Indeed, many of Allen's and Richardson's supporters try to defend them by downplaying their crimes, calling them "participatory play" or saying "What the f&@% is wrong w u that u think we all need to b commenting on this family's personal struggle?" (Alec Bladwin) Apparently, we, the consumers should step back and let misogynists continue to perpetuate abuse against women. Oh, people, this concerns every one of us.
The struggle between Dylan Farrow and Woody Allen has gone on for twenty years too long. The victim, kept in place by social taboos and power differential, was brave enough to call for help, to journey from doctor to doctor to repeat her story, only to be called a liar. All at age seven. Woody Allen's fans argue that he deserves the benefit of the doubt- at the expense of Dylan and Mia Farrow. They point out that Dylan Farrow's story was inconsistent, when the inconsistency was proof that she was telling the truth. Understandably, she suffered, plagued by guilt and resorted to cutting herself, and developed a fear of being touched by men. Meanwhile, Woody Allen's popularity surged, and his face became an icon plastered across magazines, newspapers, merchandise. As Dylan Farrow said: "Woody Allen's acceptance silenced me. It felt like a personal rebuke, like the awards and accolades were a way to tell me to shut up and go away." It has been more than twenty years, with witnesses including family members and a child psychologist. Yet, there were few real repercussions, one of them being that the controversy improved Allen's visibility.
But, this story isn't just about Dylan Farrow. It's about how a pervert's popularity is a tacit approval of sexual abuse within one's family, and she isn't the only one hurt.
Then there is Terry Richardson, arguably the most famous pervert today. This "fashion" "photographer" helped to design American Apparel's aesthetic. Together, they produce advertisements that objectify women, making sexism edgy and cool in the fashion industry.
But his disgusting behaviour does not stop here. Models have stepped up to tell the world about how Richardson had a model give two men blow jobs at a Vogue shoot and offered to make tea with a model's tampon (before getting naked). Terry Richardson knows the competitive nature of the modelling industry, and manipulates young models (who may be underage, considering that he doesn't check IDs) to perform sexual favours for him.
His prophecy- "it's not who you know, it's who you blow" proves to be self-fulfilling.
At this point, you must be pretty darn tired of the whole "women getting abused by famous men" thing. If I'm honest, I would say I am too. Because this isn't new at all. This is the same behaviour, just with different men at different times.
Sean Penn, 1987: Beat Madonna up for 9 hours, after tying her up and bounding her to a chair. No charges were pressed. Madonna had to be rushed to the hospital.
Jimmy Page, 1972: Kidnapped a 14 year old girl and locked her up for years to have sex with her. Jimmy Page continues to be a rock legend.
This list is by no means exhaustive, and the truth is this: Society is built on a system of classism, racism and sexism that allows misogynists to wield their privilege against women. We cannot allow these people to thrive any longer; we cannot reward sexist and exploitative behaviour. When will we realize that this is our society, and that it affects all of us? How many more girls would have to blow Terry Richardson? Maybe one day, when your boyfriend is singing "NOW BLEED! BITCH BLEED! BLEED! BITCH BLEED! BLEED!" and you realize your name is Kim.
ETA: There has been a lot of debate about the focus on white men. People accuse me of not including men of colour because they might be abusers as well, but also people who accuse me of not including women of colour as victims. This essay is a study focused on the way power influences a certain race, and obviously white men aren't the only men who abuse, so this can be extended, and talked about in a different essay. Also, this comment is great.