I Have No Position on Woody Allen!

I Have No Position on Woody Allen!

I had a party at my house the other day, and I was sitting outside with some friends, my brother was barbecuing the meat, it was all going splendidly, when someone brought up the topic of childhood sexual abuse.

“Well, sometimes it’s ambiguous,” I ventured.  “I mean look at this Woody Allen thing.  The daughter says she was abused but the son just published an article saying she made it up.  Who are we to believe?”

The mood at the table abruptly became very menacing.  They looked at me with hatred in their eyes.  Violence.

“You can’t be serious,” they said to me.  “You’re not defending Woody Allen.  I mean, Jesus, he married his own daughter.”

“Of course I’m not defending him,” I said.  “I have no position on Woody Allen.  I’m just saying, sometimes it’s not so cut and dry and sometimes it’s ambiguous and it’s hard to know what really happened.”

“You don’t still go to his movies, do you?” a woman demanded, glaring at me like she wanted to kill me.  “I mean the guy’s a sick fuck.”

“No,  of course I don’t go to his movies,” I lied.  I actually thought a movie he made a little while ago called Midnight in Paris was really quite wonderful.  A lot of them are not so great any more, it must be admitted.  I know, because I do go to them.  Not that I have a position on Woody Allen. 

“I’m just saying,” I continued, idiotically. “His daughter claims she was abused in the attic while she was watching a toy train go around and around.  But now her brother publishes this article saying there was no toy train in the attic.  It’s ambiguous.”

“You don’t believe a woman who was abused.   But you would do believe a male who was not there while she was being abused.  Great.”

“No, I don’t believe him either.  I have no position, that’s what I’m saying.”

“There is no such thing as no position.  You either believe Woody Allen is a sick fuck or you’re a sick fuck yourself.  Those are the two positions.”

Everyone seemed to agree with that.  And maybe they were right.  But I was feeling a little put upon, if truth be told.  After all, I had invited these people over spent all day cleaning my house and getting ready, providing food and drink and now they were saying I was a sick fuck.

“I’m just saying,” I said…

And I was about to try to further explain the nuance of my position.  I had a few further factoids.  The investigators didn’t press charges, for instance.  Furthermore, Mia Farrow seems a little evil.  She did have the devil’s child in Rosemary’s Baby after all.   But I didn’t get a chance to present any of these factoids.

“Let’s teach this bastard a lesson,” they said.  And they suddenly surrounded me and dragged me upstairs into the attic.

“I have no position,” I protested. 

“Oh you have a position, alright,” they said.  And they held me face down.   “Do you have a toy train set in your attic,” they demanded.

“Well, as a matter of fact, I think there is one in one of those boxes over there, but it doesn’t work any more,” I said.

“Oh, it will work fine,” they said.

And then they proceeded to abuse me with my own childhood toy train set.  They jabbed at me with the steam engine.  They knocked me on the head with the coal car.  And they stuck the caboose up my caboose.

When it was all over I wondered downstairs, bruised and battered.  Most of the guests had left.  My brother was still at the grill.

“What’s the matter with you, bro’?” he inquired.

“I was just sexually abused in the attic by a gang of crazed Hollywood Woody Allen haters.”

He laughed.

“You think that’s funny?” I said, shocked.

“You were not sexually abused,” he said.  “I don’t believe it.”

“I have a very vivid memory of the event,” I protested.  “It happened only fifteen minutes ago.  We should notify the authorities.”

“Don’t be ridiculous,” he said, scornfully.   

“It was  a gang rape. Don’t you think they would press charges. ”

“No,” my brother said, finally putting down his grill tongs.  “Your testimony seems coached.”


“Unnatural.  They’ll never believe you,” he said.  “I saw what happened.  You made your typical provocative commentary.  And you went too far.  They shamed you.  And they shouted at you.  But they didn’t physically harm you.”

“They didn’t?”

“No.  They just shamed you.  Listen, you should be ashamed.  You have to take a position against sexual abuse of children.  There is no such thing as no position on that.”

“I know what happened up there in the attic.  I was there, brother.  You weren’t.  They raped me with my train set.  Remember the one with the red caboose.  Well it’s really red now, let me tell you.”

“Dude, there’s no train set in your attic,” he said.  “Mom donated that thing to Goodwill like twenty years ago.”

Now I know how Woody Allen’s daughter felt – a victim who is then victimized again, when people doubted her story.  Every time someone doubts the truth of what I have just written, about what happened to me at that party, and in that attic, every time I am called a liar, I am retraumatized and hurt even more deeply.  My pain never ends.

Oh the pain…

My brother is dead to me now.  Why don’t I just go up to the attic and bring down the train set and prove to him that I’m telling the truth?  I could do that.  But why should the burden of proof be on me?  Why shouldn’t I just be believed?  Why would I make up such a story?  What possible motivation would I have?

Oh alright, I made the whole thing up, I admit it. 

There was no rape in my attic. 

My testimony was kind of coached.  I mean, I coached myself, by studying Mia Farrow, and I came up with what I thought was a plausible scenario.  But it wasn’t true, I confess.

My motivation:  I’ve never handled criticism well.  Sorry, it’s a character flaw.  I just hate it.  And when criticism rises to the level of shaming, I…freak out.

They did yell at me and shame me.  But they didn’t rape me.  Of course,  that doesn’t mean Woody Allen’s daughter made up her story.  That’s not the position I’m taking.  Not at all.  I’m just saying…

I have no position on Woody Allen! 

















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