Last month, Olivia Messer drew national attention when she published "The Texas Legislature's Sexist Little Secret" in The Texas Observer. In the article, Messer reveals an unsettling number of patronizing comments, inappropriate pick-up lines and sexist jokes made by male legislators and staffers, as well as a more general sense of male privilege that, according to some of the state's most prominent female lawmakers, can make working at the Capitol a trying — and at times even degrading — experience for women.
While the indignation Messer's article has incited is entirely justified, the sexist incidents she recounts can't hold a candle to the remarks made Wednesday by UT's very own Thor Lund, former Student Government president and current Blogspot enthusiast. Rather than wait for an exposé of his misogynistic attitudes to surface, Lund himself took to his blog to share dating tips and observations about the opposite sex in a post entitled "What I've learned about women."
His now infamous comments include assertions that the best way to attract a woman is to demean and insult her, and that guys should never text girls because "you don't really care, you just want to sleep with them."
And if you have any moral qualms about insulting women and then using them for sex, don't worry: "Honestly they deserve it," Lund assures his readers, for having "perplexed men since the beginning of time when they tricked us to eat the devil's food in the [G]arden of [E]den."
All considered, Lund's philosophy on women seems guided by a bizarre combination of paternalism, resentment and bewilderment, along with a rather tenuous grasp of evolutionary theory. It has been met with condemnation, both on campus and in a series of national news articles.
So why keep talking about it? Why draw even more attention to Lund and his asinine comments? Simple: Because today’s ambitious college politicians are tomorrow’s lawmakers, and we have a responsibility to keep those with repugnant worldviews out of office. Thanks to this newspaper and other media outlets, it appears that Lund’s political aspirations have been permanently dashed.
Still, one must wonder for how long he would have gotten away with his misogynistic lifestyle if he hadn’t chosen to share all its details with the public. In the blog, Lund makes clear that his friends have long aided him in employing his dubious tactics to pick up girls.
Evidently, no one who came into social contact with Lund at all these bars and parties found sufficient reason to report his behavior to the student body that elected him or the administrators with whom he worked on a daily basis.
The egregious private behavior of an elected official is never irrelevant to his or her job performance; the idea that Thor suspended his misogynistic views each time he stepped into the Student Government office is hopelessly naïve and unrealistic. You carry your beliefs and values with you wherever you go, and in this case Thor was allowed to carry his perception of women as pathological liars, whose only value lies in their ability to bear children, with him into meetings and onto stages for the past year.
Oliver is an English and sociology junior from New Braunfels and a guest columnist for the Daily Texan.