Thursday, January 04, 2018

Survey on Sex Abuse in Academia Gets 1,800 Responses

Karen Kelsy, The Chronicle of Higher Education: I've set aside the usual job-search questions from readers to talk in today's column about the Sexual Harassment Survey I created on November 30. It quickly went viral and gathered -- in the space of about two and a half weeks -- more than 1,800 responses from academics who shared their experiences of sexual misconduct in higher education. I have been horrified but unsurprised by the nature and amount of responses I've received -- both in the Google document I set up for the survey and in the additional emails in my inbox.

More

Almost every single one of the hundreds of stories in the spreadsheet show abuse perpetrated by those in power against those advised or supervised, personally and institutionally. In a tiny fraction of cases (about 3 percent), the perpetrators were women. And in an even smaller percentage, the victims were male. The abuse can happen along LGBTQ lines, as a handful of stories show. Of course it can. This abuse can occur any time one party has almost total power over the other party, and uses that power to extract sexual access. In a heteronormative patriarchy, the white men at the top constitute the overwhelming majority of perpetrators.

Truly grotesque is the range, scope, variety, and, at the same time, numbing repetitiveness of the attacks of senior men on junior women -- particularly women of color -- that the survey has revealed.

Comments

The Google document with all of the entries is linked. It was shocking to me.

#1 | Posted by BruceBanner at 2018-01-03 10:39 PM

My Philosophy Professor was popped with a lawsuit for trading dick for As. You wouldn't've thought it by the look of him. He was an arrogant, supercilious ------- before, but I ran into him in the hall during my last semester right before graduation and he'd mellowed out quite a bit and was actually friendly. Somehow, they didn't fire him, though. He was pretty young at the time and probably his first taste of power over other people. Sometimes people have to learn the hard way.

#2 | Posted by madscientist at 2018-01-03 11:02 PM

Interesting you mention that. Maybe 96 percent of the entries are from the arts. I got tired looking for the sciences.

#3 | Posted by BruceBanner at 2018-01-03 11:09 PM

It was shocking to me.
#1 | POSTED BY BRUCEBANNER

Why? Seriously why is it shocking?

Maybe 96 percent of the entries are from the arts. I got tired looking for the sciences.
#3 | POSTED BY BRUCEBANNER

Seems reasonable, its hard to say a math solution is wrong, but a paper on interpreting Rodin's GatesOfHell...

#4 | Posted by AndreaMackris at 2018-01-03 11:50 PM

"Seems reasonable, its hard to say a math solution is wrong"

That has nothing to do with misconduct.

#5 | Posted by snoofy at 2018-01-04 12:20 AM

Maybe 98 percent from arts.

#6 | Posted by BruceBanner at 2018-01-04 07:01 AM

"Why? Seriously why is it shocking?"

I'm a professional academic scientist, so I spend my career in the culture. Nonetheless, outside of incidents that are dealt with quickly, I don't see this as prevalent. It makes more sense because I am in science and the majority of incidents are in the arts.

Another aspect is how female dominated biology is. In my generation, there are many female leaders and students. There is a theory that balancing gender and power will stop exploitation. If that were the case, then we would expect less females participating in a meaningful way in the arts.

#7 | Posted by BruceBanner at 2018-01-04 07:08 AM

What does "math solution" mean?

#8 | Posted by BruceBanner at 2018-01-04 07:08 AM

Interesting you mention that. Maybe 96 percent of the entries are from the arts. I got tired looking for the sciences.

#3 | POSTED BY BRUCEBANNER

I have to remind myself sometimes of the bubble I live in, specifically that there's a lot more to academia than hard sciences.

Which is why when I hear of academia being next on the block for this wave to roll over I figured they wouldn't find much because, as you state, I don't get the vibe of this being a common problem.

#9 | Posted by jpw at 2018-01-04 10:55 AM

"What does "math solution" mean?"

In the mind of Mackris, it means math has an objective truth behind it, so when women are wrong, they can't say it's just a difference of opinion, like they can when it comes to interpreting their "feelings" about literature or what have you.

It's a deflection, and a sexist one too.

#10 | Posted by snoofy at 2018-01-04 10:00 PM

#10 | Posted by snoofy

I didn't realize pi was sexist...

#11 | Posted by horstngraben at 2018-01-04 10:48 PM

- the mind of Mackris

A nano particle... if it exists at all.

#12 | Posted by Corky at 2018-01-04 11:59 PM

Seems reasonable, its hard to say a math solution is wrong, but a paper on interpreting Rodin's GatesOfHell...

This is a perfectly reasonable statement.

#13 | Posted by horstngraben at 2018-01-05 12:25 AM

"This is a perfectly reasonable statement."

Reasonable or not, it's got nothing to do with the topic.

#14 | Posted by snoofy at 2018-01-05 12:45 AM

Reasonable or not, it's got nothing to do with the topic.

I liked Bruce's #3, and I liked Mackris' response.

Mathematics transcends gender, race, ideology, etc...

#15 | Posted by horstngraben at 2018-01-05 01:11 AM

Okay, so you don't like talking about sexual harassment, which is the actual topic.

#16 | Posted by snoofy at 2018-01-05 01:22 AM

Sadly, we have entered an era of McCarthyism. Yes there are culprits who have stepped over the line of sexual behaviors but so too have accusers who have realized the power of making accusations without proof or trial to destroy careers of relatively innocent men like Al Franken. If anything, these accusers have caused me now to doubt the truthfullness of the accusation in a whole new way. Taking out one of our most progressive Senators was a coup for the right and trust me this is a new pattern. Schumer? Are you ready for the accusation which will surely be coming your way? I loved Al Franken but he was a fool and a weakling to give in so easily to accusation of relatively minor misbehaviors, especially since his primary accuser did the exact same things, on the same USO tour, as he did. Hate to say it but -- Al Franken for being a -----. Oh and Kirsten Gillebrand will never get another donation from me, she needs to quit the Democratic Party and just disappear. Her ambition overpowered her sense of right and wrong and I, for one, am done with her forever.

#17 | Posted by danni at 2018-01-05 09:36 AM

Lastly, it is time for Democrats to realize that their duty is to their constituents, as Bill Clinton did. Yes he got a BJ but he didn't stop representing us Americans, Al Franken is a -----. Democrats needs to learn from Republicans. They remain in office despite all kinds of sexual behaviors reporte, Diaper Vitter comes to mind. I, personally, don't really care about any of that. I care about the issues they work to represent. We, as a nation, need to completely learn to disregard the personal sexual pecadillos of politicians or else we will end up in a nation of Purtitans, they BTW, burned women who were accused of being witches. Are you really ready for such a judgemental society? F that! Just think about the power you sacrifice to the right every time you let accusations of minor sexual misbehavior take down a man like Al Franken.
Kirsten Gillebrand has sealed her own demise as a politician, me and millions of other Democrats are done with her. And this bitch thought she had a chance at the Presidency. Ridiculous. Ambition destroys character again.

#18 | Posted by danni at 2018-01-05 09:49 AM

www.sciencemag.org

Salk Institute hit with discrimination lawsuit by third female scientist

#19 | Posted by BruceBanner at 2018-01-05 09:54 AM

Danni; There are over 1800 here. There is a problem. It's not cool to pretend there is not.

At the same time, we can't pretend that an unjust solution will lead to a just end. There has to be a better mechanism than "allegation followed by eternal banishment".

Guys need to realize that an injustice has been perpetrated and do something to make it right without taking individual blame. It can start by acknowledging/understanding what these women are going through and making it clear in their actions that it will not happen in the future.

#20 | Posted by BruceBanner at 2018-01-05 09:58 AM

"Danni; There are over 1800 here. There is a problem. It's not cool to pretend there is not. "

Of course, but let's also be realistic. There are hundreds of thousands of people in academia. 1800 is a tiny percentage. And we don't even actually know how many of them are truthful, we need to be careful not to turn this into an opportunity for right wingers to take out professors they don't like by making false accusations and, trust me, they will and they do that every chance they get. America needs to be careful right now, the right has found a tool to take down anyone they want to with false accusations. If you don't think they see this as an opportunity they you are just too naive.

#21 | Posted by danni at 2018-01-05 10:06 AM

Stunner. Socially inept beta males are put into positions of unquestioned authority surrounded by nubile young coeds. What could go wrong?

#22 | Posted by MUSTANG at 2018-01-05 11:28 AM

#21 So what you're saying is it's only a "rape culture" when it is politically beneficial to liberal causes? /facepalm

#23 | Posted by MUSTANG at 2018-01-05 11:31 AM

#23 | POSTED BY MUSTANG

I take Danni to mean she doesn't want LeftWing professors that are sexual abusers to be be removed because they were sexually abusive.

How this helps women in the short and long run is such an emotional contortion I dare not wade in that swamp.

#24 | Posted by AndreaMackris at 2018-01-05 11:41 AM

"#21 So what you're saying..." - #23 | Posted by MUSTANG at 2018-01-05 11:31 AM

No, she isn't saying that. /facepalm

"I take Danni to mean..." - #24 | Posted by AndreaMackris at 2018-01-05 11:41 AM

No, she doesn't mean that at all.

Apparently, being a rightwinger stunts one's ability to read and understand.

Perhaps they're just emulating their new hero:

Donald Trump doesn't read, and that's not even the scary part

#25 | Posted by Hans at 2018-01-05 11:47 AM

"Oh and Kirsten Gillebrand will never get another donation from me, she needs to quit the Democratic Party and just disappear."

Kirsten definitely was the ringleader in calling for Franken to resign, but too many top ranking Dems and even Bernie followed her lead. If Kirsten had been the lone voice calling for Franke to quit, I don't think he would have:

Bernie Sanders, Chuck Schumer say Al Franken should resign

Sen. Bernie Sanders and Sen. Chuck Schumer said their colleague Al Franken's announcement scheduled for Thursday should include his resignation following accusations of sexual harassment from more than a half dozen women.

"Sen. Franken has said that he will be making an announcement about his political future tomorrow. The right thing is for him to resign," Sanders, I-Vt., who ran for president as a Democrat in the 2016 elections, said in a statement issued Wednesday afternoon.

"We are now at a crossroads in American culture. And it is an important one. The way we treat women in our country has been abysmal in almost every way. We are finally addressing the issue of sexual harassment, and we need to get it right."

www.jta.org

#26 | Posted by Gal_Tuesday at 2018-01-05 11:54 AM

Danni; There are over 1800 here. There is a problem. It's not cool to pretend there is not.

I'd be careful bandying about the number.

There was at least one out of the 30 or so I read that didn't really fit the bill IMO.

It was a person who claimed she left teaching because she developed PTSD from being locked in the storage closet by a bunch of male students.

#27 | Posted by jpw at 2018-01-05 03:06 PM

Fine 1770.

#28 | Posted by BruceBanner at 2018-01-05 04:04 PM

But seriously, I think the whole thing needs to be reconsidered along with a definition of what are the things that are in this document.

I see some things on the list that are done to men and women trainees but guys are told to "man up" while women are told they are being exposed to bias.

#29 | Posted by BruceBanner at 2018-01-05 04:08 PM

2022 entries now.

#30 | Posted by BruceBanner at 2018-01-05 04:13 PM

"And let me be clear: Sexual harassment in academe is a spectrum that ranges from rape, assault, battery, and stalking to looks, hand-brushing, and innuendo delivered just on the edge of plausible deniability -- but, contra Matt Damon, all of those behaviors do incalculable harm. Often the harm isn't apparent until later."

The first thing that needs to be addressed is the notion that the "incalucuable harm" done by "a spectrum" of sexual assault does not itself fall into a spectrum of harm. "Looks, hand-brushing, and innuendo delivered just on the edge of plausible deniability" do cause harm and are unacceptable, but the harm caused by those completely unacceptable behaviors does not reach the same level of "incalculable harm" done by "rape, assault, battery, and stalking."

#31 | Posted by Gal_Tuesday at 2018-01-05 04:42 PM

A ridiculous and non-scholarly event that is nothing more than a witch hunt, anonymously of course.
Looking is now harassment? How can a look be harassing? In that case, my parents harassed me for 18 years.

Hand-brushing is harassment? I paint completely by brush, am I harassing? I admit I don't quite get this term, but assume it means purposely allowing a man's (always a man's hand in the eternal victimhood of the #metoo movement) to...to...wait for it...BARELY TOUCH A FEMALE HAND! *shudder*

Here's my #metoo:
grad school foreign language class, final exam. I failed. Shocked. Called instructor, who said she wanted me to come to her office to discuss it. Everything on the exam was correct but I mistranslated one word four times. THAT was my reason to fail, in her words. But she did offer me a chance to pass if I came to her office several times for tutoring one-on-one. You know what I did? I turned her down and reported her the next week. (nothing came of it, he said/she said)

You know what I did NOT do? Wait twenty years then make an accusation and expect to be believed instantly.

#32 | Posted by e1g1 at 2018-01-05 06:15 PM

Are you female E1G1?

#33 | Posted by BruceBanner at 2018-01-05 07:43 PM

I'm male and have had some of these experiences. I didn't add them to the list though.

#34 | Posted by BruceBanner at 2018-01-05 10:10 PM

When I was 16 i worked as a dishwasher in a restaurant, one of the waitresses (mid 20's) pinched my ass

and

getyarn.io

#35 | Posted by truthhurts at 2018-01-05 10:34 PM

I'm curious about how aggressive these reported hand brushing situations were, and how if this is "a thing," then maybe the occasions where it occurred in my experience weren't accidental on their behalf?
#metoo

#36 | Posted by GOnoles92 at 2018-01-06 12:05 AM

"I'm curious about how aggressive these reported hand brushing situations were,"

So, like, "He gently caressed my ass," that kind of thing?

#37 | Posted by snoofy at 2018-01-06 01:09 AM

Where's Franken? Is that turd flushed?

#38 | Posted by Greatamerican at 2018-01-06 02:00 AM

Franken has what to do with this thread?

#39 | Posted by REDIAL at 2018-01-06 02:14 AM

BB:
I am male.

#40 | Posted by e1g1 at 2018-01-06 02:51 PM

Where's Trump? Is that orange turd flushed?
GA, I can play this game all day.

#41 | Posted by e1g1 at 2018-01-06 02:52 PM

I take it none of you has every been to band camp.

#42 | Posted by visitor_ at 2018-01-06 03:11 PM

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