Wisconsin student's victim-blaming "rape culture" column goes over as well as you'd think

Categories: Weird Wisconsin
RapeCulturehed.jpg

David Hookstead, a junior majoring in political science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, recently penned a letter to the UW-Madison Badger Herald student paper with this provocative headline: "'Rape culture' does not exist."

:::: UPDATE :::: Wisconsin rape culture denier defiant in face of criticism, says he saved woman from assault

As the title indicates, in his column, Hookstead makes a case that "rape culture" is a fiction that "aggressively paints men as dangerous and as the root of evil."

Note: Trigger warning -- a portion of Hookstead's letter has been re-printed.

While acknowledging he will be criticized for his views, Hookstead begins with the premise that evil and criminal behavior are features of every current and historical society. Rape, like murder, is a horrible thing that people have always done to one another, he argues, yet we don't blame murder on a "murder culture." Therefore, if we're to remain consistent in our judgments, we shouldn't blame rape on a "rape culture."

A glaring problem with Hookstead's argument is that we do, of course, often blame specific murders on a broader murder culture, so there's nothing intellectually or morally problematic about ascribing rape to certain societal norms that should be changed, as people do when they talk about how rape culture plays a role in specific sexual assaults.

But if the flimsiness of his argument isn't bad enough, Hookstead digs a deeper ditch for himself with the way he closes the piece:
A woman drugged a close male friend of mine, who was a superstar athlete, so that she could assault him. There was little outrage, but could you imagine if a superstar athlete drugged a random woman and raped her? It'd be on the national news by morning.

This last part is likely going to blow up my Twitter feed with hate tweets.

It is unfortunate that some women feel the need to exploit anything that may be rape for publicity. Not everything that is claimed to be rape is actually rape, and false accusations only take away from the credibility of real victims.

For example, I've heard many women tell me they regretted having sex with somebody, and that if anybody asked them they'd just lie and say they were too drunk to remember. It's people like them that are huge problems. Why are women so desperate to demonize men that they'll lie about being raped?

Let's focus on those that truly need our help, and let's stop evil people when we can.
As you'd imagine, Hookstead's victim-blaming column went over about as well as the Hindenburg over New Jersey. Here's a sampling of some of the reaction (for more, click the link above):
badgerheraldcomments560.jpg


-- Follow Aaron Rupar on Twitter at @atrupar. Got a tip? Drop him a line at arupar@citypages.com.

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29 comments
marevitals
marevitals

This dude needs to find the nearest appliance store, grab that fucking blender and go to work on his member.

Zogu
Zogu

Fuckin' Sconnies

Jack Skagnetti
Jack Skagnetti

If he didn't want people mad he wouldn't have gotten drunk and wore such a short skirt.

Rajean Moone
Rajean Moone

One thing is certain - he's got job security either in Scott Walker's administration or on Fox News as a women's studies correspondent.

qwertyuiop
qwertyuiop

I missed the part in your quotations where he actually blamed a victim. He makes an unsubstantiated claim that there are many women who may lie about sexual assault, but he never goes so far as to say a rape victim is at fault. Maybe you should highlight the specific line? Or maybe he never said what you claim?

j.reiter
j.reiter

I concur.  These losers want to argue that 'rape culture' exists but are too lazy to actually formulate the arguement.  So instead they resort to name calling and using their idiot friends to create the illusion of a moral majority. 

MicheleBachmann
MicheleBachmann topcommenter

@Tim Brown They don't read it or comment on it.  Go back to reading your favorite website howtobeanasshole.com    

atrupar
atrupar moderator

@qwertyuiop 

"
It is unfortunate that some women feel the need to exploit anything that may be rape for publicity. Not everything that is claimed to be rape is actually rape, and false accusations only take away from the credibility of real victims.


For example, I've heard many women tell me they regretted having sex with somebody, and that if anybody asked them they'd just lie and say they were too drunk to remember. It's people like them that are huge problems. Why are women so desperate to demonize men that they'll lie about being raped?"

Lachtaube
Lachtaube

@j.reiter Before you're too lazy to actually formulate your own argument and resort to name calling and using your idiot fri-oh sorry, got a little ahead of myself there, I suggest you read the comments on the website. And the follow-up response letters from both campus papers.

You cannot ascertain much information on what is a shy sampling of comments from, at this point, primarily students who are mostly expressing their outrage towards the Badger Herald for publishing this poorly-written and poorly-thought out letter to the editor in the first place, and are not commenting on the letter itself (such a claim, at least on a sexually aware campus, typically generates a rhetorical no-comment response for its unprecedented ignorance and unfounded claims, and it goes without saying that David Hookstead is a disgrace to the University of Wisconsin.)

qwertyuiop
qwertyuiop

@atrupar @qwertyuiop Like I said, those are his unfounded claims that there are many false-accusations; but that isn't victim-blaming. He's operating under the assumption that the hypothetical women in his rhetoric were never victims in the first place. That's an issue of guilt on the part of the accused attacker, and the validity of the claims of the defendant. That is an issue separate from victim-blaming.

Lachtaube
Lachtaube

@j.reiter He IS a student. Good job at not answering a single one of my questions.

(See I can do it too, only when I say it, it makes sense.)

Svetlana
Svetlana

@j.reiter You clearly have no idea what you are talking about anymore.

j.reiter
j.reiter

He is a student you fucking loser.  Good job at not answering a single one of my questions. 

Lachtaube
Lachtaube

@j.reiter You seem to have come to your own conclusion that I must be a "real world adult," at what point did I mention I was a graduate?

Furthermore, how is it possibly acceptable to not hold college students accountable for their actions? A college student wrote a letter to the editor, therefore the discussion must be limited to college students? As though students must be protected from the outside world? Excuse me? Your rationality is as mind-boggling as Hookstead's poor and knee-jerk style of writing. No one is denying him anything. He got what he wanted, a heated reaction from the campus community, clicks for his favorite rag's website, and much much more. Good luck to him in the real world if any of his hirers or recruiters are female.

This is the realm of journalism. If he wants to partake, he is going to face some criticism. And considering this is not his first letter that has received widespread criticism, I'd say he enjoys it and can handle it like a big boy.

Lastly, college students are not children. That statement was just silly.

j.reiter
j.reiter

I am going to first apologize to anyone who is offended by the language that i am about to use.

HE IS A FUCKING STUDENT!!! YOU ACT AS THOUGH HE HAS NO RIGHT TO AN EDUCATION OR TO DETERMINE IF HIS BELIEFS ARE ACCURATE OR TO CREATE AN OPPORTUNITY FOR HIM TO BE CHALLENGE BY HIS PEERS!

Congratulations on your completion of college, now it is time for you to enter the realm of adults an make against those who are at the same level as you. Destroying a student who is trying to sort out reality is a fucking joke. And asshole Aaron Rupar trying to make a student a villian is absolutely reprehensable. Get a life you bully.

j.reiter
j.reiter

What right do you have to invade a college level discussion? He is a student; college is suppose to be a place where students are allowed to explore radical thoughts and argue those realizations among their peers. You want to limit his development? You made a statement that leads me to believe that you don't believe that he deserves an education. You want college to only offer one viewpoint? Are you seriously that insecure of your own beliefs that you think it is necessary to enter a sophomore level conversation with the purpose of denying a young adult the opportunity to be challenged by his peers in a safe place?

You are a bully and so is Rupar for invading a college level discussion. How about in the future, those who claim to be adults challenge the views of other adults rather than make a big deal about the things children are talking about.

Svetlana
Svetlana

@j.reiter Um... it was a rhetorical insult, I was suggesting you don't respond to the earth and sun argument, you ignore it because it's obviously not true, and you respond to the actual argument that matters, e.g. 'rape culture does exist, educate yourself by reading the content of this link,' etc., etc.

You are free to agree or disagree with whatever opinions are expressed, but it does not help your cause to ignore the argument entirely because you just cannot validate it or back it up with evidence. Not sure where in my post I cited my emotions, devastation, ideation or violence. I pointed out that you made a stupid move to avoid the real argument at hand entirely and went right for the insults.

And as a valid argument, touching on having absolutely no concept or respect for diverse thought, I can say that you are easily one of the most hypocritical trolls I've come across on the internet. Kudos! You win! You are the stupidest person I know! Thank you! You are very good at fabricating nonsense.

j.reiter
j.reiter

And how would you suggest a person respond to someone who claims that the Sun revolves the Earth Svetlana?  Should I have accepted that position because if I disagree on the existence of 'rape culture' then I must disagree on everything right?  Like people can breath underwater or people are just an extremely evolved version of a rock. 

Thanks for revealing another truth, that people like you NEVER attempt to find common ground.  If a person challenges your opinion or disagrees with you, the emotional reaction that occurs is devestating and leads to ideation and violence.  You have absolutely no concept or respect for diverse thought.  You hate diversity and are probably a racist too.

j.reiter
j.reiter

You are a sexist  racist idiot so you don't really have any credibility on this topic stupid.

mingtran
mingtran topcommenter

You are a sexist racist idiot so you don't really have any credibility on this topic stupid.

MicheleBachmann
MicheleBachmann topcommenter

@mingtran You are a sexist  racist idiot so you don't really have any credibility on this topic stupid. 

j.reiter
j.reiter

Nope, the Earth is round and revolves around the Sun, being that I just proved that you are wrong 2 of 2 times I am not going any further in defending myself because you are an idiot.

mingtran
mingtran topcommenter

"Rape culture" only exists if you want it to exist. I virtually guarantee if you go through your ipod playlist, you'll find songs you downloaded that support "rape culture" as defined by the website cited.

qwertyuiop
qwertyuiop

@atrupar @qwertyuiop Fair enough; and I don't mean to defend what he's written. It's sophomoric and the rhetoric is poor. But, your opinion doesn't change the definition of a word. He never referred to rape victims as being the problem. If you say, "may or may not have been raped" then you are including everyone everywhere. I know that sounds narrow, but in my opinion, being precise and accurate with the language we use is important. Just my 2 cents.

atrupar
atrupar moderator

@qwertyuiop In my opinion, when you characterize women who may or may not have been raped as "huge problems," you're victim blaming. 

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