Many chumps have reached out to ask me if I’ve watched the HBO documentary “Allen vs. Farrow,” about Dylan Farrow’s (alleged, convincing… utterly convincing) sex abuse by filmmaker Woody Allen and the custody trial Allen waged against his long-term partner, actress Mia Farrow.
Quack therapists and parental alienation? Hysterical scorned women? Litigation abuse? This is the stuff of Chump Nation. I finished watching it this weekend. It’s compelling viewing, but it’s pretty stomach churning.
In fact, I’m usually not at a loss as to how to organize my thoughts, but this documentary is so rich with Allen’s DARVO mindfuckery I don’t even know where to begin.
1.) Well, let’s start with the most important point — I believe Dylan. That Allen abused her. #TeamDylan
2.) I know Woody Allen is supposed to be a cinematic genius, and I get that many find it difficult to reconsider their opinion on A Respected Genius, but did anyone here ever like Manhattan? It came out in 1979 and I saw it my freshman year of college in 1984 and found it utterly incomprehensible (as a 17-year-old girl named Tracy) that 17-year-old Mariel Hemingway would date a 42-year-old twice-divorced twerp in a pilled sweater. It skeeved me out then, it skeeves me out now.
3.) All to say, it’s not like the guy was hiding his penchant for much, much younger girls.
4.) Not that this comes up in the documentary, but Rowan Farrow is clearly Frank Sinatra’s son. Whatever Mia was doing stepping out on Allen, in my opinion, is completely irrelevant compared to the horror she suffered having her children sexually abused. Can you imagine finding out the Other Woman was your college-aged daughter? Or that your boyfriend molested your 7-year-old child?
My take is that all the rage Allen accused Mia Farrow of having — “scorned,” “hysterical” — is total narc projection. He’s the furious and vindictive one.
What kind of monster sues a woman for custody of her children after having an affair with his own step-daughter? Impression management as attack. Mia’s the unfit parent? REALLY? You. Fucked. Your. Step-Daughter.
5.) Let’s talk about hysterical, scorned women for a moment. I found the news reporting at the time (1992-93) completely okay with maligning Dylan (a child!) and her mother as liars. As mentally unwell.
That really stuck with me, because on a side project, I’ve been researching the horrors of the Baby Scoop Era (1945 – 1972, the years before Roe v. Wade). How in the 1960s the American Academy of Pediatrics said that single mothers were mentally unfit. The recommended solution was to surrender their children to “good homes.” Raped? Unfit. Had pre-marital sex? Unfit. Thought they could support their children alone? Unfit.
How readily our world believes women are crazy and should be punished.
6.) Every chump can relate to the horror of Not Being Believed. That is what this series powerfully documents, and we document it here on this blog — how easy it is to blame the victim and side with the “winner.” The powerful one. The charming one. The non-grief stricken one. We’ve all known Switzerland friends, people who minimize with “neutrality”, the RIC who wants you to own what you did to make this person abuse you. How damaging it is.
Great article in Esquire by Dom Nero on struggling with the Bitches Be Crazy cultural bias:
While Dylan and Mia Farrow recounted the traumas they suffered at the hands of this powerful and manipulative man with such horrifying frankness, I felt an inclination not to believe their stories. Something from within my gut was saying these women are not telling the truth. They seem vindictive. Unhinged. Crazy. I know better than to listen to this voice.
It’s something about the way Allen defends himself on a 60 Minutes interview, saying, “Be logical about this. I’m 57. Isn’t it illogical that I’m going to pick this moment in my life to become a child molester?” And he goes on to insist, “if I wanted to be a child molester, I had many opportunities in the past.” It’s something about us–about men and how we are raised to view women. It’s that unspoken agreement we have when all the women leave the table, when we’re a few drinks in, when we nod our heads around that word we use so much to describe them. Crazy.
7.) Dylan never changed her story. Whether or not anyone believed it. I thought the most powerful part of the film is when her therapist told her not to tell. That it would “set back years of healing.” And she said, “but I wasn’t healed.” She was still alone.
Until she told. And found others had suffered the same things. THEN she healed.
Anyone else watch the documentary? What did you think?