Christian Ott, a young astrophysics professor at the California Institute of Technology, fell in love with one of his graduate students and then fired her because of his feelings, according to a recent university investigation. Twenty-one months of intimate online chats, obtained by BuzzFeed News, confirm that he confessed his actions to another female graduate student. [more inside]
Dr. Geoffrey Marcy, a prominent exoplanet researcher employed as a professor at UC Berkeley, has been found to have repeatedly violated sexual harassment policy. The full report has not been made public, but according to a report by Buzzfeed, the result is that he is to be given "clear expectations concerning his future interactions with students" or risk further punishment. Dr. Marcy has put an apology letter on his web page. Dr. Michael Eisen, a biology professor at UC Berkeley, has posted an article about the contradictions between the Berkley sexual harassment training and institutional consequences. Dr. Janet Stemwedel writes in Forbes about the differences between institutional and community responses in this case.
Life as a waitress too often means low pay and sexual harassment — When you live paycheck to paycheck, reporting discrimination or harassment becomes complicated. [more inside]
Teresa Buchanan, associate professor of education at LSU, was fired for using profanity in the classroom and allegedly comparing women unfavorably to men. THe administration defends their actions by equating Dr. Buchanan's conduct to sexual harassment. Faculty at LSU and the AAUP have both objected to alarming administrative overreach in what they both see as grounds for censure rather than dismissal. Several media reports are linked off of this Language Log post.
“It has nothing to do with you, it has everything to do with everyone else.” Canadian reporter Shauna Hunt confronts the young men who were vulgar and sexually harassing her as she tried to do her job. [more inside]
Today, the Ontario Government released a video called #WhoWillYouHelp (TW; potentially triggering scenes in video relating to sexual assault) as part of the $41-million It's Never OK action plan to end sexual assault and harassment within the province. [more inside]
Oh my God, I'm ashamed that your are my son. The Peruvian show Sílbale a tu Madre (Whistling at your Mom) takes a...creatively confrontational approach to fighting street harassment. They enlist the mothers of chronic catcallers to catch their offspring in the act, a process involving makeovers, hidden cameras and very public shaming. [more inside]
"That's what she said" is not only a much-used catchphrase in The Office (US edition), but also a blog about episodes of the US edition of the show from the point of view of HR litigation, starting with season 3.
This past week, the Restaurant Opportunities Centers United published a report on sexual harassment in the restaurant industry. [more inside]
That these men, these U.S. Marines, openly engage in this behavior, openly harass and denigrate women and minorities — under their real names, their real pictures, with no fear of repercussions — reflects a perceived tolerance of their actions. Senior leaders have never told them not to do it, never said that it’s unacceptable, and they’ve never seen anyone get in trouble for it. Although women have been in the US Marines for nearly one hundred years now, a large "traditionalist" Marine culture still resents them and others in private and now increasingly in public through social media. [more inside]
Editor’s note: We don’t publish many anonymous pieces on Forbes.com, but this compelling first-person account of sexism in the startup world merits an exception. I met the author several months ago and was floored by the stories she had to tell about her dealings with mostly male investors. Like many men (as she writes), I knew women in tech faced a certain degree of chauvinism and harassment, but I’d had no idea it was so barefaced and routine, in an industry that thinks of itself as egalitarian and forward-looking. After much persuading, she agreed to write about her experiences but asked that I omit her name, for several reasons. First (again, as she writes), the startup community is a small one, and founders rely heavily on social capital and goodwill to navigate it. Speaking up carries big risks. But fear of retribution wasn’t her only concern. While putting an individual human face on an issue, it can also be a way for critics to short circuit the discussion by engaging in ad hominem attacks. ”I don’t want it to be about me, but about the issue at hand,” the author says. “When we get into a witch hunt around particular personalities, we lose sight of the problem we should be tackling.”
i believe you | it's not your fault. The "What are we doing here?" post explains the origin: [more inside]
NPR reports on a recently-published PLOS ONE article describing sexual harassment and assault perpetrated on (overwhelmingly young, female) researchers in the field.
In a survey of scientists engaged in field research, the majority — 64 percent — said they had personally experienced sexual harassment while at a field site, and 22 percent reported being the victim of sexual assault.
Skyler Page has been fired from Cartoon Network. The Clarence creator and voice of the title character has been fired for groping a co-worker on the show. The news broke yesterday from Maré Odomo (her work previously on the blue), and Emily Partridge came out shortly after as the person Odomo was talking about. And Partridge had been talking about an unnamed incident since June 29th. This morning, it was rumored that Page had been fired from Cartoon Network and banned from the premises, and later today, Cartoon Brew confirmed that this was the case. Pen Ward, creator of Adventure Time -- which Page had worked on prior to Clarence -- met with Partridge and the two talked about how to set up an online safe place for women in her situation. [more inside]
A study (pdf) released by the nonprofit Stop Street Harassment shows that 65% of American women have experienced some form of street harassment – 41% of women were subject to physically aggressive harassment in public like being flashed or fondled. Men also report being harassed (and men who identified as LGBT were much more likely to be harassed than heterosexual men). No matter who was being harassed, men were most likely to be the harassers.
Whether it's the constant fretting over Miley Cyrus' influence on school girls or the growing (and troubling) tradition of Purity Balls, it's clear that society has a fascination with young women's sexuality — especially when it comes to controlling it. But what are we actually teaching today's girls about sex? Fueled by outdated ideals of gender roles and the sense that female sexuality is somehow shameful, there seem to be certain pernicious myths about girls and sex that just won't die. That sex education in America has gaping holes in its curriculum hasn't helped much, either; in a recent Centers for Disease Control (CDC) report just 6 out of 10 girls said that their schools' sex ed program included information on how to say no to sex. This lack of personal agency was reflected in a forthcoming study by sociologist Heather Hlavka at Marquette University as well, which found that many young girls think of sex simply as something that is "done to them." Knowledge is power, and we can promote a healthier relationship with sex by encouraging a more open dialogue, teaching girls to feel comfortable with their sexuality and, most importantly, emphasizing that their bodies are theirs and theirs alone. [more inside]
A sex worker has been awarded $25,000 as compensation for sexual harassment from her manager. [more inside]
I had my students fill out mid-semester evaluations last fall. No big deal, just answer these four questions: 1) What am I doing to help you learn? 2) What could I be doing better to help you learn? 3) What are you doing to help yourself learn? and 4) What could you be doing better to help yourself learn? I had them turn the evaluations in anonymously to allow more genuine feedback. Later that afternoon, I started going through the responses. It was encouraging to see that, in general, responses to the first two questions indicated I was getting better, which was gratifying given the amount of time and energy I spent re-developing the class. For the most part, students were surprisingly honest when responding to questions 3 and 4, showing they understood their responsibility in their progress, or lack thereof. Somewhere towards the end of the ~160 evaluations, I came across one that answered question #2 with: “Teach naked.” [more inside]
The Janoskians are a group of five YouTube comedians from Melbourne, Australia renowned for their cringeworthy pranks on unsuspecting members of the public. Formed in 2010, the group now attracts rock-star welcomes from hordes of screaming fans when it tours across the world and has signed deals with Sony and MTV. [more inside]
The dam of stonewalling and denial regarding sexual harassment is breaking in the Skeptical community, just as it has been toppling recently in the world of Sci-Fi and fan conventions. Prominent Skeptics Karen Stollznow and Carrie Poppy have come forward with their experiences of harassment while working at the Center for Inquiry and the James Randi Educational Foundation, respectively.
As an investigation is launched into men in the Australian Army circulating explicit and derogatory material about their female colleagues, Lieutenant General David Morrison, Chief of Army, delivers a searing rebuke to those who perpetuate or condone the harassment of women in the military.
Could use an editor ... Oh wait. The Oxford American magazine often described as a literary publication but something more along the lines of a New Yorker-style, general interest glossy with a literary bent (albeit a stranger beast), has been in a wee bit of turmoil lately. The founding and longtime editor of the multiple-National Magazine Award-winning publication, Marc Smirnoff, was ousted in mid-July by the magazine's board in connection with charges of sexual harassment and serving alcohol to traditional college-age students, under 21. [more inside]
Cpl. Catherine Galliford of Canada's Royal Canadian Mounted Police first spoke out against sustained and widespread sexual harrassment by her superior officers in November of last year and launched a lawsuit in May 2012. Yesterday, the federal government of Canada and the provincial government of British Columbia issued a categorical denial of Galliford's charges. [more inside]
Starting from a proposal by vito_excalibur, the Back Up Project tries to intervene in sexual harassment at fan conferences. [more inside]
A Call to Shun. Women share sexual harassment stories on "Being a Woman in Philosophy." Several philosophers suggest the idea of not inviting known repeat offenders to conferences. Professor Mark Lance of Georgetown: It's time for philosophers to take a stand against "the many people in the profession believed by wide numbers of people to have engaged in horrible behavior on repeated occasions."
In 2006-2007, while Capt. Owen Honors was second-in-command of the USS Enterprise, the ship-wide closed circuit television was often used to broadcast videos to entertain the crew of around 6000. Not all of those videos were big budget movies. In fact, some of them were made by Honors himself, and depict simulated masturbation, female crewmembers showering together, and feature large amounts of sexual innuendo and homosexual slurs. (edited video included in link, maybe NSFW) [more inside]
A St. Louis woman lost her lawsuit yesterday against Girls Gone Wild. She was dancing in a bar while the crew was filming, and repeatedly refused to flash her breasts, saying "No, no" to the camera. Her top was then pulled down by another woman, and the footage was used without any signed release or the woman's consent. After deliberating for 90 minutes, the jury decided that "Through her actions, she gave implied consent... She knew what she was doing." (Previously.) (Previously.)
"When the day's activities include the likelihood of getting your brains shot out, maybe a little slap and tickle - while not desirable - is not the end of the world."
The New York Times examines several reports of sexual harassments and assaults on women in the US Military. In the article's comments, current and former troops chime in to suggest that this is an inevitable result of including women in combat zones. [more inside]
Jean M. Fasse (Red Cross during WWII, and later the Special Service). Shirley Ann Thacker (WAVE). Just two of the interviews from the extensive collection of material (photographs, letters, diaries, scrapbooks, oral histories and posters) at the Women Veterans Historical Collection.
Everyone's favorite pro se plaintiff, Jonathan Lee Riches, whose complaints have previously graced Metafilter's front page, has filed a sexual harassment lawsuit [pdf] against Eliot Spitzer. [more inside]
The Broker's Athletic Typewriter. Short film from 1905 showing a secretary taking revenge on her sleazy cmployer.
Dancer Sues Movin' Out for breach of contract and sexual harassment she claims to have suffered during her run in the National Touring company of the Broadway hit. In an interesting move, the dancer, Alice Alyse, has created a lawsuit website to explain her side of the story. Perhaps she'll win, but will she ever work again?
Sexual harassment in the workplace can sneak up on you like a Commanche in a creek bed! How do you know if you're harassin’ someone? How do you know if you're gittin’ harassed? Have a gander at this here instructional video to find out.
Get sexually harassed, get fired. Fox News is pushing to fire Andrea Mackris. The firing will not be "in retaliation for her accusations about the show's host." Now that's Fair and Balanced! How is this even legal?
"The next thing I knew, his heavy, boneless hand was hot on my thigh." That's the money shot from this article in which Naomi Wolf, author of "The Beauty Myth" and former adviser to Al Gore on alpha male matters, decides 20 years later to accuse ailing Harold Bloom of sexually harassing her at Yale, when she was a senior. Why now? A stunt to put herself in the news? Or perhaps to breathe new life into a moribund city magazine. (While I'm at it, here's Google on the phrase: "boneless hand." Not alpha male at all).
Caribou Coffee is smacked with a lawsuit for doing nothing when four employees complained of same-sex harassment from their boss. Among the allegations, one claims that the woman "[invited] one of the plaintiffs to her house to engage in some type of sexual activity with her dogs." You've gotta love the local tv news treatment of any given situation. Streaming video also available.
In Japan, a grope-free ride. Female commuters get a break from men's feelings. With the massive Japan Railways system now taking its first tentative step toward women-only cars, many anticipate segregation of the sexes could become widespread.
There are insults, and then there's harrassment and apparently, a judge thinks that being referred to repeatedly as Monica Lewinsky crosses the line into sexual harassment. A woman's lawsuit against a (now retired) SUNY New Paltz professor may go forward after he called her by the infamous intern's name and made Lewinsky-related jokes towards her throughout a semester. What do you think -- was this just the prof being a mean old jerk, or was this really the creation of a "sexually hostile environment?"
Noted without comment: 'The Italian Supreme Court has ruled that an unexpected pat on the bottom at work could not be labeled sexual harassment — as long as men didn't make a habit of it.'