This article presents it as surprising, but I’m certainly not surprised:
“It’s not about rooting out the bad apples; we need to focus on the whole barrel,” said Lilia Cortina, a professor of psychology and women’s studies at the University of Michigan and one of 21 experts who authored the report. “When organizations really cultivate a climate that makes clear it will not tolerate sex harassment, employees are much less likely to engage in sexual harassment,” she said.
Share with all your friends, so they can watch and learn!
An handy instructional video.
The 1752 Group, a wonderful UK lobbying group on sexual misconduct in higher education, has just released two rich, important resources that everyone interested in these issues should read and engage with.
First, they have a detailed report on the experiences of students and early career people who are victims of misconduct by staff. The report discusses both their experiences of misconduct, and their experiences with the reporting and adjudication systems of universities. It carefully outlines the many widespread failings in these systems, and the devastating effects of these failings.
Next, they’ve worked with one of the leading law firms on sexual harassment (both in the US and UK), McAllister Olivarius, to offer recommendations for improving these systems.
Everyone should read both of these, and they can be downloaded here.
Excellent article by Kate Manne:
As has emerged in vivid and often harrowing detail via the #WhyIDidn’tReport hashtag trending on Twitter, there are many different reasons why women don’t report, and no one situation is exactly like another. A woman oppressed along multiple axes — due to her race, class, sexuality, or being trans, for example — may face barriers to speaking out that are especially or even uniquely formidable. That is a crucial reason why Tarana Burke, a Black feminist activist, founded the #MeToo movement over a decade ago: to center the experiences of abuse suffered by Black and brown girls who were and remain disproportionately vulnerable.
But while we shouldn’t universalize, we can identify some patterns that keep women who have been assaulted conveniently quiet — especially when the assailant is a privileged boy or powerful man, whom many people will rush to defend on instinct. There will be hand-wringing even among the people who judge him guilty, with women very much included, over the loss of his bright future — as if its derailment were not his fault, and the envisaged path were his birthright.
Read the whole thing.
Julie Libarkin has compiled a remarkable database of known sexual harassers in academia. Her criteria for inclusion are strict.
The database only includes cases in which there is “an institutional finding of some sort of sexual misconduct,” Libarkin said. She finds the cases in news reports and by combing through Freedom of Information Act results from media outlets, among other sources.
NOTE: I’d welcome discussion of the methodology used to assemble this list. I’ve always argued against trying to do something like this because I thought it was too hard to get it right.
Avital Ronell, a world-renowned female professor of German and Comparative Literature at New York University, was found responsible for sexually harassing a male former graduate student, Nimrod Reitman.
A group of colleagues, including Judith Butler, has written a letter in her support that looks just exactly like the crap that has been used to dismiss sexual harassment claims for decades.
“We testify to the grace, the keen wit, and the intellectual commitment of Professor Ronell and ask that she be accorded the dignity rightly deserved by someone of her international standing and reputation,” the professors wrote.
Professor Ronell also does precisely what all the sexual harassers do, and claims that he’s inventing this “because he just wasn’t smart enough. “His main dilemma was the incoherency in his writing, and lack of a recognizable argument.” ”
The parallels to all the other cases I’ve been involved with are striking and clear. A powerful person is found to have* abused her power over a subordinate. She is now retaliating, and her powerful peers are closing ranks to insist that she is so famous and talented that she should be above the law. She should not.
Read more details of the case here.
*Actually, this is the one bit that’s rarer. All too often, they get away with it entirely.
And– appallingly– feminist scholars are part of the problem. None of the considerations below should influence an investigation of this sort.
The letter, dated May 11 and addressed to NYU’s president and provost, said Ronell was under investigation by the university’s Title IX office. The signatories, worried that she had already been damaged by the proceedings and anxious that she would lose her job, asked that she receive “a fair hearing.”
It also listed her many accomplishments in the fields of philosophy and literature and seemed to suggest that her stature in those fields and at the university should be considered in the investigation. Though the letter’s signatories said they didn’t have access to a “confidential dossier” from a Title IX investigation, they stated their “objection to any judgment against her.”
“This is an example of a kind of misuse or abuse of Title IX.” “We testify to the grace, the keen wit, and the intellectual commitment of Professor Ronell and ask that she be accorded the dignity rightly deserved by someone of her international standing and reputation,” the letter said. “If she were to be terminated or relieved of her duties, the injustice would be widely recognized and opposed.”
Read about the letter here.
This important article and video , which features two philosophers who are survivors of sexual harassment and assault, paints a devastating picture of the long-term career effects of this behaviour. So much gratitude for the bravery of these women in speaking up.
Allegations had been swirling around William Jaworski for years.
An associate philosophy professor at Fordham University, Dr. Jaworski was accused of making female students feel “uncomfortable” and “unsafe,” according to a letter he received from the university. Many formal and informal complaints were made against him, two of which were substantiated, one for sexual harassment and another for unprofessional conduct. The letter said the “pattern of behavior” had gone on for over a decade.
So at the beginning of this semester, two seniors, Samantha Norman and Eliza Putnam, decided to do something about it. On the first day of class in January, they visited two of Dr. Jaworski’s Philosophical Ethics classes, taught at the university’s Lincoln Center campus, in Manhattan, before the instructor arrived. Standing in front of a white board with about two dozen students folded into desks in front of them, they delivered a warning.
“We introduced ourselves and said, ‘We just want you to know that there’s a history of allegations against this professor and multiple Title IX complaints,’” Ms. Putnam said.
They told the students to take care of themselves and take care of each other, they said. They were in and out in less than five minutes.
They have now been charged with ‘dishonesty’, although Fordham has also suspended Jaworski– which would seem to indicate their truthfulness. Read more.
A judge decided Tuesday to proceed with a lawsuit filed by a graduate student against Communication Prof. Laura Kipnis and HarperCollins Publishers, declining to grant a motion filed by the defendants in July to dismiss the suit…
The student, using the pseudonym Jane Doe, filed the suit in May in response to Kipnis’ book, “Unwanted Advances: Sexual Paranoia Comes to Campus.” In the book, Kipnis criticizes Northwestern’s Title IX procedures, detailing Kipnis’ experience with the process and discussing two Title IX complaints filed by Doe and another student against former philosophy Prof. Peter Ludlow accusing him of sexual assault.
Doe’s suit alleges that the book, which has received national attention, intentionally misrepresents facts and publishes private and unnecessary details about her. As quoted in the Tuesday order, the lawsuit calls “Unwanted Advances” a book “that — page after page — exposes extremely private and painful parts of Plaintiff’s life, makes false statements about her conduct, brands her a vengeful liar and turns this promising young graduate student’s life upside down for the entire world to see.”
Doe filed the suit on four counts, according to the order: public disclosure of private facts, false light invasion of privacy, defamation and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
This case is so very important, not just to philosophy but to the protection of victims’ rights. Read more here.