Recently, I read the March 30 Daily Iowegian story “Area mayors combat sexual assault.” I want to applaud the mayors of these local towns for signing proclamations to battle sexual assault, especially those in Centerville, Moravia and Rathbun.
I moved to Centerville the summer before my seventh-grade year. As a teenager, it really didn't matter to me what kind of world I lived in as long as people liked me, I got a job I enjoyed and I fit in somehow.
However, as a 24-year-old woman working at a newspaper in Creston, I've had the opportunity to read newspaper articles about the many public sexual assault trials across the globe, and what I've learned these few years since graduating high school has made me what to be a person of change. Knowing there are people who still consider another person inferior just because of gender makes me angry. When a man can say he is better than a woman just because he is physically stronger, or stereotypically “better” in other ways, something needs to change.
Historically speaking, men have been in power a long time. But, times are changing. This patriarchy needs to change. Men (and I say men because statistically, more women are abused or oppressed than men in the same situation) are no longer the more powerful of the genders. Women are just as capable, if not more, in many of the same jobs as men. Studies have shown women can handle pain better than men. Women may not be as physically intimidating as men, but women can still push themselves beyond all limits and succeed in life.
As an activist for equal rights for all, my one concern is the teachings the communities provide. Thanks to something known as "rape culture," it has been shown that teaching women to not be assaulted is a failed path to choose. What we must do is teach all people to respect others and not assault. By showing young men in school that respecting their female classmates is proper and that those females are not objects meant for their amusement, we can start improving all assault statistics, not just sexual assault. This will also lead to safer college campuses for all people.