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Feminist 'Lynch Mob' Is Wrong on Woody Allen

Cathy Young: It's ridiculous to presume he's guilty based on dogma
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 13, 2014 1:13 PM CST

(Newser) – In an essay at Time, Cathy Young takes issue with those in the "feminist camp" who are arguing so strongly that Woody Allen must be guilty of molesting daughter Dylan Farrow. The problem is that they're convicting him based on principle rather than on fact, writes Young. Women don't make up allegations like this, goes their thinking, and therefore to side with Allen is to dishonor all victims of sexual abuse. Young finds it "appalling" that so many feminists—she takes particular umbrage with Jessica Valenti at the Nation—dismiss out of hand the particulars of the Allen-Farrow case that raise questions about his guilt.

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Young isn't necessarily making the case for Allen's innocence, but she's worried that the he-must-be-guilty message will filter into our legal system and into "our conversation on gender." She also equates the "Stand With Dylan" movement to the misguided notions that led to bogus sex-abuse scares in the 1980s and '90s. "Perhaps we still haven’t learned the larger lesson," she concludes. "A movement that demands belief in one person’s accusations against another as a matter of faith, not fact, is not a movement for justice. It is a lynch mob waiting to happen." Click for the full column. (Read more Woody Allen stories.)

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