368

You don't say where you're going to school but if it's here in the US, I would report the problem to the university and demand they do whatever is necessary to fix it. Title IX requires them to provide an inclusive environment free of sexual harassment. If you are unsatisfied by their response, I would report the school to the U.S. Department of Education’...


172

If there is a local Women in Computing or Women in Science and Engineering group you may be able to get face-to-face support and advice. Failing that, I suggest joining Systers. Even if you get suggestions you find helpful here, it may be a better forum for discussion with others who have handled similar problems. I don't have direct experience because ...


123

First of all, acknowledge for yourself that what you're going through is 100% not OK, and you have every right to be upset and looking for a fix ASAP. I start saying this because very often, with any sort of bullying/harassment, people will say "you're overreacting" or "wow, it's not such a big deal, come on", but in fact they are completely wrong. It's ...


121

I am not sure if my experiences are common, but as a faculty member in a psychology department I have had a number of unique and uncomfortable experiences with female students. I have described the two most egregious cases here and here. As for an answer, I want to start with an excerpt from this answer since I think it is so good 1) Never sexually harass ...


120

Frankly, it is not clear to me why you are so concerned about being falsely accused of sexual harassment. Yes, there is a chance of this happening, but the chance is very small, even compared to other equally or more grave things that are largely out of your control (serious health problems, accidents, and so forth). Lately, maybe because of the news, I ...


116

I don't know if a meeting at which you "set the agenda" would be particularly helpful at this stage. It might make him feel "attacked", put him on the defensive, and he may retaliate against you in response. (I'm not suggesting that he would try to get you kicked out of the university or the department; there are many, many other small and large ways an ...


107

I’m not sure what to do. I am friends with some of these men (or so I thought) and have committed to working on software projects with them that I can’t back out of. What do I say? You could try something along the lines of: "You do know that a remark like that would probably get you fired in the workplace, right?" Hopefully that would turn the tone of ...


106

I'm a bit disappointed at the number of comments from people who say they need to know what the exact statement on this particular T-shirt was so that they can judge whether it was truly misogynistic before answering the question. The question is clear: What is the appropriate response given that a student is ``wearing clothing that is likely to be offensive ...


98

Without going into legal definitions of what this is exactly, the bottom line is: This is inappropriate, discriminatory behavior, and you shouldn’t put up with it. It seems like you’ve already done your best to politely stop these kinds of comments with no success. The fact that you documented everything is really great. You should approach student affairs/...


88

As an instructor -- or a TA, or whoever is leading a formalized academic session -- you have not only the right but some responsibility to enforce at least minimal standards of acceptable behavior. Some behavior is borderline and you do want to look to the other people in the room to see whether it is bothering them. Some behavior really isn't, e.g. ...


83

This sounds terrible, and like you said, I definitely think asking her to write a letter of rec was a mistake. However, regardless of whether she tried to sabotage you or not, you've been admitted! Congratulations. Now is the time to sever all contact with her and move on. You left a record with your previous university about your issues with her, and if ...


76

First, let me say that I'm sorry to hear that your relationship with your original advisor has deteriorated to such a state that you have been emotionally scarred by the relationship. That is certainly not the desired outcome. That said, you have a very important cautionary story to tell. Unlike cactus_pardner's answer, I don't think you should "...


74

While it is nice that the other people show consideration for all women who are harassed, they do not seem to fully appreciate the position of the many men who are falsely accused. Someone in another answer claims the ratio is 1:100, there is no statistics for that in academia, but in the field I am aware of (family law) the percent of women fabricating ...


69

Preliminaries: You are in a tough spot and I don't think that any course of action is ideal or without risk. If you can accept this "messiness" and commit to a reasonable course of action, you'll probably come out OK. It's also important to understand that you can't control or determine his reactions, and you can't be responsible for his feelings, as long ...


66

Whatever you do, please ignore the advice given by some people here to demonstrate your 'unavailability' to your advisor by talking about having a boyfriend, or having your boyfriend or some male friend come and pick you up from work. You don't need any 'excuse' to be uninterested in having anything more than a professional relationship with your advisor, ...


55

If you read the news lately more closely, you will see that almost no one believed the past individual accounts of harassment, and it took about a dozen simultaneous accusations for anyone to even begin to take it seriously. So even if it comes to that, the scale is still utterly weighed in your favor. The best thing you could do, IMO, is educate yourself ...


54

He also said, “You aren’t going to get your husband to come in here and beat me up, are you?” I think he was making a joke but I'm "on the spectrum" so I'm not sure. I just said "no" and kept staring at him. I'm very socially awkward. I'm also "on the spectrum" and socially awkward. One of the things that tends to happen to folk like you and me, while we'...


51

Your university almost certainly has an office devoted to considering situations of racial harassment and discrimination. If the behavior is in general towards international students rather than just Chinese ones, this is usually also explicitly prohibited as "national origin" rather than race. You should Google your university name along with the phrases "...


50

I am not convinced that he wants a romantic relationship with you. Rather he is boosting his ego by flirting with you and actually enjoys flirting with you. Your response need to be adequate to the situation. You should respond to amateurism by professionalism I think calling a general meeting of an hour to set things straight can backfire, because it ...


50

I think a lot of advice that people are giving is unwise. While I am sure they wish to be helpful, I am not sure they are qualified. I have been active in the women in technology community for 25 years, which does not give me all of the answers but does make me more aware of what can go wrong than some of the other respondents may be. You need a support ...


50

I had a situation comparable, but instead of my classmates saying I was the most favorable looking, they ranked the chance of all the girls to succeed the bachelor on time. What I explained the guys that I saw as my friends, is that these girls were also my friends and that I don't like to be compared to them. I don't like to be compared to anyone ...


46

@Nicole Hamilton's answer is unreservedly the correct one. If you're in the U.S., make use of your Title IX coordinator and file a complaint. Let me add some further thoughts on that. Frankly, the cascade of comments here that using the official channel for this are "too drastic" or that you should participate in this abuse on an ongoing basis, are ...


45

Perhaps think of this the same way you think of avoiding being run over as a pedestrian. There are obvious precautions you should definitely take, such as looking both ways before crossing a road, and keeping your interactions with your students strictly professional, no touching, no dating students, no sex-related remarks. There are a series of further ...


43

I am very sorry to hear about your situation - that sounds very painful and I wish you the best in healing from it. Personally, I'd love to just answer truthfully and throw him under the bus since that's what he's done to me several times over these last few months, but I know doing so will hurt me more than it'll hurt him. Probably the biggest argument ...


39

First of all, if these actions can be (or already are) documented, start a case on that professor. This is mobbing, and breaking a few global ethical rules. Asking her for a reference letter was a mistake, but it is not un-recoverable. Personally, I do not believe she would have major effects on your status of acceptance. Academics get to know a lot of ...


33

There's a lot to parse here, particularly in the lengthy comments section. The way I see it is you've got two options: Go outside of the department for help Avoid these conflicts and finish It seems apparent that the department is not going to help you through this, since you mention both the Dean and the department chair being involved negatively. If ...


31

What are some ways in which sexism is unknowingly perpetrated by well-meaning people, in academia in particular? I'm not qualified to answer this question myself, but I'll point you to some excellent blogs that detail this, and a tumblr that explores the more general idea of 'mansplaining' (not limited to academia alone) Female Science Professor The ...


31

One issue I've often heard cited involves having a family. For students on a traditional timeline in academia, the years from age 22 to 36 or so are critical: you go to grad school, get a PhD, perhaps do a postdoc or two, search for and land a permanent job, and finally get tenure. You have to be constantly advancing and publishing your research, traveling ...


30

I'm so sorry to hear about your experience. You don't mention which country you're in; Nicole Hamilton's answer gives great US-specific advice; this is intended to answer the question from a UK perspective. Given the situation you describe, I would strongly recommend making a formal complaint. If you search Google for "report sexual harrassment" and limit ...


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible