Friday, October 21, 2016

Audrie and Daisy: Documentary urges discussion of teen rape.

Audrie and Daisy Review
I think the biggest event that happened last March that had lots of people talking was the Brock Turner case. He's the Stanford student who was at a party, found an unconscious girl, dragged her around a dumpster and sexually assaulted her. Two men on bikes caught Brock in the act and Brock ran for it. The two bikers went after him, caught him and held him down until the authorities arrived. Sounds like an open-and-shut case, right? Sadly, we all know it wasn't. Brock Turner got six months, three on good behavior. Why? Because the judge pitied him because he was a good swimmer. Whats sad is that athletes of color have gone down for similar crimes and gotten years in jail.

At the end of "Audrie and Daisy," the new Netflix documentary detailing two different cases of teenage sexual assault, we learn that sexual assault is most common in our teenage population and several cases go unreported. Why do so many of these cases go unreported? Well, just watching the new documentary by Jon Shenk and Bonni Cohen, you get the a real clear picture of why they go unreported. The victims don't feel they have any avenue to travel down. When they are brave enough to stand up and take a stand for what happened to them, they are treated as the criminals, not the victims. Our culture when it comes to sexual assault is proven backwards in this new film.

Audrie Pott and Daisy Coleman have similar stories. They were both young teenagers who found themselves at a party with alcohol apart of them. They both passed out intoxicated. They were both sexually assaulted. When Audrie found out what happened to her, she was so distraught and guilt-ridden over it that she committed suicide. When Daisy found out what happened to her, she tried to reach an outlet, find some kind of justice. But when the justice system got involved, what ultimately happened was no jail time for the attackers, and a massive wave of cyber-bullying for Daisy. If you have a good memory, you may remember hearing about Daisy's story, because it got public media attention. All the little town of Maryville could focus on was the unwanted attention the media brought, not focusing on the case and figuring out what was right. The sheriff gave our favorite excuse as to why the charges were dropped on Daisy's attackers. It was "boys being boys" and "crimes happen against boys too." 

Well, yes we understand that crimes happen to boys as well. That's not the point of the case though. The case involved boys and that is why those particular boys were being prosecuted. But these boys belonged to rich and powerful parents of this small town, just as Brock Turner was a swimmer going to make it to the Olympics, so we can't destroy their lives with this crime.

But why not? Why can't anybody be responsible for their actions? Why are certain cases special like this and not everyone gets a fair shake. Why are victims of rape tormented afterwards? Is rape culture real? I would say rape culture is real, so why does nobody want to admit it?

Its sad that a documentary has to be made about this subject. But with the recent Brock Turner case, and that one of the people running to be our next President is involved in something like this, its need to be seen. "Audrie and Daisy" is a documentary we need right now, and it breaks my heart. We need to make sure rape victims have a voice. That they get a fair trial. We need to make sure those in question are responsible for their actions, no matter how rich and powerful they are or their families. A possible perpetrator in a rape case shouldn't be given special treatment simply because he's a hometown hero, he should remain responsible for his actions. This movie proves that we are still afraid of the big, fat "R" word. I even think people misuse the word. But when somebody is saying they have been raped, we shouldn't automatically say they are crying wolf. Conduct a fair investigation. We need people to come forth and have their voices being heard.

I hate getting political on a movie blog, but "Audrie and Daisy" is a movie that is going to get you thinking. Its going to get you debating. Its going to force you to think about this subject. Like I said, its a movie we need right now. Its righteously powerful.


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