#SOL18: Words Matter

“You can’t live your life scared. . . ” 

was the message on the 10:00 pm news.

And the solution is a 911 app.  It will pinpoint your location in a more precise way than ever before.

These are scary times.  Two high profile murders in our state in the last few months.  The loss of young athletic females. One out running. One out golfing.

Treated totally different in the press.

Treated totally different by politicians.

Treated totally different by citizens.

I’m ashamed.

I’m horrified.

I’m embarrassed.

I’m worried about the inequity of treatment.

I’m fearful of the current vitriol towards immigrants.  The same immigrants that settled the U.S.

I’m worried about our reputation as “Iowa nice”.

And I’m angry. Angry that this conversation is necessary.

The first case, Mollie Tibbetts, still has folks chanting to “Build a wall.” And yet her dad says, “NO!” LInk

The second case, Celia Barquin Arozamena, has barely a mention and she was the Iowa State Female Athlete of the Year as well as ranked No. 69 nationally by Golfweek . Link,

What’s the difference? There are many. It’s easy to oversimplify.

The politicalization of the first. . .

The governor

The Vice President

The President

Both Iowa Senators


Talked about an illegal alien

 Alien primarily refers to: Extraterrestrial life, life which does not originate from Earth.

Words Matter.



One accused is from Mexico.

One accused is a white man.

Did that ethnicity result in different treatment in the press and the eyes of the general public?

And the result:  in order to be safe, women out running or participating in sports should have an enhanced 911 app on their phones so they can be easily located in an emergency.

Think about that for a minute:  an app for safety.


Why should women be fearful? 

It’s 2018! 

What is the real message? 

Why do women need an enhanced 911 app?

Thank you, Betsy, Beth, Deb, Kathleen, Kelsey, Lanny, Melanie, and Stacey for this weekly forum from Two Writing Teachers. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here.                                                              slice of life 2016



11 responses

  1. I was thinking that the difference was just that they found her so quickly, that she didn’t have family here, but I know you’re correct. Sometimes I don’t want to see. The recent spotlight on young women being attracted in current time and through memory is disconcerting to me. My Facebook fills with women known and unknown saying in real terms, me too. Nightly I try to convince the men in my family that even though this is prevalent, there is no less trauma. That women still feel unsupported in reporting and naming. The victim is still on trial. What do we need as women and will we ever get there?

    1. Good point. The length of search was so different. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. #Metoo and #WhyIDidn’tReport
      What do we tell our daughters?
      What do we tell our sons?

  2. Echo: Will we ever get there? What messages do our daughters really need? And how strong do we need to make our voices to protect others who don’t have voices or have not yet learned how to use one. Powerful post with important observations and insights, Fran.

    1. What will be our NEW reality? How will we shape that world?

  3. These are disturbing times. We have a lock down drill today. Yesterday, I had to teach my class what to do. It breaks my heart every year. What sort of world are my students going to inherit?

    1. Adrienne,
      50 years ago, “duck and cover” was added in some regions due to possible nuclear attacks. Now we have armed officials in many buildings, buildings that are locked during the day hours, and constant fear. And YET learning is supposed to just continue!

  4. It is so sad that an app like that is even necessary. It is a sorry state we are in when news is spun for someone’s political agenda. Whatever happened to “All men are created equal”?

    1. Unfortunately, we aren’t even close to equality! 😦

  5. I run every day. I run every day at 5:00 am so I have someone to run with me. I never consider running by myself before 8 in the morning or after 6 at night. It is just how I live. I shared this with a group of administrators, who were male, recently and they were floored that I have to plan my life this way. I want equal rights. I want females to be safe. I want there to be change. In the meantime, I run with people, I run on main roads, I run in daylight and I always run with a phone. I don’t have a daughter, but I tell my sons to never allow a girl to walk home alone, uber home alone, or go home with a guy they don’t know alone. I want to send young females powerful messages and I want them to know they need to do things differently to be safe. Sad, but my truth.

    1. Clare, It is the reality and it’s sad. I agree, “I want equal rights. I want females to be safe. I want there to be change.”

      So many (male and female) don’t understand this necessity. Even the app creators don’t get it. Finding a body is still too late.

  6. […] matter. I’ve used that succinct phrase here and on my own blog as post titles here and here. Words matter because the meaning and power come from the words authors choose to use. Or […]

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