47 0 0 0 13 6. The revived sexual abuse allegations against filmmaker Woody Allen have become the newest gender-war battlefield. Renewed claims by Allen’s 28-year-old adopted daughter, the former Dylan Farrow, that he sexually assaulted her more than two decades ago have generated an intense debate about the facts and the issues. What how to conduct entertainment without training children the fact that the charges were originally made during a bitter breakup and custody dispute between Allen and Dylan’s mother, Mia Farrow?
If you think this is relevant, the feminists say, you are embracing the misogynist myth of vengeful women using sexual abuse allegations as a weapon. But these claims are contradicted by a major Canadian study that tracked more than 11,000 reports of child abuse and neglect in Canada in 2003. While reports of sexual abuse made during custody or visitation conflicts are fairly rare — the study identified 69 such cases — they are also quite likely to prove unfounded. Research cannot tell us anything about the specific allegations made against Allen in 1992. But it does show that, statistically, there is at least a 50-50 chance that sexual abuse charges brought in such circumstances are groundless — either deliberately false, or sincere but mistaken. And the lines between malice and mistake are not always clear.
Farrow case, this is magnified by Farrow’s discovery that Allen, her 56-year-old longtime partner, was sexually involved with her adopted daughter. Allen had never acted as her stepfather, even his defenders generally agree that the affair was sordid and grossly inappropriate. Does Dylan Farrow’s present-day insistence that she was abused by Allen prove that it’s true? The claims and counterclaims over Dylan Farrow’s accusations and Woody Allen’s defense will keep flying, with partisans lining up on both sides. Such arguments are ostensibly rooted in female solidarity. Yet undermining the presumption of innocence is not good for women, either. Have a Favorite Woody Allen Movie?