The Lecherous Professor: Sexual Harassment on Campus

The Lecherous Professor: Sexual Harassment on Campus

The Lecherous Professor: Sexual Harassment on Campus

The Lecherous Professor: Sexual Harassment on Campus

Excerpt

Sexual harassment of college students by their professors is a fact of campus life that many educators learn to ignore and, in their silence, to accept. We wrote this book about sexual harassment because our experiences revealed that the silence is part of the problem, that ignoring the issue only makes it worse. Over the years, we gradually realized that we could no longer disregard the confusion and fear in the faces of women who asked us to explain and prevent something we ourselves did not understand.

If you are a teacher or an administrator, you meet students like Carol Z. She comes to you because she has heard you can help her. She tries to control her emotions and tell her story calmly. She explains how one of her professors has persisted in propositioning her despite her refusals, how he discusses her "prudishness" with other students, how she has had to grapple with him physically to prevent his "pawing" her. Explaining that she has made a formal complaint, she shows some anger but even more fear. You reassure her that she's following the right procedural steps. You sense her feelings of isolation and betrayal as she goes on, telling you about two classmates who have witnessed the professor's treatment of her and who have had similar trouble with him themselves. They at first encouraged Carol to make a complaint but are now frightened about their own grades and are worried about what might happen to the professor. You explain that their reactions are not unusual, but you empathize with Carol's feeling of betrayal.

She nervously shows you the official letters filled with impersonal . . .

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