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Audrie & Daisy (2016)Audrie & Daisy (2016)

This deeply disturbing film about sexual violence against adolescent girls premiered at the Sundance Film Festival on January 25, 2016, and then in September was purchased by and made available on Netflix. It tells two horrific stories. On September 12, 2012, Audrie Pott, a fifteen-year-old student at Saratoga High School in California, committed suicide several days after she was sexually assaulted while intoxicated and unconscious, and photos of the assault, including images of her nude body, decorated by her assailants with degrading words and images, were circulated via cell phones and online.  Her story then went national.  Similarly, Daisy Coleman, then fourteen, and her friend Paige Parkhurst, of Maryville, Missouri, were raped while intoxicated.  Daisy was left outside in the snow afterward, her family’s home was burned down, and she attempted suicide twice.  Her story also went national when the prosecutor dropped charges.  These stories, and others like them, raise troubling questions about our culture which makes it somehow "okay" for adolescent boys to engage in such violent behavior with near impunity, the role of social media in bullying and shaming, a legal system that doles out light sentences (cf. the Brock Turner case at Stanford), and the sexualization of adolescent girls.  For more on this important issue, see our JwJ book review of Nancy Jo Sales, American Girls: Social Media and the Secret Lives of Teenagers (2016); and the article about Audrie Pott by Nina Burleigh, Rolling Stone, "Sexting, Shame, and Suicide" (September 17, 2013).

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