America Fails Women, Yet Again

On January 23rd, 2019 an arrest was made by the Arizona police task force of a licensed nurse practitioner for his alleged impregnation of a woman in a vegetative state. Here we are, so selfishly flooding our minds, tracking, re-tweeting, and re-posting endless pop culture news, that we’ve missed our actual reality. Every day we power on American television and continuously witness the destruction, carelessness, and misogynistic culture surrounding women. America is a system claiming “one nation, under God” while simultaneously letting the impregnation of a defenseless woman slip blindly through the cracks.


The family of the victim released a statement to clarify to the public that their daughter is not in a coma. The victim was a patient at Hacienda Healthcare facility for over ten years after a near-death drowning occurred and left her in a vegetative state.  Her vegetative state is a result of a multitude of seizures that occurred early in her childhood. However, according to her family, “although she does not speak, she has the ability to move her limbs, head, and neck, responds to sound, makes facial gestures, enjoys being read to, and enjoys soft music.” She is unconscious, but still a human.


Thirty-six year old, Nathan Sutherland held a state of Arizona practical nurse’s license and according to Hacienda Healthcare went through a background check before being hired, and was fired when the Hacienda Healthcare leadership team found out about his arrest. He has been admitted to Maricopa county Jail with no bond and has been charged with ONE count of vulnerable adult abuse, and ONE count of sexual assault.


Question. Who is to blame? An incapacitated woman was raped, not sexually assaulted. Raped. The perpetrator was charged with sexual assault, which is defined as “a person intentionally penetrating the vagina or anus of another person with an object or part of the body OTHER THAN the penis without their consent. Nathan Sutherland violated this victim, completely. She could not defend herself. She could not choose yes. Sutherland stripped her completely of her rights, dignity, and self-control. As if that isn’t enough, an innocent baby boy (also completely defenseless) was introduced to this world, born to a woman in a vegetative state and a father who will probably face prison time during the most valuable family years. Question. Who is supposed to protect him?


Question. As women, who is supposed to protect us? We are charged to run to the judicial system to solve injustices against us, but there is no justice here. Sutherland was arrested, yes, but not charged with the crime committed. I blame America. It’s almost as if the need for protection is laughed at and we are then handed a subpar solution; a “Here. You’re always asking for something”, if you will. The lack of empathy for women is repulsive. America is deliberately unreceptive to our needs. When believing that we are progressing and taking steps further to ensure and demand our respect we are knocked of a pedestal and forced to prove our worth time and time again.


Answer. We don’t deserve this and although it seems defeating it is our duty to fight for the rights that we deserve. We are important. We are worth the fight.