Dean Saxton, a junior at University of Arizona, sparked controversy on Tuesday when he spoke against women while holding a sign stating, “You Deserve Rape.” According to Saxton, women are responsible for their rapes because of how they dress and act.
Planned the same night as University of Arizona’s “Take Back the Night,” an event protesting sexual violence, Saxton stated that his protest 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, they should realize that they do have partial responsibility, because I believe that they’re pretty much asking for it.”
According to UA’s student newspaper, the Daily Wildcat, the Dean of Student received numerous complaints, emails, and calls concerning Saxton’s stunt. However, despite Saxton’s incredibly inappropriate and offensive speech, university attorneys have responded to students and to complaints by saying that Saxton is exercising his right to free speech and is not yet violating any student codes of conduct.
However, as Aviva Shen of ThinkProgress notes, while Saxton may be exercising his right to free speech, he is fueling the mainstream habit of blaming and shaming the victim rather than condemning the perpetrator. Saxton’s misogynistic sermon is just one more in a series of recently publicized rapes and community responses that highlight this.
Image via: ThinkProgress