Political Animal


April 28, 2013 7:40 PM Rape culture in action

By Kathleen Geier

I suppose it had to happen sooner or later. In response to my earlier post about rape culture on college campuses, I received my very first Twitter rape threat:

How lovely — and so clever and original, too!

FYI, I haven’t had any previous history with this tweeter, nor did I have any interaction with him, on Twitter or elsewhere, subsequent to the campus rape post.

I’ve been trolled before, but so far as I can recall up until now I have never been threatened with rape. Welcome to the world of blogging while female, I suppose.

Kathleen Geier is a writer and public policy researcher who lives in Chicago. She blogs at Inequality Matters. Find her on Twitter: @Kathy_Gee


  • John N on April 28, 2013 8:03 PM:

    My usual, and probably not very progressive, reply is that some of us men should take that boy out back and explain things to him.

  • W. D. Kay on April 28, 2013 8:21 PM:


    First, let me say as a political junkie (and a political science professor to boot), that, although I almost never write comments on other people's blogs (I wish they could come up with a better term than "lurkers"), I have always found your posts to insightful and thought-provoking. You do great work. Long before there was such a thing as political blogs, I was an avid reader of the Washington Monthly, and it delights me no end to see that the WM's tradition of clear-sighted, logical (and, at times, pretty darn funny) discourse -- all in the service of a more just society -- is being continued by people like you, albeit via a very different medium.

    Then, let me say, as a man, how terribly sorry I am about the actions of that jerk (I mean the one who tweeted you; it just occurred to me that, for all I know, you might well encounter a lot of jerks!). As you well know -- indeed, have just demonstrated -- it is the women who speak up, the ones who try to make a difference, who usually come in for this kind of crap. As we could all see from your pitch-perfect response, however, you are ever the professional, and you nailed it.

    Please keep up the good work; thanks to people like you, jerks like that are already on their way to extinction (admittedly, not as fast as we might like).

  • Piehole on April 28, 2013 9:30 PM:

    In a world that worked the right way, that creep would get a knock on his door from the police, and he'd be added to some kind of registry, and have some of his rights infringed upon. Because you don't add that to civic culture and expect other people to just go along with it as normal. It's not normal. It's a direct threat of violence. It's not smark or humor or commentary. It's a threat of violence. Straight up. And should be handled/treated that way.

  • DJ on April 28, 2013 9:42 PM:

    My sympathies on your attracting the attention of that sub-human thug

  • thebewilderness on April 28, 2013 9:48 PM:

    Rape as corrective punishment for women is a mainstay of the rape culture we are all soaking in.
    If you read i-once-had-a-guy-tell-me on Tumblr it really gives you an understanding of how common this has always been.

  • gograff on April 28, 2013 10:43 PM:

    So, this is what our nation and culture have come to? This is beyond pathetic. You mean our great "Christian Nation" and "moral leaders" are not outraged, are calling for God's retribution on these rapists of His children? The "moral, Culture of Life" party, Fallwell acolytes, Robertson, Hagee,... where the bloody hell are you?? Where is your self-righteous, moral indignation now?

    From 'The Nation' magazine:

    "Itís been just over a month since two high school football players in Steubenville, Ohio, were found guilty of raping an unconscious teenage girl. One of the young men, Trent Mays, was also found guilty of sending pictures of the assault to friends. Since then, the media have been gripped by two more incidents in which young women were gang-raped at parties and had pictures of their attacks distributed on social media. These young women, unlike the victim in Steubenville, did not survive."

  • Tim Connor on April 29, 2013 12:10 AM:

    Doesn't twitter take action against people who threaten crimes?

    If not, it appears to be even more pathetic and morally vacuous than I had previously conjectured.

  • sds on April 29, 2013 12:40 AM:

    He appears to be twitter friends this woman, who appears to attend Mount Royal University:


    Quite possible he attends there, too. They might be interested that one of their students makes rape threats. Can't imagine Canadian universities are indifferent to that.

  • Aaron Baker on April 29, 2013 12:53 AM:

    Disgusting. My sympathies.

  • hamletta on April 29, 2013 2:12 AM:

    Ha ha funny!

    OK, no. Not fucking funny.

  • smartalek on April 29, 2013 2:33 AM:

    Well, "Andre" appears to have no qualms about admitting publicly that he's such a failure with women that the only way he can relate to them is with puerile resentment and rage (and so original, too!) -- and that he lacks even the modicum of intelligence to recognise that's what he's just done.
    Good for you, KG, to try to help him along a path to self-knowledge and, who knows (sometimes miracles do happen), maybe even one day to get over his obvious problems (doubtful tho this might be) by publicizing his desperate cry for help.
    Do you suppose his mother might see it?

  • c u n d gulag on April 29, 2013 7:08 AM:

    Yes, Andre @SnidleyBluntash,
    Remind us again what a great success you are with the ladies.

    If it's date rape you crave, then women have little to worry about, since you couldn't buy a date with a fistfull of pardons in a women's prison - or, probably a men's one, either.

  • Stetson Kennedy on April 29, 2013 8:47 AM:

    I'm not an attorney, but that sounds like a pretty clear threat to me. I'd report this POS to the police. Likely nothing comes of it, but maybe the police can make his life miserable for a day.

  • anonymous gal on April 29, 2013 9:25 AM:

    Truly sickening.
    I was taken advantage of on a country highway when I was 20-- and afterwards the guy actually wanted to buy me dinner.

    Likely one of the back-in-the-mind reasons I never put myself out there on facebook and twitter.

  • jon on April 29, 2013 9:52 AM:


    There's no reason to believe Andre can't have a long-term relationship and also want to rape someone. Speculate all you want about his success with the ladies, but rape is about dominating and humiliating someone using sex, not sex itself. Whether he hates all women or just certain ones doesn't really matter. Threatening even one with rape matters.

  • Stetson Kennedy on April 29, 2013 11:40 AM:

    Welcome to the world of blogging while female, I suppose.

    While I am sure Kathleen was engaging in a little wordsmanship here, this is hardly restricted to white women bloggers. Just ask Kavita Krishnan.

  • SecularAnimist on April 29, 2013 12:13 PM:

    Kathleen Geier wrote: "Welcome to the world of blogging while female, I suppose."

    That sounds a bit like "oh well, boys will be boys".

    You should not just shrug this off like that. You should report him to the police. By doing so you might prevent him from actually raping someone.

    Using electronic communications to make such threats is a crime. Report him to the police.