Modern Feminism: an awful criminal sentence and some stitching


Lina Clark graphic

By Sunflower Rangel, Commentary Editor

That rapist will spend how long in jail?

Outrageous. On Oct. 4, Judge John C. McKeon sentenced 40-year-old Martin Blake to 60 days in jail for the multiple rapes of his own 12-year-old daughter. Yes, that says days. Not months. Not years. Days. Oh and he gets credit for the 17 days he spent in jail awaiting trial, so he’s really only serving 43 days. Isn’t that nice? The prosecution had recommended a 100-year sentence with 75 years suspended, meaning 25 years would actually be spent in prison and he would be on supervised probation for the remainder of his life. This was part of a plea deal that Blake initially made with the prosecution. He would plead guilty to one count of rape (even though he was arrested for many more) and this would be his mild sentence. But I guess the judge just felt so much sympathy for a man who repeatedly raped his own daughter. After receiving letters from Blake’s mother, the victim’s mother, and members of his church community citing why Blake should be released, Judge McKeon just couldn’t hand down such a harsh sentence. So it became 60 days in prison and 30 years of probation. The letters basically said that Blake should be with his family instead of in prison. In the letter from the victim’s mother, she wrote, “he has two sons that still love him and need their father in their lives … . I would like to see my children have the opportunity to heal the relationship with their father… . He is not a monster, just a man that really screwed up and has been paying in many ways.” A petition to impeach Judge McKeon is open on As of the evening of Oct. 20, it has 60,832 signatures of its necessary 75,000. As for Blake’s sentencing, apparently in Ancient Rome, convicted rapists had their testicles crushed between two rocks. Just saying … .

A history lesson in stitching

Let’s move onto something that’s actually fun to read about. Oddly enough, this begins with the Arthur meme. Up close of the PBS Kids regular with his fist clenched. You know the one. Hannah Hill aka @hanecdote on Instagram, an embroidery artist from London, spent 15 hours turning this meme into an art piece and feminist statement. She stitched the entire image of Arthur’s fist and included a needle and thread peeking out of his fist. Above the image, she stitched the words, “When you remember that historically, embroidery hasn’t been taken that seriously as a medium because it’s ‘women’s work.’” Her stitch work is fantastic and impressive but some didn’t take her message seriously. She followed up with a couple pictures of Arya and Sansa from “Game of Thrones” doing some embroidery work and a picture of warrior Arya looking fierce as heck! She cited her sources and defended her work in the caption of these images. “My point is that for centuries, needlework hasn’t been considered an art form, mainly because it is done by women. During the renaissance, oil paintings and sculpture were seen as fine art, while needlework got left behind, to be done by women behind closed doors. When the Royal Academy was founded, women were not allowed to join for a long time, because it was believed that needlework or papercuts required no artistic skill.” She cited “Subversive Stitch” by Rozsika Parker if you would like to do a little more research into the topic. Please take a moment to Google this image if you haven’t already. Her stitching is incredible. I’ve been following Hannah on Instagram for quite a while and I highly suggest that you do the same. I love seeing her work and very cute cat come across my feed. She’s a fierce feminist and uses her work to bring awareness to the effects of mental illness and body positivity. A rad lady all around. Thanks for the your work, Hannah.