From Anonymous:

I meet a very senior faculty member from another institution at a small conference. I was the most junior person there and one of the few women.  He seemed very excited to meet me, and told me he had just reviewed my journal article, loved it and expected it to be accepted.  I was pretty excited because I really respected his work. I even wrote him down on my list of possible tenure letter writers that day.  The next day I went with a female friend to a bar and this guy was there drinking with one of his college buddies (not an academic).  He was pretty drunk even though it was only 7 or 8 pm.  He came up to me and said hi and introduced his friend, then started giving me a backrub and sort of rubbing up against me.  I seriously got that frozen, deer-in-the-headlights, look and just couldn’t respond.  All that came to my mind was, what happens if I humiliate him and then he has to review my paper again after revisions or if he is asked to write a tenure letter for me?  His friend then sort of pulled him away mumbling an apology.  My friend asked me who it was…I was so confused that I didn’t tell her his name because I thought the story would get around and end up hurting me.  I always think that I will stand up to that sort of shit, but I totally failed.

One comment

  1. You didn’t fail, he did. He failed to treat you as a colleague and fellow professional. If something like this happens again, don’t say anything. If you’re sitting down just stand up and move away without a word. If you’re standing up, just stand on one of his insteps and gradually increase the pressure until he feels it and steps back. If you can scrape the side of your foot down his shin that is particularly painful and effective. If he says something, just remark that you get so clumsy when someone touches you like that without your consent.


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