Author Topic: Wrong name and too many hands  (Read 10031 times)

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Twik

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Re: Wrong name and too many hands
« Reply #30 on: September 14, 2012, 11:08:25 AM »
My one regret, when considering my own case of someone with "grabby hands" (or tongue, in my case), is that I didn't make a bigger fuss.

Quote
My husband knows much better how to address this situation in this environment in a way that would benefit the woman attacked, while besting the villain. He is pursuing the expanded orientation/training option for potential victims, BTW, as well as refresher courses for potential abusers.

So, rather than actually do something about a known harasser, the solution is to have training courses? I'm sorry, but this sounds like no more than lip service to an ideal, while the university buries its head in the sand. I'm sure the training will say things like "Our university stands against sexual harassment." The problem is, they don't. All the training for the victims is not going to change that.

It sounds, BTW, that Professor Jerk doesn't need much refreshing on how to harass. Seriously, this sort of approach isn't going to make him sit up in the middle of the training video and go, "My goodness! I've been doing something wrong for years! I must stop it immediately." He will not be bested. At most, he'll get a chuckle out of knowing it's directed at him, but this is as far as anyone will dare go.

It's unfortunate that this university has not learned from the Penn State scandal that ignoring these issues doesn't make them go away, and that it's not fair to the victims to expect them to deal with it "tactfully" and "avoid ruffling feathers".

OP, I know this is not your workplace, and you do not have any real stake in what goes on here, except as any of us hate to see such things. But I can't help regret that universities have not learned by now that being "quiet and tactful" about such things is so very, very wrong.
My cousin's memoir of love and loneliness while raising a child with multiple disabilities will be out on Amazon soon! Know the Night, by Maria Mutch, has been called "full of hope, light, and companionship for surviving the small hours of the night."

SleepyKitty

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Re: Wrong name and too many hands
« Reply #31 on: September 14, 2012, 01:15:20 PM »
Quote
My husband knows much better how to address this situation in this environment in a way that would benefit the woman attacked, while besting the villain. He is pursuing the expanded orientation/training option for potential victims, BTW, as well as refresher courses for potential abusers.

So, rather than actually do something about a known harasser, the solution is to have training courses? I'm sorry, but this sounds like no more than lip service to an ideal, while the university buries its head in the sand. I'm sure the training will say things like "Our university stands against sexual harassment." The problem is, they don't. All the training for the victims is not going to change that.

I can only speak for my university, but the reason I suggest working within the system - going to your mentor, or adviser, or dean, or whoever - is because the university can't do anything until there is a formal accusation. Informal warnings from one person to another and kicks to the shin may be satisfying, and they may solve the immediate problem, but they will not solve the great problem, which is Professor Jerk still being a professor.

This training is not for victims to accept their lot, it's to do everything possible to encourage the victim to speak up. Until that happens, the university is stuck. This isn't lip service until the university knows about the problem and refuses to address it. I don't think it's fair to label universities as places where harassment runs rampant and unchecked until it's known to be a fact. Sexual harassment training isn't training to keep quiet, it's training to make a fuss.

Yes, some professors will slip under the radar and continue in their position. That's because too often this situation is handled informally with a quiet warning here and a kick to the shin there. All of the professors may be well aware of the problem, but again - they cannot act until there is a formal complaint. This is not an either-or situation. Training doesn't mean they're refusing to act on a known harasser.

SleepyKitty

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Re: Wrong name and too many hands
« Reply #32 on: September 14, 2012, 01:19:34 PM »
Professor Plum agrees I am right but thinks I handle Professor Jerk perfectly and need no assistance; it amuses him.  He likes to see Professor Jerk hopping around with heel marks on his insteps.  He is as blank on ways to warn other women as I am, and has even broached the notion that I should leave it alone and let other women either learn by example or figure out their own ways of coping.

Sorry to double post, but this occurred to me as well - Professor Plum is an employee of the university, he has personally witnessed this behavior and his wife has been subjected to it, and his job is not in danger from Professor Jerk, correct?

So... why hasn't Professor Plum filed a formal complaint? I mean - he's in the best position to bring this to the attention of the administration. I think if anyone is turning a blind eye, it's less the administration (who may not know what's going on, being removed from department functions) and more the professor who knows very well it's going on but is not confronting his colleague or the department head about the continued behaviour.

Twik

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Re: Wrong name and too many hands
« Reply #33 on: September 14, 2012, 05:40:27 PM »
Quote
My husband knows much better how to address this situation in this environment in a way that would benefit the woman attacked, while besting the villain. He is pursuing the expanded orientation/training option for potential victims, BTW, as well as refresher courses for potential abusers.

So, rather than actually do something about a known harasser, the solution is to have training courses? I'm sorry, but this sounds like no more than lip service to an ideal, while the university buries its head in the sand. I'm sure the training will say things like "Our university stands against sexual harassment." The problem is, they don't. All the training for the victims is not going to change that.

I can only speak for my university, but the reason I suggest working within the system - going to your mentor, or adviser, or dean, or whoever - is because the university can't do anything until there is a formal accusation. Informal warnings from one person to another and kicks to the shin may be satisfying, and they may solve the immediate problem, but they will not solve the great problem, which is Professor Jerk still being a professor.

This training is not for victims to accept their lot, it's to do everything possible to encourage the victim to speak up. Until that happens, the university is stuck. This isn't lip service until the university knows about the problem and refuses to address it. I don't think it's fair to label universities as places where harassment runs rampant and unchecked until it's known to be a fact. Sexual harassment training isn't training to keep quiet, it's training to make a fuss.

Yes, some professors will slip under the radar and continue in their position. That's because too often this situation is handled informally with a quiet warning here and a kick to the shin there. All of the professors may be well aware of the problem, but again - they cannot act until there is a formal complaint. This is not an either-or situation. Training doesn't mean they're refusing to act on a known harasser.

Well, the problem is that the OP and her husband know there's an issue, and no one has spoken up yet. The OP feels, even though she is not an employee, and her husband is secure in his position, that both of them must be "quietly tactful" about it. Goodness knows what will happen if anyone actually stands up and calls Professor jerk a letch and a perv. So, the solution is for more training, which is nice and non-confrontational, rather than any action to censure Professor Jerk. A way to feel the university is doing something about the problem - without actually doing something about the problem.

You can train till the cows come home, but the women will see the real situation above the idealized ones in the training. It's telling that the OP mentions several times that she doesn't think that Prof. Jerk could hurt her or her husband if they spoke up, because of their position. This makes me think that she understands that Jerk or the university itself would try to retaliate against someone who did speak up, if they were not otherwise protected. Clearly, at least two people who are aware of the harassment, and who are relatively insured against retaliation, are not speaking about it openly. In fact, Professor Plum wishes to "work within the system", by not activating the system to respond directly to a known problem. That's a much clearer message than any training that can be given.

Obviously, the OP and her husband cannot go to the university with unsubstantiated gossip. But if the situation is bad enough that she wishes to warn all young women within arm's reach of Prof. Jerk, the mutterings must be getting pretty loud.
My cousin's memoir of love and loneliness while raising a child with multiple disabilities will be out on Amazon soon! Know the Night, by Maria Mutch, has been called "full of hope, light, and companionship for surviving the small hours of the night."

Mental Magpie

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Re: Wrong name and too many hands
« Reply #34 on: September 15, 2012, 01:57:33 AM »
I have trouble believing that a man who grabs colleagues and colleagues SOs with impunity stops at that. I think there are students he has molested but don't say anything because they see him grabbing women in public and its ok. Who would believe them if they tried to tell someone?


and second is quietly and discreetly speaking to these young women, quite tactfully -- yes, I can do this -- and privately, when the opportunity arises.  Many of you know how it works in this environment: tell one, tell all.  Thank you all very much for excellent ideas.

Oh yes!!!! You must tell them to be good little girls and not make a fuss. You can tell them how you deal with him so they won't rock the boat or ....heaven forbid.... actually demand something be done about him.


OP here.  I suppose I am really worried about No.1 Sprout who is a new PhD clawing her way up an academic ladder.  Thanks for clarifying that for me.  Of course, she could handle it, I think when I am in my non-mother mind, so I can also reasonably suppose these other women can, too.

So very sad that this is still the response of so many women and men. Let "men be men" and let girls and women watch out for their own selves.

So much of this post is making leaps, snarkily at that, about what the OP means when none of what she said lends evidence for those leaps.

I don't know how you got to the OP only telling them to be "good little girls" when she explicitly said she wanted to warn them about him.

What bothers me the most though is the last part. How on earth did you get that attitude out of what the OP posted? How is empowering women to stand up for themselves even close to the "men will be men" mentality? Oh, and frankly, I'd be quite insulted if someone insisted that I couldn't handle it for myself and that I needed to stick with the other girls to make sure we could fend for ourselves together. I can stick up for myself by myself quite fine, thank you, and don't need to be mollycoddled.
The problem with choosing the lesser of two evils is that you're still choosing evil.

Pippen

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Re: Wrong name and too many hands
« Reply #35 on: September 15, 2012, 04:55:20 AM »
I have trouble believing that a man who grabs colleagues and colleagues SOs with impunity stops at that. I think there are students he has molested but don't say anything because they see him grabbing women in public and its ok. Who would believe them if they tried to tell someone?


and second is quietly and discreetly speaking to these young women, quite tactfully -- yes, I can do this -- and privately, when the opportunity arises.  Many of you know how it works in this environment: tell one, tell all.  Thank you all very much for excellent ideas.

Oh yes!!!! You must tell them to be good little girls and not make a fuss. You can tell them how you deal with him so they won't rock the boat or ....heaven forbid.... actually demand something be done about him.


OP here.  I suppose I am really worried about No.1 Sprout who is a new PhD clawing her way up an academic ladder.  Thanks for clarifying that for me.  Of course, she could handle it, I think when I am in my non-mother mind, so I can also reasonably suppose these other women can, too.

So very sad that this is still the response of so many women and men. Let "men be men" and let girls and women watch out for their own selves.

So much of this post is making leaps, snarkily at that, about what the OP means when none of what she said lends evidence for those leaps.

I don't know how you got to the OP only telling them to be "good little girls" when she explicitly said she wanted to warn them about him.

What bothers me the most though is the last part. How on earth did you get that attitude out of what the OP posted? How is empowering women to stand up for themselves even close to the "men will be men" mentality? Oh, and frankly, I'd be quite insulted if someone insisted that I couldn't handle it for myself and that I needed to stick with the other girls to make sure we could fend for ourselves together. I can stick up for myself by myself quite fine, thank you, and don't need to be mollycoddled.

Here here. I have been in more dicey and stupid situations than I care to remember and you don't get out of them by being an adorable poppet. Women are more than capable of sorting their own stuff out. Some you just can't but you do the best you can. This generally involves being a heinous hose beast with a potty mouth and a good sense of timing.

Garden Goblin

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Re: Wrong name and too many hands
« Reply #36 on: September 15, 2012, 11:32:56 AM »
I don't know how you got to the OP only telling them to be "good little girls" when she explicitly said she wanted to warn them about him.

It's not just the OP, it's the pattern as a whole.  Many of us have been in the position of these young women and have been told to be 'good little girls' and not make a fuss or embarrass the creep, etc....

Barb3000

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Re: Wrong name and too many hands
« Reply #37 on: September 15, 2012, 01:38:25 PM »
It would be nice if several of the senior faculty and the jerk's supervisor, preferably all MALE, could stage an "intervention" with this guy and tell him flat out "That is not the way for a MAN to act." And to cut it out NOW.

Mental Magpie

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Re: Wrong name and too many hands
« Reply #38 on: September 15, 2012, 02:27:24 PM »
I don't know how you got to the OP only telling them to be "good little girls" when she explicitly said she wanted to warn them about him.

It's not just the OP, it's the pattern as a whole.  Many of us have been in the position of these young women and have been told to be 'good little girls' and not make a fuss or embarrass the creep, etc....

Sure, as have I, but what I was quoting was in response to a quote from the OP, hence my response.
The problem with choosing the lesser of two evils is that you're still choosing evil.

Twik

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Re: Wrong name and too many hands
« Reply #39 on: September 20, 2012, 10:44:19 AM »
It's about being "good little girls" when the message is "handle it yourself, because we're not going to do anything about it". Just, whatever you do, don't make a scene about it. Because that might, um, you know, have repercussions on your academic career. Whereas groping your students apparently has none.

It is not the OP's duty to fix things in a workplace that is not hers. But it's a sad situation, and shows that we will have more Penn State style debacles before universities get the idea that they cannot rely on victims "handling it themselves, but hush, do it quietly".
My cousin's memoir of love and loneliness while raising a child with multiple disabilities will be out on Amazon soon! Know the Night, by Maria Mutch, has been called "full of hope, light, and companionship for surviving the small hours of the night."

Redneck Gravy

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Re: Wrong name and too many hands
« Reply #40 on: September 20, 2012, 05:40:29 PM »
Jumping in late here, but how is this not a case of sexual harassment by a predator?

He!l yes he should be reported, EVERY time it happens until something is done. 

How is this different from the Penn State issue?  Someone is still turning their head and doing nothing.

He is groping women instead of young boys... it is still sexual harassment, good girls do scream and this pervert needs to be ousted.

WoW!  I am just shocked that the man still has a job. 

   

DavidH

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Re: Wrong name and too many hands
« Reply #41 on: September 26, 2012, 01:56:52 PM »
The challenge here is that the university hasn't had the opportunity to act since no one has reported it.  The OP has reported it the bulletin board (us) anonymously, made PA comments around how he addresses her, stomped on his foot, and told her husband.  The only possibility for the university to act is to have someone report it officially.  If the OP won't report it, her husband should, then something could be done.  If they don't act at that point, then criticism is appropriate. 

If you want to equate the other person and the children in the Penn State scandal for not reporting the event, it still doesn't exempt her husband who also hasn't reported it. 

Beyond the odd dynamic of warning other women about the professor when it's her husband's colleague, it implies that there is nothing to be done about this officially since it is well know.  It sends the message, just deal on your own and don't report it or rock the boat since even the OP, who is not vulnerable and her husband who is not vulnerable are completely fine with doing nothing to stop this. 

BeagleMommy

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Re: Wrong name and too many hands
« Reply #42 on: September 26, 2012, 03:10:54 PM »
I can only go by what the harrassment policy at my University states.  It says:

Step 1:  The victim must have told the offender, in clear language, to stop the offending behavior.
Step 2:  If the offender does not stop, the victim is to go to the offender's supervisor and report the offending behavior.  The supervisor is required to hold a face-to-face meeting with the offender, without disclosing the name of the victim, and told to stop the offending behavior.
Step 3:  If the offender continues after the supervisory meeting, the victim is to go to the Director of Human Resources or the Director of Student Affairs and make a formal report.  The appropriate Director is required to have a face-to-face meeting with the offender and the offender's supervisor.  A formal complaint is placed in the offender's work/student file.
Step 4:  If the behavior continues, appropriate director is contact again and the offender is terminated/dismissed from classes.

I've seen two professor's dismissed because of situations like this.  OP, I'm not sure you can effectively warn others (you may not be believed or they may think you have an axe to grind).

As far as Professor Jerk "forgetting" your name.  I have a feeling he does this on purpose because he knows it bothers you.  The best thing might be to just say "Actually, it's Dr. Lotus.  Pleased to meet you.".  He won't get the reaction he wants and you appear to be the bigger person.

Sirius

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Re: Wrong name and too many hands
« Reply #43 on: September 26, 2012, 04:04:43 PM »
Just FTR, Professor Plum is my husband. He is a good guy.  Professor Jerk Grabbyhand is the villain of the piece.

Oh, no, believe me, I won't tell them to be "good girls," and my husband wouldn't say that to our daughter or anyone else who might be affected.  It's just that I tend to be a little....uh....direct sometimes; as a result, when it comes to me, the villain now keeps a wary distance.  But he can't hurt either of us in any way, not even if I -- well, knocking him down and stomping his...  No. Don't even think about it.  That would not be polite (or deniable.) 

My husband knows much better how to address this situation in this environment in a way that would benefit the woman attacked, while besting the villain. He is pursuing the expanded orientation/training option for potential victims, BTW, as well as refresher courses for potential abusers. He is a DH and thinks I am funny, as well as perfectly capable of defending myself, but he does not want to see any woman treated in this way, especially those wno are at a power disadvantage.  He can work within the system.  I tend to be a subversive.

This is why I am not, repeat not, an academic. I don't function well in the environment. Again, thank you all for your insights.  Spock eyebrows.  I can learn that!

I'm not in academia, and have no desire to be.  However, I'm like you in that I don't appreciate grabby hands.  Someone touching me without my permission and not by accident finds out very quickly that I'm not going to tolerate it.  There's also a difference between an accident and an "accident".  I used to work in a hospital, and we had a few of those who were prone to "accidents," and the ones I encountered quickly discovered that I didn't tolerate it.  (Right before I resigned, the squadron superintendent where I worked, an E7, got busted to E6 for sexual harassment, and I daresay there was no sympathy for him in my office.)