A Letter to the Guy Holding up the “You Deserve Rape” Sign at a Student Rally in Arizona.

Via Tara Lemieux
on Apr 26, 2013
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“I think that girls that dress and act like it,” Saxton told the Daily Wildcat, “they should realize that they do have partial responsibility, because I believe that they’re pretty much asking for it.”

“Brother” Dean Saxton, University of Arizona student (and the author of the “You Deserve Rape” sign)

To the student holding up the “You Deserve Rape” sign at a Sexual Assault Awareness Rally in Arizona:

Yes, you—right there.

You wanted this attention, so “man up” and listen well.

I get it, you’re one of ‘those guys’ trying so desperately to effect an impact—to get a few more views to your feeble twitter feed, and to shine a little light on your envenomated brain. You think you know firmly your view of this world—but my dear, I assure you that you know nothing of the roots of this kind of violence.

You don’t know the first thing about being a victim and the many nights we lay awake in our beds questioning the value of our own human spirit.

You don’t how many times I asked myself this very same question, wondering why did this man punch me in my face.

You don’t know the first thing about the horror of our own memories—that carefully replay each scene over and over again in our minds.

There is no rest for a victim of domestic violence or rape or assault; we become prisoners in a place very few ever break free from.

For me, domestic violence became my own prison but thankfully, someone came to help rescue me.

They didn’t do it with words intended to incite—rather, they freed me by offering compassion. And yet, you stand there in judgement and holding this sign–certain that all of us victims are ‘partially responsible.’

You don’t know the first thing about the inside inner workings of a real victim’s heart strings—and you have no idea the true ‘impact’ that your misinformed thoughts bring.

Do you want to know the true cause of this violence?

I don’t think anyone can ever really answer this question—but I think you are wrong in assuming that violence is born from the blood of the victim.

In closing, I offer you peace and compassion and pray that you may someday realize the limitations of your own life’s understanding.

The world’s a little more complicated than those few words on that sign.

Also, I pray that you’re not ever the ‘victim.’


A victim.



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Ed: Bryonie Wise




About Tara Lemieux

Tara Lemieux is a mindful wanderer, and faithful stargazer. She is an ardent explorer and lover of finding things previously undiscovered (or, at the very least, mostly not-uncovered.) When she’s not writing, you can find her walking in the woods and sometimes changing the way we look at things, one simple moment at a time. You can contact her at via her website Mindfully Musing or, take one second to "LIKE" her on Facebook at Tara's Facebook Page. Or email her directly at [email protected]. All roads will lead to one home, and rest assured she (and Nudnick, the wonder dog) would LOVE to hear from you.


14 Responses to “A Letter to the Guy Holding up the “You Deserve Rape” Sign at a Student Rally in Arizona.”

  1. Mariana Wirth says:

    Men who think like this are mentally ill, have a psicological desorder. They need a bunch of therapists to understand what means to be human, because they have a distorted concept and perception of it. Love, and thanks for the letter.

  2. Carolyn Riker says:


  3. Amazing, Tara. Thank you.

  4. Tara Lemieux says:

    Thanks, Kate…this one, was *really* hard to write. But, I guess the important ones always are…

    I don't know if you've read through this guy's twitter feed, ( https://twitter.com/brodeanIV ) It's horrifying the thoughts he represents there. He's actually PROUD to have become "infamous nationally." There's much there that I chose not to repeat.

    I feel very sad tonight.

  5. Tara Lemieux says:

    Thank you, Carolyn –

  6. Tara Lemieux says:

    Thank you Mariana – my hope is that in some way their minds might be open to change. Perspective often offers opportunity for much greater things.

  7. Tara Lemieux says:

    At about 6 minutes into the video is where he begins to preach on his soapbox, shouting to each of the women that they deserve to be raped. It's hard to watch.

  8. Dawn Wesselby says:

    I wonder if someone had gone up and punched him really hard in the face if he would accept he was 'partially responsible' for their aggression towards him… not that I'm condoning violence but it would be an interesting debate to have…

  9. @mdouble says:

    There is an interesting way of gaining perspective on the whole issue. Consider for a moment how people behave in a nudist colony. Nudism or naturalism as it is sometimes called, is a lifestyle which rejects clothing. Obviously in such an environment how one dresses is no longer an issue. Everyone in a nudist camp could be said to be sexually provocative given that they hide nothing. The question to ponder would be, how do nudists treat each other? Is rape a big problem in such situations, or are nudists actually more sexually conservative and respectful of each other? I suspect that rape is pretty rare in nudist camps. Perhaps that may be because in such camps everyone is known to each other and so committing rape would be more difficult. Perhaps however nudists have developed a different attitude towards sex and sexuality than others have. Maybe nudists offer each other more respect, and oddly more dignity than is generally apparent in our larger society? So imagine for a moment that everyone where naked.

    How would that affect your behaviour and your attitude? What if you could only relate to others, not by how they dressed by rather by their character, their intellect, ideas and feelings. It's no so silly when you consider that in tribal cultures everywhere people wore little or no clothing, a fact that shocked early Christian missionaries. Was rape a common problem in such cultures? I suggest that it was not.

    We have developed a prudish, highly moralistic and judgemental attitude with is contrary the most basic and natural of human behaviour. We sexualize every aspect of modern life so that even something as innocent as publicly breast feeding a child becomes a crime.

    Men can understand the idea of rape just a well as women. In prison such things may well be much less abstract and have nothing at all to do with being provocative. In that situation rape really shows its true nature, which has nothing to do with how someone dresses. The essential nature of rape comes from the idea that one person can dominate another. It is about using violence to take that which is not freely given. It is not really a crime of passion, but the cowardly act of someone who feels the right to overpower and abuse others. It is a dominate theme which runs through society and has nothing to do with sex.

    To really understand what rape is, one must understand the rapist, not the victim. But naturally that requires more than just a superficial knee jerk response. It requires an honest open look at the social values and entrenched ideas from which they arise.

  10. Taexalia says:

    Kudos to you for writing this.

    There are many things I could say about this man, but what strikes me is that he has kind of cornered himself. If he really believes these things about women and how they dress, and he acts according to his signage – then I would hope any court wouldn’t hesitate to find him guilty.

    I imagine he has also limited his choice in finding a relationship… I say spread his image far and wide so women know who he is when they meet him.

    Love to you for your honesty and bravery.

  11. Vivian Hatfield says:

    Hates his mother and hates women! I would love to know when he thinks and decides
    "rape" is necessary. What's the criteria for his madness. Beware women. A website
    needs to be created. Potential rapist! rapist! These jerks need to be stopped!

  12. Tara Lemieux says:

    @mdouble – I was actually watching a documentary yesterday, about children born to drug addicted parents. In addition to the many issues they may experience, the biggest (in my opinion) is that some are incapable of a feeling a true sense of empathy. And I thought, what if this is a bigger problem than that which has only been observed in a controlled study? That there are those among us…who for whatever reasons..are incapable of feeling a true sense of empathy.
    And more specifically…what can 'we' do to help resolve this break in society's 'chain'.

  13. Tara Lemieux says:

    Thank you – it can be difficult sometimes to find a peaceful center spot, when bigger emotions would rather toss us around. But, I believe that we must be compassionate towards others – everyone – and not just for them, but for us. When we are able to love this unconditionally – that's when I believe there will be a very profound and much needed change to society.

  14. Tara Lemieux says:

    I was thinking of something as I was driving in this morning. I was thinking about the human body, specifically, that our bodies – when it senses injury, hurt, or disease – will do everything within its capabilities, to dispatch the deepest sort of healing. This brilliant symphony of cells all working together towards one big, greater common goal – and, it will continue to do so until its last and final breath.