• A Norwegian citizen visiting Dubai reported to police that she had been raped. The police responded by charging her with the crime of having sex outside of marriage. Thanks to international attention, she's now free—but what would have happened if she wasn't a foreigner? [Slate]
Now boarding at Gate 39: director Pedro Almodóvar takes his audience on a giddy ride with a frivolous sex comedy, leveling out at cruising altitude for ecstatic silliness.
Almodovar's new film I'm So Excited! Is a brightly colored 60's style pop art farce set on an airplane that's full of troubled characters and has no way to land. Think Airplane! but with even more sex, drugs, and relationship jokes (yes, it's possible).
Over the past year, Academy Award-nominated documentary The Invisible War has shone a spotlight on the issue of sexual assault in the military. Politicians and civilians alike are talking about this problem more than ever. While progress is slow, it seems the military will make some change. I spoke with Coast Guard veteran and rape survivor Kori Cioca, one of the film's main subjects, to see what she thinks about the film, her experiences in the military, and her life since the documentary's release.
• The immigrant you won't see in The Bling Ring: In real life, one of the members of the "bling ring" of teens that stole from Hollywood celebrities' homes was undocumented immigrant Diana Tamayo, but in the new Sophia Coppola movie, she's cast as a white citizen. [Colorlines]
The premise is deceptively simple: A group of girlfriends reunite on a Maine camping trip for the first time in years. They come across three military men, long-ago acquaintances from school, and the groups merge for a lakeshore party. Alcohol is imbibed, and one of the girls heads off to the woods with one of the men.
This past year, rape has dominated the headlines. From front-page coverage of the Penn State trials to Todd Akin's "legitimate rape" comment to international outcry about gang rape in India to national focus on Steubenville, talking about rape—a long-silenced topic—is finally a mainstream conversation. We are in a unique cultural moment where the ever-present epidemic of sexual violence is being recognized.
We need to not only recognize the reality of rape, but work to end it. We need a platform to honor survivors that will forever change the way the American public responds to their experiences. We need to create a national monument to survivors of rape and abuse.