You Don't Get a Vote

[CN: dismissal of survivors]

Joining the long list of people saying terrible things in response to Dylan Farrow's open letter, columnist Robin Abcarian of the L. A. Times definitely knows better than survivors. For one thing, it apparently doesn't matter whether one believes Dylan or not:

In the long run, it doesn’t matter whether you believe the tragic story of Dylan Farrow, who alleges that her father Woody Allen sexually assaulted her 20 years ago when she was 7 years old.

Nor does it matter whether you believe Woody Allen, who was never charged with a crime, and who has steadfastly maintained his innocence.

Now, I'm not a fancy columnist with the L.A. Times, but I do have an internet connection, and with very little effort I've encountered a whole bunch of people for whom it does matter. Survivors and their allies, many of whom have spent much of the last few days explaining the high cost of disbelief.

And when a survivor explains how something feels, you don't get a vote on that. You don't get to put a survivor's feelings through your Validity Prism and judge them "disingenuous":

But honoring Allen is certainly not the equivalent of accusing Dylan of lying or not mattering, and it is disingenuous to suggest so. In 1993, Dylan’s accusations were taken very seriously by her mother, by doctors, by prosecutors. Allen was investigated for months and prosecutors chose not to file charges.

Neat! Also, can't she just shut up already?

Also, Dylan Farrow has had her say, and she has had it very recently. Only four months ago, Vanity Fair published a long profile of Mia Farrow and her children by Maureen Orth. In that piece, Dylan recounted her allegations against Allen in detail, and her enduring trauma, including the death of her 19-year-old sister Tam in 2000.

I'm so sorry that you don't like Ms. Farrow telling her story more times than you would prefer. But again: you don't get a vote. And as for this final bit of finger-wagging:

I earnestly believe that the contours of Farrow’s life are not going to change one bit if Woody Allen wins another Oscar.

Well, I'm glad you believe that earnestly. But still: you don't get a vote.

Earnestness doesn't change the fact that it's pretty fucking awful to 'splain to Dylan Farrow how she will be affected if her abuser is honored, yet again. It's deeply, deeply shitty to claim that believing a survivor doesn't matter because she was "taken seriously" when she first came forward. (Hint: not seriously enough, it seems!) It's frankly obscene to police how often, and when, she tells her story. And since we're throwing the term around, it is definitely disingenuous to insist it doesn't matter whom we believe, despite the chorus of survivors explaining otherwise.

Telling us not to "take sides" is a cruel joke. You clearly have picked one, Ms. Abcarian. And it's not the one where the survivors are standing.

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