Tell the University of Rochester to fire Steven Landsburg!


Originally published March 20, 2013

In a shocking March 20 blog post titled "Censorship, Environmentalism and Steubenville," University of Rochester economics professor Steven Landsburg questioned the harm of raping an unconscious woman who may not remember the attack, and wondered why rapists should not "reap the benefits" of women's bodies. Landsburg's hypothetical "dilemma" ignores material reality in a hateful attempt to further his sexist beliefs, and goes on to question whether rape should be against the law:

"Let's suppose that you, or I, or someone we love, or someone we care about from afar, is raped while unconscious in a way that causes no direct physical harm—no injury, no pregnancy, no disease transmission. (Note: The Steubenville rape victim, according to all the accounts I've read, was not even aware that she'd been sexually assaulted until she learned about it from the Internet some days later.) Despite the lack of physical damage, we are shocked, appalled and horrified at the thought of being treated in this way, and suffer deep trauma as a result. Ought the law discourage such acts of rape? Should they be illegal?"

Landsburg's awful, misogynist rant continues, musing:

"Why shouldn't the rest of the allowed to reap the benefits?"

Landsburg's blog is full of such horrifying excuses to promote violence against women. Yet when faced by criticism from students and the public, the University defended Landsburg in a statement from spokesperson Bill Murphy:

"At the University of Rochester, we honor our Communal Principles: fairness, freedom, honesty, inclusion, respect, and responsibility. We are committed to academic freedom and free speech.

"Professor Landsburg is entitled to his opinions and his independent publishing of them. His opinions do not represent the views of the University—we work hard to promote a culture of mutual respect and to combat sexual violence."

Promoting an unsafe campus environment, attempting to normalize the criminal act of rape, and minimizing the devastating effects of rape on victims, is not free speech. Endorsing violence against women is hate speech and should not be tolerated.

Steven Landsburg is using his position as a professor of economics to promote rape, and the University is defending his right to do so. We demand he be fired immediately!

Send a letter to University of Rochester President Joel Seligman now with our easy online tool.