Downton Abbey’s Rape Scene Exemplifies Need to Stop Using Rape in Storytelling

Falls Into Writing

Let me start by stating my main request: Stop using rape for shock value, to add dramatic intensity, or to add emotional depths to characters in storytelling. Rape is not a story. It is a fact of life for many, and one that can never be covered well enough to make it worthwhile to use casually or to gain notoriety.

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Spoilers: The following post may contain spoilers for Downton Abbey season 4, episode 3

I’m a huge fan of the show Downton Abbey helmed by Julian Fellowes. I’ve encouraged others to watch, discussed seasons over cups of tea, and baked fresh scones for season premieres. But tonight’s episode, which has already aired in the U.K., featured a scene involving lady’s maid Anna (Joanne Froggatt) being raped downstairs by a visiting servant named Green (Nigel Harman), while above an opera singer sings a love song in juxtaposition.

I am not so…

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