In Response To The Stanford Rape Ruling And Letters

In Response To The Stanford Rape Ruling And Letters

Frustrations and reactions to a highly publicized and controversial case.
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This past week, huge press has been released surrounding a now highly publicized rape that took place last January at Stanford University. A few things make this case stand out from the staggering numbers of other yearly campus rape and assault cases. First, a lengthy letter written by the victim to her attacker was made public, and its graphic content and impactful message have been sparking people to speak out against crimes of this nature. Additionally, the perpetrator received a startlingly lenient sentence and shortly after the victim's letter was released, a second letter, written by the father of Brock Turner (the convicted student), was also made public, sparking continued outrage from me, as well as the rest of the country.

There are so many things about this case and verdict that infuriate me, so many places where such overwhelming injustice and selfishness is shown. When such a terrible act of rape or assault is so blatantly committed, why should there ever be any question of who is at fault? This woman was unconscious! No question about it, that alone is immediate and definitive proof that no consent was given and the violations against her should never have occurred.

In this case, aside from receiving an incredibly lenient and unfitting sentence, the rapist and his father both refuse to accept responsibility for his actions that night. They blame other outside factors - college stress was getting to him, partying and alcohol culture were controlling him, promiscuity among college students is basically a crisis.

And here's my one response to that particularly ridiculous claim: "Promiscuity and alcohol culture"? Are you kidding me? Anyone who tries to compare assault to standard promiscuity is seriously deluding themselves and completely disrespecting the victim of their terrible actions. To commit a crime like this, and then completely accept responsibility, apologize and repent is one thing - still horrible, but far better than denying what clearly happened and continuing to make the victim feel less and less worthy of any shred of respect.

This woman, who bravely shared a deeply personal letter, exposing every thought, memory and ounce of pain related to the worst moments of her life, was then forced to wait and suffer without any positive resolution for more than a year. Even now, she doesn't have true justice, as her rapist received a ridiculously light sentencing - more like a slap on the wrist than punishment for three felonies - and also refused to ever accept his guilt or apologize to his victim for his actions. Though he does say repeatedly in his own letter how much that night ruined his life, he never once mentions the young woman out there who was even more destroyed by it.

How is it even the slightest bit possible to convince anyone that violating and raping an unconscious, intoxicated woman without any indication of consent is the same as being a normal, promiscuous, and consenting, college student?

Brock Turner continues to make one cowardly and horrid choice after another. While he writes a statement to the judge of his case, his father is the one whose pathetic excuses for his son's despicable actions are most publicized. This letter is one of the things that seems to enrage people the most, myself among them. In this letter, Brock's father spends about three words vaguely mentioning the victim of his son's actions. The rest of the letter is spent pandering to the judge, regaling him with completely irrelevant stories from his son's "perfect" childhood, creating an image of Brock as the farthest thing from a rapist - a loving, academically focused athlete who everyone loves, "whether they are male or female." Likewise, in Brock's statement, he too completely ignores the victim, choosing only to lament his own ruined life and his forever broken "shell and core."

And ultimately, what kind of twisted system do we have, where a man, unanimously convicted of three separate serious felonies, can receive a sentence of only six months, half of which most likely won't even have to be served? It also makes me wonder: if someone non-white, non-educated, and non-athletic committed the exact same crime, how much of that 14-year potential sentence would they be serving?

So, to the sexist, deluded judge who issued this ruling: Next time you decide to feel sorry for a rapist, and lessen his sentence because a longer sentence would "have a severe impact on him," think about his victim. Think about the woman whose mental health, happiness, career and social life have all deteriorated immensely because of 20 minutes she can't even remember, the details of which are now on every screen in America. And think about every other woman out there who has been in a similar situation and never even got to have her voice heard.

Cover Image Credit: NBC

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I'm The Girl Who'd Rather Raise A Family Than A Feminist Protest Sign

You raise your protest picket signs and I’ll raise my white picket fence.
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Social Media feeds are constantly filled with quotes on women's rights, protests with mobs of women, and an array of cleverly worded picket signs.

Good for them, standing up for their beliefs and opinions. Will I be joining my tight-knit family of the same gender?

Nope, no thank you.

Don't get me wrong, I am not going to be oblivious to my history and the advancements that women have fought to achieve. I am aware that the strides made by many women before me have provided us with voting rights, a voice, equality, and equal pay in the workforce.

SEE ALSO: To The Girl Who Would Rather Raise A Family Than A Feminist Protest Sign

For that, I am deeply thankful. But at this day in age, I know more female managers in the workforce than male. I know more women in business than men. I know more female students in STEM programs than male students. So what’s with all the hype? We are girl bosses, we can run the world, we don’t need to fight the system anymore.

Please stop.

Because it is insulting to the rest of us girls who are okay with being homemakers, wives, or stay-at-home moms. It's dividing our sisterhood, and it needs to stop.

All these protests and strong statements make us feel like now we HAVE to obtain a power position in our career. It's our rightful duty to our sisters. And if we do not, we are a disappointment to the gender and it makes us look weak.

Weak to the point where I feel ashamed to say to a friend “I want to be a stay at home mom someday.” Then have them look at me like I must have been brain-washed by a man because that can be the only explanation. I'm tired of feeling belittled for being a traditionalist.

Why?

Because why should I feel bad for wanting to create a comfortable home for my future family, cooking for my husband, being a soccer mom, keeping my house tidy? Because honestly, I cannot wait.

I will have no problem taking my future husband’s last name, and following his lead.

The Bible appoints men to be the head of a family, and for wives to submit to their husbands. (This can be interpreted in so many ways, so don't get your panties in a bunch at the word “submit”). God specifically made women to be gentle and caring, and we should not be afraid to embrace that. God created men to be leaders with the strength to carry the weight of a family.

However, in no way does this mean that the roles cannot be flipped. If you want to take on the responsibility, by all means, you go girl. But for me personally? I'm sensitive, I cry during horror movies, I'm afraid of basements and dark rooms. I, in no way, am strong enough to take on the tasks that men have been appointed to. And I'm okay with that.

So please, let me look forward to baking cookies for bake sales and driving a mom car.

And I'll support you in your endeavors and climb to the top of the corporate ladder. It doesn't matter what side you are on as long as we support each other, because we all need some girl power.

Cover Image Credit: Unsplash

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GM Closing The Lordstown, OH Plant Is A Tragedy For All Of America And MUST Be Averted

The Ohio GM plant's closing could spell doom for a region struck by immense poverty and drug addiction.

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The Midwest has long been the bastion of American manufacturing. For decades, the region served as the gateway to a new life for migrants seeking to work in automobile plants and steel factories. Perhaps no other city embodies this than Youngstown, Ohio.

For decades the city was a hub for eastern Ohio, with steel foundries still aglow with the lights of the factory.

However, much of the city's population soon departed as the foundries shuttered, culminating in Black Monday in 1973 when 5,000 people lost their jobs. Yet, there was still some manufacturing in the GM Lordstown plant in Ohio.

Now? We found ourselves in yet another similar situation, as GM announced that the plant would close, leading to the loss of 1,400 jobs.

Now there were many justifications offered for this closing, along with the closing of other plants in North America. GM has seen a decline in the number of sales in the car the plant makes, the Chevy Cruze, and the plant only has one shift.

Another could be the tariffs levied on materials by the United States government, which have always been passed onto consumers. GM itself has stated that the immense tariffs on steel and aluminum cost them 1 billion dollars.

There are others, but these are some of the most prominent.

Regardless of the justifications, a solution must be found for these workers. While Representative Tim Ryan and Senator Sherrod Brown have harped on GM relentlessly over this potential catastrophe, the full scope of the effects of this closing should not be ignored.

Losing jobs in this fashion would be immensely detrimental to the region. This region has always been predicated on the industry and losing a significant number of jobs could exacerbate the region's unemployment rate, poverty rate and other factors.

This is not even diving into the opioid epidemic.

In the Steel Valley (featuring the plant), opioid deaths rose in 2017 even as they fell across the state to eight-year lows. Who knows the effects of a closing of this magnitude on the valley? I would not imagine them to be great, even if this is pure conjecture.

Now, I must note that I have a bias here — Ohio is where I spent the vast majority of my life, and even if I was on the other side of the state, I care about all portions of the state. Even with that bias, we should care about the fact that people are about to lose their livelihoods.

This has the potential to make families struggling to make ends meet destitute. President Trump said last year that people should not sell their homes and that all of the jobs were going to return.

Someone needs to make sure these people do not lose their jobs. Reprioritize, add a different product or SOMETHING. People's lives are at stake, and we should stand for no less than the defense of these workers.

I stand with the Lordstown workers. I hope those reading this do too.

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