could quit the business for good and still live comfortably. So there's really no logical motivation why she would come forward with this story unless it was true. Why would she lie?

But even more importantly...

2.Calling Dylan Farrow a liar harms all victims.

Calling Dylan Farrow - of any other woman who accuses a man of rape/abuse - reinforces rape culture. It reinforces the idea that rape accusations are nothing to take seriously. It teaches women and children that if you muster the courage to come forward, you probably won't be believed. 

You will be questioned, ridiculed, blamed, slut-shamed, insulted and not believed. Your name will be dragged through the mud and your motives will be suspect. Anyone who supports you will receive the same treatment. Even if the world does believe you, your abuser will probably not be prosecuted or punished. Your abuser will probably not be held responsible in any way. If your abuser is well-loved or has even a modicum of talent, then your abuse won't even matter. 

If we won't even believe the daughter of Mia Farrow, who has the support of her mother and convinced a state attorney that there was "probable cause" to prosecute Allen (and only didn't to protect Dylan from the trauma of a trial, not because her accusations lacked merit)... then why would we believe you?

Abusers often use the same manipulation to silence their victims: "No one will believe you and no one will care," and that's exactly the message every victim of rape or abuse hears when we call Dylan Farrow a liar.

No comments: