Was that pedo of me?

pedo bear

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What do you do when a man—whose work you admire—is called out for pedophilia, again?  Well, if you’ve ever been the victim of sexual abuse, you’re forced to look at the facts and sort out your feelings for said man’s body of work. At least that’s what I’m doing. You see, I’m trying to come at this with a level head. I know that sounds like crazy talk coming from me, but I’ve learned that going into every situation with guns blazing, doesn’t always work to my advantage.

I've led an interesting life and I like to tell people that life's ups and downs made me into something akin to the Looney Tunes chickenhawk (Henery Hawk). It's perfect in that I’m short, brown and I have a bit of an in-your-face attitude. I’m loud and I don’t mince words. What can I say? My sex appeal is palpable.

In all seriousness, having approached all of life’s dilemmas with an aggressive and shortsighted attitude did nothing, but raise my blood pressure and give me heart palpitations. Sure, sometimes you need to bust down doors and throw down like you’re the Hulk…

hulk smashLink Source: Gifbay.com

…But mostly, life requires a cool head and focused intent. I know, that sounds pretty boring, but things have been working out way better for me since I learned to reign in my judgmental nature and employ a little patience. With that said, I still don’t have much tolerance for pedophilia because, come on, it’s pedo-fuckin'-philia. Pedos are human scum. They rob children of their innocence while simultaneously screwing them in the head for a lifetime. Pedos ruin lives to get boners--they’re pathetic predators. Fortunately, no one respects them, right?

Well, Woody Allen is highly respected and he’s been accused of some pretty lascivious stuff. Recently, Dylan Farrow (Mia Farrow & Woody Allen’s adopted daughter) wrote an open letter in which she rehashed the sexual abuse suffered at the hands of Mr. Allen twenty years ago. While he was never convicted of any crime, Allen has been known as a pedo ever since.

Twenty years ago I was barely sixteen and hardly aware of anything outside my microcosm of a high school existence. I’ve always loved movies though, so I was familiar with Woody Allen and his work by then. It seems, however, that I wasn’t paying much attention to Hollywood scandals at the time. I was more invested in crushes and good grades. That’s it, that’s my excuse for not being aware of Dylan Farrow’s accusations against her father before now. I had been busy living the high school life.

Despite being wrapped up in my own world, I was cognizant of Woody Allen's reputation for being a creeper. In actuality, Allen has been considered a bit of a freak for some time now. A lot has been written about him and he’s never hidden the fact that he’s a sexual deviant. As a matter of fact, in a 1976 People Magazine profile, Allen describes himself as open-minded about sex. He even makes a joke about a having a harem of 12-year-old girls.

Woody will admit now only to "dating around" and living with girls for stretches ranging from "two days to two weeks—if you call that living together." Could he possibly have mellowed from the days when his movies rated horniness as a human malaise second only to bubonic plague? "I try to have sex only with women I like a lot," Woody explains solemnly. "Otherwise I find it fairly mechanical." (He has little interest in family life: "It's no accomplishment to have or raise kids. Any fool can do it.") 

He goes on: "I'm open-minded about sex. I'm not above reproach; if anything, I'm below reproach. I mean, if I was caught in a love nest with 15 12-year-old girls tomorrow, people would think, yeah, I always knew that about him." Allen pauses. "Nothing I could come up with would surprise anyone," he ventures helplessly. "I admit to it all." 

*Preceding excerpt taken from: Angst-Ridden Humorist – People Magazine

Those quotes sum him up nicely, I think. It seems Woody Allen was so open-minded about sex—in 1976 at least—that he felt it appropriate to reference a bunch of 12-year-old girls when describing his sexual boundaries or lack there of.

That whole idea is concerning and disgusting to me. Those two paragraphs give me the chills and make my face curl into a frown. Still, the problem remains. I like quite a few Woody Allen movies. As a matter of fact, Blue Jasmine reminded me how good things could be with Woody.  It turns out I’d blocked out Allen’s questionable character until I read Dylan Farrow’s open letter in the New York Times, online.

An Open Letter from Dylan Farrow - nytimes.com

Dylan Farrow’s account of her childhood is distressing to say the least. Living with an abuser is a hell that should not be thrust upon anyone, especially a child. Her letter left me wondering if I could continue to be a fan of Allen’s work. I was finally confronting this and I knew I’d have to make a choice soon.

How can I continue to support someone who has allegedly sexually abused a little girl? How am I supposed to stop loving Blue Jasmine and and the others? Do you know, because I sure don't. Unfortunately, as a survivor of sexual abuse, I feel like a traitor for continuing to enjoy this man’s work. I should be rejecting everything about this guy, not wondering if I can stream Vicky Cristina Barcelona on Netflix. 

Don't get me wrong, I understand the gravity of the situation. I know what it does to a child when they’re sexually abused. I know how that changes your life. Your outlook on interpersonal relationships, trust, intimacy and boundaries becomes tainted. You grow up in an instant and you wrestle with this knowledge you shouldn’t have. You become sad for the loss you feel and you’re sad until you get blindingly angry. With some luck and support, you learn to move past the anger and grow.The tragedy is not lost on me.

Even though I can say that I despise pedophiles with a special fervor, I can’t say that I have the same distaste for Woody Allen. Man...I’m embarrassed to even type that out. The problem with all this is that Allen was never convicted of sexually abusing his daughter.

Woody Allen Speaks Out - nytimes.com

Dylan Farrow Responds - nytimes.com

While Allen has maintained his innocence, he’s also on the record having made tasteless comments regarding 12-year-old girls back in 1976. As if that weren't enough, he dated his ex-wife’s adopted daughter who is considerably younger. That’s a whole lot of questionable behavior coming from one man, if you ask me. Ultimately though, I wasn’t there. I don’t know if Woody Allen sexually abused his daughter. If he did, he’s the same kind of scum as every other pedophile. That doesn't mean that I will discount Dylan Farrow’s allegations of sexual abuse, I can't. It would be reckless to do so. As I'm sure you've figured out by now, there is no right answer--not for me or anybody else.

I accept that I don’t know what really happened. I also lament that this family is troubled and cannot move past whatever it was that created so much animosity amongst them. Will I be able to fully enjoy Woody Allen’s work in the future? I don’t know. Do I still love Blue Jasmine and Vicki Christina Barcelona? Yeah. Does that make me a hypocritical dick? Looks like it.

Don't judge me


*If you want a more detailed account of the original charges brought against Woody Allen, check out this Vanity Fair article on Mia Farrow:

Momma Mia! - vanityfair.com