married/in grad school w/children

Cathy Quinones quinones at orchid.UCSC.EDU
Mon Aug 15 19:22:19 EST 1994


In article <32om06$n6n at tierra.santafe.ede> cheryl at wijiji.santafe.edu (C. A. Stewart) writes:
>In article <32mtcn$ga4 at darkstar.UCSC.EDU> quinones at orchid.UCSC.EDU (Cathy Quinones) writes:
>
>The UC system spent over 5 million dollars last year alone settling out
>of court with victims of sexual harassment.  Those were just the ones
>that could PROVE their case and were willing to go as far as filing suit.   
>Settling out of court means that there's no publicity.  That's the whole
>point.  You won't hear about a case unless you know the victim personally.

This university puts out a summary of the year's harassment suits, in
the form of a table saying the "status" (undergrad, grad, faculty, staff),
of harasser and harasee, sex of each, nature of complaint, and action taken.
I don't know how long this info has been published and distributed, the
point is it is and awareness is growing.

>
>It's been said that UCSC is a "nicer" academic environment than most.
>Perhaps your naivete is a product of that "nice" environment.  I was
>unaware of these practices coming out of Cornell, myself.  

I'm far from naive, and find being naive far better than been jaded.

>
>Look, sexual harassment is SO degrading, women in their 50's just don't
>talk about it.  And if they've EVER accepted a favor from someone who
>was sweet on them, I'm sure they feel compromised enough themselves
>not to blow the whistle on the whole practice.  Furthermore, the kinds
>of things we talk about being sexual harassment today are just accepted
>by women that have survived that long.  They just don't see what the
>problem is.  *They* say "get a thick skin,"  and, coyly, "don't pass
>up ANY opportunities."  I say, get lawyers, guns and money.  

This is hilarious.  Now it turns out you *know* these women I mention and
can comment on their psyche?!  They've told me stories, sure, but they
are not bitter, they have done their thing; they have their wisdom,
offer constructive criticism, and I never get tired of listening to them
talk... which is far more than I can say about these posts.

>
>>If I were to take these posts in the spirit
>>they were written, I would feel be forced to go shoot all male faculty
>>and while I am it I should also shoot my boyfriend, who has such aspirations.
>
>Not all of them.  I've actually run across oh, maybe half a dozen male
>academics that were at least worth the paper they were printed on.  Anyway,
>what's the point of shooting such pathetic creatures that the only way they
>can get laid is to threaten a subordinate with reprisals or offer them some
>sad little bottle-washing job?  

Well, all I can say is that I am really happy I failed to attend the
distinguished institutions that you listed in your resume.  Somehow you
have managed to interact with all the scum and I am happy that at this
point in my career I have met well over half a dozen decent male academians.

>>Sexism cuts both ways...

I said that and I'll say it again.  In all sincerity, if you charge into
life with a huge banner saying "I hate 98.7% of all males" chances are
you will run into some guy who is going to take this as fighting words,
before you can tell him any stories about how ***other*** males abused
their power.  A lot of backlash against feminism is from men who are
sick of being labeled, judged and tried as mysogynists even when
they haven't really done anything spitefully directed against women, and
I am not afraid to say I can understand that, because I know such men.
Sexism IS about making unfair generalizations about a group
of people, generalizations that may be true about some or a few, but which
aren't necessarily true (about the few or the group as a whole).  There
are assholes in academia as there are in all walks of life, and some are
female (like the administrator in the NYU case... even if she got her
position wrapped in a box with a big bow, that doesn't excuse her.  Saying
that perhaps her mind has been colonized by patriarchy simply says she,
as a female, can't judge right from wrong and make the right choices,
which I hope we agree is utter crap).  

If I were reading these posts and were about to start grad school, without
having had any previous exposure to it (from undergrad research or the
such) I would imagine a veritable gauntlet a la Tailhook.  Is this *really*
what other women have faced upon entering graduate school?  And if not,
can someone else give a bit more balanced description?  I know there are
women who read this newsgroup who are considering grad school or even starting
next Fall, and I would hate to have them go into school with such a 
hysterical/paranoiac vision.

Sexual harassment and discrimination happen, but that doesn't mean one
has to sit about, waiting and wondering which faculty member will be
the first one to start a endless hell of harassment.  It is much easier,
upon arrival to a new institution, to look up the policy on sexual
harassment and to simply be mentally prepared that, should an incident
happen, one will look at the offender in the face and say "that was not
acceptable" and let the person know one won't take it (and start a
paper trail).  Obviously, handling an actual incident would be a bit
more complicated than that, but I personally believe that sure beats
the hell out of assuming every male academian/researcher/staff you run
into is a sexist pig waiting to strike.

And if that makes me naive, so it goes... I don't like to be tried and
judged before people even get to know me, and I would find it reprehensible
to do so to others.

    
-- 
 ////////// //////  //     \\\ ~                    /////
////// /\_/\_____   \\  /// quinones at biology.ucsc.edu ////  
 ///// \"."/      \_//     ///                      /////
/////// ///////////////////////Poicephalus rule!!/////////



More information about the Womenbio mailing list