Sample Letters to the Editor

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Sample letter to the editor #1:

As a former Ohioan who currently lives in Washington, DC, I frequently visit the Capitol while taking out-of-town guests on a tour of the city. The dominance of male imagery in the Capitol is overwhelming. Not only are ninety-one of the one hundred statue in National Statuary Hall (NSH) men, but the frieze that surrounds the Capitol Rotunda and depicts our nation’s history only has one identifiable woman, Pocahontas. The eight gigantic paintings under the frieze also show only Pocahontas as a female character of note. If a Martian landed on our planet and entered the Capitol the assumption would be that the United States was ninety percent male. In selecting a statue to replace Governor William Allen, Ohioans should keep in mind the context of the Capitol, and the devastating psychological impact the Capitol has on the millions of girls and women who visit it. Ohio has three great women to choose from: suffragist Harriet Taylor Upton, abolitionist Harriet Beecher Stowe, and astronaut Judith Arlene Resnik. I hope Ohioans choose to put a woman in NSH so that our daughters and granddaughters can see themselves in our history.

L.L.

Sample letter to the editor #2:

In 1961, I was a freshman at Lutheran East High School in Cleveland Heights, JFK was president, LBJ vice president, less than four percent of the members of Congress were women, and only five statues of women graced National Statuary Hall. Now, 50 years later, there still has never been a female president or vice president, only 17 percent of the members of Congress are women, and only nine statues of women are in National Statuary Hall.

Women are 51 percent of the population and comprise more than half the work force. Yet almost every woman hits both an internal and external glass ceiling, caused by both early programming and the subtle sexism that permeates our culture. For the young girl visiting National Statuary Hall, the message is clear: You are invisible; you don’t matter.

Ohio has a chance to improve the current gender disparity in National Statuary Hall by replacing the statue of Gov. William Allen with a woman. Ohio has many great women to choose from: Harriet Taylor Upton, suffragist and author; Judith Resnik, an astronaut and hero to countless young girls; and Harriet Beecher Stowe, abolitionist and author of “Uncle Tom’s Cabin.”

L.L.

Sample letter to the editor #3:

Subject: Ohio’s Statuary Hall Decision: The Final Ten

Ohio has narrowed it down to ten choices, seven of which are men. The front runner, Thomas Edison, was born in Ohio, but grew up in Michigan and has no real ties to Ohio aside from his first seven years. The three women candidates all have stronger ties to Ohio, and two of them improved the quality of human life with their activism: abolitionist Harriet Beecher Stowe and suffragist Harriet Taylor Upton.

Notably, Beecher Stowe’s legacy as an abolitionist would offer a fitting counterbalance to the shameful legacy Ohio is seeking to leave behind in replacing the anti-abolitionist William Allen. Stowe’s novel, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, made the abolitionist movement accessible to the masses, energized the fight for freedom, and put pressure on the Southern states as well as Britain. President Abraham Lincoln even credited Stowe as “the little lady who started this great war!” Through her talent, passion, and dedication to the abolitionist cause and the improvement of her country, Stowe helped rid this nation of a great evil — and she also happens to have been a woman. With only nine of 100 statues in Statuary Hall representing women, Ohio should take this opportunity to lift women up and replace the anti-abolitionist Allen with the abolitionist Beecher Stowe.

R.K.

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