The University of Arizona needs a new student code of conduct

Content note: Rape threats.

Dean Saxton, a student at the University of Arizona, is hanging out on campus with a “You Deserve Rape” sign. Because you’re dressed like a whore, of course, so you’re asking for it. The University says there’s nothing they can do, because he hasn’t violated the student code of conduct. I would suggest that maybe it’s time to rewrite the student code of conduct?

Saxton is working in the proud tradition of Westboro Baptist Church to feed his insatiable, pathetic need for attention by being as loudly bigoted as possible. And while Saxton’s speech is particularly odious, the University of Arizona is a public school, so I’m not sure they could constitutionally limit what he says, even if they had the will to do so — which it seems they don’t. The ability of the school to step in depends largely on contextual information that I don’t have: In particular, whether Saxton’s speech could be reasonably understood as inciting violence. If Saxton crosses the line from generalized awful statements to personally targeting, threatening or harassing others, then both the university and the police would have recourse. If he lives in student housing, I would imagine that the university could reasonably argue that his actions create a potentially unsafe environment for other students, and remove him from that housing — a guy who thinks that women “ask for it” by dressing in a particular way is not a safe person to have around women.

If the university actually wants to take some steps to deal with Saxton, I’d love to see them make a dedicated effort to sexual assault prevention: Increase funding to women’s organizations, host sexual assault awareness events and workshops targeted at male students, require that all fraternities host trainings about combating sexual assault, etc etc. Dedicate the events to Saxton; let him know that his efforts are being rewarded by promoting the very opposite ideas that he holds.

And for students, report bad behavior on Saxton’s part. If he threatens you, document it and report it immediately. Keep an eye on your friends when he’s around. Don’t allow him into your social gatherings or work groups. I doubt that someone like Saxton will go on to be a gainfully employed fully functioning member of society, but give his employers, professors, church leaders and other contacts a heads up. He is potentially dangerous, and his behavior is a huge red flag. Make sure everyone knows about it.

As for interacting with Saxton himself, to each their own, but I’d recommend ignoring him. He wants attention, badly. After reading some of his ramblings online, I’m not sure how he got into college in the first place; he does not seem particularly bright nor even basically coherent. I suspect his future is not particularly wonderful, unless he gets on the right-wing gravy train. And that will only happen if people pay attention to him (yes, I realize the irony of mentioning this in a blog post dedicated to his actions). So here’s hoping he fades into obscurity.

Author: has written 5280 posts for this blog.

Jill has been blogging for Feministe since 2005.
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130 Responses

  1. Anon21
    Anon21 April 29, 2013 at 1:15 pm |

    I suspect his future is not particularly wonderful, unless he gets on the right-wing gravy train.

    I wish I could say you’re being unreasonably cynical about said gravy train’s standards, but…

  2. TomSims
    TomSims April 29, 2013 at 1:24 pm |

    “As for interacting with Saxton himself, to each their own, but I’d recommend ignoring him. He wants attention, badly. ”

    Then why not just ignore him?

    1. macavitykitsune
      macavitykitsune April 29, 2013 at 3:27 pm |

      …well, I think Jill’s article isn’t focusing on giving him attention as much as saying what different groups of people can do to be safe/ethical with this creep. So it’s not the same as “omg look at him look just look omg”. My 0.02.

    2. tigtog
      tigtog April 29, 2013 at 5:14 pm | *

      Then why not just ignore him?

      Because then he’s effectively silenced criticism simply through the use of such egregious rhetoric that some people prefer to just look the other way?

      “Ignore the bullies and they’ll go away” has always been terrible advice. Self-protection sometimes means that avoidance of personal interaction is the safest/wisest tactic, but that doesn’t map to ignoring the toxic bullshit of the bully’s message thus becoming the best strategy for countering their propaganda.

      1. TomSims
        TomSims April 29, 2013 at 6:01 pm |

        @tigtog

        If he seeks attention and gets none, he loses. IMO he’s more of a pathetic moron than a bully. And I do believe his action, bad as it is, is protected free speech under the 1st Amendment.

        1. IrishUp
          IrishUp April 29, 2013 at 6:39 pm |

          Yeah, but Tom, YOU’RE not the one he’s telling that YOU deserve to get raped. It’s a measure of your privilege, that you find him an an (abelist slur) rather than a motherfucker who makes life harder for YOU. So, YOU look at this and are all “meh, it’s not that bad, sticks and stones blah blah wevs pffft”. Are the people who are seeing this fucker and getting triggered just too sensitive? Maybe some of them are on the rag, amirite?

          You’re not qualified to judge whether he is a bully. His actions do not target you, they don’t increase your personal worry, they don’t trigger any past responses, they do not put YOU at increased risk.

          Goddamn, just ONCE it would be nice to see more fucking dudes have as much to say about “stop being violent towards women” as they do about freeze peach and first amendments. Shit.

        2. tigtog
          tigtog April 29, 2013 at 7:06 pm | *

          And I do believe his action, bad as it is, is protected free speech under the 1st Amendment.

          So? The freedom of speech does not come bundled with freedom from criticism. It’s even an aphorism: “The Cure For Bad Speech Is More Speech”.

          Where some people go wrong with “More Speech” is believing that they have to engage in debate with the Bad Speaker directly no matter how huge an odious turd they might be, when what actually needs to happen is that the More Speech needs to be aimed at the audience.

        3. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune April 29, 2013 at 7:15 pm |

          If he seeks attention and gets none, he loses.

          And if nobody gives him attention, he’s still being a ginormous asshole to hundreds of women with zero consequences. But I guess that doesn’t matter to you, so it’s unimportant…?

        4. colleen
          colleen April 29, 2013 at 7:17 pm |

          I am afraid I really must object to your attempts to minimize the potential for danger that men like this present to the women they come in contact with. You are simply not in a position to assess that sort of danger and you are just plain flat out wrong.

        5. snorkellingfish
          snorkellingfish April 29, 2013 at 7:18 pm |

          And I do believe his action, bad as it is, is protected free speech under the 1st Amendment.

          Why is his speech protected speech under the First Amendment, though? It’s not based on a political issue – it’s designed to cause harm rather than push a view. It’s an implied threat of violence. If the government can ban obscenity or indecency or fighting words, is it that hard to draw an analogy suggesting that maybe a fair interpretation of the First Amendment would prevent threats against women?

          …Unless we can only allow exceptions to the first amendment if a type of speech harms cis straight white men. Which is one way to look at First Amendment jurisprudence, but not one that gives me particular faith in the First Amendment’s ability to protect the free speech rights of everyone rather than allow some people (e.g. Dean Saxton) to use their speech to try to threaten others into silence.

        6. trees
          trees April 29, 2013 at 7:38 pm |

          Goddamn, just ONCE it would be nice to see more fucking dudes have as much to say about “stop being violent towards women” as they do about freeze peach and first amendments. Shit.

          Indeed, that would be beautiful if only for once.

        7. BabyRaptor
          BabyRaptor April 29, 2013 at 9:45 pm |

          I can sit here and call you a rape-enabling, assholic bimphole and have my little rant covered by Free Speech.

          Is it the right thing to do? No.

          The right thing to do would be counter what you’re saying, and provide support to people who you’re being a trigger for, or who want to take on what you’re saying.

          Same for this man.

        8. bob J
          bob J April 29, 2013 at 9:51 pm |

          “Goddamn, just ONCE it would be nice to see more fucking dudes have as much to say about “stop being violent towards women” as they do about freeze peach and first amendments. Shit.”

          There were a bunch of male counter protesters that came with their own signs (“Nobody deserves rape” and “you deserve GrapeS” etc.). We’re out there.

          Unfortunately, this guy seems to know how to get away with it. I also think that while he is just as wrong as WBC, he is a different animal. WBC is rabid and cult-like, this guy is more like Rush Limbaugh. He raises money through his blog, and he gets his traffic by spewing hate and getting famous for it.

          How can he not be reprimanded for creating a hostile work environment? He’s in front of the admin building.

        9. Kierra
          Kierra April 29, 2013 at 9:59 pm |

          If he seeks attention and gets none, he loses.

          Only if the vast majority of people who see him dismiss him immediately as a crackpot (like most people dismiss street-corner preachers going on about the end of the world). If many people agree with him (even if they wouldn’t go quite so far to proclaim it), then he’s serving as a very visible platform for those toxic views. That platform needs to be challenged so that those bystanders who might silently agree with him realize that those views are absolutely not acceptable in civilized society.

          I think a look at most comment threads about any well-publicized rape case show that his views are held by a scary number of people.

        10. TomSims
          TomSims April 30, 2013 at 2:09 am |

          I just went and read the article from the student newspaper, The Wildcat, and he did have 2 signs I sort of agree with. I still think he’s an idiot, but he held up signs, including ones that read “frat boys are rapists” and “rapists deserve the death penalty.”

          And I’m old enough to remember when many states had the death penalty for rape. I’ve also read the rape stats showing the vast majority of rapes are done by college aged men under 25.

          And I do work with many “dudes” under 35 and I listen to the crap coming out of their mouths and the total lack of respect for girls and women and I agree with the feminists that for the most part these “dudes” are asshats. And I support and encourage you all to keep speaking out about these clowns.

        11. amblingalong
          amblingalong April 30, 2013 at 4:08 am |

          How can he not be reprimanded for creating a hostile work environment? He’s in front of the admin building.

          Does he work inside said admin building for the administration? Because otherwise, I have no idea what that even means.

        12. amblingalong
          amblingalong April 30, 2013 at 4:20 am |

          If the government can ban obscenity

          It can’t, really. The supposed ‘obscenity’ exception has been defined so narrowly it doesn’t really exist any longer; the only thing the government can really get away with is trying to keep porn away from minors, and often not even that (as of Stanley v. Georgia, or more recently Reno v. ACLU).

          or indecency

          Is this a reference to the FCC? Because those rules are fundamentally different (cf. FCC v. Pacifica). Otherwise, there’s no ‘indecency’ exception.

          or fighting words

          As obscenity; the exception is still there, but has basically been narrowed down to irrelevance. The last case I’m aware of where a ‘fighting words’ argument carried the day was in 1942.

          Basically, the exceptions which are still relevant are:
          *Incitement to use of force when it is directed or inciting imminent lawless action, or likely to do so
          *Defamatory and false statements
          *Threats
          *Copyrighted or trademarked speech
          *Child pornography

        13. snorkellingfish
          snorkellingfish April 30, 2013 at 8:08 pm |

          amblingalong,

          You’re right about that, though that wasn’t really the point I was trying to make. That’s on me – I didn’t express myself clearly. The point I was trying to make wasn’t that this kind of hateful speech falls into an existing limitation to the First Amendment, but instead questioning why analogies can’t be drawn to allow other exceptions to develop based on similar sorts of harm.

          My issue is that judges are willing to interpret the First Amendment to allow exceptions in circumstances where either (a) the person hurt by the speech could be a cis straight white man or (b) the people whose speech is being restricted are not a group that disproportionately consists of cis straight white men.

          So, cis straight white men are affected by defamation. They’re affected by threats. They’re affected by intellectual property rights. They’re affected by consumer protection law. As a result, it’s seen as acceptable to regulate those sorts of speech, because the speech harms people who they recognise as people.

          If a type of speech causes comparable (or greater!) harm but dominantly affects POC or women or LGBTQ people or another marginalised group? The harm is suddenly not important, and the court will twist the law out of shape to avoid regulation, like they did in RAV v City of St Paul. Suddenly freedom of speech is of paramount importance even if the majority agree that the speech falls neatly into the category of “fighting words”, because god forbid the law recognise that marginalised groups are especially vulnerable because of societal factors. Similarly if someone tells actual lies about a marginalised group that damage the reputations of members of that group, there’s a reluctance to draw the analogy to defamation.

          It’s not the only possible way to interpret a freedom of speech right. For example, the minority justices in RAV v St Paul would have allowed scope for laws limiting hate speech (even if they would have had to be more narrowly defined than the one at issue). The Supreme Court in Canada made what I thought was a persuasive argument about allowing hate speech laws in R v Keegstra.

          Basically, there are different ways to balance the issue and I question why we accept current First Amendment jurisprudence as an absolute unchanging principle rather than as an evolving institution laden by the values of the judges in any given case.

        14. Emolee
          Emolee April 30, 2013 at 8:27 pm |

          I question why we accept current First Amendment jurisprudence as an absolute unchanging principle rather than as an evolving institution laden by the values of the judges in any given case.

          Yes. This is what I was trying to get at yesterday.

        15. IrishUp
          IrishUp April 30, 2013 at 8:50 pm |

          Excellent points, snorgelfish!

          Also:

          If a type of speech causes comparable (or greater!) harm but dominantly affects POC or women or LGBTQ people or another marginalised group?

          Wouldn’t this be covered under the equal protection clause of the 14th? Or rather couldn’t it be or shouldn’t it be? Doesn’t your right to X end at the point my right to enjoy equal treatment and access and freedom is impinged?

          It’s not as if interpretations by the SCOTUS have never been wrong (Dred anyone?). How much sense does it make to continue to apply the interpretations of ~300yo rich white slave owners to our modern lives. You point to CA, but other countries have found ways to regulate hate speech without dampening necessary political discourse.

        16. IrishUp
          IrishUp April 30, 2013 at 8:52 pm |

          Also, mea culpa. snorkellingfish! is what I meant to type. But now you know how my dyslexia rearranges your nym in my head. * le chagrin *

        17. The Kittehs' Unpaid Help
          The Kittehs' Unpaid Help April 30, 2013 at 10:01 pm |

          Freedom of speech is about the government not persecuting people for speaking. It has nothing to do with private individuals’ or organisations’ responses or criticisms.

        18. snorkellingfish
          snorkellingfish April 30, 2013 at 10:24 pm |

          Also, mea culpa. snorkellingfish! is what I meant to type. But now you know how my dyslexia rearranges your nym in my head. * le chagrin *

          No worries!

          Wouldn’t this be covered under the equal protection clause of the 14th? Or rather couldn’t it be or shouldn’t it be? Doesn’t your right to X end at the point my right to enjoy equal treatment and access and freedom is impinged?

          As a non-USian, I don’t really have an answer for you – I read about the First Amendment as part of a paper I’m writing for uni at the moment (which is one of the reasons I have so many feelings on the topic!) but I know less about the 14th or about how different sections of the Constitution interact. I think that sort of logic was part of the basis for the decision in the Canadian case, though.

          It’s not as if interpretations by the SCOTUS have never been wrong (Dred anyone?). How much sense does it make to continue to apply the interpretations of ~300yo rich white slave owners to our modern lives. You point to CA, but other countries have found ways to regulate hate speech without dampening necessary political discourse.

          Yeah, I know.

          I’m most familiar with the law in Australia. We don’t have a strong freedom of speech protection in our Constitution – the courts limit restrictions on genuine political discussions, but that’s about it. Our laws on hate speech recognise freedom of speech concerns by having exceptions for speech that is “reasonable and in good faith” for a range of public interest purposes. So there’s balancing there, but a different sort of balancing that falls less on the side of unrestricted freedom of speech (and there are less constitutional concerns to start with).

        19. IrishUp
          IrishUp May 1, 2013 at 2:03 pm |

          @ snorkellingfish, just for clarity, my musings were general & I didn’t mean that *you* needed to answer those questions.

        20. a lawyer
          a lawyer May 1, 2013 at 2:27 pm |

          You point to CA, but other countries have found ways to regulate hate speech without dampening necessary political discourse.

          No, they have not. Europe and Canada have some laws on the books which are frankly scary.

          At least, they’re scary if you’re willing to imagine that you might not, in all respects, always agree with what the government (in its infinite wisdom) or the majority (in our infallible way) believe is “necessary” or “appropriate” or “dangerous.”

          I have no problem suggesting than Ann Coulter should generally be ignored; that she shouldn’t get paid a lot of money; that her statements are, as a rule, so much bullshit drivel.

          But I’d have a hell of a lotta trouble with the concept that she might get criminally prosecuted and tossed in jail for being an idiot. As Glenn Greenwald puts it (with evidence): In Canada, she might.

          Maybe you’re OK with that. Maybe some folks seriously think that there’s some magic way for the government to accurately and perfectly determine what the “bad speech” is, and can write the laws in a way that doesn’t just so happen to target political opponents and which won’t come back to bite one in the ass.

          But there isn’t.

          The speech sucks. It should stop. But if you’re talking about changing the laws, the result of the cure is worse than the disease.

        21. Gorb
          Gorb May 2, 2013 at 12:51 am |

          The free-speech debate above was good. I side with the lawyer. it’s dangerous to give the government power to decide who gets to say what, when, and make this criminal when it so desires. The effect on society is chilling.

          It’s fine when you agree with the government’s position, but by gum, more often than not you won’t.

          If you have hate speech laws, you need to have the narrowest possible interpretation of the and the implementation has to be suspect all the time, or you end up with a Soviet-style public sphere in short order.

          Freedom is disturbing, but it’s its own reward. I would never give a government led by, say, Bush, the power to decide who says what. The same rule must hold for a government led by Obama.

          Policies often have unintended consequences, no matter how well-intentioned.

        22. matlun
          matlun May 1, 2013 at 4:39 pm |

          Europe and Canada have some laws on the books which are frankly scary.

          Very true.

          Here is an article discussing the situation in the UK. This is not an improvement on the situation in the US.

        23. IrishUp
          IrishUp May 1, 2013 at 6:06 pm |

          @ a lawyer & matlun;

          Thank you for those links. I have looked at them a bit. I have to say that on first perusal, they have not changed my mind about the risk assessments I’ve made. I hear your arguments, and if I were in on a similar type thread 10yrs ago, I’d be on your side of things. But how I evaluate the threat of hate speech vs. the value of totally unimpinged (or nearly so, as has been pointed out elsewhere) free speech is very different now.

          Propaganda works. Hate speech creates environments tolerant of violence against the targeted people. Hate speech provides the cover under which crimes against marginalized and oppressed people become minimized, ignored, and in the most shameful cases, celebrated and condoned. These are not “hypotheticals” “worst-case scenarios”, “thought experiments” or straw men arguments of any kind. They have happened in the past, (seriously, do NOT make me Godwin this thread!) and more importantly are happening right now in the good old USA – home of the free and land of the brave as long as you’re the RIGHT KIND of person. The first amendment ought not to be used as cover for this shit. Even if other countries have navigated the tension between 1st and 14th amendment guarentees in ways that are flawed, that does NOT mean that we in the US can’t find a better balance than the one that exists.

          I will continue to read your links and think about it.

        24. amblingalong
          amblingalong May 1, 2013 at 11:18 pm |

          I will continue to read your links and think about it.

          Hey, as you probably have surmised, I think you’re completely wrong and will fight your political goals, but I really appreciate how thoughtfully and carefully you’ve made your points; I’m glad you’re the person on the other side of the line.

        25. a lawyer
          a lawyer May 2, 2013 at 11:50 pm |

          IrishUp May 1, 2013 at 6:06 pm | Permalink
          …I hear your arguments, and if I were in on a similar type thread 10yrs ago, I’d be on your side of things. But how I evaluate the threat of hate speech vs. the value of totally unimpinged (or nearly so, as has been pointed out elsewhere) free speech is very different now.

          Without getting personal (it’s none of my business) I’ll say that it sounds like you’ve had an experience that changed your mind. And as a followup I’ll say that personal experiences are often a horrible basis for generic, widely applicable, laws. Our desire to Do Something, preferably involving the government… well, it’s a lot harder to UNdo.

          There’s a saying that “interesting cases make bad law.” It’s true. You don’t just get to make a law that addresses only the speech that you happen to be pissed about right then. It also will cover this thread, and tomorrow’s speech, and so on.

          Propaganda works.

          Well, sure, if it’s good and doesn’t backfire and hits the right people and so on. I wouldn’t call this “successful” propaganda.

          But you can’t stop it in any case. Because once you make it too broad you involve lots of discretion and discretion is almost ALWAYS used by the government in a really scary way.

          Can you think of a situation where you get to arrest him for the sign, and don’t have to worry about him siccing the cops on pheeno for her comment below? Do you really want to give a random cop discretion to arrest either one? I’m not so sure that would be a good idea.

          Hate speech creates environments tolerant of violence against the targeted people.

          It depends who is making the hate speech, and what the reaction is.

          For example: Recently, at both Oberlin and Dartmouth, someone did some really nasty shit.

          In response, both colleges had enormous outburtss to disavow the hate speech. Overall, that propaganda (whatever it was) combined with the response arguably IMPROVED the situation.

          regarding Godwin: Well, we can disagree there as well. But let’s not go there, in this thread.

          more importantly are happening right now in the good old USA – home of the free and land of the brave as long as you’re the RIGHT KIND of person.

          Right. And I’m desperately trying to change that.

          And why, then, would you support laws which set into stone what the “right kind” of beliefs are? Makes no sense to me, unless you have enough hubris to think you know for sure what “right” is, and that no future folks in power will disagree.

          Imagine that you want to outlaw “offense…” I can absolutely guarantee that there are lots of highly-offendable powerful white dudes out there. I don’t see that ending well.

          Even if other countries have navigated the tension between 1st and 14th amendment guarentees in ways that are flawed, that does NOT mean that we in the US can’t find a better balance than the one that exists.

          No, but it’s pretty damn good evidence, don’t you think? Most of the countries I”m discussing aren’t exactly political novices that are new to the law-making thing.

          I will continue to read your links and think about it.

          I’m always up for discussing this subject; I love it :)

    3. snorkellingfish
      snorkellingfish April 29, 2013 at 7:27 pm |

      Then why not just ignore him?

      Because when somebody says something as hateful as this, the targets aren’t just harmed by the initial statement. Some commentators have noted that a greater harm is when bodies in power – like university administrators, like the government – stand by and do nothing. People targeted can pretend that people like Dean Saxton are anomalous outsiders unrepresentative of majority values, but they can’t pretend that the same is true of those in power who turn a blind eye and tells them that their pain doesn’t matter.

      I mean, we’ve got to think about what our goal is. If the only person we care about is Saxton, then maybe we can ignore him. However, if we actually want to care about the people he’s targeting, we’ve got to make clear our disagreement, so that they know that they’re not alone and that society cares.

  3. macavitykitsune
    macavitykitsune April 29, 2013 at 1:31 pm |

    I particularly love that this shitweasel is doing this right on the eve of the university’s Take Back The Night rally. I consider this to be deeply classy.

    1. Willard
      Willard April 30, 2013 at 1:14 am |

      That’s what bugs me about both the paper and Jill’s awareness bump. That they led with him has got to be galling to the organizers of Take Back the Night, but even more so is that both here and there the discussions are sidetracked into 1st Amendment arguments as opposed to actually talking about toxic religion and rape culture. The former are pretty much locked up, and they wouldn’t fucking matter in this case without Tweedle-dee and Tweedle-dum spawning shit spewing fucktards out onto campus greens each semester.

      The other articles on the subject from the Wildcat shed some more light on the subject at hand, as well as what sounds like an awesome Tuesday night last week, shitweasels notwithstanding.

      Take Back the Night

      1st Amendment on Campus

      From the editors on why they ran a story

      Student responses

      Also, looks like there’s a follow up from the Women’s Interests Collaborative to host a “You Deserve” night this Tuesday.

      1. macavitykitsune
        macavitykitsune April 30, 2013 at 2:02 am |

        both here and there the discussions are sidetracked into 1st Amendment arguments

        Yep. Oh noes free speech. Because we all know the First Amendment is what feminists think the real source of rape culture is.

        1. Willard
          Willard April 30, 2013 at 9:28 am |

          Since Jill buried the lede of her story, the what to do about asshats section, under all the juicy change the code of conduct, it’s constitutional but is it stuff at the front I’d say the original posting leaves that impression mac. Or at least the impression that in order to change things he needs to be shut the hell up.

          Reading the other stories this honestly sounded like a pretty damn perfect response on the ground, in that there was a community response and a community follow up. Reading here it sounds like the shit-stain won the day by not having UA police cracking his skull on the quad. Who knows, in their review of material from that day they might find a code of conduct violation their lawyers are comfortable pursuing, maybe not.

          This needed a content note for constitutional non-sequiturs up front.

  4. matlun
    matlun April 29, 2013 at 2:17 pm |

    That sign may have been a one time thing, but apparently he “regularly preaches on the UA Mall”. I would lay good odds that his other sermons are not that edifying either.

    Kudos to the other students showing up with counter signs though.

  5. Emolee
    Emolee April 29, 2013 at 2:27 pm |

    I do think that a “you deserve rape” sign, particularly combined with his speech saying that women who dress a certain way should be raped, is inciting violence. It may not be inciting “imminent lawless action,” which I believe is what it takes for the speech to be excluded under the First Amendment, or it may be; I doubt we will know because most rapes go unreported. But I do think it violates the Code of Conduct, which I understand from the article prohibits threats against anyone specific. He may not be using anyone’s name, but people can easily identify which women he means based on his descriptions of their clothing. I would not be surprised at all if this lead to more rapes.

    1. Drahill
      Drahill April 29, 2013 at 3:56 pm |

      I disagree with this. Honestly, I think the only person it reveals anything about it Saxon himself. To believe it would lead to more rapes, one would have to accept that the males who view this sign would see it, read it, and logically come to accept that Saxon is correct. I have a bit more faith in the male sex overall (you may disagree). I think rape is far more encouraged through an overarrching attitude of sweeping it under the rug and cultural ignorance far more than any single guy with a sign.

      1. Barnacle Strumpet
        Barnacle Strumpet April 29, 2013 at 4:13 pm |

        Come on. Replace “rape” with “murder” or “shot” and he’d have been led out of there in handcuffs already.

        Even if such a thing would be highly unlikely to actually incite someone into becoming a shooter, it wouldn’t be allowed.

        1. Drahill
          Drahill April 29, 2013 at 4:31 pm |

          Even if he had replaced the words, he probably would still be out there. So you’re actually incorrect about that. Think about it – Randall Terry can argue that abortion providers deserve to be shot, and the law can’t touch him most of the time (I qualify that because that case involving the wanted posters, which I don’t believe was Terry, but somebody like him). Unless the statement is specific enough to target specific individuals, he’d likely still be out there. I’m torn on it because, as Jill already notes, this does not fall within a First Amendment exception. The best they could hope for would be under the Code of Conduct, but without the actual text of it, we don’t know.

        2. Emolee
          Emolee April 29, 2013 at 5:00 pm |

          I’m torn on it because, as Jill already notes, this does not fall within a First Amendment exception.

          Right. I am torn on it, too, because I generally support free speech, even speech that I find vile. But advocating a violent criminal act that happens with regularity, especially on a college campus, I just don’t think should be free speech. So, while I think you are probably right that the speech is protected, I also think that it should not be.

          The First Amendment exceptions are man-made by Important People with Opinions, both on how the Constitution should be interpreted and on the issues themselves. The exceptions, as they stand today, are not infallible, and may change over time (as they have in the past), or at least become more clearly defined. This of course does nothing to get the sign off the street now, but I think it is an important point to consider.

          I also agree with Barnacle that if it were a violent crime other than rape, it would be being taken more seriously. I think that is one of the things that really bothers me about this. They might not be able to arrest him for making a sign about shooting students, but they would likely start investigating him and possibly bring him in for questioning on some technicaility, or pressure him into taking it down. They would do *something.*

          Imagine if it were a Muslim student advocating which types of American students deserve having their dorm rooms blown up? How fast do you think the authorities would be on that?

          (In case it needs to be said, I do not believe that the vast, vast majority of Muslim students would do this, nor that Muslims are the only ones who would do this. I am not trying to pick on Muslims, but to show that cultural narratives greatly play into what is considered a serious threat.)

      2. Emolee
        Emolee April 29, 2013 at 4:21 pm |

        I do not think that the vast majority of men who see this sign will go out and rape a woman. But all it takes is one rape, or attempted rape, inspired by this sign for the sign to be inciting violence. And I would be very surprised if absolutely no rapes occur because of this sign. Hopefully, I am wrong.

        1. Drahill
          Drahill April 29, 2013 at 4:33 pm |

          But I think you don’t have any evidence of that, other than your opinion. Frankly, I don’t see a guy seeing this sign and saying, “Whew. You know, I had some doubts about raping that girl, but now, I’ll go for it.” What actually encourages rape far more, IMO, is the willfull blindness and intentional coverups that so many institutions engage in. That stuff emboldens rapists. One poor provocateur? Not so much. My concern is that he’ll basically provide the University some cover to make a showing of how progressive it is without addressing its own behavior.

        2. tigtog
          tigtog April 29, 2013 at 5:03 pm | *

          Frankly, I don’t see a guy seeing this sign and saying, “Whew. You know, I had some doubts about raping that girl, but now, I’ll go for it.” What actually encourages rape far more, IMO, is the willfull blindness and intentional coverups that so many institutions engage in.

          Exactly, and it is that minimising/rationalising coverup culture that is actually the primary component of rape culture. Rape is so terribly, terribly bad that only monsters would commit rape, and that means that the nice young man over there who’s being accused could’t possibly be a rapist and there’s some other explanation…

          Some women are de facto considered “unrapeable”, i.e. they couldn’t possibly really truly not be consenting to sex, because just look at how they dress and where they go and what they do! Signs like Saxton’s play into that trope and reinforce it.

        3. amblingalong
          amblingalong April 29, 2013 at 4:51 pm |

          But all it takes is one rape, or attempted rape, inspired by this sign for the sign to be inciting violence.

          No, that’s no how the law works.

        4. Emolee
          Emolee April 29, 2013 at 5:04 pm |

          No, that’s no how the law works.

          For the 95th time, I am not just talking about the law. In fact, in my very first comment (and several thereafter), I said that the sign is likely protected speech based on the standards in place. I am giving my *opinion* that the sign will incite violence. This is not a court of law, it’s a blog.

        5. amblingalong
          amblingalong April 29, 2013 at 5:09 pm |

          Well, when you repeat word-for-word the exact phrase that appears in the relevant law, it’s probably not all that surprising people might think you were, you know, talking about said law.

        6. Emolee
          Emolee April 29, 2013 at 5:18 pm |

          The only times I quoted the standard word-for-word (“inciting imminent lawless action”) was when I was saying the sign is unlikely to meet this standard. “Inciting violence” is *not* the standard, and that is what I used when giving my opinion, in the comment that you responded to. It is a much lower bar, and one that the Supreme Court has expressly rejected.

      3. Emolee
        Emolee April 29, 2013 at 4:31 pm |

        I think rape is far more encouraged through an overarrching attitude of sweeping it under the rug and cultural ignorance far more than any single guy with a sign.

        But the sign is one thing creating the rape culture. The school doing nothing about it is another.

        1. Drahill
          Drahill April 29, 2013 at 4:35 pm |

          Now, I’d argue that the school must have a pretty serious case of rape culture going on in the first place if this guy felt emboldened enough to do this. So I’d be inclined to see this not as creating rape culture, but a product and perpetuation of it.

    2. yes
      yes April 29, 2013 at 4:10 pm |

      Saying that a category of people deserves to be harmed is a pretty fundamental part of a lot of protected speech, from politics to religion etc. If he can say “you deserve to be tortured forever for X,” then it seems that he can say “you deserve to be raped for X.”

      It’s shitty, and he himself is almost performance-art levels of shitty, but that’s the price you pay.

      1. Emolee
        Emolee April 29, 2013 at 4:28 pm |

        Saying that a category of people deserves to be harmed is a pretty fundamental part of a lot of protected speech

        Yes, I know. I already said that I doubt the sign would pass the Supreme Court’s test for un-protected speech inciting imminent lawless action (although this standard has not been strictly defined). It could very well be that this speech is 100% legal. I just *disagree* that it should be legal. I think a sign saying that certain groups are horrible (or some variation) should be legal, but not a sign advocating a *violent* criminal act against an oppressed group.

        And it sounds like the school’s policy *might* go a little farther than the Supreme Court. Since the policy is that one can’t make threats against a specific person, I think the difference here is really semantics. If I say that Jane and Mary and Alice and Sarah deserve rape, or if I say that women who wear short skirts deserve rape, and the women who wear them are Jane and Mary and Alice and Sarah- what exactly is the practical difference?

        1. amblingalong
          amblingalong April 29, 2013 at 4:50 pm |

          And it sounds like the school’s policy *might* go a little farther than the Supreme Court. Since the policy is that one can’t make threats against a specific person, I think the difference here is really semantics. If I say that Jane and Mary and Alice and Sarah deserve rape, or if I say that women who wear short skirts deserve rape, and the women who wear them are Jane and Mary and Alice and Sarah- what exactly is the practical difference?

          Actually, while I hate to even write this, the fact is that you could probably get away with saying a specific person deserves to have something bad to them, as long as you didn’t call for someone to actually go do it. It’s a fine line but, from a legal perspective, a meaningful one.

        2. a lawyer
          a lawyer April 29, 2013 at 5:10 pm |

          Jill, I don’t think that they can use the code to get around this. Since the University of Arizona is presumably a state school, it’s bound by the First Amendment, and it is doubtful that they can get around this merely with a “code of conduct” violation. You can read significant details on thefire.org if you’d like.

        3. Anon21
          Anon21 April 29, 2013 at 5:25 pm |

          Jill, I don’t think that they can use the code to get around this. Since the University of Arizona is presumably a state school, it’s bound by the First Amendment, and it is doubtful that they can get around this merely with a “code of conduct” violation. You can read significant details on thefire.org if you’d like.

          I think Emolee knows that? Nothing she’s said on this thread suggests that she doesn’t grasp the relevant legal standard and its application to the university. Honestly, it’s a little too easy (and unproductive) to get wrapped up in the legal technicalities when no one in the thread is really arguing that the guy should be expelled or face other official action on the basis of his speech.

        4. Emolee
          Emolee April 29, 2013 at 5:39 pm |

          Thanks, Anon21. To be fair, in one comment I did say that I thought the school’s policy went a little further than the Supreme Court’s standard. I was basing that on something I read in an article, and I just spaced out on the fact that it really could not be, since we are dealing with a public school. Other than that though, I think I have been pretty clear that I think the sign is protected speech, and that I think that is not okay.

          I agree very much that focusing on only the legal technicalities is unproductive. This isn’t law school. We are allowed to think outside the law here.

          Also, I think when some people respond with “that’s the law,” I think they likely also mean “and it’s a law I agree with.” Because a lot of shit is the law- that doesn’t make it right.

        5. amblingalong
          amblingalong April 29, 2013 at 6:01 pm |

          Honestly, it’s a little too easy (and unproductive) to get wrapped up in the legal technicalities when no one in the thread is really arguing that the guy should be expelled or face other official action on the basis of his speech.

          It seems like Jill is, based on her ‘needs a new code of conduct’ line, though she then immediately undercut that argument. Confusing writing, to say the least.

          Also, I think when some people respond with “that’s the law,” I think they likely also mean “and it’s a law I agree with.” Because a lot of shit is the law- that doesn’t make it right.

          Well, not always, but definitely in this case! Free speech is a Good Thing.

        6. yes
          yes April 30, 2013 at 1:50 am |

          I was speaking not just about the technicalities of the law, but in principle too.

  6. Dean Saxton and “You Deserve Rape” | Clarissa's Blog

    [...] Dean Saxton, a student at the University of Arizona, is hanging out on campus with a “You Deserve Rape” sign. Because you’re dressed like a whore, of course, so you’re asking for it. The University says there’s nothing they can do, because he hasn’t violated the student code of conduct. I would suggest that maybe it’s time to rewrite the student code of conduct? [...]

  7. amblingalong
    amblingalong April 29, 2013 at 4:48 pm |

    I would suggest that maybe it’s time to rewrite the student code of conduct?

    I’m a little confused why you wrote the above, since you then immediately moved on to explaining (correctly) why this wouldn’t work. It’s a textbook case of odious but protected speech.

    1. amblingalong
      amblingalong April 29, 2013 at 4:53 pm |

      To clarify: Student Codes of Conduct at public universities can’t infringe on 1st Amendment rights. This issue has been legislated to death; for more information I recommend FIRE, which has a pretty comprehensive case database.

      1. Ashley
        Ashley April 29, 2013 at 8:47 pm |

        FIRE is a deeply antifeminist organization. They’re also very deeply embedded in the larger conservative/Republican movement, and their agenda is pretty horrible. See, for example, their founder and board president Alan Charles Kors at CPAC in 2009: http://thefire.org/index.php/podcast/10354

        Anyway, generally speaking, they don’t believe that sexual harassment really exists as a punishable offense, so they’re not all that useful as a feminist resource.

        1. amblingalong
          amblingalong April 29, 2013 at 9:40 pm |

          That’s fundamentally not true. FIRE is like the ACLU in that a lot of their clientele is shitty– that comes with protecting free speech rights. But I can link you to dozens of cases of FIRE standing up for liberal/feminist orgs or people who are having their rights violated; just this week they successfully challenged the punishment of a professor for vocally criticizing a campus pro-life group.

          So yeah, some of their clients are misogyny douchebags, just like the ACLU defends neo-nazis sometimes; and yeah, there organization includes conservatives, included some people who I would call antifeminist. But the work they do is righteous, evenhanded, and deeply important.

          Oh and re: sexual harassment, that’s not the case at all; they’re quite clear they support anti-sexual harassment policies. They just challenge those policies when they begin to illegally infringe on other rights.

          Want those links?

        2. amblingalong
          amblingalong April 29, 2013 at 9:53 pm |

          Sorry to double post, but just quickly- one really good illustration of this is that when you go to their recent cases there are two back to back, one in which they defended a professor who criticized pro-lifers, and one in which they defended a pro-life group that the administration censored.

          By the way, the idea that there’s anything progressive or liberal about censorship or speech codes is as ahistorical as it is repugnant.

        3. Rebecca
          Rebecca April 30, 2013 at 1:55 am |

          Then maybe it’s a case of a broken clock being right twice a day, because I remember investigating them when someone recommended I apply for their internship, and most of the cases were in the vein of “Dorm at university should be able to accept Christians only”

        4. amblingalong
          amblingalong April 30, 2013 at 4:03 am |

          Then maybe it’s a case of a broken clock being right twice a day, because I remember investigating them when someone recommended I apply for their internship, and most of the cases were in the vein of “Dorm at university should be able to accept Christians only”

          Can you link to any case where FIRE argued that a public university has the right to engage in housing discrimination based on religion? Because frankly, I don’t believe you; they’ve fought universities for doing that exact thing.

          I wasn’t kidding about the links. Seriously, even a cursory examination of their history shows them defending a huge variety of left-wing people and organizations; like the ACLU they have very clear principles (free speech, freedom of association, etc) and will fight against infringements regardless of the target.

          If you want more examples, another pair of cases involved them defending both a Muslim Student Association which the university was trying to close down, and a professor who was suspended for criticizing Islam on his Facebook account.

        5. amblingalong
          amblingalong April 30, 2013 at 6:11 am |

          And frankly, it’s worth noting that most of their cases aren’t easily identifiable as left or right leaning; there’s a lot of stuff like professors being disciplined for criticizing a university-supported medical procedure or a student being expelled for opposing plans to build a new parking garage.

        6. a lawyer
          a lawyer April 30, 2013 at 8:56 am |

          FIRE generally focuses only on college free speech and civil rights issues.

          These days, opposition to on-campus speech limitations is generally tagged as conservative. But that’s because there isn’t as much political suppression of the liberal views on campus; colleges are, these days, mostly trying to impose certain types of formal speech codes, or formally limit expression, in the name of liberalism.

          There’s plenty of conservative action which takes place on college–such as this idiot in the post–but it’s less often the cause of a formal college policy.

          And less obviously, these rights persist across groups; it’s not the individual cases which count as much as the precedents.

          If you are forced to allow pro-gay-rights atheists in your “Religinuts Against Teh Gays” group, you’ll also have to allow anti-gay-rights religious fundamentalists in your “Atheists for Gay Rights” group. So if you bring a case defending the conservatives’ right to exclude liberals, you’ll benefit the liberals–and vice versa.

      2. Ashley
        Ashley April 30, 2013 at 7:04 am |

        amblingalong, I can tell you a lot about FIRE. I’ve been following them for many years, and they only represent left-leaning people when it serves their agenda, which is a conservative libertarian agenda. They may take on left-leaning clients, but I’ve never seen that happen in a case where the precedent set would be working against kyriarchy. They are a legal organization with a focus on gaining media attention, so you have to look at the precedent they are trying to set and the media impact they are trying to have to understand what they are trying to do.

        They are not like the ACLU, which has a broader view of liberty (i.e. “liberty” to the ACLU doesn’t just mean privileged people get to say and do whatever they want, regardless of its impact on the liberty of others). FIRE’s funding is largely through big conservative funders like Scaife and Bradley, their board of directors includes some of the big names in the conservative movement and none of the big names in the civil rights/civil liberties movement, and they show up at CPAC, which the ACLU… does not.

        Anyway, this is a derail, but since FIRE often attacks feminism on campuses, I wouldn’t want Feminist readers to get confused about them.

        1. hotpot
          hotpot April 30, 2013 at 1:10 pm |

          Yes… a cursory look at their website and some of their cases does seem to suggest a center-right organization. Significantly more of their attention seems to be devoted to defending conservative causes than liberal ones, although I’m sure that there are plenty of examples of the latter as well. They seem to be in the vein of the anti-campus political correctness crowd, even if they aren’t quite as explicitly conservative as the Dinesh D’Souza types. That doesn’t mean they suck, but it’s a bit false to portray them as totally neutral and apolitical.

          The comparison with the ACLU is totally apt. The ACLU defends clients from all across the political spectrum, and they’re a principled organization; but they’re also a left-leaning one. FIRE defends clients from all across the spectrum but they’re definitely a right-leaning organization. The difference with the ACLU is that the ACLU’s civil libertarianism doesn’t limit itself to campus causes which, as a commenter noted above, is a pet cause of movement conservatism.

        2. hotpot
          hotpot April 30, 2013 at 1:15 pm |

          I want to clarify I’m agreeing with you here, some of my commentary is in response to ambling above.

        3. amblingalong
          amblingalong April 30, 2013 at 8:38 pm |

          I’ve been following them for many years, and they only represent left-leaning people when it serves their agenda, which is a conservative libertarian agenda.

          Again, the suggestion that censorship is a liberal value boggles the mind.

          Anyway, this is a derail, but since FIRE often attacks feminism on campuses, I wouldn’t want Feminist readers to get confused about them.

          No, they attack policies that attempt to ban anti-feminist speech. Big difference.

          The comparison with the ACLU is totally apt. The ACLU defends clients from all across the political spectrum, and they’re a principled organization; but they’re also a left-leaning one. FIRE defends clients from all across the spectrum but they’re definitely a right-leaning organization.

          Yeah, that’s certainly fair; I think the fact that protecting the rights of college students has become a largely conservative cause should be a source of deep and unending shame for liberalism.

          They seem to be in the vein of the anti-campus political correctness crowd, even if they aren’t quite as explicitly conservative as the Dinesh D’Souza types.

          I’m pretty sure they’re not so much anti-PC as anti-attempts to enforce PC speech.

          Look, I’m about as liberal as it gets, and I’ve yet to see a single FIRE case that I think they’re wrong over. I despise some of the people who’ve given them money and even some of their board, but the work they do is unimpeachable. If someone can link to a case that supports an alternate view, I’m open to changing my mind.

        4. Jamie
          Jamie April 30, 2013 at 9:33 pm |

          @Amblingalong, replying to you here just in case we’re swerving away from the point of the post.

  8. Margaret
    Margaret April 29, 2013 at 5:09 pm |

    I witnessed only a small part of his “preaching” while walking to lunch and what he was saying is ridiculous and horrible, but it is protected free speech. I think he should be ridiculed and opposed, but he was not inciting violence, he was just sharing his very warped world view. It is not he university’s job to restrict free speech. There are regularly people who preach equally horrible things on campus. That’s the downside of free speech, but I’ll take that over heavy-handed censorship. But I do hope the university keeps an eye on him.

    As to how he got in to the university, the university has to accept Arizona residents that graduated within some percentage of the top of his high school class (I don’t know the number, but AZ’s high schools aren’t great, so it isn’t hard to do). I don’t know if he’s an AZ resident, but maybe. Now, if he actually graduates having displayed such willful ignorance, then that’s the university’s fault for having low standards.

  9. macavitykitsune
    macavitykitsune April 29, 2013 at 7:22 pm |

    You know, I have thousands of ideas about this, but I think the best response to the “well, wev, Freeze Peach” crowd is, to riff off Emolee’s statement above – what if his sign said “Allah says you deserve rape”? How long would it take for authorities to expel him, jail him, refuse him basic human rights, etc? My money’s on ten minutes or less.

    It’s almost like white guys in North America have Christian privilege…

    I think there’s a commandment recommending talking about that. The one about false idols maybe?

    1. amblingalong
      amblingalong April 29, 2013 at 9:48 pm |

      It is possible to both care about preserving free speech and condemn misogyny, ya know. Frankly I don’t think the government is particularly feminist, so I’ve never understood why some feminists think that if it had the power to ban certain ideas from being expressed, the viewpoints prohibited would be the ones feminists want.

      You really think the overwhelming white male rich straight cis congress would ban misogynist comments before they banned radical social justice movements?

      1. macavitykitsune
        macavitykitsune April 30, 2013 at 2:04 am |

        Frankly I don’t think the government is particularly feminist, so I’ve never understood why some feminists think that if it had the power to ban certain ideas from being expressed, the viewpoints prohibited would be the ones feminists want.

        …I’m not saying laws protecting free speech need changing. I’m pointing out that the perceived risk of Statement By Christian vs the perceived risk of Statement By Muslim is different. And that that difference boils down, yet again, to why the culture does not view this dipshit as espousing a dangerous view (when it would hate him for making the same sign with a Muslim signifier). Not the law; the culture.

        1. amblingalong
          amblingalong April 30, 2013 at 3:50 am |

          I’m pointing out that the perceived risk of Statement By Christian vs the perceived risk of Statement By Muslim is different. And that that difference boils down, yet again, to why the culture does not view this dipshit as espousing a dangerous view (when it would hate him for making the same sign with a Muslim signifier). Not the law; the culture.

          Absolutely no disagreement there.

    2. foxy
      foxy April 30, 2013 at 12:30 am |

      Freedom of speech should be protected.Westbro church has very little influence.It barely has dozen members.They thrive on publicity.

    3. Anon21
      Anon21 April 30, 2013 at 1:02 am |

      what if his sign said “Allah says you deserve rape”? How long would it take for authorities to expel him, jail him, refuse him basic human rights, etc? My money’s on ten minutes or less.

      It wouldn’t be any more legal to do it to your hypothetical Muslim asshole. And it wouldn’t take Clarence Darrow to get those charges dropped and the participating officials haled into court for violating his civil rights. Generally, I’m in favor of government officials just following the law in the first place, not abusing their power and sorting out the consequences later.

      1. macavitykitsune
        macavitykitsune April 30, 2013 at 2:06 am |

        It wouldn’t be any more legal to do it to your hypothetical Muslim asshole.

        Yes, because we all know how very, very much the illegality of anti-Muslim measures matters to America today.

        Guantanamo Bay, that’s Canada, right?

        But anyway, I’m speaking, as I said to amblingalong in my comment above, to the social perception, not the legal one. The people on this thread arguing that he’s “No biggie, just ignore, lol” (like TomSims) are the people I’m pushing back against, not the people discussing speech rights.

        1. TomSims
          TomSims April 30, 2013 at 2:47 pm |

          The people on this thread arguing that he’s “No biggie, just ignore, lol” (like TomSims) are the people I’m pushing back against, ”

          I never said it was “no biggie”. I was saying, I ignore attention seekers. In the case we are talking about, I applaude those students demonstrating against this idiot.

    4. yes
      yes April 30, 2013 at 1:44 am |

      Realistically? He’d get more anonymous threats etc, but he’d probably have much more privilege and protection because religion.

      1. macavitykitsune
        macavitykitsune April 30, 2013 at 2:07 am |

        he’d probably have much more privilege and protection

        …wow.

        1. yes
          yes April 30, 2013 at 3:17 pm |

          Stirring counter-arguments aside, “[my god] says you deserve rape” is afforded more privilege and protection than ” I say you deserve rape” in America. If your god is one of the flavors of Christian, all the better, but its not a prerequisite.

          His obvious religious motivations certainly are part of the shield already, but if his sign was an overt invocation of his god, those in positions of responsibility would be even more nervous about trampling his religious freedom.

        2. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune May 1, 2013 at 11:39 pm |

          “[my god] says you deserve rape”

          Don’t redact away the Muslim part, yes. That’s kind of the relevant bit. Allah and Yahweh have very different connotations attached to them culturally, even if they are two names for the same guy.

      2. matlun
        matlun April 30, 2013 at 5:30 am |

        You think Muslim religious asshats have more protection than Christian religious asshats? In the US of today?

        That sounds just incorrect.

        If this had been in Europe, you might have a point (at least in some places), but Christianity has a very privileged position in the US.

        1. yes
          yes May 3, 2013 at 2:46 pm |

          Please reread my comment.

      3. Willard
        Willard April 30, 2013 at 8:56 am |

        He’d get the shit kicked out of him by some other [redacted].

      4. Fishing for Insults
        Fishing for Insults April 30, 2013 at 11:56 am |

        No he wouldn’t. Because terrorism.

    5. Kasabian
      Kasabian May 2, 2013 at 8:18 pm |

      White guy preaching rape? Harmless lunatic.
      Brown guy preaching the same thing? Terrorist with a one-way ticket to some CIA hole.

      Welcome to privilege, kids.

      1. amblingalong
        amblingalong May 2, 2013 at 8:29 pm |

        Brown guy preaching the same thing? Terrorist with a one-way ticket to some CIA hole.

        Example, please?

        1. IrishUp
          IrishUp May 3, 2013 at 6:43 am |

          What’s happening to Kiera Wilmont right now maybe applies here? I’m seriously thinking a white straight-A student is not being charged with a felony under the same circumstance.

        2. PrettyAmiable
          PrettyAmiable May 3, 2013 at 1:17 pm |

          Thanks for bringing up Kiera. I’d love to see a post on her (or maybe we could start a thread in the spillover?) but I read about her yesterday and I can’t begin to tell you how angry that entire story made me. Everyone agrees she didn’t mean to harm anyone; she didn’t harm anyone; end of story. FFS.

          Worse, from another article also from the same paper:

          The potential charges are even more galling considering that same prosecutor who gave police the OK to arrest Wilmot elected not to charge a 13-year-old just three weeks earlier for fatally shooting his younger brother.

          http://blogs.miaminewtimes.com/riptide/2013/05/kiera_wilmot_case_prosecutor_w.php

        3. amblingalong
          amblingalong May 3, 2013 at 2:53 pm |

          What’s happening to Kiera Wilmont right now maybe applies here? I’m seriously thinking a white straight-A student is not being charged with a felony under the same circumstance.

          Kiera is being charged under the US criminal justice system. I’m not arguing there isn’t tremendous racism in said system (I live with it, thanks), but she’s not being sent to a CIA prison, so she definitely doesn’t qualify as an example of Kasbian’s assertion.

        4. IrishUp
          IrishUp May 3, 2013 at 3:59 pm |

          I was parsing the important part as being the construction:
          White person does X = catches break
          POC does X = serious if not maximal penalty.

          Centering the example on the “CIA hellhole” part seems like picking on the hyperbole in order to ignore the very real critique of a serious systemic problem. Unless Kasabian really meant CIA hellhole. Which would be weird b/c domestic situations are NOT supposed to be handled by the CIA. Of course, various and sundry signing statements and Patriot [sic] Acts may have changed this.

        5. amblingalong
          amblingalong May 3, 2013 at 4:28 pm |

          Centering the example on the “CIA hellhole” part seems like picking on the hyperbole in order to ignore the very real critique of a serious systemic problem.

          I don’t think so, because some people really do end up in ‘CIA hellholes;’ this is especially relevant since part of the conversation above centered on the hypothetical treatment of a Muslim student advocating terrorism. There’s such a huge difference between being kidnapped and tortured vs. charged with a crime and prosecuted I guess I just don’t see how it works to use the former as an extension of the latter.

          Whatever, it’s probably not a big deal, it just rubbed me the wrong way. No biggie.

        6. IrishUp
          IrishUp May 3, 2013 at 4:35 pm |

          There’s such a huge difference between being kidnapped and tortured vs. charged with a crime and prosecuted.

          Gotcha. I wasn’t thinking about that this is a real thing too.

          Good point.

      2. a lawyer
        a lawyer May 3, 2013 at 8:48 am |

        They are. This happens all the time–kids get suspended or expelled for forgetting a pocket knife, etc. I recall one where a kid found a banned item in his backpack and immediately brought it to the teacher and was STILL expelled. And recently a child was punished for “shooting” someone with his fingers.

        That said, it’s pretty much guaranteed that the rules are enforced more against some folks than against others.

        This supports my point: these types of things are the consequences of making hasty rules when faced with a single bad conduct.

        Many school departments across the country passed a lot of ridiculous post-Columbine standards–almost none of which actually do much to avoid a student who is dead-set on shooting people, and almost all of which are routinely used against students who don’t deserve them, like the one you linked.

        It’s things like this that make me (and others) stand up against the knee-jerk “there oughta be a law” response whenever something horrible happens.

        1. Willard
          Willard May 3, 2013 at 10:02 am |

          It’s the problem with mandatory sentencing writ small. Zero-tolerance policies take discretion out of the equation and make it an all or nothing proposition.

          I personally don’t really believe what Kiera said about the circumstances of what she did, a straight A student that doesn’t know a basic single replacement reaction’s outputs? But you don’t make a real bomb in a small water bottle with those reagents, especially since most of the time your worst outcome is chemical burns to yourself from the acid. It wasn’t smart, it wasn’t safe, but it’s certainly not expulsion worthy. The same goes for a lot of kids.

          Terrifying 6 year old with a plastic gun

  10. Fat Steve
    Fat Steve April 29, 2013 at 9:59 pm |

    It’s of course the same old double standard. If Saxton had a similar sign saying certain male students deserved to be raped, for example, members of the football team, you would have heard how Saxton ‘deserved’ the pummeling he would no doubt get. Somehow women are expected to hold their fists and their tongues, because apparently it’s written somewhere in the First Amendment that women have to put up with douchey behavior.

    1. EG
      EG April 29, 2013 at 10:17 pm |

      Well, if somebody were to beat the shit out of this guy, I sure as hell wouldn’t shed any tears.

      1. amblingalong
        amblingalong April 29, 2013 at 10:22 pm |

        Ditto.

        And Fatsteve, has a single person on this thread argued anything approaching what you said? No. No they have not.

        1. Fat Steve
          Fat Steve April 29, 2013 at 10:44 pm |

          And Fatsteve, has a single person on this thread argued anything approaching what you said? No. No they have not.

          I meant at the school, I wasn’t talking about the comments on this thread.

        2. Fat Steve
          Fat Steve April 29, 2013 at 10:47 pm |

          I just realized that my comment was not where it should be, I was actually responding to Drahill’s comment about rape culture at the school, empowering Saxton.

        3. amblingalong
          amblingalong April 29, 2013 at 11:00 pm |

          Sorry, then it’s my fault; I misunderstood the context.

    2. Angie unduplicated
      Angie unduplicated May 1, 2013 at 9:49 am |

      Late post, Steve. Student volunteers might consider going out and flanking this bozo with two separate signs, one saying something along the lines of “men, you’re next’, and a second with statistics of one in four women, one in eight men, and child rape stats. Take his message, transform it, and follow the douchebag if he changes locations. That should freeze his little peach.

  11. Anna
    Anna April 30, 2013 at 2:42 am |

    Saxton, a junior studying classics and religious studies, said his sermon was meant to convey that “if you dress like a whore, act like a whore, you’re probably going to get raped.”

    “I think that girls that dress and act like it,” Saxton said, “they should realize that they do have partial responsibility, because I believe that they’re pretty much asking for it.”

    Soooo …. If you carry a sign like an asshole and act like an asshole, you’re probably going to get punched in the face … And you should realize that you have partial responsibility because you’re pretty much asking for it … Right?

    1. Anna
      Anna April 30, 2013 at 6:01 am |

      Also, I feel compelled to clarify that I’m not advocating violence, just showing that the guy’s logic wouldn’t even work in his own self-interest.

      1. Willard
        Willard April 30, 2013 at 9:39 am |

        They did mention in a related article some sort of physical confrontation between him and passersby that resulted in police reports.

        1. Alexandra
          Alexandra April 30, 2013 at 9:57 am |

          I would like to think, in a just world, a woman decking him could be considered justifiably provoked. Fightin’ words and all.

        2. Willard
          Willard April 30, 2013 at 10:25 am |

          He had signs calling sorority and fraternity members whores and rapists, respectively. Also one that said all rapists are going to hell. With that basis for your argument I think anyone going past could find some form of provocation.

          And I disagree with you on the fighting words point. That world would be a terrifying place for everyone involved.

        3. Willard
          Willard April 30, 2013 at 10:28 am |

          Comment in mod:
          Just to clarify, first “your” refers to Assy McGee of UA sign fame, second “you” is Alexandra. Sorry for the back to back indefinite pronouns.

        4. Alexandra
          Alexandra April 30, 2013 at 11:27 am |

          Well, I haven’t struck anyone in anger since I was ten years old, so you won’t get any real disagreement from me, Willard. I’m a pacifist with a resentful superego and a petulant id — no real threat to anybody, but very whiny about the fact that I have to play nice with assholes.

        5. EG
          EG April 30, 2013 at 11:28 am |

          I’m not a pacifist. The world is already a frightening place. The question is, for whom is it going to be frightening?

        6. pheenobarbidoll
          pheenobarbidoll April 30, 2013 at 12:43 pm |

          Yeah. Not a pacifist either. If the world becomes terrifying for rape apologists and rapists for once, well boo fucking hoo. Maybe they’ll learn empathy the hard way. Or maybe they’ll end up in a ditch with a broken face. Either way.

  12. Re-blog: Feministe | Genderopoly
    Re-blog: Feministe | Genderopoly April 30, 2013 at 4:50 am |

    [...] The University of Arizona needs a new student code of conduct. [...]

  13. Gorb
    Gorb April 30, 2013 at 5:13 am |

    This guy is suffering from “holy book syndrome”- where reason flies out the door. Within his worldview, I’m sure this all makes sense and he’s actually something of an outspoken hero and is trying to save people from badness. Sadly for him, few inhabit his world with him.

    On another note, I just got back from Egypt. Comically, I had similar discussions with people there; the quasi-insanity this guy is dropping is quite literally dominating mainstream conversation and debate in Egypt. He would be considered somewhat liberal and open minded by the standards of the Muslim brotherhood, which has a near lock on the authorities and debate in Cairo these days.

    Given the nastiness and vitriol that passes for civil society under those conditions of belief, I feel a more pressing discomfort than most for this sadly mislead guy’s rhetoric. To see the effect of allowing doctrinal religion to dominate debate, the end point in a very terrifying journey, I just had to get on a plane.

    How did this guy get into college?

    1. A4
      A4 April 30, 2013 at 10:15 am |

      This guy is suffering from “holy book syndrome”- where reason flies out the door.

      People really need to stop inventing colorful sounding mental illnesses in an attempt to extra-stigmatize the object of their current ire. It’s seriously disrespectful to the many people who actually suffer from mental illness who already have enough trouble convincing people they are not a danger to others.

  14. Alexandra
    Alexandra April 30, 2013 at 7:02 am |

    Honestly, I find Saxton a refreshing campus voice. I spend so much time hearing people endorsing rape in more civil and sophisticated tones that every now and then it’s nice to hear someone come right out and say it: it reminds me what, exactly, I’m dealing with.

    1. Willard
      Willard April 30, 2013 at 9:43 am |

      There’s a quote from Aldo Rain in Inglorious Basterds that comes to mind here.

    2. TomSims
      TomSims April 30, 2013 at 10:19 am |

      @Alexandra

      Exactly. He is stating publicly what many young men on campus already think, but do not say publicly. So to have this issue out in open and also be countered by many others on campus may give this problem of rape culture the needed attention to change the minds of juries across the country.

      1. A4
        A4 April 30, 2013 at 11:10 am |

        No. That is not how public discourse works. A radically pro-rape voice normalizes rape apologists because the extreme oppositional viewpoints that bookend the binaristic spectrum of public discourse determine where people place the “moderate” or “compromising” viewpoint.

        1. Alexandra
          Alexandra April 30, 2013 at 11:21 am |

          Binaristic spectrum is a contradiction in terms. I have no idea what you mean: do you mean a binary (polar opposites with no middle ground) or do you mean a spectrum?

          I also disagree that there’s no use to having someone be exposed for public mockery/outrage every now and then for taking mainstream bigotry to the logical extreme. It helps to “out” people who may be more sympathetic (or waaay more bigoted) than you would otherwise have suspected.

        2. a lawyer
          a lawyer April 30, 2013 at 1:05 pm |

          Alexandra, I think A4’s probably talking about “moving the Overton Window;” see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Overton_window for a bit of detail. in essence, it’s the concept that promoting a radical view enough (i.e. “acting normal means that you should be raped”) will eventually bring it into the mainstream.

          It’s true in theory, though IMO not in this case: if the radical view inspires widespread rejection (as it has fortunately done here!) then the overall effect is to move discourse AWAY from the radical view, not towards it. But it’s an interesting theory anyway.

      2. Alexandra
        Alexandra April 30, 2013 at 11:24 am |

        I don’t see this case going anywhere in the national news. A religious blowhard with a small platform being hateful toward women has to fall somewhere between “Economic Outlook Poor” and “Dog Bites Man” at this point. I was speaking personally. I will often find myself engaging in internal dialogue with my Inner Patriarchy, worrying about the length of my skirt or depth of my cleavage on any given day, and every now and then it’s nice to have a reminder about where all of these nagging fears and desires to police my appearance come from.

  15. Adrian
    Adrian April 30, 2013 at 11:17 am |

    This guys “speech” almost seems like a sick parody, with the key word there being almost. His particular actions probably contribute a few drops to the sea of hatred toward or at least disregard for women. In that sense he’s not the issue because he’s not deserving of that term, although I’m sure some people who walk past his display may feel differently.

    I susect that the wisest action to take is counteraction by people other than school officials, and that seems to be happening pretty effectively. At the very least, the U of A needs to support these counteractions in some manner to make a clear statement beyond the usual PR stuff.

    Seems eerily relevant that this is happening on a college campus, where generally speaking, the efforts to deal with rape have been sickeningly weak. A local Community College president resigned this morning after doing less than nothing in response to an assault on campus. Some s–t needs to change.

  16. Tyris
    Tyris April 30, 2013 at 1:30 pm |

    So we tried reading his blog.

    THIS WAS A MISTAKE.

    There’s no logic, no coherence, no… anything rational.

    Just a big ol’ grab-bag of misogyny, homophobia and racism wrapped up in a vaguely God-shaped package.

  17. Sweet and Sharp, Vol. 19 | In Our Words

    [...] A rundown of the strident misogyny a student  at Arizona State.   [...]

  18. antonsuis
    antonsuis May 6, 2013 at 8:59 am |

    I would imagine that the university could reasonably argue that his actions create a potentially unsafe environment for other students, and remove him from that housing — a guy who thinks that women “ask for it” by dressing in a particular way is not a safe person to have around women.

    I don’t agree with this at all, if he’s not actually shown to be a threat you are now punishing him for having an opinion, ugly as it may be. It’s against the spirit of the first amendment.

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