Dean Saxton, a junior, is notorious for giving inflammatory sermons in the middle of campus. This time, he argued that women are responsible for their rapes because of the way they dress and act. Saxton’s stunt may have been planned in response to the “Take Back the Night” protest against sexual violence scheduled Tuesday night.
Saxton cut right to the chase, bluntly stating that girls who dress like “a whore” have it coming:
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.”
According to the Daily Wildcat, the Dean of Students received “stacks of written complaints, emails and multiple phone calls regarding Saxton’s sermon about women.” Many students directly confronted Saxton, even trying to pull down his sign. Saxton embraced the attention on his Twitter account, posting a screenshot of an article about the Take Back the Night with the comment, “The whores are out.” In other sermons, Saxton has cursed people who are gay, have pre-marital sex, masturbate or have lustful thoughts. His Twitter account is rife with anti-Muslim sentiment, as well; last month he tweeted, “There will come a time when the sword will be put to the heathen.”
While the University argue that Dean has a right to free speech, which he does, there is a line that crosses over to hate speech, which telling someone that they deserve rape is, and the University of Arizona should stop tolerating hate speech.