Tuesday, February 04, 2014

men are human but what if the man is woody allen

Woke up with a bad headache and the shifting shadow of a bad dream confusing my angry morning darkness. Gladys was shouting that her head hurt and Baby (still nameless) was "patting" me sharply on the face and bellowing my name.

The dream wasn't about bad children, though, it was one of those horrid ones where you're trying to get away from a thug but you're too slow and stupid to enact any kind of plan. I think I was looking on in terror as some hulk with the features of Woody Allen set about to make like difficult. Then I was on a plane (another kind of nightmare) and then the children screaming.

I had gone to bed wondering how that small weasel-ly man, Woody Allen, can go on being famous and beloved all these years and prey on young girls like it's no big deal (assuming the charges are true) Hollywood double standard bla bla bla. Something must be done, I thought to myself. But what? 

The fact is, there are really evil men who have hurt and do hurt and will go on hurting women in unspeakable ways. Just read that weird and horrible story in Judges about the Levite and his concubine and you will see how very old and traumatizing and part of the whole human experience this is. It's no wonder that well meaning people look at the violence of the world, and even men in particular, and think, 'I must shield myself from that and I must make sure that my boys don't ever do that. Here, sit quiet and do as you're told. That will be a good solution.'  In the name of fairness and safety (that ridiculous idea, I'm sure you've heard it, that if women ruled the world we'd all live in meadows of butterflies and flowers) and equality and rights bla bla bla, women have banded together to do away with all the evil in men and in the world.

Except that it hasn't worked. For a hundred years it hasn't worked. Instead of a more peaceful society and world and less violence against women we have the same violence and degradation we had before but now we've managed to dehumanize the offending half--men. If you have to be a man, poor you, you had better be as gentle as possible and by that, of course, I mean passive. Don't Scare Anyone with your evil masculinity! Meanwhile the women are allowed to be as pushy as they want.

Don't get excited. I don't have a novel solution. The solution is as boring as the bible. If you run around looking for the evil in the other person, you unhappily miss it in yourself. And when you go about trying to fix that other person's evil, you actually end up trying to make them look like you and that's idolatry. 

So yes, I guess I'd have to say that Woody Allen is a human being. A really rotten nasty one like all the other ones. And it is so evil that men violate and degrade women. But that degeneration doesn't justify the dehumanizing of all men everywhere in all time. That was a poor solution to a bad problem. Too bad more people aren't more interested in the real solution--Jesus--but I guess I will leave that to him--the best and most human man ever.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

My husband and I laugh heartily at your apt characterizations of Life Going On.

Apropos today's post, on a somber note sadly resonant with Farrow's experience is this about Bill Gothard, a man of influence gone wrong. I grew up in his orbit, and am still finding my way out, looking for the day when All is Made Right.