MeToo STEM

There is a new blog at MeTooSTEM.wordpress.com that seeks to give voice to people in STEM disciplines and fields of work that have experienced sexual harassment.

Such as Jen:

The men in the lab would read the Victoria’s Secret catalog at lunch in the break room. I could only wear baggy sweatshirts and turtlenecks to lab because when I leaned over my bench, the men would try to look down my shirt. Then came the targeted verbal harassment of the most crude nature

or Sam:

I’ve been the victim of retaliation by my university and a member of the faculty who was ‘that guy’ – the ‘harmless’ one who ‘loved women’. The one who sexually harassed trainees and colleagues.

or Anne:

a scientist at a company I wanted to work for expressed interest in my research at a conference. ... When I got to the restaurant, he was 100% drunk and not interested in talking about anything substantive but instead asked personal questions, making me so uncomfortable I couldn’t network with his colleagues. I left after only a few minutes, humiliated and angry that he misled about his intentions and that I missed the chance to network with people actually interested in my work

Go Read.

2 responses so far

  • jmz4 says:

    Pamela:
    "In the year after this happened, I thought seriously about leaving science – the idea of seeing my PhD advisor every year at meetings was scary. I’m so glad I didn’t; I love the chance to try to be the kind of mentor that trainees deserve. But it very nearly cost me my entire career (postdoc + faculty).

    It’s also made it harder for me to advance in science, as I will not ask my PhD advisor for a letter of reference. When I was a student he said that I had to be “nice” to him because someday I would need a letter from him….thus, I cannot bring myself to ask him for one now. In addition, I am not at all convinced he would write me a kind one. Especially as a postdoc, this was a significant source of stress in applying for awards and grants."

    Is it worth re-evaluating the utility/structure of letters of recommendation in the modern age? Their requirement for career advancement really does serve to create an oppressive atmosphere when there is lab misbehavior, and is probably a major cause of these things not being reported.

  • DNAman says:

    Not STEM, but here's a classic MeToo academic story:

    https://books.google.com/books?id=8ecCAAAAMBAJ&lpg=PP1&dq=thomas%20mcfarland%20ny%20magazine&pg=PA30#v=onepage&q&f=false

    If that link doesn't work google ""thomas mcfarland dorothy rabinowitz arms and the man" and look for New York Magazine - Jul 17, 1989

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