Police Chief: Women Want the Dick

Trigger Warning

Colorado State University Police Chief Dexter Yarbrough is a violent, misogynistic asshole.

It seems like so many people have posted on this already — from Feministing, to Womanist Musings, to Yes Means Yes, to name only a few — but couldn’t let it just pass without comment.  Because this is rape culture at its most explicit.  Misogynistic views on sex backed up by authority.

Yarbrough is currently suspended  for doing and saying a lot of illegal things:

Listing numerous accusations of improprieties ranging from falsifying police documents, to mandating the special treatment of student athletes, to teaching students illegal police tactics, several timid police officers say the President’s Office had plenty of alarming evidence to take action long ago but turned a blind eye to a handful of alleged abuses of power.

The list of those abuses includes telling students that as a police officer he would give informants illegal drugs in exchange for information, and bragging about how he would physically beat suspects — as well as this:

The lecture that inspired him to gather recordings, Gropp said, was one in which he says Yarbrough told the class “women want the dick, even when they say ‘no.’ They want the dick.”

There are, of course, a lot of things that concern me about this comment, especially coming from a police officer. There’s the fact that it gives me every reason to believe that Yarbrough is sexually violent himself. There’s the fact that impressionable kids are hearing this in their classrooms, coming from an authority figure — words stating that it’s okay to commit rape, because women like it anyway. And there’s the fact that he was overseeing the conduct of other officers.

But what actually concerns me most, when I hear this?  The fact that women were going to Yarbrough to report rapes committed against them.  Expecting support and feeling traumatized, they were instead met with this man.  I can’t even imagine what that must have been like.

While I think that it’s a problem that Yarbrough is currently only suspended, that it took so long, and that he’s still being paid to sit around and be an asshole, I also, like Marcella, do commend the fact that action was taken at all.  And I’m rather impressed that the statement above, which promotes rape, was the reason that the investigation began.

“In my book he just kind of condoned rape,” Gropp said. “I was just floored … that was when I decided to start recording things and file a complaint.”

Frankly, though the shockingly misogynistic and rape apologist nature of the comment seems clear as day to anyone who is willing to see the truth, far too many people — especially fellow-men who are listening to such a statement come from an apparent superior inside an institution built on patriarchal authority — would agree, laugh it off, or pretend they hadn’t hear it.  So good for you, Aaron Gropp.  Good for you.

0 thoughts on “Police Chief: Women Want the Dick

  1. Irene

    I totally agree with your sentiments and disgust about this situation, but unfortunately this has been being mis-reported in a lot of places.

    It is true that Gropp has previously filed reports regarding these appalling statements and made the recordings. It is, however, very unclear that any of these reported items are why the Chief has been suspended or is being investigated now. Because it’s technically a personnel matter, the university is legally unable to comment on the investigation. Several past complaints (including some listed above) were previously investigated with no known action taken against the Chief. (Because the investigations are sealed, no one really knows what, if anything, was done in those cases. All we know is that he was not previously suspended or fired.)

    It should also be mentioned that the Chief’s suspension came very quickly after the university’s former President (Larry Penley) “resigned.” The story there is that he “resigned” a day after the Board of Governors meeting at which it is an open secret that he was taken to task for many of his management decisions. It remains unclear whether the situation with Yarborough played a role in his “resignation” (and was not anyone’s first guess about the conflict between the BoG and the former Pres).

    Astoundingly, the local newspaper’s coverage has been terrible and has contained little to no investigation. All the facts that are currently known have been unearthed by the student newspaper.

    It’s a horrible situation, and very upsetting to everyone who works hard to make CSU a welcoming place for ALL students. Certainly what has been reported is horrible and inexcusable at a modern university. However, it’s important to get the facts right so that the Chief’s defenders (yes, he has them) can’t shoot down criticism because it’s “wrong.”

    Check out the excellent student paper coverage of the situation at: http://www.collegian.com/home/

    Also, it has been reported that Yarbrough has applied for a similar job at a school in Chicago. Hopefully, the press coverage will prevent that from happening!

  2. Renee

    Not only should this man not be teaching, he should never be allowed to work as a police officer again. He clearly has not respect for the law and if even one of his statements was reported correctly no citizen can feel safe with him in a position of authority.

  3. AshKW

    I’m ashamed of my alma mater’s conduct. Rumors of this behavior were swirling around the college when I was a student (I graduated in 2007), but the president’s office shut us down hardcore when any questions or concerns were raised about this behavior. I’m extremely proud of the Collegian for their gutsy reporting, and utterly disgusted by the Fort Collins Coloradoan’s lack of coverage.

    All that said, the majority of CSUPD was pretty good. This guy did his best to prevent a lot of good people from doing their jobs, and I’m sorry to say he succeeded, by and large. I know a couple of girls who reported rapes to campus PD, and their experiences were decent, but I’m sure not everyone was that lucky.

    Let’s tar and feather the scumbag.

  4. Thealogian

    I think that it is crucial to make sure that the narrative about firings or pursuing investigations regarding men/people in authority who hold pro-rape views such as Yarborough is that his MISOGYNY renders him INCAPABLE OF PERFORMING HIS JOB DUTIES SATISFACTORILY.

    It is within his job description that he investigate rape and sexual assault and if he simply does not believe in rape, if he promotes rape, that prevents him from executing his job function at an acceptable level.

    Of course, that’s logical to everyone reading this blog, but its important to establish as a part of the feminist narrative that certain views of women held by men (or women) can and do render them incompetent to perform work in some law enforcement, education, and in the medical field. I think that this is a good place to argue from and it would cover several issues that have been in view lately, such as Bush’s “birth-control is abortion” therefore you can’t discriminate against doctors/nurses/CNA’s/pharmacists/janitors who don’t want to do their jobs.


  5. Aaron Gropp

    I was the student and former deputy sheriff who taped Yarborough. What everyone has failed to mention is that my complaint was shut down by then President Penley and I was pretty much threatened by CSU to drop the situation if I did not wish to suffer problems in finishing my schooling. On top of all that, I have been blacklisted by every law enforcement agency and I am suffering greatly not only in my personal life due to this whole incident (threats and such), but I am especially suffering in a financial way since I cannot get a job due to this “controversial issue with Yarbrough” and I am on the verge of having my house foreclosed on since my savings are gone and I cannot find work no matter how I try. I was outright told by two different places that they would not hire me after the Yarbrough thing. I was hired by a police local police department and when the sheriff of Larimer County found out (Sheriff Jim Alderden) he sent a deputy to the Chief of that town and made certain that if they hired me, he would cause them problems. The day before I started my job the Chief of the police department I was supposed to start at called and told me he was withdrawing his job offer; THE DAY BEFORE I WAS TO START! I did the right thing reporting Yarbough, and they have never reported all the things I told them or have on tape, but sometimes I regret having done the right thing since I never imagined I (and my wife) would suffer so much, lose so much, be threatened, and worst of all lose everything we have because I can’t even find a job with all my experience, commendations, awards and history of doing the right thing. Frustrating does not even come close to describe the way I feel about this.


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