I’ve always found the whole Woody Allen/Soon-Yi Previn love story off-putting. It crosses family boundaries that I find exceptionally distasteful. And it’s not as simple as sexual jealousy, although, clearly that plays a role in my reaction. The thought of one of my male peers ending a relationship with me and then marrying my much younger daughter is obviously a hard slap in the face. But thinking about Woody/Soon Yi also triggers a motherly response, too: part of the distaste arises from wanting to protect my child, who will always be my child, no matter what her age. I agree that accusing Woody Allen of molesting his daughter Dylan was just bullshit, vindictive bitch divorce tactics from Mia Farrow, and that whole story just stinks to high heaven.
Repulsive is the word that comes most freely to mind when I think about Woody Allen. He revolts me. He might be the most unfuckable man I have ever laid eyes on, although there are some male feminists out there who give him a run for the money. I understand that Allen’s lack of sexual appeal to me is evidence of exactly jack shit, and I have written on that subject in a previous post. Today, I finally ran across the hypocritical, bitter harpy who compels me to defend Woody Allen and his marriage to Soon-Yi, which has endured for 20 years.
Slate has ditched Amanda Marcotte as their resident angry feminist, and replaced her with slightly less angry but no less bitter Christina Cauterucci, and boy, is Christina mad about Woody Allen and Soon-Yi.
The most disturbing thing! Oh my gosh, what on earth did Woody say?
I was paternal. She responded to someone paternal. I liked her youth and energy. She deferred to me, and I was happy to give her an enormous amount of decision-making just as a gift and let her take charge of so many things. She flourished.
Allen goes on to describe how his relationship with Soon-Yi has transformed both their lives:
Oh, well, one of the great experiences of my life has been my wife. She had a very, very difficult upbringing in Korea: She was an orphan on the streets, living out of trash cans and starving as a 6-year-old. And she was picked up and put in an orphanage. And so I’ve been able to really make her life better. I provided her with enormous opportunities, and she has sparked to them. She’s educated herself and has tons of friends and children and got a college degree and went to graduate school, and she has traveled all over with me now. She’s very sophisticated and has been to all the great capitals of Europe. She has just become a different person. So the contributions I’ve made to her life have given me more pleasure than all my films.
Caterwauling Cauterucci finds this outrageous! How dare Soon-Yi embrace the advantages her husband provided her with?
It confounds the mind to consider why a husband might boast about making his wife’s life “better” when “better” means “not starving and homeless.” To Allen, Previn has been a project, a charitable cause, a prized accomplishment—half a world away from anything like an equal partner.
Cauterucci drips venom at Woody, snarling that Allen ‘transformed a helpless orphan into a semi-autonomous homemaker’ and even though, by all accounts, they appear to be quite happy, Cauterucci still hopes Allen’s career is affected negatively, because she doesn’t like the fact that Woody Allen really did transform a helpless orphan into a semi-autonomous homemaker. At no point does the whining, jealous feminist ever explain why this is a bad thing. She just doesn’t like it, and she tosses out every accusation from racism to pedophilia at Allen, hoping some of it sticks.
Because she dares not speak the word: patriarchy.
Allen and Soon-Yi have a very traditional, patriarchal marriage, which has endured for 20 years, and does not appear to be going anywhere soon. Allen has derived more joy from his wife and his marriage than he has from all his films, and that makes feminists spit with incoherent rage. Not only has Soon-Yi been the recipient of untold largess both in terms of material and cultural benefits, but the man finds his greatest happiness in providing for her.
Anything that makes men happy, you can count on feminists to despise. The very notion of male happiness repels them. If men are happy, this must involve some terrible sacrifice on the part of women. If he is happy, it must be because she is somehow oppressed. Happiness is a zero sum game for feminists, which is why they are all so unhappy all the time.
I found so much to relate to in Allen’s words, quite frankly. I’m not an orphan, but I was raised by crazed evangelical Christians who were exceptionally violent to their children. Needless to say, I did not find the process of maturing into a loving, affectionate adult capable of having healthy, mutually satisfying relationships with other humans an easy row to hoe. I had to teach myself how to be a kind and loving person. I had literally no examples of that from my childhood. I do not have a single memory of even a moment of affection or praise from my parents.
I knew two things, somehow, though: I knew my parents were nuts, and I knew that my upbringing was an explanation for why some things would be difficult for me, not an excuse to simply repeat the cycle. And I knew that my best bet to form a stable, loving family would be to choose a man who would be willing to set and enforce boundaries.
And that is precisely what I did. My husband comes from a very loving, stable family where lifetime marriages are the norm, not the exception. His grandparents were married until death parted them, his parents are celebrating their 51st anniversary and he has many extended relatives with enduring marriages. He grew up surrounded by actual, loving couples dedicated to each other and their families. He understood perfectly that I had none of these examples to draw upon outside of the world of fiction, and he knew that he would have to teach me a lot of basic, fundamental things about how marriages actually work. There would be moments of resistance from me (quite a few, actually) and he would have to stand firm and never give in.
He was very paternal. I responded to someone very paternal. He liked my youth and energy. I deferred to him, and he was happy to give me an enormous amount of decision-making just as a gift and he let me take charge of so many things. I flourished.
My sphere of decision-making is domestic. I am extremely happy to live the life I do, and I feel no resentment or lack of fulfilment because I don’t make decisions in the larger world outside my home. Quite the opposite: I’m very grateful I don’t have to do that. I understand what a privilege and luxury it is.
Guess what? The happiest couples are ones in traditional, conventional, patriarchal marriages. Women and children are physically safest under the care of a husband and father. Women who restrict their participation in the broader culture report themselves to be the happiest in the world.
I still find Woody Allen revolting, but perhaps he is a smidgen less unfuckable to me now. My skin doesn’t crawl quite as much. I wouldn’t want the smug, ugly little fucker to ever touch me, but I have a better understanding of why Soon Yi felt differently.
Patriarchal marriage: it works. And more importantly, it makes both men and women happier. That’s a secret feminism wants to keep well hidden. Sneering at happy couples is meant to distract all of us from the fact that feminism is an economic project to fleece men of resources and allow women who don’t want boundaries or limits set on their behavior to still have access to male resources. Feminists want access to be free. No cost for women. All men must provide, whether they want to or not, and women are obliged to give nothing in return.
#HeForShe is patriarchy rebooted. Men get all their traditional obligations to support and provide for women and children, and women get no obligations of any kind. It sounds like a good deal for women, right? It’s not. It makes everyone absolutely miserable.
Just look at feminists.
Has anyone ever seen a happy one?
Lots of love,