What Grinds My Gears

Story by: Ian Carson, Editor in Chief

Mike Pence recently signed a law that severely restricts the right of women to obtain an abortion, as established by the Roe v. Wade supreme court case. Under the guise of protecting women, the bill prohibits abortions due to the fact that the baby will, or might, have “any disability.” In addition, the bill prohibits abortions due to ancestry, a thinly-veiled attempt at prohibiting abortion due to incest.

The bill purports to protect from discrimination, preventing women from having an abortion due to a fetus’s sex or race, but this is nothing more than a cover-up of a bill whose primary purpose is to restrict women’s rights.

The fact of the matter is, a woman should not be required legally to provide a reason for her abortion. She should not have to register with the government a pre-approved reason for abortion. This is an invasion of privacy and, as I see it, a violation of the Fourth Amendment’s guarantee of a reasonable expectation of privacy in one’s person and effects.

No woman would seek an abortion out of pleasure. It is not an easy decision made out of some sadistic joy of destroying a potential child, it is one of deep consideration and emotional turmoil. The decision to obtain an abortion is a private concern, and the government has no right to invade this domain of intimacy.

In addition, the bill puts a financial burden on women. Under the bill, women must pay for funeral and cremation services if she is the victim of a miscarriage. It has been tradition for the hospital to cover the cost of a miscarriage, but this bill somehow charges women responsible for the miscarriage.

Opponents may say that harsher restrictions on abortion protect women from complications during abortion. However, the data of such procedures discount any reason for concern. According to the Center for Disease Control, legally obtained abortions have a mortality rate of 0.0007%. The mortality rate for colonoscopy-specific deaths, according to the CDC, is 0.007%. Compared to the mortality rate for colonoscopies, which is a recommended procedure for many adults, legally-obtained abortions are ten times less deadly.

The right to an abortion was guaranteed in Roe v. Wade. Also under this case, women are not required to list a reason for obtaining an abortion, calling into question the constitutionality of the law passed. Planned Parenthood v. Casey granted the right of the states to place certain restrictions that do not pose an “undue burden” on women seeking abortions.

It is my belief that this bill places an undue burden on women and invades their right to privacy as guaranteed by the Fourth Amendment.

Someone help Kesha

Story by: Maggie Brown, News/Copy Editor

As most people have heard one way or another, pop singer Kesha was recently denied a preliminary injunction, or the right to produce music outside of Sony and her contract with Dr. Luke.

Kesha has made claims that Dr. Luke has sexually, physically, emotionally and verbally abused her since she first signed on with him in 2005. The New York Supreme Court ruled that Kesha did not have enough evidence to legally remove herself from this contract with her alleged abuser, although Sony has cracked under pressure from the public and dropped Dr. Luke from it’s label without any official legal persuasion.

This is disgusting on so many levels. The idea that the legal system allows a woman who identified her alleged abuser to continue to be forced into a relationship with that abuser is horrifying and wrong. Sony Music views this woman, a human being who has been hurt in so many ways, as nothing more than an investment. Kesha had the bravery to step forward and tell her story, even though she must have been well aware of the reaction she would receive, and I applaud her endlessly for it.

This case, while tragic, is not the only one of its kind. Everyday people who have survived sexual abuse are faced with criticism from people all around them, often people they thought they could trust.

Sexual assault is one of the most underreported crimes, with nearly 68% being left unreported. According to the website for the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network, of every 100 rapes, only 32 will be reported to police. Of those 32, only seven people will be arrested, and of those seven, only two will ever spend a single day in prison.

Rape culture surrounds us, whether we realize it or not. Every time someone teaches a young woman to simply avoid being in areas where she might get raped, they unknowingly promote rape culture. We teach our daughters to carry keys in their hands like knives and download apps to ensure their safety, but why is it we rarely hear anyone teaching anyone else not to rape? It seems like common sense, but the numbers support a clearly different message.

The idea behind “don’t get raped” is often overlooked, because very few people know to look for it. What people who say this are really telling people is “make sure that someone else gets raped instead.” Even if we do not mean to, we make it so that even though our world may be safe, someone else’s might not be. There will always be a girl whose skirt is a little shorter, who had a bit more to drink, who took a sketchy route home, and I want her to be just as safe as I am.

Kesha is shedding light on a subject that remains in the dark far too often. People don’t want to talk about sexual abuse; they believe it’s filthy, it’s the victim’s fault for being drunk or for wearing revealing clothes, or it could never happen to someone like them. But it could, and there is a one-in-four chance that it might.

It is important that we as a society learn to unlearn the aggression and desire for power that we instill in young boys at an early age, to teach everyone of every gender that no means no, stop means stop, and their partner doesn’t owe them their body in any way.

For more information and stories of sexual abuse survivors visit https://rainn.org/ .

You’re racist… and so am I

Story by: Dakota Fisher, Sports Editor

For some, racism is a very difficult concept to grasp, and I am not entirely sure why.

Even as a privileged, middle-class, white woman, I see racism everywhere, even though I do not personally experience it. In no way is it possible for me, a privileged, middle-class, white woman to experience racism. Let me say it one more time, it is not possible for me, a privileged, middle-class, white woman to experience racism; however, that is not what this article is about.

Racism is everywhere. Literally everyone is racist to an extent because racism has become such a pivotal part of today’s society that it often goes unnoticed. Granted, just about everything is racist so it is hard not to be racist because we have gotten so used to accepting the racist things that happen every day. We simply disregard them as stereotypes and “it’s only a stereotype because it’s true” has become simply a camouflage for racist tendencies. It is important to recognize that prejudice is inherent in society  and try to avoid it as much as possible.

Racism is about more than just not liking black people. Racism is the fact that it took 223 years to have a person of color in the White House.  Racism is unlawful killing of people of color that receive little to no media attention, much like the death of Sandra Band in July of 2015. Racism is the fact that, according to the ACLU, black Americans are 20% more likely to experience police brutality. Racism is the fact that women of color make up to 63 cents to the dollar less than white men and 13 cents on the dollar less than white women.

Just because a white person has black friends, does not mean it is okay to say the n-word. Just because bindis are cool, does not mean they can be worn as a fashion accessory by someone of a different faith.

Everyone does racist things because we live in America, a country founded and deeply rooted in racism; for example, in 1964, some states required black voters to take literacy tests in order to vote. However, just because we grew up with this institutionalized racism does not mean that we need to conform to the set standards and expectations of racist America.

Star Wars gives women a lead they can look up to

Story by: Sydney Shurman, Reviews Editor
Photo by: Dakota Fisher, Sports Editor

Star Wars 3

When people watch movies, they absorb the story and form an opinion about it, whether that opinion is good or bad. However, people rarely take away the small nuances that can actually speak volumes about where we are at as a society. Since Star Wars was the biggest movie of the year, any messages it sends will be heard loud and clear, and the feminist message practically screams.

Star Wars has a history of strong female characters, notably Princess Leia. However, Rey is in a class of her own. Not only is she the actual protagonist of the story, but it is made clear from the beginning of the movie that she does not need anyone to save her.

The truly amazing aspect of Rey however, is that during the movie, it is actually possible to forget about gender entirely. It is great that Rey promotes feminism by being the complete opposite of a damsel in distress. What truly promotes feminism though, is that her gender is not even important. She is a tough-as-nails, incredible, fully realized character who fights her own battles. Period.

Throughout the entire movie, the audience sees Rey simply trying to survive, and she does a pretty fantastic job of it. She remains modestly dressed the whole time, and people of all genders can find something to love.

There is no need for oversexualization, acting dumb, needing saving, or any other common female character tropes. Rey proves that society may just be changing for the better, and she provides hope for the future of all characters.

Your horoscope

Story by: Maggie Brown, News/Copy Editor
Photo by: Zoe Jenkins, staff photographer

Horoscopes

Aries- There is a man. The man does not know your name, or who you are. He never will, unless you save him. Please, save him.

Taurus- This new year, spice things up a little! Spice everything up a little! Rub oregano on everyone you love!

Gemini- Life may seem a bit unmanageable right now, but that’s only because it is and death comes for us all.

Cancer- Don’t shoot the messenger! Someone will hear the gunshot. Stab the messenger and dispose of the body accordingly.

Leo- Be very very careful, or the twisted nonsense of logical thinking will destroy you.

Virgo- Something fascinating is happening soon. Check your local Food Network listings.

Libra- Today is your lucky day, which is nice, because tomorrow is your unlucky day. Bring bug spray and be prepared for anything.

Scorpio- It is escaping. Quickly, go to it before anyone hears its ghastly crying. Run, Scorpio. Run.

Sagittarius- Pennies seem worthless, I know, but collect as many as you possibly can before sunset. You’ll understand when the time comes.

Capricorn- That thing you’ve been thinking about buying for the past couple of days? Buy it in bulk.

Aquarius- Throw a dinner party. Pick it up and fling it to the other end of the continent. Go on, we all know you’ve been hiding your powers from us. Throw it. Throw the party.

Pisces- Do not cover him with corn. The birds will peck it all away and you will be discovered. Cover him with grass. Cows are much lazier than birds.

What Grinds My Gears

Story by: Ian Carson, Editor in Chief

You wanna know what grinds my gears? Mental illness mislabeling. This may seem like a petty issue, but such mislabeling abets the mental illness stigma that exists today, which is largely due to ignorance of mental illness.

We all have that one eccentric friend who likes to keep their room unnecessarily clean. It is fine to make jokes about it and poke fun, but it is not okay to say, “Oh my gosh, you’re so OCD.” Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is a serious mental illness and when the term is misused, it propagates a stigma that keeps Americans misinformed about the reality of mental illness.

“The stereotyping of mental illness is both detrimental to the people who suffer from it as well as the societal perception of mental disorders,” said Sabrina Woods, 12. “And it’s even worse that it happens as often as it does.”

This misuse includes the word “depressed.” Just because someone is very sad does not mean they are clinically depressed. Clinical depression is a very real mental illness from which 3-5% of people across the world suffer. Claiming that someone is clinically depressed when they are only sad also contributes to the public ignorance of mental disorders.

When mental disorders are misunderstood and stereotypes are propagated, people with mental illness are shunned and forced to deal with prejudice that is detrimental to their well being.

Syrians deserve compassion not suspision

Story by: Jenna Jones, Opinions Editor

When I first heard about the 10,000 Syrian refugees who were supposed to be screened and then accepted into the United States, I was relieved. I thought it was about time that the U.S. stepped into its role and took on some responsibility.

My hopes were quickly crushed.

I believe that there is a fundamental problem with the way we, as a people, think when an overwhelming amount of Americans, specifically our leaders, have devoted themselves to preventing others from escaping horrible conditions. In fact, several of our leaders are going out of their way to keep these people where they are.

Of 50 U.S. state governors, 31 have stated their intentions to refuse the refugees. One of those governors is Indiana’s own Mike Pence.

Not only is this illegal, it is morally wrong and extremely disappointing.

State governors are not legally able to deal with immigration policies, while the President has the power to accept refugees at any time.

The claim that refugees pose a threat to the people here is incriminating to the Syrians and disregarding the precautions our nation has in place. The United States has one of the most intensive screenings in the world, and assuming that the people fleeing from war and ISIS are threats is ridiculous and offensive.

Column: What Grinds My Gears

Story by: Baylie Clevenger, Managing Editor

You know what really grinds my gears? The number of people who are misinformed about what feminism is.

Feminism, by definition according to Merriam-Webster Online, is “the belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities.”

Recently in my AP English class, we did a project about feminism in which we interviewed people and asked them if they considered themselves feminists. After their answer a member of the project group would read them the definition of feminism and ask them if that changed their mind. During this project I opened my eyes a little to how many people are still misinformed about feminism.

We received answers like “No, because I am not a woman,” or “No because I do not think that women should be considered better than men, people take it too far.”

What is ridiculous to me is that society is so blinded by the few extremists that they cannot see what a positive movement this really is.

Not only does feminism promote women’s rights, but it is another step toward equality all together. Even though women can drive and vote and we are no longer expected to only ever be a homemaker, that does not mean we are completely equal. Also, in other countries around the world, women have it worse off than here in America, having next to no rights. Women in other countries are often used as weapons of war, being beaten, raped, and harmed in other savage acts.  So not only could the feminist movement help here at home, but it could bring equality and peace to women around the world.

Things like the pay gap between men and women of all races, gender roles, forcing young girls into arranged marriages, victim blaming, and using women as weapons of war are all awful occurrences that could be stopped with feminist ideology.

When there is a movement for such positive changes I just do not understand why anyone would choose to be blind about the fact that gender inequality is still alive and thriving in all corners of the world and this movement could fix it.

Top 5 reasons to be politically aware

Story by: Dakota Fisher, Sports Editor

Being politically aware is hard, especially when you are young. Older generations often underestimate the power of young people who are politically aware and it can be hard to convince anyone otherwise. Here are a few reasons to be politically aware, even though no one wants you to be.

  1. The Future.

Even though the Baby Boomers and GI Generation like to say that they were the last good generation and that our generation will be the downfall of American society, they could not be more wrong. Paying attention to what is going on in the big scary world of politics and using your voice to stand up for what you believe in and how you want your government to be run is important to safeguard the future of America.

  1. Preparing for 18.

Minors often have the mindset that since they are not eligible to vote yet that they do not need to worry about politics, but I could not disagree more. Knowing what is going on in your government can make you aware that are changing and laws that are being passed that may affect you. Even minors are affected by laws and although you may not be a legal adult, it is still important to be prepared for what you will face when you go out into the real world.

  1. Reassurance

In my 16 years, not once have I met someone who does not want to make their own decisions. Having a say, or at least an opinion about what is going on in my life is a great feeling and being aware of what is going on on the world of politics is, for me, very reassuring. Even though I can’t vote yet, I can still use my voice to promote the people I would want to represent the country I live in. Knowing what is going on in the government can give you a sense of freedom, if you will, that can help you to better understand the world around you.

  1. Ignorance, or lack-thereof

It’s really hard to be taken seriously when you do not know who the vice-president of the United States, and yes I have actually met people who do not know that Joe Biden is the VP. I suppose the point I am trying to make here is that ignorance is not bliss. Being ignorant is not cute or funny, despite what some people think. Ignorance is just laziness trying to disguise itself.

  1. It’s Easy

It is a common misconception that being politically oriented is hard, but really, it’s as easy as riding a bike. There are infinite amounts of resources available to you; from peers, to TV to online news outlets, there is no shortage of information about the world of politics. It is not hard in the slightest to educate yourself or to have someone educate you about politics. I know for a fact that here at MV there are people willing to talk about politics for days on end. You need only ask.

Capitalosers

Story by: Maggie Brown, News/Copy Editor
Photos by: Zoe Jenkins, Staff Photographer

capitalism main

As the holidays arrive, people become more and more infatuated with the idea of “help thy neighbor.” These ideals, while still present, are fading fast under the large looming presence of capitalist greed. The holiday season is crawling with people who care for nothing more than themselves and what they can get out of it. If something does not cater exactly to them and what they want out of a shopping experience, the whole world has to be put on hold.

The system that claims the customer is always right is the same system that is creating a societal monster which insists that they are not only right, but entitled to pitch a fit at anyone who suggests otherwise.

To most consumers, the holidays are a pain. All they can think of are situations to complain about. Everything is expensive, parking lots are crowded, Starbucks will not say “Merry Christmas” and all of the people working are being so rude!

capitalism 2But what they do not realize is that expensive items are not what the holidays are supposed to be about, and they could have been shopping online and nowhere near parking lots at all. Starbucks is taking a step in the right direction since Christmas is not the only holiday the world celebrates in December, and the people who they perceive as rude have been on their feet for five hours and have been dealing with people angry at them for things they can not control.

The way we run our economic system is destroying us, as is evident by the homeless that fill the city streets, the attitudes we have towards money and items, and the way we treat those providing services as though they owe us something. Capitalism brought this country to life, but it will, in the end, be the death of us.