Title Harassed by Postdoc

From Anonymous 

When I started my PhD I thought I had joined a project with a professor. Instead, I was shelled off to do editing for his post doc’s journal papers. This post doc was not American and English was his second language. I was told to meet with him and told he was brilliant. The first few times I met with him it was fine. We had normal professional interactions. Then one meeting he decided to place his hand on my upper thigh. I didn’t know what to do. I was a 22 year old first year PhD student. I was already extremely anxious about my position in the program and my ability to succeed. I thought that it was my mistake, that I had smiled too much when speaking to him. I didn’t say anything. The next time we met he tried to kiss me. I froze. I was absolutely horrified. I blamed myself again and was left feeling embarrassed and ashamed. After that I didn’t respond to any of his emails. I avoided him at all costs. I didn’t even go into the building that he was in for fear of seeing him. That building was my department building. He emailed me repeatedly after that asking where I was and I didn’t respond to any. He found me on both Facebook and Linked In and messaged me asking where I was and if I was OK. I didn’t respond to any. It took me over a year to truest realize what impact he had on my grad school experience. He triggered an ongoing episode of feeling like I did not belong on that campus or in that program. Looking back, I would have tried to report him for harassment.

One comment

  1. Dear Anonymous, So sorry to hear about that experience – dreadful. I am considering research on this area, how women respond to personal individual experiences of inappropriate behaviour, harassment or discrimination. I’ve my own experiences to reflect on.
    Do you think this might be something that you’d potentially consider participating in (annoymously)? I am at the ‘thinking’ about it stage……

    Like

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