In the most recent episode of “Downton Abbey” to air in America, the lady’s maid Anna Bates — whose story through four seasons has almost exclusively focused on her romance with her husband — is raped by a visiting valet. It is not the first example of sexual misconduct on the show. But it is the most sexually violent act to occur to any character. Not surprisingly, the incident has been hugely controversial.
When it first aired in the UK, viewers complained about sexual violence on an otherwise fairly frothy PBS program. (I say “fairly frothy” in a nod to the deaths of Sybil and Matthew.) The UK’s media regulatory agency declined to investigate the over 400 complaints made to both the agency and ITV, the channel on which “Downton” airs, saying that it provided a proper warning before the show about the content. But now that it has aired on PBS here in America, a large share of the criticism is coming from feminist bloggers who take issue with how the rape was handled on the show. Keep reading »
If you’re an avid Tinder user or an OkCupid enthusiast, there’s a new app that can help protect you from the possible dangerous consequences of meeting up with people IRL. NameTag uses facial recognition software to give you all the details on a potential date– including whether or not they’re a registered sex offender. It’s basically an anti-sexual assault Pokédex. The future is now. Read more on The Gloss…
UPDATE, 3:30: Matthew Barnett plead guilty to the child endangerment charge this afternoon as part of a plea deal. He was sentenced to two years of probation and a four-month suspended jail term. [AP]
Matthew Barnett, the teenaged boy from Maryville, Missouri, who initially saw charges against him dropped in the alleged sexual assault of Daisy Coleman, was charged today with a single count of misdemeanor child endangerment.
And … that’s it.
You read that right: No sexual assault charge whatsoever. Keep reading »
UPDATE, 7/14/14: Conor Oberst’s accuser, Joanie Faircloth, released a statement today admitting her accusations were “100 percent false.”
The recent rape allegations against Conor Oberst of the band Bright Eyes hit really, uncomfortably close to home for me.
In the past few weeks, it’s come to light that an anonymous xoJane commenter confessed in a comment in a post thread that when she was 16, a decade ago, she had some inappropriate sexual contact with Oberst, who was in his mid-twenties at the time. The comments have since been deleted but a rape allegation was made; the commenter wrote that her husband had encouraged her to “out” Oberst as a means of empowerment. Keep reading »
Daisy Coleman, the Maryville, Missouri, teenager whose rape by a politically well-connected classmate attracted nationwide attention, tried to commit suicide this week.
Daisy was raped in 2012 at age 14 by some of her male classmates at a party she attended with a girl friend. Both girls were given alcohol by older boys and allegedly raped while drunk; one of the rapes was allegedly recorded with an iPhone camera and passed around school. The night, the boys dropped Daisy and her friend, Paige Parkhurst, off at Daisy’s home. While Paige made it inside, Daisy was left outside on the front lawn overnight in freezing temperatures while drunk. Her alleged rapist, high school football player Matthew Barnett, then 17, had all charges dismissed against him. Matthew is the grandson of a MO state representative. Keep reading »
Six people have been charged in the alleged dual gang rape of a 21-year-old woman in India earlier this week. In all, 10 people were arrested in connection with the attack, which occurred on Christmas Eve. Keep reading »