Monthly Archives: February 2013

Women’s History deserves more than a Month

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Did you know that Women History Month is March? Neither did I until recently. Since 1911, March 8 has been International Women’s Day and in March 1987, Congress expanded the whole month of March to be about women. Even though I went through the public school system from 1995-2007, I never once learned about Women History Month. Though I don’t really care for Minority Months, the the months dedicated to every gender, race, culture, sexuality outside the stereotypical “white straight Christian man” created to show how minorities also helped shaped the United States, I do worry that people are forgetting how much women have done and continue to do for the United States.

I recently was planning my trip to New York city to see Susan B. Anthony’s home. My name is Susan and I have dedicated several research papers to her throughout my life. As I read the tips on the page, I cam across one comment: “Before a visit, get a deep background to understand with some precision what Susan B. Anthony is all about. She doesn’t much matter now, but she did then.” Wait, what??? Anthony is the reason why I, and millions of other women, was able to vote last election. Because of her and millions of other women who came before me, I am able to go to college, have a job, and walk outside my house without a man escorting me.

Susan B. Anthony Day

Susan B. Anthony Day (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In school we are taught about the Founding Fathers, but do we learned about the women who took care of the children, the house, and the harm while the men were busy? We learn about the soldiers that defended our country during war, but what about the women who worked in the factories or disguised themselves as men to join the war? We learn about the Presidents who created laws, but what about the First Ladies that made speeches to gain support for their husbands? Do we learn how it was the Women who worked for equality for Everyone, not only for themselves but for the slaves, the Native Americans, the Immigrants, the mental illness, the disabled,  the children, and even the “white straight Christian man.”

It is hard to believe that everyone realizes how great women are when politicians spend time and money trying to control women’s choices and bodies. A minority of men even believe “rape” is imaginary since women are always asking for it, a reason why a rapist can get a slap on the wrist while a victim is forced to drop out of school. Though more women than men graduate college, men continue to make more than women at the exact same job. Everyday women prove to the world how much they do matter; last summer it was the female athletes who brought home most of the medals home to the United States and last fall it was the female voters who decided the president. Women deserve more than a month that no one knows exist, they deserve an equal part in the history books.

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Steubenville Gang Rape Case: February Update

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In my earlier article about the Gang Rape in Steubenville, Ohio, I wrote on how a 16-year-old girl was raped by several members of the high school football team in Steubenville. Though there were possibly 50 witnesses to the rape and several students posted pictures and videos online of the unconscious girl at parties, no one came forward to report any of the rapists. Though the case was kept under wraps for months, it has gain national attention after New York Times and the technology-hacker group Anonymous became involved. Here is a February update on the case:

The two defendants, Trent Mays and Ma’lik Richmond, are facing rape charges in juvenile court. Mays’ attorney Adam Nemann asked for a change of venue due to the death threats his client was receiving, but was denied; the case will take place in Steubenville. The defendant attorneys filed a motion to postpone the court date; this motion was granted and the trial will now take place on March 13. The defendant and prosecution attorneys both filed a motion to keep the court private to protect the defendant and victim, but the motion was denied. One of the defendants also filed a motion to refer the victim as an “accuser” because “the ultimate question in this case is whether a crime was committed. Only after such determination can a person be declared a victim” wrote Attorney Walter Madison. The nation will be able to see inside the juvenile court, and sadly, see the victim. The judge in charge of the case is visiting judge Thomas Lipps.

Three football players (Mark Cole, Evan Westlake, and Anthony Craig) testified in October against the two defendants. It was originally believed the witnesses were granted immunity for their testimonies, but now Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine says the witnesses (all of whom may have photographed the alleged victim) have not been granted immunity. The FBI is currently investigated this trial.  At the end of January, UltraViolet presented a petition asking DeWine to investigate the incident to ensure that all of the people who were involved are prosecuted; the petition had 70,000 signatures. The petition mentions how under Ohio law, failure to report a felony is a crime. Thousands of people across the nation demand that all the witnesses face charges since they all knew that their friends raped an unconscious girl, but DeWine says that no one else will be charged. One of the friends who knew about, and joked, about the rape is Michael Nodianos. He is seen on a 12-minute video commenting on how the victim is probably dead and was peed on. He dropped out of Ohio State due to a large number of death threats.

Besides Nodianos, the Steubenville sheriff department has received death threats. Jefferson County Sheriff Fred Abdalla has been a target due to his comments at a Occupy Steubenville protest  (saying no further arrests would be made) and for his friendship with the football coach Reno Saccoccia. There was even a bomb threat on the Steubenville high school, though it was just a fake. Meanwhile, the victim has been receiving support from the nation, and though she is going through a tough time (crying at night), she hopes her case will help other victims.

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