BEG: Women’s stories need attention


Twenty-year-old Iowa student Mollie Tibbets was reported missing in July. The national authorities began a federal search for her and the internet constantly kept up to date on the story. News outlets and the internet went into even more of a whirl after the student was found murdered with multiple force injuries a month after her disappearance.

Christhian Bahena Rivera is charged with first-degree murder for the death of Mollie Tibbets, according to CBS News. Rivera is a Mexican-born undocumented immigrant who lives and works on a dairy farm in Iowa.

This murder was twisted into advocacy for policy change and political campaigning. Citizens must focus on the real problem at hand: male violence toward women.

Donald Trump mentioned the murder in August at a West Virginia rally and took the time to say the death “should’ve never happened” while distracting from the daily turmoil of his administration during the time.

Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders opened the first White House press briefing after the incident with her condolences for Tibbets’ family. She continued, stating, “Sadly the individual believed to be responsible for this murder is an illegal immigrant, making this an unfortunate reminder of why we need to strengthen our immigration laws.”

Soon after Sanders’ statement and the announcement from police that the murderer was an undocumented immigrant, advocates for strict immigration policy used the death of a student as a way to further their political agenda. Republican voters and politicians took to Twitter to casually mention the greater need for Trump to build a wall because they believe criminals keep entering our country.

Arizona Senator Kelli Ward tweeted, “The lack of leadership & courage by open border senators…contribute to these senseless deaths. We need true leadership in the Senate to #BuildTheWall & secure our borders! #VoteWard.”

In actuality, undocumented immigrants have a lower rate of criminal activity than native-born residents, according to a study done by the Cato Institute in 2017. A report published in the journal Criminology also found no correlation between increased  crimes and illegal immigrants.

In an opinion piece for the Des Moines Register, Rob Tibbets, Mollie’s father, confronted those trying to use his daughter’s death to push an anti-immigrant agenda. He wrote, “Do not appropriate Mollie’s soul in advancing views she believed were profoundly racist.”

The consistent stories of men attacking, raping and harassing women in this country are too clear and present to overlook. By ignoring this ongoing issue, men are free to subjugate their power over women. The broader systemic issue gets swept aside when Republicans put all their efforts toward focusing on political prospects. Men again face no repercussions.

In the same month and state of the Tibbets’ murder findings, another 22-year-old girl by the name of Celia Barquin Arozamena was found murdered near the Iowa State University campus. She was stabbed to death by a homeless stranger, Collin Daniel Richards.

Trump did not make the effort to give his condolences to Arozamena’s family. No senators wrote about their grievances for the murder case on Twitter. In the case of Arozamena’s death, there was no political agenda to push.

When a white man commits the murder of a girl of minority descent, politicians feel no need to address it or create a discussion because this is no irregularity. Cases of violence upon females like this one are no abnormality, so they are not brought up on national news.

The public, especially Republicans arguing for stricter immigration policy, completely ignored the real issue in the Tibbets case. Men will continue to be forgiven and avoid consequences for their violence against women even though it remains a dangerous subject that must be addressed.