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#StanfordToo: A Conversation about Sexual Harassment in Our Academic Spaces

#StanfordToo: A Conversation about Sexual Harassment in Our Academic Spaces
Friday, April 19, 2019 - 3:30pm
STLC 111
Provost Drell, Dean Minor (SoM), and Dean Graham (SE3), & others
Abstract / Description: 

Individuals of all genders invited to be a part of:
#StanfordToo: A Conversation about Sexual Harassment in Our Academic Spaces, where we will feature real stories of harassment at Stanford academic STEM in a conversation with Provost Drell, Dean Minor (SoM), and Dean Graham (SE3). We will have plenty of time for audience discussion on how we can take concrete action to dismantle this culture and actively work towards a more inclusive Stanford for everyone. While our emphasis is on STEM fields, we welcome and encourage participation from students, postdocs, staff, and faculty of all academic disciplines and backgrounds.

It's not just at other schools, it's not just in other departments. It happens at Stanford too, and it's time for all of us to do more than just talk about it. To take concrete steps towards addressing harassment and how it can pervade our academic culture, we must understand that sexual and gender harassment includes a wide range of behaviors that typically occur below the "waterline" of public perception. The purpose of this event it to bring individuals of ALL genders from all parts of Stanford, including leadership: Provost Drell, Dean Minor, Vice Dean Boxer, Senior Associate Dean Talbot, Senior Associate Dean for Student Affairs Tom Kenny, and others, towards taking action against this problem at Stanford.

What is gender-based harassment? The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine found that women in STEM fields face a wide variety of day to day harassing behaviors that are not acknowledged in the public consciousness as harassment: offensive sexual teasing and jokes, gender based slurs and insults, labeling of assertive women as "bossy" or "bitchy" while their male counterparts are "successful" and "go-getters", misgendering, not respecting chosen names and pronouns, whistling or catcalling, the list goes on. Disturbingly, they also found all aspects of harassment to be heightened for those of intersectional minority identities such as racial, sexual orientation, and gender minorities. Often these behaviors are overlooked as "harmless" as long as the aspects of sexual harassment "above the waterline"--including but not limited to sexual coercion and sexual assault--are either not happening or not being reported and acknowledged.

A culture of gender and sexual harassment is not trivial, and doesn't necessarily have a simple solution, but that's no excuse. This culture of gender-based harassment impacts everyone, and it also impacts our science. We must build a better culture and take swift action at Stanford for our campus, for our labs, and for our future.