Aimee Yermish ayermish at leland.Stanford.EDU
Wed Jul 21 02:00:12 EST 1993

Re: getting propositioned at meetings
I've never had the dubious pleasure myself, because I'm not a veteran.
However, the scuttlebutt is that you're not alone at all -- lots and
lots of women get some of the most obnoxious and unprofessional
propositions ("Let's play quarters.  If you win, I'll tell you that
data I'm teasing you with.  If I win, you sleep with me" -- that one's
true!), no matter how professional they've been acting.  You didn't
bring it on yourself.

Pat Steeg told a group of us women at dinner about some of her
experiences, and told what had worked for her.  Pretending you don't
hear doesn't work -- they just keep at it.  Acting disgusted and
ladylike doesn't work -- they just keep at it.  Politely declining
doesn't work -- they just keep at it.  Loudly and indignantly
exclaiming that you can't believe that anyone would make a suggestion
like that, preferably where their colleagues can hear so they can be
maximally embarrassed, worked.  Eventually word got around that at
least that one lady wasn't for harassing.

Personally, I don't think I'd worry too hard about them respecting you
less for standing up to them.  They'd certainly think you were dirt if
you did sleep with them, and if you keep on demurely shuffling off
their invitations, you're not impressing them either.  By
propositioning you, they're saying they don't think much of you as a
scientist anyhow.  You don't have that much to lose.

Aimee Yermish			Society for Interactive Literature West
ayermish at	415-329-1984 (before 11pm Pacific time)
Coming Thanksgiving weekend to Silicon, San Jose, CA -- *Stopover*
Interstellar intrigue, pirates, bar fights, lots of aliens -- ask me about it!

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