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Woody Allen and the Court of Public Opinion

12 Feb

woody

Let me say straight up that Woody Allen revolts me. Looking at him gives me the same feeling that stepping in a gob of snot with my bare feet might evoke.

Ewww.

Gross.

Ick.

Barf.

Repulsive little toad of a man. It’s not his littleness that offends me. It’s the whole snivelling ingratiating pseudo-intellectual package.

Ugh.

I hate Woody Allen. If it came down to me and Woody Allen as the last two people on earth humanity would be over.

And do you know what all of that is evidence of?

Nothing.

My feelings about Woody Allen and his epic un-fuckability are not evidence of anything. The most common word to describe the feeling Woody evokes is creepiness. I think he’s a creep. A man I do not want to fuck. Sexual attention from him would simultaneously disgust and infuriate me.

As if, you little toad.

I think a lot of women are as viscerally disgusted by Woody Allen as I am, but rather than understand that their feelings are their feelings, they are using those feelings to convict Woody Allen of child molestation in the courts of public opinion.

The case is complicated by several factors. Let’s take them one at a time.

Woody Allen married one of his previous lover’s children.

Soon-Yi Previn. Previn. Not Soon-Yi Allen. Woody may have been in a long term relationship with Soon-Yi’s mother Mia Farrow, but he was not her father. Soon-Yi says she never thought of him as her father. He was her mother’s boyfriend and eventually became her husband.

That hits lots of women hard. The idea of being usurped not just by a much younger woman, but by your own daughter carries a sharp barb. It stings. Getting tossed for a younger woman always stings. The fact that older men have sexual access to younger women is something that pisses off lots of women.

No fair! Men value beauty and youth and use their own assets of wealth and power to access that resource and there is fuck all older women can do about it other than piss and moan. Well, older women can also try not to be fat bitches, but that’s asking a lot, isn’t it?

The fact that Woody married Soon-Yi (a marriage that has lasted 15 years and counting) is not evidence of anything other than Woody apparently likes to live dangerously. Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.

Dylan Farrow remembers being abused by Woody

I have no doubt that Dylan Farrow believes she was abused by Woody Allen but that doesn’t make it true. False memories are very real and Dylan was so young at the time the abuse allegedly occurred she would have been particularly prone to incorporating those memories as fact.

This is precisely the reason we have courts of justice in the first place. The accusation carries such serious consequences that we must be completely unwilling to convict unless evidence beyond a reasonable doubt is presented. Dylan’s case was investigated and prosecutors declined to pursue charges against Woody.

Does that make him innocent?

Er, yes. Yes it does. No one is guilty of a crime, any crime, until they have been convicted in a court of law full stop. The alternative is vigilante justice and kangaroo courts and those tend not to work out very well for anyone.

The question is not did Woody Allen molest Dylan Farrow? The question is has Woody Allen been convicted of abusing Dylan Farrow?

He has not. Dylan’s accusation that Hollywood is lauding a child molester carries no weight because we do not give weight to feelings when it comes to crimes of this magnitude. Feelings are not relevant. Facts are.

Mia Farrow is a piece of work

So, at 24 years of age herself, Mia had an affair with a 40 year old musician that resulted in her becoming pregnant, Andre Previn’s marriage ending and Andre’s wife Dory ending up on a psych ward getting electroshock therapy.

Yeah, sure, Mia. Tell us how offended you are by younger women doing a bit of husband stealing.

Her Valentine’s Day card to Woody in 1992 is charming, no?

vday card

And letting Woody know through the media that she fucked Frank Sinatra and Ronan just might be Frank’s baby is super classy.

Mia Farrow also testified on behalf Roman Polanski who pled guilty to having sex with an underage girl. But somehow that one was okay. Mia had nothing to say about Polanski taking home the Oscar for The Pianist.

This all smacks of sour fucking grapes to me. Mia can’t stand the fact the that Woody has gone on to lead a happy and productive life without her.

Our favorite little feminist harpy Amanda Marcotte would like to see a new preponderance of evidence standard applied to men like Woody Allen. Why? Because creepy sleazy assholes make her feel feelings that are bad feelings and that is unacceptable.

More to the point, it’s worth saying to yourself that if a guy that creeps people out and is known for crossing boundaries that often is accused of rape—or if a guy who is a sleazy asshole who emotionally abuses his girlfriend/wife in front of others and who she seems to be scared of is accused of hitting her—it really, truly is okay to cut the strings and let him go and offer your support to the accuser instead. Doing so isn’t taking away his freedom.

In other words, consult your feelings and convict away. Shun that guy. He’s creepy! Always believe the victim. Tell her you support her unconditionally and there is no need for irritating little things like evidence and convictions.

There, there, sweetie pie. Did that bad man hurt you? We’ll ruin his life and make it all better for you.

Gee. What could possibly go wrong?

Ultimately, I don’t know if Woody Allen is a child molester. What I do know is the fact that he repulses me physically, married a younger woman and behaves in a way that I feel is creepy is not evidence of anything other than my own personal feelings.

Feelings are not evidence.

I refuse to see Woody Allen films because I find him a snivelling asshat who is not the slightest bit charming or appealing to me. I don’t like him.

By some miracle, I am able to live in a world with men I don’t want to fuck without declaring them guilty of some crime. I can be repulsed by Woody and still be capable of some objectivity when it comes to deciding if he is guilty of a heinous crime. I can find him stupid and annoying and be insulted by his preference for younger women and still consider him innocent until proven guilty.

Because ultimately, I am not owed a world filled with hot men who conform to my personal ideas about charm and wit and appeal.

It is not a crime for a man to not appeal to me.

And until Woody Allen is convicted in a court of law, I will not call him a child molester.

I will however call him an ugly skinny irritating little motherfucker.

Because he is.

And that’s not a crime.

Lots of love,

JB

I have no words….

9 Oct

I put this up on Twitter, but those of you who don’t follow me there will still find this….

I can’t find a word for what this is.

I hope it’s a joke.

Here’s the text in case the picture is too small:

Mothers who breastfeed boy babies need to stop. We need to empower more females in this world and by breastfeeding them we are giving them a good start in life which they deserve over a baby boy [sic] which are already physically stronger than baby girls. I have feminist views and I am not ashamed to admit that. No baby boy will ever be fed from my breasts if I am unfortunate enough to have a son. Formula for him and circumcision to take away sexual pleasure from him when he grows up.

 

Poe's feminist

 

*bigger picture courtesy of Maggie McNeill at the Honest Courtesan.

 

http://maggiemcneill.wordpress.com/

 

 

What do you say to something like that?

Wow.

Absolutely zero love for this, or the horrible person who wrote it.

JB

What hell is this? The brave new world we have bequeathed our children is more frightening than I imagined, and the remedy is gonna make me one of the most hated moms on the block. Boo fucking hoo.

24 Sep

Yesterday afternoon, I received a call from a friend who lives in a sleepy little town on the outskirts of a huge city – the sort of town where nothing bad ever really happens, and you can go about your life feeling pretty safe and removed from the scariness of the modern world.

small town

Daisy and I both had daughters within weeks of each other, and we have kept in touch over the years, comparing notes and sharing frustrations and just generally being good friends to one another.  What she related to me, she has told no one else, other than her husband, of course.

girls

Daisy’s daughter Pansy has matured faster than my own daughter, who is still very much a little girl, in both looks and interests.  Pinkie and her best friend GingerGirl spend their free time tending flocks of sheep on Minecraft, making muffins, doing their nails and they have recently developed an intense interest in rocks.  For Christmas, both the girls have asked for rock polishers and cutters.  The plan is to polish up quartz and lapis lazuli and make jewellery for themselves and their friends.

Very, very innocent stuff.

Pansy, who is the same age as Pinkie, is much more of a stereotypical “pre-teenager” and Daisy, quite rightly if you ask me, is working to make sure that Pansy doesn’t grow up too fast.  Daisy’s husband is a very involved father although he works long hours to support his family.  Daisy has lots of sensible rules in place for Pansy over what kinds of clothes she can wear, what kinds of music she can listen to, what she can watch on TV and she monitors Pansy’s use of social media pretty closely.

And none of that mattered one little bit.

A few weeks ago, Pansy brought home an older girl for Daisy to meet.  I’ll call her Peaches, because she really is a Peach, through no fault of her own.  Peaches is the product of a single mother, and has no relationship of any kind with her father.  She’s an academically smart girl, and seems ambitious and aware and despite being raised in poverty (as the children of single mothers tend to be), she really appeared to have it together.

Daisy spent some time watching the two girls interact and felt that Peaches was an acceptable companion for her daughter.  After all, she doesn’t want to get too judgy against a kid who had no control over the circumstances of her birth, right?

just-dance-3-wii

When Pansy asked to go to Peaches house for a weekend play date, Daisy drove her over, met the mother and did all the things vigilant moms are supposed to do.  She left Pansy and Peaches playing Just Dance on the Wii and thought nothing more of it.  The girls would spend the afternoon together and get some exercise and have fun!

Shortly after Daisy drove away, Peaches’ mom decided to go out and run some errands and she left the two girls alone at home.  Peaches has a computer in her room, and once SingleMom was out of the picture, Peaches introduced Pansy to some “friends” in an internet chat room.

Some male friends.  Considerably older male friends.

Pansy recounted, weeks later, to her mother, what followed.  Pansy fell apart in the bathtub, sobbing and shaking because she knew she had done something very shameful and wrong, and she knew it was wrong when she did it, but she wanted Peaches to like her and think she was cool and peer pressure worked to overcome everything she had ever been taught to believe.

Peaches took off her clothes and danced for her male admirers in front of the webcam on her computer, and she “encouraged” Pansy to join in the fun.  Pansy knew she should not be taking off all her clothes and dancing for strangers on the internet, but she did it.

At twelve years of age, Pansy has starred in her first child porn video.

Here is where the story gets really, really interesting.  Daisy, once she knew the whole story, called up SingleMom to let her know what her daughter is up to on the computer conveniently located in the privacy of her bedroom.

SingleMom didn’t think it was a big deal.  “Oh, they’re just having a bit of fun”.

scream

For.

Real.

SingleMom thinks it’s all just a bit of harmless fun. Videos of her prepubescent daughter dancing naked and pretending to masturbate are scattered god knows where across the internet, and she doesn’t care.

How do you deal with something like this?  That is what Daisy and I talked about, for most of our conversation.  How the hell do you react to something like that?  Obviously, Peaches will not be setting foot anywhere near Pansy again, and Pansy knows that what she did was wrong and dangerous and foolish and she feels wretched about her behavior.

Is that enough?

Should Daisy call Child Services?  Will the girl be better off in foster care? Will taking her away from her idiot of a mother have any impact on whether she continues to vie for male attention, because that’s what the poor girl is doing.  She wants to feel loved and beautiful and powerful and has no example of what a mature, loving man looks like or acts like, and reporting her to child services isn’t going to change that.

Daisy did call her cousin, who is a police officer, but there is nothing they can do.  Even if they had an IP address, which they don’t, it’s probably a proxy server or a temporary inbox that can’t be traced.  The police have neither the manpower nor the technology to track down every video of underage girls dancing naked in cyber space.

How can we, as parents, be vigilant about this kind of stuff?  Daisy did every reasonable thing she could do, and her daughter is still …. I can’t bring myself to call her a “victim” because the only thing she is a victim of is her own incredibly poor judgement.  She’s only a twelve year old girl, though, and twelve year old girls need help making the right decisions. It’s not enough to just know what the right decision IS, she has to have the confidence and maturity to follow through.

I know I will catch hell for this in my actual, lived reality, but one inescapable conclusion that I have come to is that children of single mothers have giant red stop-signs over their heads when it comes to interacting with my kids.

Obviously there are some single mothers who are doing a stellar job, but they’re pretty easy to pick out.  They’re older, financially stable, own their own homes and are surrounded by a loving family with lots of male role models. Those aren’t the typical single mothers, though.  The ones who are young and poor with no real job skills or accomplishments of any kind are probably single mothers as a result of sheer stupidity, and yes, I’m deeply suspicious of their children.  In no way do I blame the children – it was not their choice.

But I recognize them as a threat, and it won’t take all that long before people figure out that JBs kids do not go over to the homes of kids who have single mothers.  Those kids can come to my house, under limited conditions and they will be very carefully supervised, but under no circumstances are my children going over to play with any kid who sets my Spidey senses off.

Intellectually, I can see how unfair that is.  Emotionally, I don’t give a fuck.  Sorry, kid.  But my kids come first.

Something else I have decided is a deal breaker is kids who have computers or televisions in their own rooms.  My children use social media very sparingly at the moment, and I monitor every bit of it.  They play on Minecraft with other people, on a computer that is in our living room with the screen facing outwards, so I can see any interaction at any time.  My daughter posts pictures of kittens and cupcakes and puppies and newborn giraffes to Instagram, where she and her friends compete to get “likes” for who posted the cutest picture.  I see every picture that she posts, and every picture that everyone else posts, too.

The real question for me is do I shatter my daughter’s innocence by talking to her about what happened with Pansy?  My husband feels that it’s simply a lesson for us that we need to be absolute dictators when it comes to who our children are allowed to spend time with.  If other parents hate us, so be it.  Fuck them.

Obviously, we can’t protect them forever, but I really do believe there is value in letting children be children, and there are some things they don’t need to understand.  Sometimes “because I said so” is the right answer.

friends

I shared this story with GingerGirl’s mom, and we spent a long time talking about how we personally dealt with things like peer pressure and wanting to be liked and be cool and popular, and it really comes down to one thing:  you have a group of friends and you have each other’s backs. That is what has changed so dramatically in our culture, especially for girls.  The “strong independent” message has been translated into “abandon each other”.  Boys still seem to understand the concepts of loyalty and unity and that when your friends are about to make really bad choices, you step in and use whatever tools you have to prevent that from happening.  Mockery, aggression, insults, whatever – you keep each other safe.

How did young women come to lose that aspect of their own culture?  When I think of the Rehteah Parson’s case, in particular, what strikes me as so unbelievable is that she was with a girlfriend who could see that Rehteah was about to make a really, really bad decision, and who knew Rehteah was really, really drunk, and she just left her there to face the consequences.  Now, in fairness to the girlfriend, she did return to the house later with her own mother to try and persuade Rehteah to leave, but reportedly, to no avail.

I’m sorry, but what?!?!?!

A grown woman, the mother of one of Rehteah’s friends just left her there?

A young, drunk teenager is having sex with multiple men and gosh, I’ll just let her get on with it, then?

Unfuckingbelievable.

http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2013/04/26/christie-blatchford-why-there-will-never-be-a-case-against-the-rehtaeh-parsons/

It’s not like I went to some prissy Christian highschool where the girls spent their time crocheting baby clothes for the local preemie unit (although we did that, too). We experimented with drugs and alcohol and made out with boys and dressed inappropriately in clothes we had to hide from our parents, but we never, ever just abandoned each other when dicey situations came up.

When the time comes, that is what I plan to teach my daughters, in particular.  When Pinkie is at a party and something like the Rehteah Parson’s situation is happening, you do NOT leave that girl.  You call me, you call your Dad, you call an adult to come and help you.  And I plan on letting my daughter’s friends know that in the horrifying case where it is MY daughter who is loaded out of her mind and about to do something really stupid that she will deeply regret, you do NOT leave her.  You call us.

I honestly think it’s pointless to try and convince kids not to drink underage and not to experiment with their sexuality and not to do all the “forbidden” things, because all that does is shut down communication.  If your kids know they are not allowed to drink alcohol and will be severely punished for doing so, they are not going to call you for help when they find themselves blind drunk at a frat party.

And the consequences of that are just too severe. One moment of poor decision making can be broadcast to every person you know or will ever meet, and that’s just too harsh a punishment.

I firmly believe that parents are not and should not be their kid’s friends, but that doesn’t mean we can’t protect our children.  I’m still a few years away from needing to negotiate parties and curfews, and it may very well be that when I step into the reality of teenage life, I am going to change my mind about all of this.

Maybe.

But one thing is certain: when twelve year old girls are making amateur porn because no one is watching over them, you can be damn sure I’ll be watching.

Privacy is something you earn, when you’ve shown repeatedly, that you can make good decisions. That usually happens after you’ve made a whole bunch of bad decisions.

But there’s bad decisions and then there’s bad decisions.

Twelve year olds dancing naked for voyeurs on the internet.

Jesus.

The teenage years are gonna be scary.  Any advice for me?

Lots of love,

JB

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